How to make throw pillows on the cheap

13 01 2007

A few weeks ago I became obsessed with making new throw pillows. I had seen some pillow inserts at a local store for cheap so off we went to buy them. We got there and I was heartbroken to find that they were indeed cheap… And flat as a pancake! I had already decided that they were about the size I wanted though. I walked around the store looking for a solution. All of the readymade throw pillows were too small (and also pretty flat) and all cost about $12 each. But I really hate stuffing pillows! What was I going to do? Then I strolled down an aisle with bed pillows and I remembered an episode of Trading Spaces where they took bed pillows and cut them in half to use. At the time, I thought it was ridiculous (why didn’t they just go to Joann’s and buy inserts???) , but now I see it as genius. By the way I didn’t order any because I wanted them NOW, not 2 or 3 weeks from now. Plus I have no way that I’m overpaying for more flat pancake pillows. And I’m cheap. Have you priced those things?

So I went to our little store on base (kind of like a tiny crappy WalMart- with a housewares section like a crappy Family Dollar) and looked around.
pt. 1
The cheapest pillow ended up being the firmest. So I bought 2 in King size so I could get 2 throw pillows out of each bed pillow. I also bought 2 packs of standard size pillow cases. I think all together this was about $30.

pt. 2
Take it out of the plastic wrapper and cut that baby in half. Its a little harder than it looks.

pt. 3
Next, sew it together. This is also harder than it looks. I tried sewing with both my machine and serger, but sometimes a simple needle and thread is the best solution!

Then make covers. I’ve made 4; 2 use mostly a whole pillow case, 2 just use it for the backs. Somehow I only managed to get pics of all, but 2 are still being worked on anyways.
jan2007 009
Here’s one all put together, a patchworked log cabin pillow.

jan2007 010
This one isn’t done yet. The main part is patchworked together. The tree is stenciled and the flowers are embroidered. There will also be leaves embroidered on the brown part.  So with little cash, but lots of creativity, new pillows were made.

No fabric was bought for this. Everything was from the stash. If you don’t have a stash, but would like to build yours up here’s a few ways:

  • Fat quarters and charm packs.  Fabric stores have these sold seperately and in packs.  Can also be bought online.
  • Remnants.  Most stores have little bins for this.
  • Sheets.  Don’t dismiss sheets as inferior!  In some cases, they’re better quality than the quilting fabric!
  • Sales.  I always check the clearance section for interesting fabrics.
  • Solids are inexpensive.  I recommend Kona Cotton.
  • Thrift stores.  With the linens, there is normally a section of fabric.  Sometimes hidden between the polyester doubleknit is a nice cotton fabric with a pretty print.  Clothes can also be used.  A muumuu in a pretty print should be looked at as a few yards of fabric.

My favorite online shops:

Here’s a few that I’ve never ordered from but probably will in the future!  Look at those prices!




2 responses

13 01 2007

oooo… new links! thanks!

18 06 2011
esabella brilmyer

making throw pillows come in handy!

when you need or want a little extra money to spend on something you want, you make about ten and sell them to your family members for 13.00 a piece! of course they buy them becuase they think your cute and like to make you happy and they know you want a new american girl doll. yay! thank god for crafting and lame wannabe little walmarts!

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