Upcycle an Old Wool Sweater Into a Felt Throw Pillow
Last time we covered how to felt a sweater. Now we are going to make a throw pillow out it. These pillows are super easy to make and they are so soft!
1. Cut off the arms of the sweater.
2. Turn the sweater inside out.
3. Lay the sweater out flat and put a couple of pins in it to keep the felt from sliding.
4. Using a large ruler trim away the sides so that the sweater is cut into a rectangle. I like to do both layers at once because it is faster and you can makes sure the two pieces match. When doing this, make sure you square your edges so that everything is even. If you don’t you will end up with a wonky polygon instead of a rectangle or square.
Using a rotary cutter and mat makes this much easier, but you may have to go back and forth a bit with the rotary cutter because the two pieces of felt will be thick. I always try to trim as close to the edges as possible so that I can get as much felt out of the sweater as possible. I can’t cut a straight line to save my soul, so my rotary cutting set has been a lifesaver.
Make sure you save your scraps. Small pieces of felt can be used for felt flowers later!
5. If you are going to do some stitching on your pillow you will want to do it before you sew it together. For my pillow I used a backstitch.
6. First you will want to make a template for your letter. I just used Word on my computer. Find a font you like, blow it up as big as you want and then print it out on cardstock. I then cut the letter out and used it as a stencil. You can use chalk to trace it or a ballpoint pin depending on the color of your felt. You will want to make sure the line is thin enough that your stitching will hide it. I really like the Clover Pen Style Chaco Liner White because it brushes right off. Sometimes I have even flipped the letter over and traced it on the backside of the felt. That way you can use it as a guide and not worry about the lines showing up on the front side. It is a little trickier though because you have to remember that the side without the lines is actually the front side.
7. After you have your pattern, you can begin to do your backstitch. Backstitch Tutorial
8. Once you have your stitching done, you can place the two pieces of felt back together again with the front sides facing each other. Pin it together in a few places so that it doesn’t slip and then sew it together on your sewing machine. Make sure you leave a small opening so that you can turn the pillow right side out.
9. When turning your pillow right side out, I have found that a pencil with a good eraser can be a huge help. The eraser side is great for sticking in those corners and getting them to turn all the way out. Pencils are also great for stuffing things. They help you cram that stuffing in there, especially if you are working with a smaller project that has lots of corners and it is hard to get your fingers in there.
10. Stuff your pillow to your desired fullness and then hand stitch the opening closed. Because felt doesn’t unravel it is super easy to work with and the fibers are great at hiding small stitches.
11. You can now add whatever other embellishments you want to. For my monogram pillow I used some flowers I crocheted. I love the super cute crochet flower pattern on this site. After crocheting them, I just stitched them on with a few hand stitches.