Do you have some beautiful or inspiring fabric in your home? Maybe your closet has a skirt that doesn’t fit anymore, but you love its design? How about that pile of eye catching curtains you bought at a garage sale or that unique old quilt from grandma that was never finished? Today, I’m going to show you how to use that beautiful and inspiring fabric piece to make a simple decorative pillow – with a removable cover – in less than 20 minutes! The secret to our speed is that we are going to use a top sheet for the back of the cover. It’s simple, frugal and easy. You only need to know how to sew a straight line on a basic machine. This is a really fun project with something to show for it! Once you make one, I guarantee you will find more fabric in your home to make more!
Are you ready to make a simple decorative pillow with me?
You will need one pillow form, an old top sheet, your sewing machine and simple sewing tools like scissors, pins and thread. And of course, a favorite scrap piece of fabric! Here I am using a piece of blue and cream linen that I have leftover from our bedroom re-do. I just love that pop of blue!
Start by cutting your fabric piece 2 inches wider and taller than your pillow form. For example, I am using a 16×16 inch pillow form, so I will cut my fabric 18×18 inches. This may see like too big of fabric square for the pillow, but it’s always better to go big and size it smaller when you are finished. This is how you create a custom look!
With the cut fabric piece right side up, lay an edge of an old top sheet vertically across the fabric 3/4 of the way. Since my fabric piece is 18 inches wide, I am laying the edge of the sheet at 12 inches.
Pin the sheet in place and simply cut it down to match the size of the fabric.
Repeat steps 3 and 4, except this time, place the sheet edge on the opposing side – again, 12 inches in. Pin and cut down to size.
Here is what your square will look like before sewing. We are almost done!
Using your machine, sew a straight line along each edge of the square, turning your fabric as you head around the corners.
To keep the edges from unraveling, cut around the outside of the stitched line with some pinking shears. This is optional, but I recommend this step if you are going to wash your cover multiple times.
Now you are ready to turn the square right side out and stuff in your pillow form!
Since we are going for a custom look, you may find that one or two sides need to be more snug. It all depends on the thickness of your pillow form. Here, my form hugs the fabric on all sides but one.
This is an easy fix!
Take out the pillow form and turn the fabric square wrong side out again. Sew along the loose side, closer to the center of the square. In this case, I wanted to tighten it up about 1 inch, so I am sewing that side one inch closer to the center.
Turn the square right side out again and stuff it with the form. When you are happy with all four sides of the pillow, you will have your custom look! Decorative pillows can go anywhere you need a splash of color or a bit of comfort – Your bed, the couch, a favorite window seat… even setting on a dining room chair. What a great use of fabric and a productive use of your time!
Meredith is a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom living in NW Ohio. She loves to adapt recipes to her family’s eclectic tastes and is learning to provide nourishment for any bellies who walk through the door at a moment’s notice. If not in the kitchen, you’ll find Meredith in front of her sewing machine or spending quality time with her home and church families. Life goes by so fast!