This wreath was once a pile of sweaters destined for the landfill. Who knew? Photo: Ron Hamad for Chronicle Books. Part Three of Four.
Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff: So what’s the single most important thing readers can do to keep their holiday season sustainable?
Anna Getty: Do away with disposables. If you do use them, go for the biodegradable versions. People still aren’t using those enough. But better is to borrow things from your friends. Ask around. If you’re having a party for 50 people, borrow 10 plates from each of your friends for the night. Or rent them. A few years ago, I invested in a plain white set of dishes that I keep just for parties—I use them again and again.
RLS: I love the sweater wreath that’s in your Green Christmas book—what a cute gift! How did that come about?
AG: I had seen something like that made out of felt years ago. I went to a thrift store and bought all of these old clothes for material and was thinking, “What can I do with all these sweaters?” At first, I made pillows. But then I remembered the wreath! It’s wonderful because people always have sweaters with holes in them. You can give them away or you can reuse them. I’ve even seen people do little miniature wreaths for place settings or on doors—adorable.
Find more recipes and craft how-tos in Anna’s Green Christmas book!
Anna’s Seasonal Recycled Wool Wreath
Old sweaters in different colors from friends and family
Needle and thread
1. With the scissors, cut the sweaters into 2-by-2-inch/5-by-5-cm squares. You probably will need 250 to 300 squares for one 13-inch/33cm wreath, depending on the thickness of the sweaters. Keep one arm of a sweater intact for the last step. This may take time, so turn on some tunes and share a good bottle of organic wine while you cut the squares.
2. Untwist the ends of the wire hanger and reshape it into a circle. Push one end of the wire through the center of a sweater square. Continue adding squares until you have a colorful wreath. The sweater pieces should be very tightly packed onto the wire frame.
3. When you have finished the wreath, twist the ends of the hanger back together. Using the wire cutters, remove any extra length of wire. Close the gap by pushing sweater pieces together over it.
4. From the reserved arm, cut a piece of sweater 10 to 12 inches/25 to 30.5 cm long and 1 to 1-1/2 inches 2.5 to 3.5 cm wide. Make a bow and, with the needle and thread, sew the bow onto the top of the wreath. Cut away the ends of the bow if they are too long.
Get Anna’s signature strudel recipe, find out how-to make her quick-and-easy holiday cocktail and create your own Green Christmas. To find out what Anna’s giving—and getting—this season, check back next week!