Thursday, September 5, 2013

DIY Couch Pillows & Covers [the frugal way]

couch pillow title page
I’ve been wanting new couch pillows for awhile now. I’ve scoured Ikea. (I didn’t like the prints. I didn't like the way all the pillows looked deflated.) I’ve priced new pillows at Target. (Too expensive. Too common.)

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I almost decided to print my own fabric. You know, freezer paper numbers or some toilet paper tube circles.  But I was afraid the pillows would look too homemade.
So I finally settled on some *bright* fabrics. I mixed prints. And I stashed the old pillows in my basement…just in case this is just pregnancy hormones talking and I didn’t really mean to make my living room couch so bold.
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So how are these frugal? My secret is that I didn’t spend any money on pillow forms. I’ve saved old bedroom pillows that get too worn out for my husband and I with the intent of reusing them. I’ll show you how I cut them down, added stuffing to plump them up, and sewed them into pillow forms!
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Then I’ll show you a brief, easy envelope pillow cover tutorial to cover up the old bedroom pillows.
Start with your old, worn-out bedroom pillows.

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I originally got the idea of DIY-ing a pillow insert from this site. But of course, I used ‘cast off’ pillows I had on hand instead of buying new ones…my husband and I bought cheap bed pillows and they got flat pretty fast. So to make a standard size bed pillow into a large couch pillow form, you’ll just need to make one cut and one seam.

Measure it in the width direction. (Mine was about 17 12”).

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Then measure the length and add about 1” for extra stuffing and a seam. Cut there. Take any extra stuffing to stuff into the large end to make the form extra puffy.
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Next, just sew up the opening. You won’t see it once you make your simple pillow cover, so I just used my machine.
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And I put wrong sides together. No need to hide that seam.
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You can add any extra stuffing at this point just before sewing up the final corner. Backstitch a few times.
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To make the pillow cover, cut a square of fabric for the front. Make it 1” larger both width-and length- wise than your pillow form is to account for seam allowance.

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Next, you will cut two pieces for the back. You’ll want them to overlap (after hemming) to keep the pillow form completely covered. I made sure mine overlapped about 6” after hemming since my pillows were pretty puffy. So my pillow form was about 21” high and my total (post-hemming) back was 27” long with the 6” overlap.
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Place right sides together. Place the outer back piece on first and then stack the inner back piece on second. That way when you flip it right sides out, it will be in the correct order.
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Then pin in place, stitch around the perimeter. I also zig-zagged the edges to prevent fraying. Make sure you use something (a pen, pencil or your scissors) to push the corners out nice and sharply. Press it flat and stuff your pillow form inside!

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I’ve been busy with some other projects, too. I really loved making these pillows for our couch. My boys love them (if only I could get them to leave them on the couch!) My husband is not a pillow fanatic, but they haven’t been banished yet.

Places I have linked:
Or So She SaysTrain to CrazyTater tots & Jello Merry Messy Life, Sugar Bee CraftsReasons to Skip the Housework,  The 36th Avenue, House of HepworthsSomeday CraftsSouthern Lovely504 Main,Serenity Now,  Fingerprints on the FridgeI heart NapTime, Classy ClutterA Glimpse Inside, Somewhat SimpleGingerly MadeSerenity NowToday's Creative BlogThe Winthrop ChroniclesHome Stories A to ZCraftyScrappyHappySix Sisters StuffOr so she says...Not just a Housewife


  1. What a great idea to use old pillows - would never have thought of that!!!
    And love your new pillows - beautiful job!

  2. I need couch pillows SO bad! What a great tutorial. We'd love to have you share your post at our weekly Saturday Link Party at Happy Weekend! Debbie

  3. Love the bright, bold colors ... and great idea to use old pillows instead of buying new pillow forms!

  4. Nice Information! I personally really appreciate your article. This is a great website. I will make sure that I stop back again!.
    ikat fabrics by the yard


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