Turn an Old Sweater Into a Chic, Preppy Pillow

Add warm, menswear-inspired appeal to your bed pillows this winter with quick and easy slipcovers made from old sweaters and button-up shirts.
Three bed pillows made from an old sweater and two shirts

Make a Statement With DIY Chic, Preppy Pillows

Add warm, menswear-inspired appeal to your bed pillows this winter with quick and easy slipcovers made from old sweaters and button-up shirts. You need a needle and thread, pillow inserts, fabric and your imagination to complete this fun project.

Materials Needed:

  • pillows or pillow inserts sized 16x16", 18x18" or 20x20"
  • knit sweaters or menswear shirts
  • needle
  • thread

Dress Pillow Insert

Gather your materials, then slide the sweater or shirt onto a pillow insert in a similar manner to dressing a torso.

Position Arms

To ensure a crisp, professional look, align the arms of the sweater or shirt with the top corners of the pillow insert.

Aligning sweater arms to pillow insert.

Positioning the Arms of a Sweater When Creating a Sweater Pillow

Step 3 in creating a sweater pillow is to position the arms of the sweater properly with the pillow insert. To ensure a crisp, professional look, align the arms of the sweater or shirt with the top corners of the pillow insert.

Fold and Tuck Arms

Once arms are firmly positioned along sides of pillow inserts, gather the sleeve in your hand and tuck each arm inside itself. You want a clean arm opening free of bunching or stretching.

Tip: Folding the arm in creates a clean, crisp line along the upper sides of the pillow and ensures fabric remains firmly and neatly stretched across front and back.

Fold Neck

Fold the neck of the sweater or shirt onto the back of pillow form. This will create a clean line across the top of the pillow. The same step can be used for shirts to keep collars flat and square.

Folding the neck of a sweater on a pillow form.

Folding the Neck of a Sweater Neatly Against a Pillow Form

Step 5 in creating a pillow from a sweater is to fold the neck of the sweater or shirt onto the back of pillow form. This will create a clean line across the top of the pillow. Tip: The same step can be used for shirts to keep collars flat and square.

Add Stitch to Neck

Using needle and thread, make a small stitch at corner where neck meets back of pillow. This will hold the neck firmly in place without damaging the sweater, shirt or pillow insert.

Attaching the sweater's neck to a pillow insert with a stitch.

Stitching the Neck of a Sweater in Place When Making a Sweater Pillow

Step 6 in creating a sweater pillow is to add a stitch to the neck of the sweater. Using needle and thread, make a small stitch at corner where the neck meets the back of the pillow. This stitch will hold the neck firmly in place without damaging the sweater, shirt or pillow insert.

Fold Bottom Corners

Fold corners of bottom of sweater to back of pillow insert.

Folding a sweater to the back of a pillow insert.

Folding the Bottom of a Sweater to an Insert to Create a Sweater Pillow

Step 7 in creating a preppy, sweater pillow is to fold the corners of the bottom of the sweater to the back of the pillow insert. You will then be ready to attach them with a needle and thread.

Stitch Bottom Corners

Using needle and thread, make a small stitch at bottom corners of sweater where they meet back of pillow insert.

Stitching the bottom of a sweater to a pillow insert.

Making a Stitch with a Needle and Thread to Create a Sweater Pillow

Step 8 in creating a sweater pillow is to use a needle and thread and make a small stitch at bottom corners of sweater where they meet the back of the pillow insert.

Stitch Arms

Untuck arms from the sides, then pull them across back of pillow insert. Using the needle and thread, add a few small stitches to keep them in place.

Fashioning the arms of a sweater to the back of a pillow insert.

Stitching the Arms of a Sweater to Attach to Pillow Insert.

Untuck the sweater arms from the sides, then pull them across back of the pillow insert. Using the needle and thread, add a few small stitches to keep them in place.

Add Menswear Flair to Your Home

Use the throw pillows to add whimsical menswear touches to your bedroom or living room this winter. Best of all: It just takes a few carefully cut stitches to remove the sweater or shirt from the pillow insert when warmers months come.

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