DIY: Upcycled Sweater Garland

This is a guest post by Blair Stocker of Wisecraft.

It was just recently announced that the 2015 Pantone color of the year is Marsala, Although I’m not sure how I feel about that color (what do you guys think?), I had it in mind when I was in the thrift store the other day, looking for inspiration. I found tons of women’s sweaters in variations of this shade. Perhaps we should go grab them up before everyone finds out it’s the new, hot color!

This garland is super simple, and reminiscent of something I saw once in a very well known department store that I won’t mention (…but you know which one I’m talking about). Made of upcycled sweaters in a palette of gray, pink, and that color I’m now only calling Marsala, it will work hard and look festive all the way through the holidays, on into the new year.

Look for sweaters that have interesting details like embroidery, beading, or sparkly yarn. Because this project doesn’t require you to felt the sweaters, fiber content doesn’t matter. The gray sweaters I used have a metallic detail running through the thread. The more synthetic sparkle, the better!



  • Scraps of festive-feeling sweaters from the thrift store.
  • File folder or card stock
  • Fabric scissors
  • Paper scissors
  • A Frixion Pen or pencil
  • Sewing machine with coordinating thread OR hand sewing needle and thread
  • Fiberfill
  • A chopstick or knitting needle
  • Yarn, baker’s twine, or perle cotton thread to create garland

Step 1: Make Templates

Create some simple ornament shapes by drawing freehand on an old file folder or a piece of card stock. Keep these simple round bauble-shaped, the details won’t show once they’re cut out. Cut the shapes out of the card stock.


Step 2: Trace

Using a Frixion pen or a fine pencil line, trace around the ornament templates on the front of the sweater. Be sure to trace around details you want to keep on the ornament.


After tracing, pin another piece of the sweater to the back and cut around the shape leaving at least 1” all around.


Step 3: Stitch

Either using a sewing machine, or sewing by hand, stitch a line around the ornament shape, following the drawn line. Leave at least 1” unsewn.


Step 4: Stuff

Add a bit of stuffing just to puff out the ornament, using a chopstick or knitting needle to help move the stuffing around.


Stitch the opening closed.

Step 5: Trim

Using fabric scissors, cut 1/4” away from stitch line, all the way around the ornament.


Step 6: String

Create the garland by string each ornament on a long length of baker’s twine or yarn. I made my garland using 15 ornaments, leaving a 2”-3” between each one, sewing each one on by threading perle cotton through a large needle and sewing a little stitch at the top back of each one. Tie each one in place on the string.


*These also look pretty adorning a gift box, or hanging from a tree!


Blair Stocker