Why you should make your own pillows.

I have been making my own pillows for years.

Here are the reasons why you should make your own pillows:
1. They are MUCH cheaper to make than to buy. Let’s be honest here, great looking pillows cost right around $25.00 each…maybe even more. Yes, you can luck out every so often and find a sweet deal or a clearance item. But, in order to get what you really want, making a pillow is easy, I promise.

2. Finding fabric to match your decor is a lot easier than finding a pillow. This is something that Kallie and I are extremely obsessed with. We search fabric all the time. We love to see new fabrics. The GREAT thing about fabrics is that one fabric can tie in your decor choices. For example, I’ve been trying to decide what colors to decorate with in my new house. (blank slate…fun!) Well, I knew I wanted orange, but what colors should I put with it…that’s the question on my mind all day, every day (not kidding…I’m that obsessed!). Well, we found a fabric with brown, blue and orange in it. I would have NEVER put those three colors together, but when I saw it all together in the fabric, I LOVED IT!

Here’s the pillow that has that fabric on it so you can visualize it:

I have seen designers on HGTV take a pillow and make their complete color scheme of a room out of the colors of the pillow. Really it’s smart because the fabric will give you ideas of what other colors you can use in your space.

3. It is easy, and you don’t need to be an expert seamstress to do it. Believe me, I’m no expert. You must have access to a sewing machine, and you must be able to sew a straight line. That’s it!

4. Because you save money by doing things YOURSELF, you eliminate the middle man. This it the point that Kallie and I keep trying to make, however, we LOVE helping you decorate. There are those out there that consider themselves DIYers (do it yourselfers). These people have a knack that some others don’t. Don’t worry if you are not a DIYer. Kallie and I can help you too. Just contact us, and we’ll help you execute your space. WE LOVE DOING IT, and we’ll give you a quote for you to approve ahead of time.

Ok, let’s get to the nitty gritty of making a pillow. Here’s what you need:
1 yard of fabric (I prefer canvas)
1 pillow insert (buy at local fabric store)
A Sewing machine (loaded with your preferred color of thread and bobbin).
An olfa cutter (this is not required, but it sure helps to get the sides cut square).

Ok. The particular fabric I got was from IKEA. (Yes IKEA sells fabric you can cut by the yard). It’s GREAT, and I love some of their stuff. It was 7.99 a yard and it’s 59″ wide. So, I can easily make 2 pillows out of this fabric.

The pillow inserts I bought were 16″ square. Mine cost $4.79 each (used a 40% off coupon).

You must cut your fabric 1 inch wider than your insert. (if you have a 20″ insert, cut your fabric 21″, if it’s 18″ cut your fabric 19″ and so forth) So, I used my olfa cutter and cut one square that was 17″X17″ exactly. This is the FRONT of your pillow.

Now, for the back of the pillow, I make my pillows so that the covers can be removed. All you need to do is cut two smaller pieces that overlap in the back of the pillow.

So, I cut another piece of fabric 17″x12″ and another piece the exact same as that one: 17″X12″.

I changed the two back pieces to be green and blue in the picture so that you could better visualize what you are doing. The back fabrics will end up overlapping and creating a pocket for your insert to go in.

Now you need to hem one side of the back fabrics so that it won’t fray. To hem, you need to fold of the fabric and sew the edge 1/4 inch. If you don’t know how to hem, I’m sure someone nearby can help you. This is basically just finishing the edge so that it will stay.

After you hem the back pieces, you are ready to start sewing along the edges. Lay your fabrics on top of each other, carefully lining up the sides. Remember your back two fabrics will overlap. Remember your fabric MUST be facing ride side in at this point.

I use a 5/8″ seam (look for the mark on the sewing machine) and carefully sew along all four edges of the fabric.

After you get done, you need to cut out the corners (see picture below) this will help you be able to get a crisp corner when you turn the pillow ride side out.

Voila you have a perfectly fitting pillow. If you are fancy in your sewing skills you could put in zippers…etc.

Here is a better picture of the back once the pillow insert has been put inside.

Most the time, I stop here and am completely content with the results.

BUT…today I was feeling creative and WILD, and I’ve been wanting to experiment with felt for quite some time. So, with a few sheets of felt in hand, I went to work. For your information, felt costs 29 cents a sheet (I got mine at Michael’s). 1.74 for 6 sheets (that’s how much I bought).

Sorry this picture is so small, but I wanted you to see the pillow that I was mimicking. This pillow is from the Vera Wang collection found at Kohls. This pillow costs 49.99 full price.

So, I began cutting the felt into flowers….then I layered the pieces of felt on top of each other to create the dimension that I loved from the Vera Wang pillow.

Didn’t they turn out fabulous!?! Really, the pictures don’t do these pillows justice. Click on the images to enlarge so you can see the detail.

Here’s a better picture of the flower.
I tacked them on with a thread and needle, and hot glued a pink jewel in the middle from my craft bin. These pillows are going in a room that you will be seeing soon! :)

By the way, to make these two pillows. It cost me right around $20.00. (7.99 fabric+4.79+4.79 two pillow inserts+1.74 for felt) equals $19.something cents.

Hope you like them! By the way…FELT comes in TONS of colors! :) Happy felt hunting.

Comments

  1. 1

    Super cute, love the tutorial. I haven't ever made pillows with the overlap on the back, but it looks super easy.
    Great idea with the felt, I have a cricut machine, I wonder if it could cut felt ?!

  2. 2
    The Pangans says:

    I LOVE these pillows, Brooke! The flowers are way too cute, and way too easy. As soon as I can paint my own place, I am totally doing some of your ideas! Thanks for the fun site!!….Tyann

  3. 3

    Love them! Seriously, we are on the same wave length… just today I dressed up some pillows that I've had forever. I will send you some pictures once I am totally done. I was going to make a flower thing to finish them. What's up with us always thinking about the same things? I love your felt flowers! That idea might even work with what I did. Can I just tell you once again how much I love your website!? Keep up the cute projects, you continually inspire me!!!

  4. 4

    Okay, seriously?? How on earth do you two get so much talent and someone like me has less than none?! You guys are amazing, I am in love with this site. My sister showed it to me when you first started it, and I've never left a comment, but I wanted you to know how much I admire you guys! I'm going to be calling you for a full house makeover when my husband gets his bonus at the end of the year. I need a major change, and you guys are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Keep up the awesome, affordable projects. Not that I can actually do any of them, but I love to look ;)

  5. 5

    While I do bow at the feet of the masters … I do have one teensy criticism. I would recommend you switch the flowers into a different color. Like red or pink. The black flowers blend with the black stripes, and it totally loses the texture and dimension for me. Maybe it's just my bad eyesight and the fact that it's a picture … but there you go anyway.

  6. 6

    Great tutorial! Love the flowers.

  7. 7
    abby @ tales and trials says:

    love, love, love your pillows! so fun!!

  8. 8

    I love the striped fabric you chose. So mod and punchy!

  9. 9

    Love these! I Will be featuring these for sure!

  10. 10

    Super pillows…LOVE them! Kim

  11. 11

    Fantastic tutorial. I love decorating my home but I am absolutely not a seamstress. This gives me the nerve to get a pillow a try!

  12. 12

    You have inspired me. I absolutely love your pillow…even more than the Vera one.(sorry Vera)

  13. 13

    Very cute! I love the flowers.
    -Crystal

  14. 14

    Thanks for the superb directions! I am sending your blog address and this tutorial to my daughter who is just learning to sew… I think your pillows are prettier than Vera's too. Have a great week!
    ~Really Rainey~

  15. 15

    Great tutorial.
    I LOVE the black and white pillows. They are divine!

    ~Amy

  16. 16

    Darling pillows! I have so many inserts too- I need to get going and make some cute ones!

  17. 17

    I am SO inspired!!! Thank you!

  18. 18

    Very cute pillows. Love the tutorial. I agree it is so much better to make them as well as many other things/

    Cheri

  19. 19

    You've been featured. Go check it out.

    Cheri

  20. 20

    Wonderful tutorial!! Love the felt idea. Now you've put me in a pillow mood!

  21. 21

    Thanks so much for the tutorial! I have been wanting to update my pillows but wasn't sure how to make them so that you can actually WASH the pillow covers! Definitely going to try this and will feature you on my blog! Please check it out! Thanks again! :)

    http://www.tickledonline.blogspot.com

  22. 22

    I made pillows today! I posted them on my blog.. and of course featured you ladies! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  23. 23

    I used your amazing tutorial and made my first-ever pillow! And LOVE it! The tutorial was so easy. Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to make more!
    I shared it on my blog and linked back to your tutorial to share the love so other people can get inspired.

    http://kacydilla.blogspot.com/2010/07/pillow.html

  24. 24

    I love this pillow! I will be featuring it on crazydomestic.com on Tuesday, Aug 24th. Thanks for sharing!

  25. 25

    Loved this pillow design, I just used it to make several pics for my living room and it worked like a charm. Thanks for the great idea!

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