Before & After: From Unused Fashion to Upcycled, Fashionable Home Accessory

Before & After: From Unused Fashion to Upcycled, Fashionable Home Accessory

Adrienne Breaux
Apr 20, 2014
(Image credit: Etsy)

Do you have any articles of clothing around your house — hidden away in the back of a closet or the bottom of a drawer — that seemed like a great idea when purchasing but once you got home realized it'd never see light again? That's what happened to Taylor and a pullover sweater he bought in Mexico. As soon as he got back home and realized it wasn't quite his style, he stuffed this sweater in the bottom of a drawer and didn't think about it for years. Until he realized he could upcycle it into a simple but sharp home accessory.

(Image credit: Taylor W Murphy)
(Image credit: Taylor W Murphy)
(Image credit: Taylor W Murphy)

We actually spotted the after photos of these pillows on Instagram first, loving the pattern and thinking they were some of the expensive exotic striped pillows that are all the rage right now. We were tickled when we read the description and saw they were made from an old sweater he never wore! (And no — your eyes don't deceive you; the before photo isn't the exact sweater used for these pillows. Taylor never took a before photo of it!)

From Taylor:

My love of buying things generally results in every part of my apartment filled to the brim with seemingly unnecessary objects. Whenever I travel I am constantly looking for things to purchase, reminding me of my experience there. Like all things, some finds are great, while others are definitely not. A wonderful example of my problem is this sweater bought in Mexico. At the time it seemed like a good idea. I remember brainstorming places I could wear it, convincing myself it was a good investment. Fast forward several years and I recently found it sitting at the bottom of my drawer, still unworn. I actually liked the fabric a lot, which is probably the only reason I bought it, so I tried to think of something I could do with it instead of just throw it away.

Pillows were the first things that came to mind. They would still remind me of my trip, but not make me look like a piñata in the process. You can never have enough pillows. They add so much interest to a room and are easily changeable. I get bored with my space often and have found pillows are the easiest way to change up your environment. Unfortunately that thought process lends me to having a couple dozen pillows in storage, but I’ll deal with that later.

I am definitely not a sewer. I asked a family friend who can create anything out of fabric to make the most with the oddly shaped sweater I had given her. She took the pocket off the front of the sweater to have 2 complete panels, the back and the front. The two panels were folded over each other to create two large bolster style pillows. They were sewn at two sides with a zipper added at the third. I was so happy with the result to see that this purchase didn’t resemble a fifteen-dollar pullover anymore!

An associate designer at One Eleven Design in Austin, you can spot more DIY projects and design on Taylor's Instagram.

But perhaps most importantly, what piece of clothing have you purchased in the past that turned out to not be your style, but could look better on your sofa or bed as a pillow (or some other home accessory)? The simple example in this post would be easy enough to make today, don't you think! We'd love to hear your ideas!

Thank you Taylor!

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