Repurposed Clutter

I recently detailed 4 excuses that keep us holding on to clutter:  “I will use that someday” or “I love that, even if I haven’t worn it in years." And while I am a fervent believer in the power of donating items, I also love to repurpose items I already have on hand. I’ve repurposed bins and boxes, but recently I tried out a fun way to repurpose favorite clothing items.

During my most recent closet purge, I finally took a look at 2 skirts that have been a part of my wardrobe for years. It is hard for me to call these 2 skirts clutter. But as much as I love them, thanks to What Not to Wear, I discovered the length is not flattering on me. Items you haven’t used or worn in years that keep getting pushed to the back of the closet or bin… I don’t know what else you would call them except clutter. Beloved clutter.

Skirt Clutter (2)

(sidenote: I took a picture of these skirts laying out side by side, and then somehow promptly lost that picture. I had to hunt down these pictures from years and years ago. The pics of the final project will give you a good look at what the skirts looked like. And yes in the picture on the right, I am sitting in a Sea World dolphin stroller.)

What good are skirts sitting in a plastic container under my bed? It was time to either let them go or show them some real love and put them on display. Let’s make… Pillow clutter. Hmm, Skirt pillows…Repurposed Pillows. I’ll work on the name while you get your materials ready.

Materials

  • A favorite garment no longer in wardrobe rotation
  • sewing machine
  • pillow insert

Don’t get thrown off if you are not a seamstress, neither am I. In fact, I borrowed a sewing machine to make these. Even if you can’t sew a straight line you can make these (My seams are never straight).

Step 1

Cut out the existing seams in your garment to make a flat panel of fabric. For my skirts, I kept one side together so I had one long piece of fabric to wrap around the pillow. Similar to how you would begin wrapping a present.

Step 2

Jump on over to read Katie Bower’s tutorial on how to make pocket pillow covers. It would be hard from me to try and lead a sewing tutorial when I just proclaimed I can’t sew a straight line. Plus I don’t think I could explain it any clearer then she does. Thanks Katie!

Pocket pillow covers are easy to make since they don’t require a zipper or button and they are removable to wash. Three cheers for clean pillows!

You can see from the picture below I had to sew an extra panel of fabric on the back to get the embroidery centered on the front of the pillow. You can also see why I did not lead you through a tutorial but left the details to the pros.

pillow panel

The problem is I didn’t leave enough width for the pillow which is why the pocket cover is bowing. Thankfully you cannot tell from the front.

skirt pillow

For my other skirt, I couldn’t use the pocket pillow technique because of how I want to place the orange strip. However, the pillow insert happened to fit perfectly between the two seams of the skirt so I just had to sew the waist and end closed. So look for a pillow insert that is the exact width of your hips, it makes things super easy.  

Blue skirt pillow

I also had enough fabric left over from my fake roman shade to make a little matching pillow.

 

Step 3

Once your straight lines are sewn and you stuff your pillow in your new cover, step back and revel in your resourcefulness.

Pillow

Since I recovered pillows I already owned, this project was free. Resourceful and thrifty, a double whammy!

From Skirt to pillow

I have seen pillow covers made out of thrifted sweaters before. So even if you are not hoarding skirts for a decade you can still make repurposed pillow covers from whatever material catches your eye at your local thrift store. I am head over heels that my clutter beloved skirts can live another life on my couch.

Have you found a new life for your clutter? I’d love to hear about it! I even have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to the subject.

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Comments

  1. I simply LOVE this post! So fun to see you as a teenager and your pillows look divine!

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