DLTK's Crafts for Kids
Recycled Vest Craft
A viewer requested an idea for recycled clothes and here's what we came up with
Please read through all the directions before you start.
Before doing the project, spread out the materials being used. Discuss which ones have already been recycled once (things like newspaper).
Discuss what else you could do with the items if you weren't making this craft. Talk about the different recycle bins (PAPER, PLASTIC, CARDBOARD,
etc) and have the kids sort their items based on the type.
- Newspaper (cartoon section is most colorful), paper bags or used gift wrap.
- Old string, shoelaces or wool (scraps from grandma or mom's knitting).
- Decoration items: gum wrappers, bread tags, bottle caps, old gift wrap, tp rolls, etc
- Take a piece of newspaper folded in half
(we want two separate pieces in here so don't line it up against the fold).
- Using the child's body measurements (this is a good way to teach kids how to take measurements for patterns if they are a bit older!)
or using one of their shirts as a general guide, cut out a piece that looks like the one to the right. When leaving
room for the arms (the left side of the image) err on the side of making it too big -- newspaper shirts are a bit flimsy.
- The height of the pattern should be from the top of the shoulder to the waist.
- The width of the pattern should be from the belly button to the side.
- When you take the paper apart, you'll have two identical halves.
- Take a second piece of newspaper and open it up.
- Cut out a piece that looks like the two you already made, but stuck together (this is the back). Notice the neck hole is a bit smaller
in this image.
- If you want to get fancy, you can make this piece by folding your newspaper and lining the middle of the pattern (the dotted red line in the
picture) against the fold. When you cut it out and unfold, you'll have one big piece like in the picture with two identical sides.
- Line your pieces up together.
Poke holes with a hole punch along the sides and top (see the green lines in the images).
- Using a piece of wool, shoelace, string, "sew the sides together (using the holes you punched.
- Once it's sewn, decorate the vest with recycled items. Use whatever you have on hand. I've given the ideas we used below.
- We made "buttons" and a "shark tooth" collar out of toilet paper rolls (Cut them down the side so they aren't a tube
anymore and you'll have a large "curled" sheet of cardboard. Cut petals or shark tooth pieces out of it and
they'll be naturally curly). We attached them by punching two holes through each and tying them on with wool scraps.
- We made a fringe cover with recycled
gift wrap. We cut long strips about 3 " wide and fringed them. We glued them on.
- The vest is made out of newspaper and won't be all that sturdy. You can increase the sturdiness a couple of ways:
- Use more than one sheet of newspaper for each pattern piece. It gets a wee bit more fiddly, but it lasts longer
- Put something over the holes to reinforce them. You can use another sheet of newspaper, you can use masking tape, or you can use
decoration material like gum wrappers.
- Instead of newspaper use gift wrap (it holds up a bit better). I save ALL my old wrapping paper. If you don't have a piece
that's big enough, don't worry. Put pieces together with glue or with the holepunch lacing technique used in the pattern.
It makes a very cute "patchwork" vest.
- Instead of newspaper use brown paper bags. Again, these are sturdier, but I'm not sure many stores give them out these days.
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