As I was planning out my week last Sunday I noticed that the first day of Spring would be falling on Thursday. I wanted to make it special, since Spring is super exciting and means that this dang cold spell will eventually end! I started to look around my house for ways to bring in a springy feel without being too cheesy-because I try to avoid cheesy. My eyes happened upon my throw pillows, which looked warm, inviting, and ultimately, like a November breath of air. Not like spring at all. I remembered a bag of scrap fabric that my interior decorator mother in law had given me, and dug through it, giddy as I pulled out piece after piece of fabric that screamed SPRING. I had read a few tutorials online that described how to make pillow covers, and I had been wanting to try. They looked easy enough, and that way I could just cover my existing pillows, without having to run out to the store and buy more. If you would be looking at a scale of sewing expertise I would hang out kind of near the beginning. Not at the starting line with my husband and my dog, but somewhere towards the middle of the middle. If that makes sense. And this project was extremely easy to pull off. Now, I’m not going to be all like, “I have no idea how to sew, so anyone can do this!” because then when I start talking about the selvage and you’re way too confused you’ll think I’m a liar for leading you to believe that anyone can do this, so let me be clear. If you can thread your machine (or hand sew if you really want to…), measure accurately, and pin material, you’re in business. Until then, TJ Maxx offers some really cute throw pillows at affordable prices 🙂
To begin, you’re going to need
-throw pillows, or pillow forms (you can buy these at JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby, and stores such as these, they will be near the fabric, ask for assistance if you can’t find them, and use your coupons!)
-fabric depending on the size of your pillows
-straight edge (yard stick, ruler, etc.)
-sewing machine, or needle and thread (I’d recommend a machine)
-Start by measuring your pillow, or pillow form.
-Your fabric will need to be cut 1 inch larger than the height, and double the width PLUS 6 inches. (For example, I made some pillows for our outdoor kitchen and used a 20×20 pillow form. I had to cut my fabric 21×46 inches, this required 2 yards since the bolt of fabric that I chose was only 44 inches. You may have to pause and do some calculations at the fabric counter but don’t be embarrassed! The workers may be happy to help you figure out your yardage if they aren’t busy and you are confused. Look on the side of your fabric bolt where the price is to see what the height of that particular fabric is, and then you can go from there! (There are 36 inches in a yard!)
-I don’t know if there’s a super secret to cutting long pieces of fabric straight, but I start by cutting my height. I mark the fabric with a fabric marker every 6 inches or so, and then take my straight edge and draw a line across the entire fabric, following my pre-made marks. Then I cut my fabric using either scissors, or a rotary cutter and a large rotary mat.
-I repeat this process for the width, which is usually much longer!
-After the fabric is cut to length, you will need to make a hem on the two shorter edges. I like to mark 2 inches on each edge of the fabric, then fold the fabric over to meet the marks, and iron it flat. I then sew the seam shut using a 1/2 inch seam line on my machine (I like to use masking tape on my machine to mark where my seam measurement line is since the machine usually only has one tiny mark to indicate the seam length. this way I can look at the line of tape further towards my body rather than make mistakes as I watch the pedal of the machine, which is a big No No!)
-Now you will lay your pillow or pillow form on the right side of the fabric in the center. Wrap one of your short ends that you just sewed around the pillow tightly, wrap the other end tightly as well until it is snug around the pillow. Line up the long ends so that they are even (your short ends will be overlapping) and pin it in place (just one pin!)
-Gently shake the pillow or form out of the fabric and line up your long ends on both sides, which will take a little tugging and finiggaling to get it right. Pin down the ends every 4-6 inches or so, depending on what makes you feel better.
-Now you are going to sew the long, pinned ends together, using a 1/2 inch seam! Use your masking tape line as a guide. Make sure that when you reach the center of the side, where the two short sides are lined up that you help guide the sewed seam under the pedal foot so it doesn’t fold over and then sew itself down that way. It will make it bulky if this accident happens. If that demand just confused you then ignore it. You will know what I mean if it happens to you, and then you’ll have a lightbulb moment. (aha!)
-After your edges are sewed, trim all of your hanging strings, and then turn the pillow right-side out. You know the handy little nut crackers that they sell at the store that you can use to crack crab shells (or lobsters, depending on your end of the country.) ? I like to use the little pick that comes with it to poke my edges out, but you can use a chopstick, or anything pointy (but not so sharp that it will cut through the fabric) to accomplish this.
Now you’re ready to stuff your fabric pillow cover! slide your pillow in, and cover it one side at a time, hitting it and stuffing it and fluffing it until you reach throw pillow perfection! Repeat this process until all of your pillows are covered and screaming whatever it is that you want them to scream, in my case “SPRING”!
Do you think I accomplished it?
Much more springy right?
I was so excited to sew these things that while Honey, Nanny, Hattie, and I were out shopping for everything under the sun Friday to stock up our newly finished outdoor kitchen I grabbed some fabric and pillow forms at Hobby Lobby to make some pillows for the couch in there. It was a last resort measure, since we couldn’t find any that matched the color scheme we wanted and were still masculine enough for the men, I knew that I would be making them myself when I found the perfect fabric to tie everything together. Aren’t they dreamy? I may or may not have made another pillow with my dear friend Andrea this weekend to teach her how to do it herself when she gets back over yonder to Dallas. She was proud of her product, and I can’t wait to see a picture of it on her back porch!
Make some pillows now ladies, and tag me or email me when you do so I can see your beautiful creations!
If you have any questions, comment down below or shoot me an email!
Question, do you all think a video tutorial would be more helpful on things like this, or do you like the written instructions?