Button Up!: Cardigan Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are great to have around.  They are one of those accessories that can be easily changed to add new life to a space.  I firmly believe in bigger pieces that are somewhat subtle and adaptable and smaller pieces and accessories that can be swapped out as the mood strikes you.


Thankfully throw pillows are relatively inexpensive, too.  You may have already purchased loads of them in your lifetime.  Today we have a quick and easy alternative to the store bought throw pillow using an item you may already have… the cardigan.

Each fall and spring we dig through all of our clothes and purge anything that we won’t wear again.  This keeps the clutter down and opens space for new things.  The discards either go to a yard sale or to charity.  Without fail, there are sweaters... usually a few.  If you once loved them, picture them as a pillow before ridding your home of them completely.  They can add just the right cozy feel for the season.

savour… warming things up

Get the rest after the jump…

Cardigan Throw Pillows

Part of the appeal of this project is that the sewing is minimal.  There are no zippers to install or hidden stitching.  The buttons do all the work for you.  With just a few straight lines you have a new accessory.  These pillows are perfect for a seasonal accessory and would do much to warm up a guest room for the holidays.


Before you start:

Choose cardigans with interesting buttons.  If you don’t care for the buttons, consider switching them out.

If you don’t have any cardigans to use, check out your local thrift store.

Be sure to use a cardigan that is big enough to cover your pillow insert.

For a little girl who has outgrown her favorite sweater, this may be the perfect way to keep it around.

I cannot say enough good things about pillow inserts.  I have several from pillows that I no longer wanted.  I just removed the cover and saved them for a future project.  If you don’t have any pillows you can use, the inserts are readily available at most fabric stores.

Do not measure along the edges.  The fluff of the pillow adds length.  You will get a pillow that pulls at the buttons.  That never looks good… on a pillow or a person.


What you will need:

  • Cardigan
  • Pillow      inserts
  • Sewing      machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Rotary      cutter and board (optional)
  • Pins
  • Measuring      tape
  • A sharpie

The steps:

    1. Measure      your pillow insert by laying the tape across the pillow from side to side      and then top to bottom.  Add 1 inch      to both measurements.
    2. Turn      the cardigan inside out (sleeves, too) and lay on a flat surface.  It should be buttoned up.
    3. From      the center, measure out half the distance of your width measurement in      either direction and mark with a sharpie.       Repeat this process for the height measurement.
    4. Outline      the pillow using these measurements all the way around with the sharpie.
    5. Pin      about 1 inch in from the line.
    6. Using      scissors or rotary cutter, cut at the line.
    7. Sew      each side using a half inch seam allowance.
    8. Clean      up any loose threads, unbutton it, and turn in right side out.
    9. Fill      with pillow insert and button it up.