My son was challenged by his teacher to recycle objects into something new and useful. He had plenty of ideas, but they weren't exactly "useful" or challenging. His favorite idea was to make a bail bucket for the boat by cutting a hole in a milk jug. We debated for several days over bird feeders, Christmas ornaments, candle holders, penny banks, and advent calendars. He finally decided on using a torn sweater to make a winter hat and mitten set for his Aunt's Christmas present.
So we dusted off the old sewing machine and my 9 year old received a crash course in sewing. YES, while we are on the subject of sewing, I didn't use any hot glue! I just wanted to point that little fact out.
I have made these simple mittens in the past out of old sweaters or fleece. As a daycare provider, I need a lot of mittens during winter and I can't afford to buy $12 gloves for other families. People forget their children's gear or gloves get sloppy wet after playing in the snow so it never hurts to have an extra set of mittens laying around.
Here is how we made mittens and a hat from an old sweater:
For the mittens:
- Turn the sweater inside out.
- Trace your child's hand or old mitten on the sleeves. We used the cuffs already created for the bottom. Make sure you trace enough extra space for seams- my son had problems understanding this concept.
- Carefully cut out the mitten shape. You may want to pin your fabrics together to make sewing easier.
- Sew around your mitten outlines with an even edge. We finished with a small zigzag stitch to strengthen the seams.
- Turn the fabric right side out and smooth the seams.
- Now you are ready for a round of snowball fights!
- Keep your sweater turned inside out.
- Trace a hat on the bottom half of the sweater. We took advantage of the hemmed bottom for our hat's base.
- You can get creative in hat shapes. I have made long tapered hats, small round hats, or "joker" hats in the past. Tonight we decided on using a simple round hat.
- Carefully cut both sides of the hat out. Pin together if you want.
- Sew the hat, keeping even seams. Finish with a small zag stitch for increased durability.
- Turn the hat right side out.
- Add pompoms, tassels, and any other embellishments you like. We made small pompoms to attach on top of the hat.
- Voila! You are now the proud owner of a winter hat.
I hope Aunt Dev enjoys her "new" recycled winter accessories. I am positive that she will smile when she learns that her nephew made them himself.
Now, I need to stash away the sewing machine so my hot glue gun doesn't rage with jealousy...