DIY Throw Pillows

For anyone who doesn’t know, Doug and I just moved again. And with a new apartment comes the opportunity for new, fun projects! One of the coolest things about our new apartment is that we have a built in window seat in the kitchen. It was a nice little spot, except for one thing:

The tenant who lived here before us left these ugly red chair cushions on the window seat.

My first new apartment project was to make a bench cushion for the window seat. I didn’t do a great job documenting that project, but here are a couple photos of the process:


I cut some 3-inch foam to fit the space, covered it with some quilt batting, and sewed a long, fitted pillowcase with a zipper to cover it. Here’s the final result:


It came out great, but the area felt like it needed pillows. What I didn’t realize is that throw pillows are expensive! Even at Walmart a decent sized pillow is like $15.00. That’s too much for my budget, so I decided to make my own pillows.

My next roadblock was the cost of pillow forms. The form is the part you put inside your pillow cover. I found these to cost around $5-6 apiece for the cheapest ones. I needed a less expensive alternative, so I turned to Pinterest and found a blog with this great idea. I tried it out for myself. Here are the materials I gathered:

Two standard sized pillows from Walmart, $2.37 each
One fabric shower curtain from Savers Thrift Store, $3.99

I originally was going to look for a flat sheet or some cheap fabric remnants, but I saw this shower curtain and loved the basket weave texture in the fabric:


It’s funny, at this time last year I spent $3.99 on a DIY project to turn a tablecloth into a shower curtain. Now a year later, I found myself spending the same amount on a shower curtain to turn into throw pillows…

Anyways, here are the steps I took to make my pillows:

Step 1: Gather all pillow stuffing into one end of the pillow and pin in place

To do this I held the two corners at one end of the pillow and I swung it over my head a few times, causing all the stuffing to get pulled down to one end. Then I pinned it to hold the stuffing in that end of the pillow.

Step 2: Sew across to create a square shaped pillow form

I sewed across just next to my pins. It’s okay if this comes out kind of messy, it’s just gonna get stuffed inside a pillow cover.

Step 3: Trim off excess material


I did this twice and ended up with these two pillow forms:


Step 4: Cut out the front side of your pillow cover

I wanted my final pillow covers to fit an 18×18″ pillow, with an additional fabric flange around the outside of the pillow. For my front piece I cut out a 22″ square. I ironed the wrinkles out of the fabric to make it easier to cut nice straight lines. Yes, my “ironing board” is just a Finding Nemo towel laid out on the floor…

Step 5: Cut out the two pieces that will make up the backside of your pillow cover

I forgot to take a picture of these pieces, but essentially I cut a 22×30″ piece of fabric and then I cut this in half to make two 22×15″ pieces. These will end up overlapping to create an envelope type of pillow cover.

Step 6: Sew hems along one side of each of the back pieces


Step 7: Sew the two backside pieces to the left and right side of the front piece

It’s hard to see in this photo, but I laid my three pieces out on the floor, with the wrong sides of the fabric facing out. I sewed the sides together along the left and right sides.

Step 8: Sew across the top and bottom

I pinned this part before sewing so that my pieces would all stay together and get sewn together properly.

Step 9: Turn the pillow cover inside out and press your seams with an iron


Step 10: Sew a border on the pillow cover to create the flanges

My pillow cover measured 21×21″, so I sewed a seam 1.5″ from the edge all the way around. This left me with the desired 18×18″ cover with a 1.5″ flange.

Step 11: Stuff your pillows!


Here is the backside of one of the pillows.


Now our window seat looks a little more comfortable, and I kept costs down to $4.37 per pillow!

Maybe my next project will be to replace those dirty beige curtains left behind by the last tenant with something more fun…


One other small change to go with the new apartment – I got a new desk!

Remember this project from last year?


I loved this desk, but it was too small to really do any work on. I could barely fit my sewing machine on it! So I ended up selling it for $75.00 (that’s right, the desk I paid $0.00 for) and I put that money toward this new beauty:


Now I have a beautiful new workspace with plenty of room for fun projects!

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