By “Sweater Hats,” I mean hats made out of sweaters, not small sweater-like hats. I got this idea from the book Alternacrafts by Jessica Vitkus. The idea is that you have an old sweater, which is no longer good at being a sweater, so you make it into a hat. I also paired this activity with some smaller hat embellishment projects.
Here are the materials I used: old cotton/soft brightly colored or striped sweaters (donated from a thrift store), large embroidery needles, large thread (embroidery or other), sharp scissors, felt, buttons, yarn, t-shirt scraps, and hot glue.
Here are the steps: 1. Select the sweater you would like to make into a hat. I had a lot of striped and patterned sweaters, but also some darker plainer ones for the guys. I was told “You need more pink,” so you might want to get a little extra pink. 3. You will be cutting your hat out of the bottom of the sweater, so measure your head by wrapping the bottom edge of the sweater around your head. 4. Cut a rectangle out of the bottom of the sweater making sure it includes the bottom and the side of the sweater. This way, you don’t have to hem your sweater, or sew one of the sides. 5. Sew the edges of your hat using a hemming stitch. I found myself saying, “Always come up through the bottom, ” to teach this stitch. I also found myself saying, “Sew slowly.” While these hats may not last forever, they were very fun to make. I even had some guys in the activity after one of them made a ninja mask and then they all wanted ninja masks.
This is a picture of the first ninja mask, which was make out of a stocking cap. Here is a very easy way to make ninja masks with t-shirt scraps: 1. Cut around the sleeve area including about six inches of fabric below the armpit and half of the neck of the shirt. 2. Put the sleeve on the teen’s head with the armpit centered in the middle of their face (note: make sure shirts are very clean mew). 3. Using washable marker, gently make a mark on the shirt where their eyes are (note: make sure their eyes are closed). 4. Remove shirt, cut out eyes and replace t-shirt on teen’s head. I was told: “You need more black,” so you might want to stock up on black t-shirts for this. In addition to sweater hats and ninja masks, we also made a few felt roses, and hat pompoms. We had hot glue out too, for the sewing impaired and impatient. Variety is the spice of life!