DIY Christmas Sweater Pillow

Turn an ugly Christmas sweater into a DIY Christmas sweater pillow for a fun holiday decoration! This upcycle is a great sewing project for beginners!

A few years ago I found a fantastic ugly sweater skirt that I bought thinking I would wear it to the holiday parties. Well, it was in my closet and it was never worn. I loved the cute knitted design, so I eventually turned it into a DIY Christmas sweater pillow.

I love it because the yarn is so soft and fluffy! It adds just the right amount of pretty holiday decor without being over the top. There are so many fun characters knitted on the front.

I made this Christmas sweater pillow as a pillowcase so I can remove it and wash it if needed. This also makes storage easier throughout the year.

What is upcycling?

Upcycling involves reusing a material to create something better than the original. I generally use this to describe when I'm sewing adult clothing into children's clothing or when I'm sewing clothing into an accessory or home item.

I love upcycling because it saves time, money, memories and the environment. This saves time since you can reuse the details. This saves money since you are using what you already have. It saves memories because you can make something with a loved one's clothes. It preserves the environment by keeping fabrics out of landfills.

DIY Christmas Sweater Pillow

Do you like to sew? Try some of these sewing projects:

DIY Christmas Sweater Pillow

DIY Christmas Sweater Pillow


  • 1 adult Christmas sweater
  • Lightweight interface
  • 18 inches of Velcro or other closure such as buttons or snaps
  • Pillow shape (size depends on the size of sweater you use)
  • Sewing tools
  • Sewing machine

In this example, I used a Christmas sweater skirt that I bought at a thrift store, but you can use the exact technique I used to make a DIY Christmas sweater pillow. Your measurements will be different because your sweater will be a different size, but I'll give you a general idea of ​​how to make one.

ugly christmas sweater

Start by cutting the top and bottom of the sweater. You will cut the bottom ribs and the top neckline/shoulders. The key is to have a straight line at the top and a straight line at the bottom.

cut the top and bottom to make straight lines

Cut one side seam and cut the side seams on both sides. You will have one in front and one in back. Trim the sides so they are straight edges.

Measure the rectangle you have left to decide on the size of your pillow. My rectangle was taller than it was wide, so I chose to cut the back horizontally down the middle to add my closure. If your rectangle is wider than it is tall, you can cut the back vertically down the middle to add the closure.

When you cut the back, you will lose 3 inches in width or height, so cut your front rectangle 3 inches, either thinner or shorter.

cut the side seams and make straight edges

Cut a piece of lightweight stabilizer to the size of each of the three rectangles.

cut three pieces

Apply the interfacing to the back of all the sweater pieces. Be very careful when pressing so as not to stretch the knitting.

back interface of sweater pieces

Take your back pieces and where they will meet, fold the edge over 1 inch and press.

fold edges over 1 inch

Zigzag the hem in place with the matching thread.

zigzag fold in place

Attach Velcro (or snaps or buttons and buttonholes) to the hem. One Velcro side will face the inside of the sweater and one Velcro side will face the outside of the sweater.

Velcro the back pieces together so everything is in the right place when the pillow is finished.

sew velcro

With right sides together, pin the front of the pillow to the back of the pillow. It's okay if there are small size differences, as they will be trimmed later. You can see that my front is wider than my back. Sweater knitting tends to grow and shrink as you work with it.

Sew around the edges with a 3/8 inch seam allowance and a straight stitch. Pivot at the corners.

pin right sides together and sew

Trim the seam allowance and trim the corners.

cut the edges

Turn the pillowcase right side out and bring out the corners. Be careful not to puncture the interface.

turn right side out and bring out the corners

Insert a pillow form and close the back of the pillow. You have finished!

insert a pillow form

If you make anything using this sewing project, I'd love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and identify me!

DIY Christmas Sweater Pillow

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