DIY: Ugly Sweaters turned Beautiful Pillows.

May 26, 2012

If one thing is for certain, it is that there is no shortage of ugly sweaters at thrift stores. The funny thing about these sweaters is that as I thumbing through hanger after hanger of dusty clothes, often I think, “Well, the cut is bad, but the fabric is awesome”.

Which leads me to my next point. I have been looking for the perfect geometrical black and white fabric to make some pillows for my couch. For whatever reason, I got it into my head that a black and white pillow is the only way to go. I wanted something geometric and modern, but also reminiscent of some classic patterns. From these two realizations, a marriage was born: The Ugly Sweater Pillow.

I found some awesome sweaters at a thrift store the other day. I looked for softer fabric that was acrylic. I would never dare cut something that was 100% wool.

Here is what I found:

I LOOOOOOOOOVE Hound’s Tooth. AND, I love mixing black and brown. So this was a huge score for me.

I also found this one, a black and stark white geometric pattern that was just far enough away from an animal print for me.

Make sure to save the buttons off of the sweaters because you can use them to do tufting or flaps on your pillows.

So here is the process:

Measure the fabric out and mark your trimming points. Before you start this process, decide if you want to use a pillow insert (which you can buy at Michael’s or virtually any fabric store. Or use an old pillow!) or if you want to stuff it. If you are using an insert, measure the fabric about 2 inches beyond each dimension, meaning if it is a 12X14 pillow, measure the fabric to 14X16. If your sweater is not big enough to cover the desired measurement, think about using another solid cover fabric as the backing. For this fabric, I could have used a solid black, brown or white. If you are stuffing the pillow, measure to whatever shape or size you want!

Then cut:

As you can see, I am rather sloppy at cutting fabric. With pillows, you have a little leeway when it comes to measuring.

Next, fold the fabric in half and start sewing the perimeter:

I almost love the inside of the fabric more than the outside…FOCUS!

Once you have sewed three of the edges, start on the fourth and leave a small opening (again, if you are stuffing your pillow. If you have an insert, leave the entire fourth side un-sewed.)

Next, reach inside the opening and turn the “pillow case” inside out.

You pillow case should look like this.

You can buy stuffing anywhere. Use cotton balls, for all I care. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stuff your pillow case. This is a little tricky – you might need something to help even out the stuffing. I used an old chopstick (#thecleverbunny). Once you have the pillow as full as you want, you can fluff it to even out the stuffing. Then, simply sew the last two inches up by hand and….

BOOM! Hound’s Tooth pillow time!

It needed a friend so I made another one.

This is a GREAT project for Christmas. There are tons of ugly Christmas sweaters that are begging to be made into pillow presents. You can do these by hand easily if you don’t own a sewing machine. It just takes a little longer. But, a good movie, a glass of wine with a needle and thread is not a bad evening.

Happy sewing!


10 thoughts on “DIY: Ugly Sweaters turned Beautiful Pillows.

    1. thecleverbunny

      Thank you! I appreciate the good feedback. I am always looking for new ways to be creative so if you ever have any ideas, feel free to share. And keep reading!
      ~Katy @thecleverbunny

  1. Ria

    What a great idea! Usually I go thrifting for sweaters so that I can unravel the yarn and reknit it into something else, but this is also a really nice idea that would indeed produce a lot of good gifts. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. thecleverbunny

      WOW! That’s way more of an idea than mine! What a cool way to upcycle fabric. I would love to see some photos. Feel free to share! Please keep reading and thank you for the kind words =)

      ~Katy @thecleverbunny

  2. chicenvelopements

    These are great!!! I love the patterns and the fact that you used old sweaters!! I have a few in my stash just waiting to become hats, mittens, or pillows. Thanks for the inspiration.
    PS. I do cut up wool sweaters for hats and mittens or quilts.

    1. thecleverbunny

      I LOVE your blog so much. I am not a great seamstress, so I admire what you do so much. Thank you for the feedback. I will continue to read your blog and hope you do the same for mine!

      ~Katy @thecleverbunny


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