Jun 23, 2011

{Making Pillows}

I've been busy lately with swimming and soccer lessons, a trip to Memphis to see The New Kids on the Block and Back Street Boys (which was fantastic by the way, and I'm not even a huge fan, but just being with girlfriends was good enough) and Graceland, and visiting with family and friends during our summer vacation.  I feel like I have been working on this post for such a long time, but really it's just that I haven't had time to actually post it!

One thing I love...pillows!  But honestly, I hate the price.  I was flipping through a shelter catalog the other day, dreaming, and admiring all their pillow covers, but totally blown away by the price.  $29, $39, and even $99 for JUST THE COVER!  Crazy, right? I just cannot pay that kind of money for a pillow, that quite honestly, I will probably get sick of it within the year.  Not to mention the pillow inserts are anywhere from $10 (for a super small one) to $99. 

The solution is NAPKINS!  Yes, wonderful, 100% cotton napkins that you can pretty much find anywhere.  I recently picked some up from World Market and Pottery Barn's sale section for about $3 each.  I also just recently came across some napkins (as set of 8) at HomeGoods for about $10.  That's 4 pillow covers for $10!   And the result is fantastic...

Here are some napkins I picked up from World Market for $3 each...

And here is how to make a napkin pillow cover...
What you will need: 2 cloth napkins, scissors, pins, hem tape or a sewing machine

1. Cut one napkin in half.

2. Lay the napkins on each other, with outsides or patterned side (the purty side) towards the inside.  Place the sewn edges of the cut napkin to the inside and overlap (cut sides go out towards the seam, they will be sewn in place and never seen)...this will not be sewn and will be the envelop for your pillow insert.

3.  Sew all the way around the pillow.

4.  Turn right-side-out...and admire your new pillow cover.

If you don't like to sew...just follow the same instructions as above, but instead of sewing around the edges, use iron on hem tape (that you can find at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, WalMart, or JoAnn's).  Just follow the instructions of the brand you choose and iron away!

Pillow inserts can be found at JoAnn's (or any craft store).  I have found the best feather down inserts from IKEA, for about $7 each.  The regular polyester filled pillow inserts at Ikea are $3.99.  That is SO cheap!  Or you could just cover the pillows you already have.

FJÄDRAR Inner cushion $6.99
I hope you enjoy making pillows!  This makes it so easy, and affordable to change out pillows for the seasons, for the holidays, or for any reason you just want a change.  I love that I do not have to a whip stitch to close them, because of the envelope closure.  I also love the fact that I can take them off easily for laundering.  Plus, since the napkin edge is already hemmed, it's so easy and quick to put them together!

Here are a couple more I just sewed in a matter of minutes...

I think they are fantastic!  Try them, I think you will love the results.  Check out Censational Girl's post on the no sew version.  She's awesome, isn't she?


  1. I am sooo doing this! GREAT idea and thanks for the tutorial. I did buy a couple of the Ikea feather pillows. Now I know just how to cover them. :)

  2. Thank you so much for this great tutorial!! I have been looking for a simple cushion cover as i just brought some tea towels for $1 each and thought I could try my hand at sewing! You are my life saver :)
    P.S I am your newest follower!

  3. Love this!!! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  4. Brilliant!!!!! I can't wait to try this!!!!!

  5. Love the pillows! Will definitely try. And here's another tip to cut down on costs. Instead of buying inserts, use tired bed pillows that have flattened down. Just cut to size, remove about an inch of the batting, and sew the cover back together. No one will ever see it, so it doesn't have to be pretty.

  6. This is fantastic! I actually just bought napkins from Pier1 clearance section and I was trying to figure out how to make a cover for my pillow. Thanks!!


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