Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Project: Giving New Life to an Old Pillow

      Thanks for all the kind feedback about my post yesterday - I really appreciated it.  Switching gears entirely, today's topic is pillow-making: my new addiction.  John and I have amassed quite a collection of pillows over the years as we have moved and changed decor.  It feels wasteful to keep buying new throw pillows, especially when I can sew.  So, I decided it was time to recycle some old pillows.  This one is for the craft room, which is in the final stages of being decorated and organized (and will probably be revealed next week).


This project is really simple and will only take about an hour to complete without interruption (which never happens at my house, but I love my little interruptions, so it is okay).  If you can sew a straight line, you can make a box pillow like this one - you could get your own stuffing and fill it up if you don't have a ton of old pillows sitting around.  I started with a pillow that had been in our bedroom in our very first apartment many moons ago.


I ripped the seams of the pillow and took out the stuffing so that I had both separated.


      I cut my fabric to be the same size and shape as the original pillow case.  (sorry, no pic)  I tried to figure out how the original had been sewn and copy it, so that it would match the stuffing that I already had.  I bought an extra curtain panel, because I liked the fabric on it so much, and I wanted it to match the curtains.
      Take the corner and fold it over itself, with the front of the fabric on the inside.  (I did it wrong the first time.)  It will make a point.


Sew a straight line across the fold, about 1 1/2 inches down.  I didn't take a picture, so I decided to show you what I mean.  Repeat this on all four corners of your fabric.


Then, lay your fabric onto your work surface, finding the middle.  Fold the fabric to form a triangle with the point being at the middle.  Then, pull a little more of it over to create a seam allowance in the middle.

Picnik collage

Sew straight across the triangle, about 1 1/2 inches down, just like the other corners.  Hold the seam down so that it is sewn closed.


The left picture shows what it should look like when you are done sewing it.  Do this to both sides of the pillow.  So, at this point, all of your corners should be sewn into little triangles, and both sides should have a triangle sewn across the middles.  Now, it is time to start sewing the sides together.  Gather the seam that you sewed over itself on the side of the pillow - shown in the right image.

Picnik collage

Sew all the way down to the triangle at the other corner, closing the side.  I used a seam allowance of about 1/2 and inch.


Now, it is time to sew up the last side part of the way.  I just started from a little past where the corner was sewn and stitched about 3 inches in from both sides.


Turn the pillow so that it is no longer inside out.  Once I was finished, it left me with a pillow shell ready to be stuffed.

Picnik collage

Which I happily did, and then pinned the rest of it shut, putting the seams on the inside pinched together.

Picnik collage

Then, sew across the pin line, and the pillow will be sealed forever.


I liked the pillow like this, but since the old pillow had been sewn together in the middle, I thought I might give that a try.


So, I picked a spot on the pattern of the fabric that seemed to make sense to me, and I hand sewed it to itself.  I thought this would give it just a little more interest.


And I liked the finished product so much that I made two of them.  (And, I had two of the old pillows to use up!)  If you have any questions about this, please let me know - I would be happy to help you recreate your own pillows.  Now that I realize just how easy it is, I can see it possibly becoming a slight obsession.  I ♥ pillow-making.



Kristin Murdock said...

Great manicure! Also, pretty pillows. I am impressed and intimidated.