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How to Make Throw Pillows From Dinner Napkins

Updated on August 29, 2018
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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.

Throw Pillow Made From Dinner Napkins


An Easy Way to Make a Great Accent Pillow

I am going to show you how to make throw pillows from dinner napkins. Actually the same method can be used to make a decorative pillow from any standard size item you have in your house, it doesn't necessarily have to be a dinner napkin. You could use a bandana or a scarf if the material is sturdy enough. Use your imagination.

This makes a great throw pillow for a couch or a nice little decorative pillow for a bed or chair.

For this pillow a different sewing method is used than in my instructions for making pillows out of vintage crazy quilts and fabrics..

This cushion is a great way to use your beautiful old antimacassars.

My hand crocheted doily was once an antimacassar used for the back of a chair. Smaller ones were used on the arms. They preserved the upholstery.

What You Need to Make a Pillow From Dinner Napkins

  • 2 square cloth dinner napkins (12 X 12 inches) to (20 X 20 inches) Pick what ever size you want.
  • A needle and thread. You are going to be top stitching for this pillow cover, so the stitching and thread will show. You can either choose a matching thread or a contrasting one.
  • A pillow form in the size of the napkins you are using. (Example: If you are using 14 X 14 inch napkins, use a 14 X 14 inch pillow form).
  • Straight pins (common pins)
  • Square crocheted doilies or antimacassars ...........or any other decorative trim you prefer.

If You Do Not Have a Sewing Machine - A Strong Hand Stitch Will Do

If you don't have a sewing machine you can still make this cushion. It will just take a little longer.

Use any hand stitching method to stitch around the edge. Make it a strong stitch that will hold and not pop under the pressure of the pillow form being placed inside the sewn edges. A back stitch is a strong one to use although it's a little time consuming. Also, the smaller and closer together you make your stitches, the stronger they will be.

The advantage to using napkins is the edges are already finished. You don't need to worry about the fabric unraveling. All you need to do is sew them together.

When shopping for the napkins for the pillow pictured above, I had in mind something that I could trim with the vintage crocheted doily (antimacassar) that I already owned.

For your throw pillow, you can use any color and pattern of napkins. The beauty of using napkins is that the edges are already finished off professionally.

Fortunately, there are so many different napkins to choose from and you can often find them as mark downs.

Napkin Throw Pillow Diagram

Napkin throw pillow template
Napkin throw pillow template | Source
Napkin Throw Pillow
Napkin Throw Pillow | Source

I got lucky and found two napkins with fringed edges in a consignment shop for fifty cents apiece. They were exactly the color I wanted in order to use the trims (crocheted doily that I had in mind).


  1. Pin the two napkins together with the right sides out. Sew the edges together about 1/2 inch in from the fringe if using a fringed napkin. On a napkin without fringe just sew 1/2 inch in from the finished edge. You are going to be top stitching here, meaning the stitches will show, so be neat. In either case, leave an opening on the bottom.
  2. 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 pillowcase. Even though the napkins have been sewn 1/2 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.
  3. Push the form up, and pin the opening closed and sew the opening 1/2 inch from the edge. Match it up with where you left your stitching off before.
Cast your vote for Directions for making a napkin pillow with a pillow form

Finishing your accent pillow

I used a vintage crocheted doily. I carefully tacked (sewing stitch) it to the top napkin without going through to the pillow form. Then I sewed 4 vintage buttons to the doily.

Pick whatever you like to finish yours.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Ellen Gregory


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