Three everyday household items you can use to make inexpensive throw pillows, plus how to do it using a no-sew method in minutes.
I’m by no means a seamstress… let’s just throw that out there right now.
My mom tried to teach me several times growing up, and I’ve decided I’m a lost cause when it comes to becoming one with the sewing machine. (Right up there with being a black thumbed master gardener… Martha Stewart’s skills are nothing compared to mine. 😉 Ha! Not.)
But my mom did teach me so much about what I now do on this blog- how to paint my own furniture and remake thrifty finds and decorate with what we already have. I’m so thankful for all she taught me because it means I get to pass it on to all of you when I carry on the DIY adventure she introduced me to as a kid.
I still sometimes wish I could sew my own curtains or whip up a dress pattern or make a sofa slipcover myself. But I DO know a thing or two about making my own throw pillows for super cheap with no sewing ability whatsoever.
So my mom and I had a little craft day over the weekend to whip up a few, just like old times.
(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)
Three of the easiest items you can use to make pillows yourself in minutes:
1. Cloth napkins
2. Kitchen towels
3. Accent rugs
I found each for less than $10 and thought they’d look so pretty as pillow covers.
Plus, I’m trying to be better about buying/making only pillow covers to use inserts I already have instead of buying entire pillows from home decor stores.
If you have a pillow addiction like I do, that little collection can turn into a massive hoarder’s pile. My pillow stash is out of control as it is. So pillow covers give me my fix without adding to the chaos.
How to make no-sew throw pillows:
These steps work on plain ol’ fabric too, but I like using napkins, towels, and rugs since they’re already cut to the perfect size and finished around the edges.
- Material of your choice
- Iron & ironing board
- Heat n Bond hemming tape
- Velcro dots
- Pillow inserts (or you can take the polyfill out of any old pillows that need to be retired)
I got this set of 4 napkins for $8 to make two pillows, this kitchen towel for $4, and this rug on sale for less than $10. With the hemming tape and velcro dots, it came to about $5-$12 per pillow for me. Major score!
1. Iron your material first to get rid of any wrinkles or creases.
2. If you’re using two separate material pieces (like two cloth napkins), place one piece on your work surface with the print facing up. Place the second piece on top of the first with the print facing down so that the two printed piece of material are facing each other.
If you’re using a large kitchen towel or accent rug, you can fold it once so that the print of the material is facing in to make a lumbar pillow shaped.
3. Take your Heat n Bond hemming tape, measure it out to the length of one edge of your material, and cut it.
4. Place the hemming tape between the two fabric edges and follow the Heat n Bond instructions to run the iron over the fabric edges to fuse them together. Fuse together three of the four edges, so that you have an opening later to put in your insert or polyfill.
(If you’re using a very thick rug, it is best to use a carpet needle and hemp cord to hand stitch the edges. My mom did this step for me on my rug because I’m a total lost cause, but if you absolutely can’t handle even a whip stitch, super strength hemming tape should be able to do the job.)
5. Turn your newly fused together pillow cover right side out and place the insert inside or stuff it with polyfill.
My mom had a couple of old pillows she didn’t want anymore so we used the stuffing to fill the long lumbar rug pillow since I didn’t have a feather insert for its long, skinny shape.
6. Once stuffed, attach velcro dots to the edge of the opening and press closed. (Or you can fuse that edge shut with hemming tape too, if you want to make it permanent.)
Not bad for a girl who can’t sew, huh?
I never would have guessed this lumbar pillow was a $4 kitchen towel.
And since we have a king sized bed, this long rug pillow is perfect for it.
I love how these gray rose napkin pillows fit in so well with my simplified spring vibe we’ve got going all over our house right now.
It’s all proof you don’t need to spend $20-40 on throw pillows when sometimes all it takes is a little imagination to use what you might already have tucked in a kitchen drawer.
Have you ever made pillows from other items around the house? Share! I’d love to make more one of these days.
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