upcycled sweater throw pillow {easy DIY}

this may just be theeeeeee easiest DIY in the history of ever.  like, ever ever.

in typical fashion, i've been wanting to make one of these pillows for a good long while.
i've just never gotten around to it.  isn't that really how it goes with so many things??

i grabbed this sweater late fall while at the thrift and finally wore it last week.
and hated it.
and that's exactly why i love the fact that 95% of my clothing comes from the thrift.
mind you, i still try to be very mindful that i only buy what i absolutely love and am positive i'll wear.
but still, there's little guilt when i'm re-donating a $3.99 sweater as opposed to a $39.99 sweater.

and after this little DIY, i don't even need to re-donate those sweaters!!!
moments after tossing this sweater into my "donate box," i was back downstairs, digging it out.

i needed new throw pillows for the sofa, going along with my new "bits of muted colors with copious amounts of white" color scheme.  and yes, that's the easiest way i can think of to describe it.

appropriately sized filler pillow
sewing machine
needle and thread for hand-sewing {optional}

so, i'm going to give you the incredibly technical low-down-skinny on how i made this.

turn your sweater inside out.

stuff the filler pillow into the inside-out sweater.  hopefully you have an old throw pillow laying around that you can use.  because then, you're out NO money.  boom!
since there are ribs/lines on the sweater, use those as your guides for how much of the sweater you'll want to "take in" {i.e. eliminate}.

once you've eyeballed it and chosen the rib or stripe that is going to be your seam, be sure you don't forget which one it is.  you could be really silly and mark it with a pin or something.  but really, why would you want to do a responsible thing like that?

pull the pillow out.

using ZIG ZAG stitch, sew the sweater up on both sides, following the ribs that you've chosen as your guidelines...EXCEPT when you near the bottom of the sweater.  i strongly suggest you taper in a bit as you sew through that bottom densely ribbed portion.  i tapered in a good 3/4" on each side and it really helped my sweater not get that funky stretched out appearance that these pillows often get.

i also, obviously, sewed one horizontal seam between the two vertical seams.  again, i just shoved the filler pillow in the inside-out sweater and eyeballed where i wanted my seam to be.  i made sure it landed in approximately the same location as related to the chest/arms {you know, so it would be a straight line}.  i also held the placket shut as i went over the button area so that that would lay nice and flat.  like so.
now trim the excess sweater material off.  give yourself a good 3/8"- 1/2" seam allowance...you don't want your sweater being tempted to unravel close to those seams.

when i was done, i turned the whole thing right-side out and stuffed it with the filler pillow.
i could have easily just left it like that and it would have been fine, but i wanted it to look just a bit more "finished."

i snipped off the extra buttons {on the cut-off, unused portion of the sweater} and sewed them along the bottom of the pillow cover.  i didn't try to hide my stitches, and i didn't use my sewing machine to make button holes.  remember, this is a sweater.  i snipped ever-so-teeeeeny holes and they slipped easily right over the buttons.
start to finish, including hand-sewing on those four buttons {totally optional}, this took me under an hour.
this kind of project is extremely rewarding for me--quick results and a finished product that i really think looks classy.
heaven help me, jesus take the wheel...
as i'm typing this post out, no lie, y'all.  inspiration just struck like lightning.
scroll on back up there and look at theeeeeee yummy ribbed sleeve of that sweater!!!

do you see what i see? {a star, a star, shining in the night, with a tail as big as a kite.  and now you'll be humming that for the rest of the day.  you're welcome.  i love you, too.}
do you see what i see??

i see...

oh my word.
i'm off to dig those out of my sewing trash can.

{for real...for really real.  if you make onnna these, you'd better tag me.  i wanna see.  please?  it's nice to share.  xo}

{p.s. a little birdie told me that the tweetpotatopie etsy shop is having a sale for today only!!!  use code "happy birthday" at checkout to save 20% on all orders over $10!!!}


  1. I have a couple maternity sweaters that definitely could become pillows. Extra large pillows I may give this project a whirl. Great tutorial.

  2. I was just going to ask if you upcycle the sleeves into boots cuffs? But I see that now. I love this idea.

  3. I have a couple maternity sweaters that definitely could become pillows.

  4. This upcycled sweater throw pillow DIY is really interesting and pretty like Power hand tools and DIY projects. This is a great idea, I have similar cardigan in peach color think it can make great pillow.

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