How to make a kick-ass picnic mat from sweaters
But as this fun idea demonstrates, old jumpers have a summery side they're just itching to bring out: they make great, hard-wearing picnic mats. Follow the jump for step-by-step instructions on how to make one of your own.
[Via Recycled Crafts]
* 8 100-percent-wool sweaters (in various colors)
* Sewing machine
* Coordinating thread
* 12-inch x 12-inch paper pattern (made from grocery bag) OR 12-inch quilter's square
* Straight edge
* Rotary cutter and self-healing mat
* 1 sheet of craft felt
* Embroidery floss and needle
* Star stencil
1. Working in batches of two, place sweaters in the washing machine with an old pair of jeans or a towel (this will help with agitation) and wash with hot water, taking care to check the load every 5 minutes or so. Repeat cycle as many times as necessary to achieve the desired felted texture. Note: Felting is not an exact science; timing may be affected by the color, weave or fiber content of each sweater.
2. Lay sweaters out on towels to dry. Repeat process until all 8 sweaters are felted.
3. Cut the sides and sleeves off each sweater. Lay sweater out flat. Using a pattern (see supply list) or a quilter's square as your guide, cut 1 square from both the front and the back of the sweater.
4. Arrange squares in rows of four. With wrong sides facing and using a 1/4-inch seam allowance, sew squares together to form rows. Now, sew the 4 rows together to complete the blanket assembly. Once finished, pause to high-five yourself for being awesome and resourceful.
5. Using a stencil (or if you're feeling fancy, freehand), draw and cut out a few stars from craft felt. Hand- or machine-sew stars in place, according to your heart's desire. For a little extra razzle-dazzle, embroider a decorative edge around the star with some metallic floss!