Upcycled Sweater Craft: Make a Felt Cake!
Make a Felt Cake
By Jennie Lennick
Make a Plush Cake From an Upcycled Felted Sweater
Learn needle felting, pom-pom making, and sewing in this cute plush toy tutorial! In it, I cover how to upcycle a shrunken sweater into an adorable stuffed cake!
It happens to the best of us. We feel a little lazy and decide to throw that wool sweater into the wash. What's the worst that could happen? It might shrink a little, but that's okay.
WRONG. When tragedy strikes and your once adult-sized sweater turns into a miniature version appropriate only for a doll, you can use it for arts and crafts! When wool is agitated in water with heat, it turns into felt, a type of fabric that is very durable and does not unravel. Accidentally felted sweaters work great for making plush toys, slippers, bags, and more!
I took my sadly shrunken sweater and turned it into a delightful plush cake! This simple project covers several essential crafting techniques.
In this tutorial, I cover:
- How to felt a sweater.
- Cutting out fabric from a pattern.
- How to make a pom-pom.
- Needle felting techniques.
- Hand sewing with a whipped stitch.
- Filling a toy or pillow with polyester fiberfill stuffing.
Let's make this cake!
- Wool sweater
- Cake slice pattern. I used this one.
- Felting needle
- Wool roving
- Felting foam
- 100% Wool yarn
- Loome Pom Pom tool
- Polyester Fiberfill
Step 1: Felt Your Sweater
Turning your sweater into felt is super easy! All you have to do is wash your 100% wool sweater on high heat with laundry detergent. Make sure to choose a setting on your washing machine that uses a lot of agitation. This guide by Premeditated Leftovers breaks down the process nicely.
Step 2: Cut Out Your Pattern
Print out your pattern, cut out the pattern pieces, and trace them onto your felted wool.
Carefully cut your fabric pieces. I like to trace my patterns with a sharpie, but you can use whatever drawing tool you'd like. Just make sure to cut away all marks.
Step 3: Make A Pom Pom
I wanted to add a dollop of whipped cream with a berry on top for my cake design, and I decided a pom-pom would work nicely for this purpose. My friend Villasine of Loome created my favorite pom-pom maker. It's super easy to use, and it makes the BEST pom-poms!
Hold down one end of the wool yarn against the pom pom maker.
Wrap your yarn around the arms of the pom-pom maker with even tension. Not too tight or too loose.
Keep wrapping until you have a nice, thick bundle.
Take a piece of strong string (like embroidery floss) and tie it around the middle of the yarn bundle.
Tie many knots until you feel like the bundle is very secure.
Gently slide the yarn bundle off of the tool.
With sharp scissors, trim around the pom-pom, cutting the loops.
Your pom-pom will have an oblong shape. Use your scissors to trim the pom-pom into a ball shape. Use a dish to catch all the cuttings!
Stop trimming when you are satisfied with your shape.
Step 4: Add Needle Felted Details
Let's add a little color to your cake! I wanted my cake to have layers, so I am using a strip of pink wool roving as the frosting between the tiers.
Pull off a piece of roving and lay it in the middle of your long rectangular piece.
Stab your roving over and over with a felting tool. Make sure to poke it through the wool rectangle and into a bit of foam.
Continue poking until the piece of roving has adhered to the wool. Trim the excess.
I added a little color to my pom-pom by felting some roving to the top of the orb. Watch your fingers as you work! The felting tool is super sharp.
Step 5: Sew Your Cake!
Thread a needle and sew the pom-pom to one of the triangular pieces. Set aside.
Line up each pattern piece and sew them together with a whipped stitch.
I just held my pieces together, but you can use pins if that's easier for you! Sew almost your entire cake slice until there is a 2-inch opening left.
Check out this video for a nice whipped stitch tutorial.
Step 6: Stuffing and Finishing Your Cake
Take a little polyester fiberfill and insert it into the opening of your cake.
Add enough fiberfill, so the cake slice is firm.
Carefully stitch up the opening with a whipped stitch. Knot your thread and trim.
I completed six slices of cake to create an entire desert! I love how cute this set is! I gave it to my toddler as a birthday gift, and she loves to pretend to eat the pieces. I adore that this project reduced waste and made something delightful out of an unfortunate mistake! Are you interested in more upcycled sweater projects? Check out my Pinterest board! I compiled a bunch of fun ideas!
Want more DIYs? Check out our favorite sewing and yarn crafts!
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Designer, entrepreneur, and lover of crafts! Boss Lady at Jenny Lemons in San Francisco