Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Throw Pillows from Old Sweaters

I've been oddly obsessed with pillows lately. I think it's because I've been itching to change up my place but haven't had the time or money to make any big changes. Like, when I moved in I had these ideas of doing a clean, graphic, modern home, before realizing I was not pulling it off because its just not my style. I need to nest and be cozy. I love me some geometric lines and clean accessories, but am now realizing that I need to work them in with my big old quilts and weird thrifted knicknacks.

Anyways, enough about my existential home decorating crisis (though, please feel free to make me feel better if that has happened to any of you.) Back to pillows.

The only thing is though, I change my mind about pillows more often than my 15 year old cousin switches between Harry and Zain (Team Styles here at r/p), so I never like dropping coin on them (pillows, not One Direction members, that is.) Like, I found an awesome pillow at the Renegade Craft Fair, but it was $80. For something that Lucille will stink up and I will drop pizza on and get sick of in three months, I just couldn't.  

So I decided to make my own, before realizing that man, Joann Fabrics and Michael's have some ugly ass fabric. Its a ton of stuff straight from Ms. Frizzle's wardrobe, like

Not my style. Plus, its like $7 a yard, AND is that stiff, itchy cotton. I know, I know, if I did a little hunting I could find better, but I'm impatient, so I headed to the thrift store.

The sweater aisle is a goldmine for fabrics for small projects. You can get really high-quality, soft knits, with as much yardage as you need for a small project, for under $2. I went armed with inspiration, which was

This $40 West Elm pillow cover. Yep, $40 just for the cover!! Again, bitch please.

In one trip, I was lucky enough to find the perfect sweaters for both pillows:

From here, the steps are so easy. Because with a sweater, two sides are already sewn, these are two-stitch pillows. A women's medium sweater is pretty much the exact size of a standard throw pillow, but you'll want to lay your pillow form (or old pillow) on top of it first to make sure everything is wide enough).
(hey, it helps to get a second opinion)

Step one:
Cut off arms and neckline. 

Step two:
Sew up the hem of the sweater

Step three:
Put pillow in and ladder stitch closed. (I admit, I kind of suck at ladder stitching so mine is less than impressive.)

Look at that, two new pillows for under $5. 

Cost breakdown:
White sweater- $1.50
Striped sweater- $3
Pillows- already owned
Total- $4.50


PS: Check out r/p on Buzzfeed! That was pretty cool to see on there, so thank you Buzzfeed!

PS: If you want more content in between r/p posts, follow my personal blog at mariahcareyfanclub.tumblr.com


  1. I found a delicious cable knit sweater at Goodwill but I'd been holding off because I wasn't sure my sewing machine would play nice with it, and I also hesitated to sew it shut with no zipper--which seemed too difficult. Your post reminded that if I need to wash the darn thing, one snip with the scissors will take care of the problem, and I can stitch it back on after. One pillow, coming up! Probably!

    1. I think you could run light paper between the sweater & the sewing foot.

  2. I am so in love with all your pillows, especially the black and white striped one! Man, I would have never thought of using a sweater to make a pillow! Now, I want to head out and pick up lots of sweaters to make some awesome pillows! Thanks for this post, it was the best idea I have ever seen! Hugs, Val

  3. LOVE this! So many ideas now... [and $40... for a cover? Seriously?] I live with DOGS who love to put their heads on a pillow when they nap... and my cat takes over an entire pillow! These are so simple and cozy I'm sure they would love them! I think you can even find extremely inexpensive pillows at Goodwill to use for fill pillows!

  4. Did you sew bottom edge with sweater inside out?

  5. What a great idea! I love projects that creatively utilize old objects and turn them into something useful. Thanks for the awesome post.

  6. I have that chair. Mine is blue (now). Maybe they could be chair friends. Cool pillows :)

  7. Cute pillows and I love your inspiration too! I've got this linked to my pillows post too today, for DIY pillow tutorials!

  8. Oh, do you ever shop at Goodwill Outlet?? It is THE cheapest store you will EVER find in your LIFE. They sell clothing for $1.69 PER POUND. You can buy a shopping cart stuffed full of half a wardrobe for each family member for $20. They have bins and bins filled with clothing of all shapes and sizes, and it's probably like ten cents a piece or something. If you have one anywhere near you, DEFINITELY take a look, it's AMAZING.

  9. So Impressive!
    I must have a few sweaters tucked away in the back of my closet that would work for this project. Have you tried this with other shirts?
    @Chloe Elisabeth Craig aren't the Goodwill Outlets a bargain hunters paradise; just have patience & hand sanitizer! The Goodwill Outlet in our area do a Glitz & Glam sale during the holidays and the items left in the bins afterwards are fabulous.
    Glad Pinterest redirected me.

  10. (forgot to click on the notify button new to this :(

    But could you tell me how to do this without a sewing machine? I LOVE THIS!! You Rock!


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