Have a Sweater? Make a Pillow!

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)   One of my favorite things about Halloween (besides the candy of course) is the abundance of skull-adorned items that fill up the stores. I have an all-year-round attitude towards skulls, but it's fun to find and make new items "for Halloween" that I end up keeping out the rest of the year. The thing that I love about this project is that, not only does it involve cross stitching (which, as it turns out, is so fun), but it's also sweater upcycling as well since you use a knit-based material as the base of your pillow. This is actually the first time I've done anything cross stitch related, so if you haven't tried it yet either, this is the perfect project to start with. So don't throw out that old sweater because we're going to make something new out of it!

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)     We're so excited to team up with one of our favorite go-to stores in town, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, on this post! They're kind of a dream partner for us, because, well, we go there all. the. time. We'll be working with them on a couple more posts this season, so stay tuned! Be sure you check out Joann.com if you don't have one in your town! 

Supplies:
skull template (right click to download)
thick white yarn
plastic yarn needle
-black knit sweater
-fabric scissors
plain black cotton fabric
pillow stuffing

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)OK, so first print out your skull cross stitch template. The numbers tell you how many Xs are across each line and the skipped spaces are in parentheses. 

I put a foam core board inside my sweater so it would lay nice and flat while I worked, but a piece of cardboard would be fine too. The great thing about cross stitching is that you can make your design as big or as small as you want just by making each X bigger or smaller. I decided to start with one of the longest rows near the middle of the skull so I could keep each line straight and balanced in relation to that first line. Just get a long piece of yarn threaded through your yarn needle, knot the end, and come up from underneath the sweater so the starting knot is hidden on the back side.

To determine your X size, examine the weave of your knit and see if there are distinguishing marks you can use to measure your X size. For example, I had lots of vertical columns in my knit, so I made all my Xs two columns wide and then made sure they were all the same height.

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial) Stitch the correct number of Xs across, and then move to the next row. Don't forget to move your starting point in or out a few spots as the pattern dictates. 

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)    When you get to the end of your yarn, tie a new piece on the underside and knot it close to the sweater. Re-thread the yarn and continue your pattern.

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)      There's probably a more correct way to cross stitch as far as where you go in and come out of your fabric to make the Xs, but that didn't seem to matter for this project. I just went in and out where it made the most sense and straightened the yarn with my fingers as needed. The back may look a bit messy, but that's OK πŸ™‚

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)         Once your pattern is complete, knot the yarn on the underside and trim the string. Cut two pieces of plain black fabric that are your final pillow size with 1" added for a 1/2" seam allowance. (So my final pillow is 18" square, and I cut two pieces that are 19" square.) Flip your sweater inside out and center one of your cotton squares over your skull pattern and pin around the edge. This cotton will act as a backing for your sweater material. Repeat this step with the back half of your sweater and the other cotton square. 

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)          Cut your sweater up the side seams to separate the front from the back. Using a sewing machine, stitch 1/4" in from the outside edge of each of your cotton squares.

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)           Trim the excess sweater away from your cotton backing.

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)            Place the two pillow halves together (right sides facing each other) and pin around the edge. Sew together with a 1/2" seam allowance leaving a 5-6" opening to fill the pillow.

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)     Flip the pillow right side out, stuff the pillow until it's as full as you like, and sew the opening closed with a blind stitch. That's it!

Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)  Have an old sweater? Make this cute skull pillow with it! (click through for tutorial)OK, if I'm being totally honest, I was so tempted to just leave the sweater untouched after the skull was sewn on because it looks so cute as a sweater as well. Buuut, then this wouldn't be a pillow project, now would it? Anyway, this turned out so well that I'm planning on making another skull sweater that stays a sweater so I can wear it out and about. I think cross stitching just made a new fan! xo. Laura

Credits// Author: Laura Gummerma, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from The Signature Collection

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