Thrift Store Sweater Pillow Tutorial

I don’t know about you, but I’m completely in love with the chunky cable knit pillows and throws I’ve been seeing everywhere:

Cable knit throw and pillow
Source: FineCraftGuild.com

(Drool…)

This looks so delicious, I want to climb right in and never get out….but, I don’t knit, and the versions I found online were pretty pricey.

Hmmmm….what to do?

Thrift Store Sweater Pillow Covers  - Create cozy pillow covers out of thrift store sweaters with my easy tutorial - no major sewing skills required.

I was inspired by Yvonne at Stone Gable Blog to get the same cozy look by covering my old pillows with thrift store sweaters. Yvonne is far more talented (and probably a lot more patient) than I, and she did hers with a sewing machine and added some super-cute fancy details. I got rid of my machine years ago after a few disastrous attempts at sewing, so my very simplified version is done by hand. You can find her full tutorial HERE. 

I started out buying a big pile of ivory sweaters from the Rescue Mission. I picked them up on a 50% off day, so I paid $2-$3 each. I looked for sweaters with a cables, ribs and other designs.

Thrift Store Sweater Pillow Covers  - Create cozy pillow covers out of thrift store sweaters with my easy tutorial - no major sewing skills required.

I picked up some inexpensive wood and wood-look buttons:

Wooden buttons

The big pile of loose buttons came in a variety pack for about $5 – so I’ve got plenty to choose from.

Lay your sweater out flat.

Thrift store sweater pillow tutorial

Cut the top off the sweater in a straight line at the armpits:

Thrift store sweater pillow cover

Turn the sweater inside out and close the top with a simple overcast (whip) stitch. Turn it right side out and stuff your pillow inside.

Thrift store sweater pillow cover

I had a lot of different sized pillows I wanted to cover, so once I had the cut side closed up, I experimented to see which size and shape fit the cover best. I will say this – if you’re trying to cover larger pillows you will have an easier time of it if you look for plus sized or men’s sweaters. The medium sized ladies sweaters only really worked for small rectangular pillows.

Once you’re happy with the fit of the pillow, there are two ways to close it up.

For the pillow in the pic above, the cover was just big enough, so I simply stitched it closed, again using a whip stitch.

If you have the room, you can add buttons or other details on the ribbed trim of the waistband of the sweater. I found it easier to keep everything in place if I secured the edge with some safety pins while I attached the buttons.

Thrift store sweater pillow cover tutorial

In this case, you don’t need to close the edge – the buttons work fine.

Thrift Store Sweater Pillow Covers  - Create cozy pillow covers out of thrift store sweaters with my easy tutorial - no major sewing skills required.

Each pillow took 20-30 minutes to make, but if you’re using a sewing machine (or have more than my very primitive sewing skills) I’m sure you could cut the time in half.

Thrift Store Sweater Pillow Covers  - Create cozy pillow covers out of thrift store sweaters with my easy tutorial - no major sewing skills required.

I made 4 pillows this morning, and I’m really digging how they look scattered around my living room. Since I have 2 built in window seats in my house, I think I’m going to make at least a few more.

Thrift Store Sweater Pillow Covers  - Create cozy pillow covers out of thrift store sweaters with my easy tutorial - no major sewing skills required.

Thrift Store Sweater Pillow Covers  - Create cozy pillow covers out of thrift store sweaters with my easy tutorial - no major sewing skills required!

What do you think? Are you ready to tackle your own sweater pillow covers?

I’m linking this project up at some terrific blog parties – you can find my complete list of places I party HERE. 
Cheers Julie Signature

 

 

About Julie

Julie is a serial entrepreneur, marketer, former newspaper columnist, black belt bargain hunter, voracious reader, gardener, music lover, foodie, wino, avid party thrower, hopeless romantic, closet Parrot Head and DIY machine.