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How to make a rug from felted sweaters

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Found A stack of wool sweaters at Unique Thrift on half-price day

The process I started by felting the sweaters to give them body and thickness. To do this, I cut apart each sweater at the shoulder and side seams, then ran them twice through the washer and dryer on the hottest settings. I selected two of the sweaters and cut five 11” by 30” strips from the sleeves and back to make a rug measuring 30” by 50”; I then sewed the pieces together with a sewing machine to make the top of the rug. (Hand-stitching will work, too.) After pressing the seams flat open with an iron, I cut a piece of burlap with the same dimensions for the back of the rug. I hand-stitched the layers together at the edges with wool yarn.

The materials Two wool sweaters $5, Unique Thrift Store (locations around the city), one yard of burlap $4, Vogue Fabrics (718 Main St, Evanston, 847-864-9600; 623 W Roosevelt Rd, 312-829-2505), thrifted yarn and tapestry needle 50 cents, Evanston First United Methodist Church rummage sale. Total cost: $9.50.

—Collected and salvaged by Diana Durkes (finedivingchicago.com)

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