DIY Elbow Patches: Sprucing Up A Thrift Store Find
When I first pinned this craft on Pinterest, I didn't think I would actually ever do it. I'm sure many women out there can attest to the fact that they have pinned things they never actually planned on doing. They just pin them because they hope their friends think they'll try it, which makes them look impressive. Anyway, I was trying to decide what project to tackle next, so I asked my facebook friends. The first person to respond urged me to do this idea (this friend was a guy by the way), and so I decided to do it, just for him. I got the instructions on how to do this from the blog Honestlywtf.
To start, I got my hands on a sweater for the project. I'm a huge fan of going to thrift stores to buy sweaters. I have several that I've bought over time that I love. However, none of them are here with me, they're all packed away at my parents house. So I had to go hunting for a new one. Thankfully, I was able to find one on my first trip. It's nothing to special, which makes it perfect. (Make sure when you go to get your sweater that it's 100% wool.)
The rest of the supplies were not as easy to find. I had to find felting needles, and wool roving. I started at Joann Fabrics, thinking they would have the widest selection of needles, but they didn't have any felting supplies at all. So I went to Michael’s Craft Store. After searching all over the store (I hate asking for help for some reason), I finally found them. They have a whole section for felting, next to the yarn. The needle was expensive, but thankfully I had a 50% off coupon. I picked up a pack of purple variegated wool roving and a foam block from the floral section.
When I got back home, I set to work. I started by putting the sweater on and slightly bending my elbows, then put a piece of tape right above my elbow on both arms. After taking the sweater off I put the foam block into the first sleeve and made sure it was right under where the heart would go.
The blog that I got this from suggested using a heart shaped cookie cutter as your pattern. I couldn't find a cookie cutter, so I had to improvise. Instead I cut out a heart shape from a piece of card stock and used paperclips to hold it in place, then lined up the top of the heart to the bottom of the tape on the sleeve. I was pretty proud of my ingenuity.
Next, I took a small hand full of wool roving and placed it inside the stencil. I took the needle and, starting from the outer edges, began pushing the needle into the fabric. Be careful, the needles are sharp. Continue to do this until all of the wool is pushed into the fabric. If there are any spots that seem thin, add more wool.
Remove your stencil and pull out the foam block. Look at the inside of the sleeve; the wool roving should be pushed all the way through. Do the other sleeve. When you have done both sleeves spritz the hearts with water and then iron to smooth it out. Make sure your iron is on the wool setting.
That's all you have to do. The sweater that I got had this weird mock turtleneck thing that I did not like, so I cut off the turtleneck part to make it a scoop neck. I folded the fabric in, about a ¼ of an inch, and hand sewed it. I didn't really care if it looked perfect, but it actually came out pretty good. I'm rather proud of my new tricked out sweater.