Friday, November 20, 2009

Thrifty Gifty #1—Repurpose Clothing as Pillows

Joining Frugal Friday at the Shabby Nest and Holiday Linky Friday at The Inspired Room. and Sat. Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors.
I’m going to be doing a series through Christmas on really inexpensive gifts you can make with thrift store finds. Also, linky parties for you to show your thrifty gifts Dec. 4, 11, and 18. Grab my button (code on sidebar) and spread the word!

It all started with this faux suede pillow. I got it at Goodwill several weeks ago for $2 for my son’s room. But then I decided I liked it on my white couch for fall/winter, and I needed more.

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A few days later, I found a pair of genuine suede pants at my consignment store outlet for $1. I already had a couple of pillows that had seen better days.IMG_4519 I cut off the legs at the knees. These particular pillows fit perfectly inside the legs. I created ruffles from a strip cut from the very bottom of each pant leg and sewed it to what would become the front of each pillow. Sewed up one end of the pant leg tube, stuffed the pillow in, and used Fabri-tac to close up the other end.IMG_4563

What remained of the pants, the waist to the knees, I cut apart at the seams, removing waistband and zipper. I wanted another pillow similar to the original, with the sherpa edging. I got this adorable fuzzy baby suit at Goodwill for $1.

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I kinda hated to do it, but I cut it into strips.IMG_4550 I sewed the strips together end to end so I had one super long strip. I folded that in half length-wise, right sides out, and sewed down one side. Now I had one long tube.IMG_4552

I had cut the suede into squares to fit my pillow form (another old pillow I wasn’t using). With the suede right sides together, I sandwiched the sherpa tube between them and sewed around 3 sides of the square, being sure just to catch the edges.IMG_4555Then I turned that right side out, put the pillow form in, and glued the other edge shut. That was a little tricky with the three layers; normally I would hand-sew a pillow closed, but it was too hard with the suede.

Also at Goodwill, I got this cable-knit lambswool sweater in the kids’ section, $1. Again, I had the pillow.IMG_4543

Another perfect fit. I cut the sweater straight across under the armpits, and sewed across that end (wrong side out). Turned it right side out, stuffed the pillow in, and hand sewed the open edge. I'll save the top of the sweater and the toggles for something else.


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Four luxurious pillows for $3! An acrylic cable knit pillow at Target is $17.99. Faux suede pillows at Cabela’s (the closest thing I could find) are $24.99.

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So, let’s break this down. I had all the other supplies I needed, such as thread and pillow forms, so all I had to buy were the 3 articles of clothing. If you don’t have any old pillows at home that you can use, you have a couple of options.

1) Buy throw pillows at the thrift store to recover. There are ones that aren’t gross! This could cost between $1-$3. If you can find down-filled, that’s even better!

2) Use fiberfill (I use Poly-fil). A big bag costs about$3-4, and should be enough to do several pillows.

You may not be lucky enough to find suede pants for $1, but how about corduroy, linen, or tweed? Find a texture or pattern you like, and use your own creative embellishments, such as buttons.

Sweaters, of course, are abundant. Tip: often, childrens’ clothing costs less than adult. Also look at the household linens section for possible fabrics. How many pillows could be made from a knit throw or a chenille bedspread?

Including the one I didn’t make, this whole couch-full of throw pillows cost me $5!IMG_4566

41 comments:

Barbara Jean said...

Holly,
Those pillows are great!!

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

barbara jean

Marianne@Songbird said...

Great minds think alike. I just posted a shirt into pillow project this week too!
Yours look great! You sure did find some great pieces at the thrift store and at great prices I might add. I love the look of them all together!

Julia Stainton said...

Don't you love this concept? I did it a couple weeks ago. Love all the texture you have going! So cozy!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Fabulous!! Anyone just looking at them would never know their origins. :) You rock!

happy mama said...

Great ideas! Love the cable sweater pillow and suede with ruffles pillow! So Cute!

Leah Hall said...

You are just amazing, Holly!!! Beautiful work!! Can I hire you????

Miss Obara said...

These turned out AWESOME! I was thinking of doing the same thing out of flannel shirts....for our cabbage (cabin/cottage). :)

Pam said...

Holly, you ROCK! Those pillows are awesome! I have often scanned the homegoods section of Goodwill for fabric, but never the clothing with sheer intentions of using it for fabric. I'll never look at clothing the same again. Thanks.

Kathy said...

Hi Holly... Great pillows...I just made a star one last night for Christmas...Love how it turned out! xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Carmen said...

You are so awesome!!!! These pillows are wonderful!

Jon Zelazny said...

Wow! These turned out wonderful!

Beth said...

I love, love, love your pillows! What an inspiration you are :)

Jen R. said...

Holly cow they look great!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Good gracious girl, these look great! So creative and so easy. Thanks for sharing the how to....

Jocelyn
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

Jo - To a Pretty Life said...

Those are gorgeous! I love the ruffled suede ones.

dixie said...

I'm jealous. That's all I'm gonna say. Except that those pillows are wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laura Horne said...

Those pillows are awesome! I am even more impressed by the price. They all look great together too.

JanMary said...

I particularly love the sweater cushion - perfection!

Thanks for sharing.

Kate @ The Gaines Gang said...

Love them all! I am doing the same thing for gifts this year!

Thanks for sharing!
Kate

Janis@White Alder[Home] said...

Fantastic pillows, thanks for sharing.

Heather said...

I love the ruffle pillow. You are very created and talented. Great job.

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Holy Cow!!! I am so completely impressed by those suede pillows! Love the ruffle on them...
Perfect!!

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

I love to sew my own pillows and love a bargain too. They turned out so well. I need to visit a thrift store here to find a cable knit sweater. Great ideas!

Country Dreaming said...

Love the pillows! The textures are great too.

Melinda

melissa * 320 Sycamore said...

Holly~I love all of these! Could you do a tutorial on how to do a ruffle for the basic, basic sewer??

Anna said...

love the fabrics you used and especially the ruffles on the pillows!

New Every Morning said...

THese are amazing. Gorgeous!!!

Jenny said...

You are so creative! I love these pillows. My favorite is the ruffled ones.

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

You did a great job on all the pillows and at such a good deal.

rtgaffney said...

Those look beautiful! I need to start thinking more outside the box. I would have never thought to do that. Oh, I need to learn to sew too.

TRICIA @ The Zoo said...

Oh my goodness! How awesome are those pillows?! I'm actually on a pillow-making mission myself today.
Have a wonderful weekend.
XO*Tricia

Destination Seaborn said...

This is AWESOME! I love, love the ruffled pillow. If you can post a tutorial, that would be great. You are so talented. Thanks for sharing!
~Lisa

Debilou~Mississippi Mama said...

those are really cute,, amazing what you can do with thrift finds.. I saw a pillow similar to the one you made with the sherpa tubing,in bass pro tonight,, I'm sure it was pretty pricey though. I love your version.

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Now this is thinking outside the box! Love what you've created! And who doesn't swoon over a ruffled pillow these days?!?

Way to go on finding thrifty AND cool fabric!

Thanks for linking up to SNS #6 at

http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/2009/11/sat-nite-special-6-brings-you-anything.html

Funky Junk Donna

Kalleen said...

Very cute. I'm really into reusing old clothes too. You did a great job.

Kim said...

Nice job repurposing. Great job on the suede pants. Your sofa looks wonderful & welcoming.
@cheapchichome.blogspot.com

Catherine peacelovesweater@blogspot.com said...

I love your pillows! I also make stuff out of old clothes - mostly sweaters though. The pillows look beautiful together. Who knows where those pants were headed next - those suede pants thank you!

Tricia Anne said...

I love your pillows!!
Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

Annette @ Designs By A Rose said...

Love the pillows and the price tag. I usually stay away from the clothing section of Goodwill, but I think I may be looking for sweaters the next time I'm in there. Thanks for sharing!

Jerri said...

Great pillows! I especially the love the one made with the sweater!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

How fuuny! So similar!!

We obviously have INCREDIBLY great taste in cushions!!