ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make Throw Pillows for Your Home

Updated on July 3, 2017
LiteraryMind profile image

I have acquired a few skills along the way. If I am able to help someone else with these skills, I am more than happy to share.

Crazy Quilt Throw Pillows
Crazy Quilt Throw Pillows | Source

An Easy Way to Make Accent Pillows

I had a crazy quilt that I loved but it was getting old, so old that I was afraid to wash it again as it would disintegrate. Still I couldn't part with it. I came up with the idea of cutting up the crazy quilt and using only the good parts to make throw pillows for my home. (Shown in the adjacent photo). It was so easy and fun to do.

Tucked away in drawer, I found a beautiful vintage handkerchief. I made a pillow out of that too.

Think of all the beautiful items you have around the house where the fabric is torn or ripped. Maybe the items became stained or faded in the sun. Chances are there are still parts of the fabric with enough usable yardage to make a throw pillow.

The instructions that follow, for both the quilt and handkerchief pillow are simple enough that anyone make one easily. It's better if you have a sewing machine, but okay if you don't. It will just take a little longer to do by hand sewing.

To make the patchwork throw pillow a few simple items are needed

I am using the word "patchwork", but really any kind of decorative fabric will do.

  • Fabric for the front and back of the pillow.
  • A needle and thread
  • Good scissors for cutting fabric
  • Soft stuffing material
  • A yardstick or ruler
  • Straight pins (common pins)

So easy to make a throw pillow - Use this template for either style pillow

template for throw pillow
template for throw pillow | Source
Crazy Quilt Throw Pillows
Crazy Quilt Throw Pillows | Source

In my case, I reused a crazy quilt for the fabric. I looked for the places it wasn't worn and cut along the pattern lines, which were all square or rectangular. I purchased fabric for the back of the cushion that I felt was suitable for a crazy quilt and cut it to match the front.

I made several pillows and as each shape was going to be irregular, I opted to make a pillow stuffed with filling rather than using a foam form.

Instructions

  1. Measure and cut two pieces of fabric into the size you want.
  2. Put the fabric with right sides together. And sew on a sewing machine along the lines 3/4 inch from the edges. Leaving an opening at the bottom wide enough to fit your hand into. (as shown in the template above).
  3. When sewing is complete turn fabric right side out. Start stuffing the cushion. Start first by getting the stuffing into the two upper corners so you will have a nice solid fill.
  4. When cushion is at it's desired fullness, fold in the 1/2 edge at the opening, pin and hand sew -- and over cast stitch is a good choice.
Cast your vote for Printable Throw Pillow Instructions
pillow with clipped corners
pillow with clipped corners | Source

Advanced Hint - After sewing

If you would like to make your pillow look even better

To give a professional look to your cushions, carefully clip the corners at an angle -- just a little. Just to get the tip of the corner off, so the corners don't look lumpy. Make sure to leave enough room so your stitches don't unravel.

Then press all the seams open. This will make for a flatter finish when you turn the fabric right side out.


Vintage Handkerchief Throw Pillow

Handkerchief Throw Pillow
Handkerchief Throw Pillow | Source

These are the instructions for how make a decorative pillow for your home decorated with a vintage handkerchief.

This is easy to make and is a great way to display your often tucked away vintage hankies. So many vintage handkerchiefs are beautifully designed and/or embroidered and should be displayed.

The finished pillow makes a great frilly accent for a little girls rooms, or a girly girl adult's room. It will fit in wonderfully with any traditional decorating theme as well as a shabby chic theme.

My handkerchief is very sheer and a light pale blue color with little embroidered red roses. While my handkerchief has a symmetrical design, many just have a design in one corner. I believe these could work just as well. Or make the pillow with a design in one corner and when you set it up, turn it on a corner and use it as a diamond shaped pillow rather than a square.

For my fabric, I selected a polished cotton with a white background and fine blue pin stripes. I used the same fabric on both the front and back.

What you will need to make a handkerchief pillow

Some of the items are marked "optional". You may want to decorate your pillow your way and choose your own trimmings.

  • Fabric for the front and back of the pillow.

    If you want to make an 18 X 18 inch pillow you will need a 1/2 yard (18 inches) of 36 inch wide fabric. Of course, if you want to make a smaller pillow, this is also an adequate amount of fabric.

  • Needle and thread
  • A vintage handkerchief
  • Good pair of cutting shears
  • A yardstick or ruler
  • A pillow form in the size pillow you wish to make
  • Snaps (optional)
  • 4 Buttons (optional). I used buttons as trim. You may leave them off or use something else.
  • 2 yards of lace (optional)

Handkerchief Throw Pillow
Handkerchief Throw Pillow | Source

Printable Instructions For Handkerchief Throw Pillow - Option for making the cover removable for washing

There are 2 different options for finishing off your pillow. The first, you just sew the pillowcase shut. The second method, you put snaps on the opening to make the pillow case removable for washing.

Given the delicate nature of most vintage handkerchiefs, as well as the light color, I chose to make my cover removable for hand washing.

Instructions

  1. Measure and cut two pieces of fabric into the size you want for the throw pillow. (The same size as your pillow form).
  2. Put the fabric with right sides together. And sew on a sewing machine along the lines 3/4 inch from the edges. Leaving an opening at the bottom wide enough to fit your hand into. (as shown in the template above).
  3. When sewing is complete turn fabric right side out. Take the pillow form and fold and maneuver it in the opening. Play with it to get the corners of the pillow into the corner of the napkin pillow case. Even though the fabric has been sewn 3/4 inch narrower all around, the pillow form of the same size will fit. It will not only fit, it will make for a really well stuffed pillow.
  4. Options for finishing:
  5. 1. Fold in the 1/2 edge at the opening, pin and hand sew -- and over cast stitch is a good choice.
  6. OR
  7. 2. Fold in the 1/2 edge and sew snaps to either side of the opening (about 3 will do). This will make the pillowcase removable.
  8. Vintage Handkerchief Throw Pillow © 2012 LiteraryMind. All rights reserved

Finishing your handkerchief pillow

I carefully tacked (sewing stitch) a vintage handkerchief it to the top fabric without going through to the pillow form. I hand stitched lace around the edges of the handkerchief. Then, I sewed 4 vintage buttons to the corners of the handkerchief.

Pick whatever you like to finish yours.

If you don't have a sewing machine, you can still make both of these pillows using hand sewing techniques. Of course, it will take a little longer.

You could use a very small running stitch around the edge or a back stitch for extra strength.


How to Make Throw Pillows For Your Home by Ellen Gregory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Glad you stopped by, you don't need to be a member of Hubpages to comment.

© 2012 Ellen Gregory

Comments?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      What a great way to redo your old pillows.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      This was a helpful reminder. I was just thinking about making some pillows. I'm like you on hating to get rid of tattered quilts. They are great to reuse for smaller projects.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 4 years ago

      This is a wonderful idea, thanks for sharing it.

      Happy Labor Day to you, Squidoo friend! I hope you're having a great day.

    • profile image

      Elastara 4 years ago

      Sound like a great idea!

      Nice lens!

    • profile image

      seosmm 4 years ago

      Very interesting and nice lens!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      Wonderful idea!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      This sounds like such a nice idea.