Make a Childs Cardigan From Recycled Felted Wool Sweater!




Have you ever had a great wool sweater that you love only to one day open the dryer to find it wadded there tight and angry and about three sizes smaller then it was before. It's a tragic tale as old as time it's self. I'm sure that Cane probably felted Abel's favorite sweater and said "I didn't know it wasn't washable". It burns me just thinking about all the sweaters that I've lost to the hand of someone elses poor washing skills.

But through the darkness of lost sweaters dawns a great felted cardigan for kids. They are easy to make and it's a great way to recycle sweaters that have met the ill fate of the dryer.

What you will need.

1. One Felted Sweater
2. 1 1/2" wide velvet ribbon
3. Sewing Machine
4. Button

Step 1: Make a Cut

Make a cut down the center of the sweater. You can find the center by measuring or by folding the sweater in half and pinning at the center fold. OR you can just eyeball it like I always do.

At this point you can cut the sleeves to the length that work best for your little one. I often slip the sweater on the child (if child is handy) and mark where the sleeves should end.

Step 2: Cut the Ribbon

Measure the ribbon by laying it down the front length of the sweater and add 2 extra. The extra is for folding under at the top and bottom of the ribbon. Cut 2 of these for the left and the right side of the sweater opening.

Measure around the wrist and add an extra 2 again. Cut 2 of these as well.

NOTE: I always cut my ribbon a little longer then I think I need because you can always cut off the extra.

Step 3: Pin and Sew

Fold the ribbon in half from side to side and pin it length wise down the front of your sweater so it sandwiches the front raw edges. Pinning is important on this project because the sweater stretches and the pins keep all the layers straight and together.

NOTE: At the top and the bottom of the ribbon fold the very end of the ribbon under so it has a nice finished look.

Do this again around the wrists of the sweater.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Fold a 5"  piece of ribbon in half width wise and sew it together then make a loop out of that and sew it on your sweater at the neck. This is the loop that you will use to button your sweater closed.

Sew on you're Button

Step 5: You’re DONE!

That's it, you're done and don't even have to worry about someone washing and drying it because it's already felted.


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    14 Discussions


    4 years ago

    That dress is so adorable! Do you have any tips on how to create a similar dress to one shown in the first page of


    9 years ago on Step 5

    I really like this idea! It seems to me that the ribbon edge wouldmake inserting a zipper a snap! Thanks!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    mom i voted for both of your instructables so I think you should make me some cookies or something


    9 years ago on Step 5

    SWEET! I now know what to do with all my boyfriend's sweaters that end up in the washing machine. Make them into sweaters for me! This is an amazing idea, thank you for sharing.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Ooooh! I like it! One more thing on my 'to do' list.

    That is SO cute! I love cardigans. I'm going to try and hunt down some men's sweaters and do this for myself. Thanks so much for the great idea, I'll be linking to this.

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea, I've ruined a few sweaters that way myself.