How to sew a pillow (room makeover)

In my opinion, sewing a pillow is the  easiest thing you can sew (pillow case skirt is #2).  As long as you can sew a straight line, you’re good to go. I don’t even measure! And I certainly don’t use zippers. The room makeover was spontaneous and happened in one weekend. With the Traget inspiration pillow in hand, I went to Joanns on a hunt for fabric. I bought one yard of the orange and yellow circle and half a yard of both the plain yellow and turquoise corduroy.

How to sew a pillow

This is me trying to decide what exaclty I want to do with my fabric…

How to sew a pillow

Yep!  That’s a pillow stuffed in a tank top. (Never hurts to try!)

How to sew a pillow

Here is the original pillow situation. I love the bugs, but they aren’t working on the dark grey futon. I reused the pillow inserts to make some fancy new pillows. I think that is why I kept throwing the brown blanket over the sofa or maybe we just really miss the brown couch we had to makeover


Here is a closeup of the Target inspiration pillow and the $15 of fabric I bought at Joann’s.

How to sew a pillow

I knew I wanted to re-use all of my old couch pillows. All of the pillows actually had zippered covers, and I just slid the pillows at of the coveres, folded the pillow covers up and stuck back in the closet. Andy calls these feather pillows the porcupines. The feathers stick out and poke your head. It’s not nice. I decided if I’m going to take the time to recover the pillows, I am at least going to cure the pokey problem. I used an old towel and an old t-shirt. I literally just cut out 2 matching squares about 1 inch smaller than the size of the pillow. I sewed up 3 and 1/4 sides and then stuffed the pillow in the cover. I hand stitched the pillow close. You can clearly see the porcupine needles in the un covered pillow…

How to sew a pillow

I did the same thing, but with a t-shirt to the second pillow.

How to sew a pillow

It just so happend that the 1/2 yard of courdoroy fit my 2 existing green pillows perfectly. I cut 4 rectangles exactly the same size and ironed the fabric. Placde the right sides together and sewed up 3 and 1/2 of the sides. I like to make sure my sweing machine gets all 4 corners. Turn the fabric right side out, stuff the pillow insert inside, and hand stich it up!

How to sew a pillow


I did the same thing for the 2 yellow/ orange patterned pillows. I used the plain yellow fabric for the back and the fancy fabric for the front.  I found it is way easier to hand stitch the sides if you pin the opening shut first. How to sew a pillow

I decided to embellish the hand stitching on the terquoise courdaroy with yellow thread. I like it.

How to sew a pillow

The 5th pillow used to be on my bed, but we never actually put decorative pillows on our bed… so I decided to put this one to good use. I was trying to save the fancy patterned fabric, but this was all that was left of the yellow so I attached a teeny bit of fancy to the yellow. Patchwork is A-OK in my book! How to sew a pillow

I did a little embroidery to jazz up the plain yellow pillow. Kind of reminds me off the blog : )

How to sew a pillow


Let’s see the before one more time…

How to sew a pillow

And the pillow makeover…

How to sew a pillow

And that’s that for the pillow saga. It took about 3 hours to make 5 pillows. The most time consuming part is hand stitching, but is ceratinly not hard. Do you ever make your own pillows? Do you make them fancier than me? Have you ever tried to stuff a pillow in a tank top? How do you feel about feather pillows? Good, bad, annoying?  I’d love to hear…



  1. Love your new pillows! They look like the good ones in the store that are priced $30+. I have no idea how to sew, but I’m great with drawing straight lines. I may have to pull out my never-been-used sewing machine and give this a whirl.

  2. I never quite managed to figure out those pillow inserts. It seems difficult to make a cover that will fit exactly right (plus, you have no control over the size and firmness). I just sew both sides together and stuff the cushion with poly stuffing, or leftover quilt batting cut into tiny pieces. This is probably not the best way of doing it but it’s cheap and so far been perfectly adequate.

  3. Your pillows turned out so cute! One of my favorite things to use when making pillows is 1/4″ Steam-A-Seam 2 Double Stick Fusible Web (I buy mine at Joanns). It temporarily sticks 2 sides together when applied, so it makes sewing up your pillows at the end so much easier, and no pins to stick you!

  4. Wow! This is so weird! I just found your blog after I was just sewing some pillows of my own! I love the ideas you had about fixing the pokey problem with the down pillows. I personally hate the pokiness of them too but my fiance doesn’t mind them and actually prefers sleeping on one! Craziness. The pillows I made today were made out of old graphic tees that I never wear. Turned out cute. But I love yours a lot! (:

  5. oooh that towel idea is brilliant! these turned out great. I hope you’ll be adding this to my What We Wore, Read and Made Wednesday Link Party



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