January 28, 2013

Sweaters For Your Vases

I had saved this great idea on a Pinterest board that
Debi Ward Kennedy shared on her blog "Homeward Found":
(if you use the above photo for any reason, be sure to link it back to Debi's blog

As, I was reading more closely exactly how to copy her idea,
I realized that Debi had gotten the idea for the vases in 2007
from Danny Seo.  Danny is a green-living expert.  He wrote about
using the cuffs of sweaters to cover candles in an article in
"Country Home" magazine.  Here is a picture from his website
of the candles he shared about:
Both Debi and Danny emphsize that if you use sweaters to make "cozies" for your candles,
be sure to keep the sweaters away from the flames.

Not just a "home-made" look, retailers have also done
ceramic versions of the sweater vases, Anthropolgoie
and World Market just to name a couple. 
Neither of these products are still currently available

So, my version of Debi's vases are a copy cat of a copy cat.
 Debi writes that this project is fast, cheap and easy and it is. 
 No sewing at all! She also says that she has used
different color sweaters to put around the vases but that the
white/beige sweaters are her favorites to use in this project.

You might have some sweaters that you can recycle for this
project but I needed to find some sweaters at the thrift store.
Here are the arms (still attached) of the sweaters I'm using:

...and here they are cut away from the main part of the sweater:

These are the various vases/jars that are possible
 candidates for the sweater vase project:

Debi used cylindrical vases so that's the first ones I attemped.
They are about the size of an adult's arm and the sweater slid
on easily.  Debi says that you can keep the sweater smooth or
scrunch it up like leg warmers for another look.  I was trying to
get as many vases covered as possible so I kept them smooth.

I left a little extra to turn up a hem but cut away the
excess to use it on another vase.

When I first read about cutting up sweaters for vases
(and I have seen them used for pillows too), I worried that the
 knit stitches would unravel immediately but that did not happen.

Here is the bottom cut edge just turned under at the base:

The leftover arm part was put on a shorter vase.

To add some interest to the plain stitches, I turned a cuff
up showing the wrong or "purled" side of the sweater.

For most of  each of the arms, I was able to get a tall vase
  and a short vase covered with it.  The pretty diamond weave
 sleeves were only 3/4 long so they only covered one vase each.

There was not enough material to turn a hem so I put some
craft glue on the bottom to keep it from unraveling.  I think
it could be covered with a ribbon to hide the raw edge.

Pulling the sweater arms over the vases reminded me of
dressing Barbie dolls when I was little.  I can remember when
the first Barbies came out on the market.

 It was fun "dressing" these various shapes of vases.  
Because the knit of the sleeves is stretchy, 
you can also pull it over curvy vases, within reason. 

If you are having trouble squeezing a vase into a sweater arm,
start with the cut edge and not the cuff edge of the sleeve.
The cut edge is not as constricting and sometimes you can
sneak up from the backside of a cuff and get the vase in after all.

Another suggestion that Debi gave for getting a sleeve around
a larger vase is to simply wrap the sleeve around the vase and
then tuck the cut edge into the sleeve's cuff.  

You can simply pin the cut sleeve edge into the cuff
on the backside (against the vase) and no one will see the pin.
I decided to use a winter brooch as the pin for this vase.

Just like last year when the daffodils bloomed in January in
 Alabama, we have spring flowers peeking their heads out here
already.  Some nights and early mornings are cold but in the
daytime, the temperatures can be in the 70's.   I've carried 
this idea into the sweatered-vases (winter) holding flowers
that normally bloom in the Spring.  

 Those of you who can sew even just a little bit could make
tubes out of the leftover sweaters that you cut the arms off
of to make even more sweater covers for your vases.


  1. I love these. You did an awesome copy cat....:)
    Over from DebbieDoos

  2. These are very very cute. Thanks for telling exactly how you did them. I'd love it if you linked up at my party....Mod Mix Monday.

  3. You did an awesome job on the vases, Gayle! I saw this idea on Debi's blog and have been meaning to make some, but haven't gotten any done.

  4. Oh my gosh. I love these! Saw your link at Met Monday. I'm doing this today. :o)

  5. I am a fairly new follower to your blog. Just wanted to tell you that your projects are great. This one is beautiful! I plan to make the Valentine's candy bouquets too. Thank you for all your inspiration, and keep up the good work! =)

  6. This is too cool for school. I have used men's cuffs for candle covers, but this is so cozy looking.

  7. Wow, old sweaters are coming in handy for a lot of things. I absolutely love this idea and can't wait to give it a try.

  8. Oh-Aren't those cute? I just love them and they do look pretty easy to ake- xo Diana

  9. Thanks for showing sweater vests over the vases. It really warmed the look of them I volunteer in a hospital flower shop and think I may place a few on the arrgts in the coolers as well as my own. Nice. Thank you for stopping by Miss Kitty! Dianna

  10. What a lovely way to "dress" up a vase or candle-holder!

  11. What a great tutorial! You made this nonsewer very happy. Your display is soo lovely! Great post and thanks for the visit!

  12. Great tute and beautiful bulbs! Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit to see my drop cloth flowers. Now you got my thinker thinking about sweaters again.....!

  13. Very very cute and clever! I am a new follower, can't wait to see what you're up to next!

  14. What a beautiful work, you are amazing. Thank you for stopping by and comment on Stuffed shells. I am your neww follower.

  15. I am glad your flowers & candles are keeping warm. Seriously, this is a great idea and the display is so pretty!!

  16. Love these so much I'm going to dig through my closet and come up with some sweater for cutting!

  17. These cuties will for sure be featured at my party next week. Thanks so much for sharing them.


  18. This is awesome, AND something I could do!!!! Thanks so much for all the details. And, thanks SO much for your visit to my blog. XO, Pinky

  19. The vases looks so pretty and cozy! Great idea and one I will definitely try out.

  20. Gayle, I just love this project and I appreciate you sharing it at the Open House party. The sweater vases are so adorable.
    xx, Sherry

  21. Such a cute idea! I think it's something that even I can do!
    I love the way you displayed them in all white. A very sweet and romantic look. Thanks for sharing with us.

  22. These are just darling. WHat a neat idea. So glad you shared it the party...very inspiring.

  23. Was partying at Mod Mix Monday and saw that your sweater vases were featured and I just had to come on over to see how you did. These are beyond amazing. Lovely.

  24. What a cute idea! I just made a Christmas stocking out of a sweater but think I threw away the sleeves!

  25. I love these and all the different shapes and variations. Thanks so much for the great tutorial.

  26. Very cute!! I have two leftover sleeves from my Christmas stocking from a sweater project that I've been wanting to do this with...Thanks for the inspiration.

  27. Love these! So cute!! I'm a new follower through GFC.

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