Gorgeous Colorful Soft Rug From Old Sweaters

6 Materials
10 Hours

My mum gave me a bag of her old wool sweaters to repurpose and upcycle. Lucky for me my mum loves to wear bright colors. So I ended up with a bag of sweaters in lovely pinks, reds, and purples.

I had recently made a very popular no-sew denim rug out of waistbands (click here), so this time I thought I'd have a go at a no sew sweater rug.
The first thing I did with the wool sweaters was felt them. I did this in the washing machine.
The next thing I did was to cut the felted sweaters into strips. I used a rotary cutter and board for this (click here). My strips were about 15mm in width and as long as I could make them.

It is important that the strips of felt are all the same width, however, the lengths can vary. You can cut thinner strips to get more lengths of wool out of your sweaters. The width of the strips will determine how thick the finished rug is.
Once you have cut up all your sweaters you can start making the rug. I used between 4-5 sweaters for my rug. The number you need will depend on the size of the sweaters you use to start with and how thick you cut the strips.
To start with I pasted one side of a felt strip with fabric glue and rolled it up. I then added another strip. You continue adding strips of felt to make a coiled mat. You can use pins to keep the ends in place as the glue dries.

It's a bit like quilling you do with paper.
I made several of these coiled mats in different shapes and sizes.
Once you have as many coiled mats as you want you can join them together.
I used a glue gun for this as the glue dries quicker than fabric glue so it is more likely to hold its shape.

I made small coiled mats to fill in the little gaps between the bigger mats.
To finish off I had more stips of felt around all the mats to bring them together.
This isn't a quick craft but, the rug can be made over time and you can add to it later to make it even bigger.

There are more details on my blog.
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Claire at Pillarboxblue

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 113 questions
  • Sew crazy
    on Jul 16, 2019

    Did you do the covered chair too? Is there a book about this project?

  • Lorna P.
    on Jul 18, 2019

    What is felting? You said it was done in the washing machine. How?

    • Merrie Tulanko
      on Aug 12, 2019

      I believe that will sweaters are felted or shrunk down in the washer by using hot water. Because of the nature of the wool it will shrink and cause the wool to take on whatever shape you want it to take with a little work...usually felting... it is punching small hooked needles to kind of fray or make the wool hairs frizzy and stiff, then you can shape them into whatever.

  • Kim Dunlap Gordon
    on Feb 25, 2020

    Do the sweaters have to be wool or can they be cotton or some other type of fabric?

Join the conversation

4 of 338 comments
  • Launa Elaine Strickland
    on Feb 26, 2020

    I love the bright colors and design. Brilliant repurpose of sweaters. Well done! The chair cover is absolutely adorable, too!

  • Sharonbino
    on Mar 14, 2020

    never thought of another life for a washed and dried - shrunken wool sweater. would make for a foot warmer in our northern winters. beautiful colors. thanks.

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