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3 Items You Can Repurpose Into DIY Throw Pillows

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.)

3 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | Three everyday household items you can use to make inexpensive throw pillows, plus how to do it using a no-sew method in minutes. #throwpillows #repurposing #diypillows #nosew #nosewprojects #nosewcrafts #diydecor #budgetdecor

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.

3 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | rug, kitchen towel, napkins

(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.

3 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | rug, kitchen towel, napkins

Supplies Used:

  • Material of your choice
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Heat n Bond hemming tape
  • Scissors
  • 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!

Steps:

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 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | how to turn cloth napkins into throw pillows

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.)

3 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | How to make a pillow from a repurposed rug

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.

3 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | Reuse polyfill from old pillows to make new ones and save money

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.)

3 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | How to make a throw pillow from a kitchen towel.

Not bad for a girl who can’t sew, huh?

3 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | How to make a throw pillow from a kitchen towel.

I never would have guessed this lumbar pillow was a $4 kitchen towel.

3 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | How to make a throw pillow from a rug.

And since we have a king sized bed, this long rug pillow is perfect for it.

3 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | How to make a throw pillow from napkins.

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.

If you want to save this post for later, you can pin it here:

3 items you can repurpose into DIY no-sew throw pillows | Three everyday household items you can use to make inexpensive throw pillows, plus how to do it using a no-sew method in minutes. #throwpillows #repurposing #diypillows #nosew #nosewprojects #nosewcrafts #diydecor #budgetdecor

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21 Comments

  1. Wow, amazing. I too have a problem using a sewing machine. I love the idea making pillows using rugs. So fabulous. I see many I love in target, but they start at $20.00. The no sew ideas have my name all over it to diy a pillow or two. Thanks!

  2. Lauren, Can you please add me to your email blog. Whenever I try it says I already am but I don’t get your blog in my emails. Thank you. Debbie

  3. I’ve made pillows out of T-shirts (lots of cute sayings on T-shirts these day) and from damaged quilts and blankets. Scarves are great, too, just folded around the form and tied. Talk about no sew! Towels are great for neck pillows in the bathtub. Have you seen the pattern for folding a towel into itself to make a pillow–like the blankets at Vera Bradley?

  4. I love these! Another idea is to use window valances. They work great! I’ve used little girls skirts, sheets, curtains and clothing to make pillows. I do sew though but these could all be used in a no sew method.

  5. Fabulous idea, Lauren! Especially the rag rug pillow. I’ve never tho’t of using a rug like that and I love the finished product–it’s chunky, rugginess! I would probably sew my pillow covers because I have done a lot of sewing, but these are great options for those who don’t sew.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration to make our own pillow covers!

  6. Like you I have waay too many throw pillows, and started buying or making pillow covers about a year ago. Storing the covers is so much less bulky without the insert!

    One of the things I like to use (in Winter) is sweaters. I like the cable-knit type for my covers, and get a supply of several colors each year at one of our local Goodwill stores. Once the sweaters are washed, I cut out the mid-section which is usually the perfect size for a pretty pillow cover. I then use the sweater sleeves to make small sweater pumpkins (which I love!), and this enables me to make non-traditional pumpkin colors too. So many things to make with gently-used sweaters!

  7. Hi Lauren, I never thought about using cloth napkins for a diy pillow before. That’s a really great idea. I like sewing and I can sew but as I’ve gotten older, I prefer ur ways of doing.

  8. Thanks for sharing. I’m always looking for cute pillow inspiration. Like you I don’t want to store or spend a fortune on pillows. I just have a hard time finding patterns I love! THe rug idea is one I have never considered.

  9. I found a new, still packaged, fabric Target shower curtain at Goodwill. I was able to cover three euro pillow inserts. Also found some type of small curtain at Goodwill that I could fold over and make a small pillow with a stripe down one side. I always check the textiles at the thrift shops for inspiration.

  10. just for future reference you could change that to 4 – we have used placemats, especially at Christmas, to make some of the prettiest Christmas pillows i like the no sew option we have never done that my mother still spoils her girls by doing most of our sewing for us! we just stuff with regular batting or cotton stuffing instead of pillow forms it would be nice if we had the pillow forms tho!

  11. Cute pillows! I especially love the rug one, with all the texture and fringe. I agree with someone else that table runners could also work (cut down to size obviously, you could probably make two small pillows with one runner. Another option is placemats. Because of the finished edge, you could actually sew them together wrong sides together about 1 inch or so in from the edge, leaving an opening of course, then finish closing the opening. Basically creating a “flanged” edge (kind of like a ruffle, only flat instead of gathered). No turning right side out required!

  12. Did you have any issues with getting the velcro dots to stick to the fabric? That has always been my concern with those…

    Thanks for the informative post!

  13. Easy, attractive and useful! Great project, I think the bolster type, rug pillow would also work well on an outside bench.
    I have used that heat tape in a few “emergency” situations, it works well but does not hold up if washed in hot water/hot dryer; otherwise good to go.
    Keep up the good work!

  14. Table runners are also a great “no sew” option! 2 layers..slip form inside….Velcro closing–easy pillow!

  15. Love the pillow idea. Yes, I can’t sew either, but, I did purchase Christmas placemats at Dollar tree this season. Bought Two same size but different looks used an old pillow stuffing and hot glued them together. Looked great on my porch display.

  16. I AM that person who can sew anything – I’m working on matching chair slipcovers right now. But your pillows look great, particularly the long rug pillow. That’s a fabric source I hadn’t yet considered!

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