DIY No-Knit Wall Hanging

Salvage & Stitch: If you have a scarf laying around that you never wear, make it into this super adorable wall hanging. Super easy, and great for yarn scraps!

Today I’m excited to show you all how to make this beautiful no-knit wall hanging from a scarf and some yarn, and to give you a peek into part of our bedroom! As the weather gets chillier here in the Bay Area and our apartment feels colder, I’ve been looking for some nice ways to upgrade our style and make things feel warmer by looking warmer. It’s pop psychology really, but so far it’s been working out nicely. I finally found the perfect thrifted rug for our bedroom at Out Of The Closet for only $40, which has made getting out of bed a real possibility. Our floors get super cold. That left our walls looking a little bare in comparison. I’ve been slowly adding to our walls over time; I’m a slow nester. I don’t rush into anything I don’t think fits our space because I almost always regret it.

My mom gave me this cream scarf that she grew tired of that was just slightly the wrong shade of cream for my complexion. I cast it aside for awhile, kept trying it on, and every time I picked it up and kept thinking how I really wanted to hang it on the wall instead of around my neck. That, turned out to be a fantastic idea because I was able to design this cute DIY tutorial for you all AND our bedroom has never looked better.

I’ve always loved the simplicity and intricacy of woven wall hangings, but it’s not a luxury that I find myself able to buy. I recently went to a fiber conference where weavers were doing demos. A friend and I even had the opportunity to try out a loom, and it was pretty cool! That said, I don’t think I’m the weaving type. I really admired the patience and artistry of the women who were regular weavers, but I didn’t feel inspired to take up weaving as an art or craft. I did, however, incorporate some weaving aesthetics into this wall-hanging through sewing yarn into the layers of the scarf. One could call it faux-weaving.

Salvage & Stitch: This No-Knit, No-Weave wall hanging was made from a scarf, and is so easy anyone coud make it.

About our bedroom, here are some fun little tidbits to share! The black mass on the bed is our cat, Stella. She refused to face the camera for the picture. I made the paint splattered pillow last year from canvas and acrylic paint. The fuzzy pillows I sewed years ago, also from a scarf. Amanda hates them because they itch, but I’ve never minded them.  The embroidered lampshades we thrifted but I saw them at Target a little while later so I assume that’s where they originally came from. The small wooden box on Amanda’s side of the bed usually has cough drops in it. The nightstands both came from the street. the brown and white one I found years ago not far from my mom’s apartment building. The tall white one I found while on my way to buy a nightstand, I kid you not. It was the ugliest color green and I painted it white. I’m pretty minimalist, I love simple things. My favorite thing in the world is falling asleep and waking up in a nicely ordered bed, which Amanda also thinks is quite eccentric. She could sleep in a pile of sheets and not care.

Salvage & Stitch: I made this gorgeous wall hanging for our bedroom from a scarf and yarn scraps. DIY tutorial included.

Regarding the wall hanging, any long scarf will do for this project, but one with tassels will mean that you won’t have to make the bottom row of tassels (unless you want to). If you don’t have a scarf readily available, thrift stores are full of them at this time of year. I used wool yarn. I suppose acrylic would work too but I like that wool instantly classes things up. The wooden dowel you can find at any hardware store.

Supplies: 

Making a wall hanging from a scarf and wooden dowel.

  • 1 long scarf
  • Yarn in two contrasting colors, I chose dark gray and cream
  • Yarn needle – sometimes these are called “darning needles”
  • Scissors
  • 1 wood dowel, size of your choice
  • Needle and thread
  • Optional: Yarn scraps for weaving into hanging. You can also just use your contrasting yarn.

Instructions:

1. Cut your scarf in half, and then cut 1/3 off the top off the halves. Trim your smaller piece at a diagonal, and put the excess aside to use for later.

Scarf cut up for wall hanging.  Cutting up scarf.

2. Sew your long pieces together down the middle, and then your small pieces. To make your seam relatively invisible, first, thread your yarn needle with yarn. Insert your needle into the first stitch through the back, and pull your yarn through. Next, insert your needle under the next stitch above the stitch you just pulled from, and draw your needle across to the stitch met on the otherside. Pull yarn through, and repeat on the other side and up the length of your two halves.

Sewing knitted pieces together. Joining knitted pieces together.

When finished, your pieces should look like this (I laid them on top of each other, to get an idea of how the hanging will come together):

knitted pieces sewn together.

3. Use your needle and thread to sew a few stitches down the length of your diagonal smaller pieces, so the stitches don’t unravel.

Protecting cut knitted pieces from fraying.

4. Make your tassels:  I made 21 tassels, enough for the entire pointy edge of my smaller piece. You’ll need to decide how many of each color to make. I made 9 grey ones and 12 cream ones, for the design I wanted.

To make the tassels, wrap your yarn around your hand or a piece of cardboard about 15 times. Cut a long piece of yarn (longer than you think you’ll need) and tie the end around the middle of the yarn loop you just created and thread the other end into your yarn needle. Wrap your long piece of yarn a few times around the top of your loop, to make it look like a tassel. Insert your needle beneath the wrapped part going down towards the long loops on the bottom and pull your yarn through. Then, insert your needle beneath the wrapped part again, on the other side going up, and pull it through. Next, insert your needle through the middle of your bauble and wrap it around twice. On the second wrap, pull your yarn through the loop to tie it off. Cut your long loop open so you have a tassel. You can also follow this technique from Martha Stewart on how to make a tassel if you’re super duper confused. It’s a little different than mine, but…you still get a tassel.

  

Making tassels.  

  

Tassels made for wallhanging.

5. Begin sewing your tassels onto your diagonal edges of your smaller piece using your yarn needle. There’s no science behind this, just make sure that you knot off each tassel on the wrong edge.

Sewing tassels onto wall hanging.

Adding tassels to a knitted piece.

6. Lay your smaller piece on your larger piece, ends together. Take the small pieces that you cut off before to create your pointed diagonal edge, and lay them on the top of the smaller piece to make another point.

DIY wallhanging from a scarf!

With your yarn (or yarn scraps as I used), begin to sew your smallest pieces to both the large and medium piece using crude large stitches. There is also no science to this, you might find a style you like and stick with it. I started out using single strands of yarn, but switched to double strands of yarn because I liked the style better and it was faster! I left the ends on the back unknotted, and just left a long strand to hold it in place.

Sewing a wall hanging with yarn.

Salvage & Stitch: Making a no-knit knitted wall hanging is easy when you use a scarf!

Just make sure you completely sew down the edges so they don’t ravel or look sloppy.

DIY No-Weave wall hanging

DIY wall hanging from a scarf and lots of scrap yarn!

8. Sew a running stitch at the top of your piece with yarn, about 3/4 from the edge. This will hold the piece together and make sure it doesn’t unravel.

Attaching wall hanging to wooden dowel.

9. Align your wall hanging with your wooden dowel. Double-thread your yarn needle with a very very long piece of yarn. You’ll probably have to replenish your yarn a few times on this step. Insert your yarn through the back of the piece, BELOW the stitches you’ve just inserted at the top, and wrap it around the dowel, sewing the dowel to the yarn. Continue until the whole piece is attached to the dowel.

Attaching a wallhanging to a wooden dowel using yarn.

Finished wall hanging, ready to be hung.

10. Finally, tie a long piece of yarn to the dowel to hang your piece with, and put it on the wall!

Salvage & Stitch: This No-Knit, No-Weave wall hanging was made from a scarf, and is so easy anyone coud make it.

Salvage & Stitch: DIY No-Knit Wall Hanging. This tutorial will show you how to make a beautiful wall hanging from a scarf, yarn, and a wooden dowel.

DIY Seat Cushions from An Old Mattress Pad

DIY Chair cushion made from a mattress pad

Today, I’m going to show you how to use one of the lowliest and most unrecyclable home items to make something beautiful and unique for your home: the mattress pad, which can be used as batting to make beautiful, customized seat cushions. Because lets be honest, what the heck do you use a mattress pad when it dies or just isn’t needed anymore? And who wants to sit on a chair without a cushion? Not me.

Somehow, between merging two lives, moving, unpacking, and coexisting with each other, Amanda and I ended up with two queen-sized mattress pads. At first, we thought we’d keep both, and change them out, but that never happened. Her mattress pad was strangely more plush than mine and for some reason I hated it. It was stuffed into a closet until I finally liberated it and put it in a pile of stuff to donate.

Old mattress pad

I knew, however, that donating a mattress pad would be nearly impossible. Just look at this thing! Most thrift stores don’t take used bedding like this for good reasons like bed bugs, lice etc.. I wasn’t about to just chuck the mattress pad in the trash either, to live out the rest of its synthetic life in a landfill, so it lived in our hall way as an ugly obstruction until I realized that it was essentially just a few layers of batting with a quilt-top, and by George, batting I can use.

Geometric chair cushions

The other piece of this puzzle was the beautiful fabrics that Amanda brought back from a trip she took to Sierra Leone. Amanda lived in Sierra Leone for two years with Peace Corps, where she was expected to wear locally made clothing at various events and occasions where it was appropriate to dress up. When we first started dating she showed me all of her clothing, which she wears infrequently in the states but still keeps carefully tucked away in our closet. When she decided to go back to visit her friends and the community where she lived, she also decided that she would bring back some wax print fabrics for our home. I had some ground rules: nothing too culturally appropriative, nothing too bright as our home tends to be minimalist and decorated in blues, blacks, whites and grays, and if she could magically text me pictures when she was at the fabric stall in the market so I could see the options…this latter idea didn’t happen, but she did great! We ended up with a group of fabrics that are very pretty, don’t scream, “I went to a foreign country and brought home someone else’s culture!” and compliment our home nicely.

light blue wax print fabric

One thing we always wanted to make with the Sierra Leone material was seat cushions after we visited other Peace Corps friends and saw their seat cushions (also culturally understated, also blue). After putting this project off way too long, I finally decided to tackle it using the mattress pad as the batting and a beautiful blue wax print as the shell.

It was a simple project, easily doable for a beginning sewist, but also very satisfying. I quilted the tops of the seat covers while watching a movie, which I do think makes them look more polished. And how does the used mattress cover hold up? So far so good. I used two layers per cushion which makes them enjoyable to sit on but not overly cushiony.  You could use almost any repurposed material for the shells, think old curtains, old dresses, table cloths, pillow cases, etc… If you don’t have an old mattress pad handy, you could use a ton of other repurposed materials as batting: old towels, old fleece blankets, or even a comforter that has seen better days.

DIY wax print chair cushions with ties

 

Supplies 

  • 1 plush mattress pad, ( OR old towels, old blanket, etc…)
  • 1 1/2 yards to 3 yards of cotton, depending on how big your chairs are, and how many cushions you’re making
  • A sewing machine (preferable, but you could do these by hand if you really really wanted to
  • Thread matching your fabric
  • Embroidery thread
  • Embroidery needle
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

Directions

  Fabric cut for seat cushion  Making ties for seat cushion

sew an invisible stitch to close cushion  quilt cushion to keep layers together

  1. Measure the seat of your chair. Mine measured 15 inches by 15 inches, so I knew I wanted to make a cushion 15 by 15.
  2. Cut out your mattress pad stuffing: I made my squares 3/4″ smaller on all sides than my intended cushion size as it was easier to stuff and looked better all around. I used two layers of mattress pad for each cushion, but depending on the thickness of your mattress pad you may only need one or may need up to three layers. All in all, my mattress pad squares were cut to 14.75″ each.
  3. Cut out your outer fabric for the cushion: Mine measured 15.5″, leaving half an inch of seam allowance.
  4. Decide how you’ll add ties. The ties are necessary for the cushion to stay on the chair. I chose to add ties to the two back corners of my cushions and make them out of the contracting print at the bottom of my fabric. I made two long ties per cushion, about 15-16″ each, and folded them in half to be sewn into the back. You could also use ribbon or a variety of other trims.
  5. Sew your cushion: Pin the two right sides of your cushion’s outer material together, pinning each tie to the back corners with the tie inside with the right sides. With a half inch seam allowance, sew around the edge of the cushion, leaving a 5-inch opening. Reinforce the ties by backstitching a couple times.
  6. Turn the cushions right side out. Carefully stuff your mattress pad layers into each cushion, making sure the layers lay flat. Use an invisible stitch to close each opening. If hand sewing scares the bejesus out of you you can carefully close each opening with your sewing machine right along the edge.
  7. Quilt your cushion: If you choose to sew a quick square on your cushion, it will keep the inside layers flat and make your cushion nicer. You can do this on your sewing machine, but I chose to do it by hand with embroidery thread for a cute and chunky look. To do so, Thread your embroidery needle and knot the end. Embroider a square about 6″ by 6″ in the center of your cushion. I eyeballed my square, but if you wanted it to be totally perfect you could mark it with chalk first. Make sure when you make your stitches the needle is puncturing the same part of the cushion on the other side so that each side of the cushion looks neat and tidy. quilted chair cushion
  8. Put your cushions on your chair and sit on them! Or if you’re like Stella, gaze lovingly out the window at prey.

sew your own chair cushions

Not sure what to do with that old mattress pad but don't want to throw it away? Use it as batting for these adorable DIY chair cushions!