I was not kidding last week when I said I made a dozen pillow covers in under an hour. This is what my pile of pillows looked like when I finished sewing, serging, and stuffing.
After tossing them all in a big heap, I stacked them neatly while I finish some other work in the game room. Yes, I made stacks of pillows in under an hour! It is seriously one of the most gratifying DIY projects you can do for your home decor.
I wanted to take pictures of the finished pillows, but the game room isn’t quite ready yet. I staged this little area to photograph my new stash of pillows. If you are counting, you’ll notice there are only 10 here. These are all for the game room. The other two covers I made, including the second one shown in the video) are for the living room.
I made a dozen decorative pillows for about $150. That is just over $10 per pillow, and I used designer fabrics. The trick to inexpensive decorative pillows is knowing how much fabric to buy, finding cheap feather down inserts, and sewing the pillow covers yourself.
By the way, I apologize if you see any wrinkles or creases in my pillow covers. If you watched the video tutorial, you probably figured out I have an ironing phobia. Seriously, life is too short for ironing!
The best part of making your own pillow covers, unlike so many other DIY projects, is it DOES NOT take a lot of time. Time vs. cost is an important factor in deciding whether to DIY or Buy. Many times your time is more valuable and you would rather buy than take the time to DIY. Making your own pillow covers is one of those rare DIY projects that actually takes less time to make than it would to go out and buy.
Before I go, I want to give you a little sneak peek at what I’ve got in the works for the game room.
I am building a wrap around built-in bench for the game table. It is coming along nicely, but I still have a bit of building to do, foam to buy, and fabric to staple. Hopefully I can transform these 2×4 and plywood frames into posh seating. If anyone has tips on buying 4″ foam without going broke, I am all ears. I need about 12 feet of foam. The retail price for a 24″ wide, 6′ piece appears to be $199…gulp!
P.S. I know some of you are eyeing that gorgeous bamboo wall. I promise I will share details soon. We are still finishing the trim around it and working on the rest of that room. More to come!
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Love your pillow tips and tutorials, Jackie.
I always hear our local Army Surplus mentioned as a place to buy cheaper foam. :)
Noel M says
I could use the advice on the foam savings too! My plan was to buy smaller pieces from Joanne’s and Hobby Lobby when I have 50% off coupons and just use a little spray adhesive to give them a little grab when I assemble. I plan to cover them with batting anyway, so I’m not worried about it losing shape.
I hear you Noel. I want my benches to be nice, but the whole reason I built them myself was to save $…only to discover the price of the foam. Hopefully someone will help us out in the comments. In the past I have layered 2″ pieces of foam to create a 4″ piece, but it was for a narrow bench that required me to cut the foam in half lengthwise anyway. For these benches which will require the full width of the foam, I don’t think layering thinner foam will save me any $.
LOVE the pillows. You should sell them on Etsy. Some of us (ME) can’t sew a straight line. LOL The tutorial was fab. TFS!
Thanks, Patrina. I actually used to sell pillows and other decor years ago. It wasn’t the right business for me, but there are so many other great Etsy sellers to purchase pillow covers from!
Megan Rockey says
I LOVE the fabrics! Where did you get them?
All the fabrics shown here are from Sew Fine Fabrics on Etsy. They carry full yard, half yard, and fat quarter cuts.
Love the fabrics you chose for your pillows. I’m designing a living room/dining room for a co-worker and am hoping to use your pillow cover technique so that I can just cover her existing pillows. We’ll see if she agrees to it.
Lisa, That is a great idea. If the pillows are in good shape, recovering them will be a huge money saver!
I definitely utilize the technique of using an expensive front fabric and not-so-expensive back fabric if you need to. I found this beautiful fabric as an inspiration for my living room, but at some $50+ a yard, I was very hesitant. But then I found a company that sent out large samples of that fabric for $10. I figured it was worth a shot to see what size they would send, and sure enough it was plenty big and square enough to make a 18/20 inch pillow front (with a coordinating print on the back w/ fabric from Joanns).
I really need to hit TjMaxx for some pillow inserts now – thanks for that great idea.
I wonder if your huge metropolitan area has a place like we do in our smaller city. They sell everything at greatly reduced prices. Fabrics are on the roll. Quilt padding is sold in wide widths. They even sell the foam. My friend redid her triple wide swing using foam from them. We have another place like that with the foam in bulk. Both of these places are not in our most high end areas. I just can’t believe the foam is two hundred dollars!!!!! But I’m sure you’ve checked out every distributer in the greater area…hope it can be found though for less than this pricey price! Happy scouring around.
Gwen, I honestly have not done enough looking. You lovely readers are right, I need to find a discount retailer in my area that carries the foam or something similar!
I have used the camping mats in the past. I just purchased them from our local Fred Meyer for $21.99. They are 3″ thick, 30 wide and 72 long. I wrapped them with batting. I’ve also used this for a headboard, though I sliced it to 2″ think. Was a pain, but saved me $70 and I’m all about that! We also have a Foam & Fabric Outlet in the area that sells all types of foam. Still more expensive, but comparable to buying it at a fabric store with one of their 40 or 50 percent off coupons. I’ve also heard of people using baby mattresses. Some of them don’t have springs and just have two layers of foam inside. They no longer needed the mattress, or bought a used one for cheap on craigslist and sliced it open! Good luck!
Deana, Thanks for the tip. I definitely need to do some more research in my area.
[email protected] says
The pillows look great. Am definitely curious to see how the bamboo wall turns out
Krista @thehappyhousie says
I love these pillows! I love making new pillows to, best and fastest way to change up your room (indoor or out). I breathed an enormous sigh of relief when I saw that you did some with white backs. I always do white backs with my patterned fronts and was beginning to think that I was doing something wrong because I rarely see this. But it saves so much money!! And is kind of calm looking with all that graphic pattern. They look stunning!! Can’t wait to see them in place:)
You rock Jackie! These pillows are awesome. Love them! Thought of your pillow inserts yesterday when I was garage saling…Are you doing that? LOVE the bamboo wall. If we replace our wood floors we may go with bamboo.
Lisa R says
Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! I am so excited to make pillows now. I just ordered a sewing machine and the first thing I am going to do is make a bunch of pillows.
I absolutely adore your blog. Love your decorating ideas…love everything. I live in Minnesota too and your blog gives me so much inspiration, especially during our long winters.
Thanks again for being so wonderful.
carol jane says
Wow! Beautiful. Those would easily go for $30 each to buy. Wish I knew how to sew.
Check ikea they have foam mattresses and you might score one from the as is. The sultan florvag is a twin size about 3 7/8″ thick, length 74 3/8″ and width 38 1/4″ it retails for $79.00. See link below
Maybe you can score a cragslist find. You could make smaller foam cushions using coupons at Joann’s fabric. Or for that matter see about getting some from an old couch at goodwill or Craigslist to repurpose.
Jackie, I bought foam from this online retailer: http://www.efoamstore.com/. Their prices were much lower than anything else I could find in my city. Good luck!
Check out http://www.usafoam.com/
I was just looking online and found them. They are in MI.
It was so fun running into you at my garage sale today! What a small world:). For foam, I have purchased these inexpensive mattress toppers in the past: http://www.target.com/p/room-essentials-comfy-foam-mattress-topper/-/A-13427807
You can cut them to size with an electic knife and stack them too!
Good luck. Your benches are looking fantastic already!
Beth, It was so fun meeting you too and taking home that pretty faux bamboo table!
I love your new pillows, they are very pretty! You mentioned you were looking for foam ideas for the benches. When I made my daughter’s window seat I bought memory foam from Ebay with free shipping from a discounted foam retailer. If you research this route just read the Ebay ads carefully from discount sources b/c sometimes (not always) for a 4″ piece they will send you two 2″ pieces, this would be mentioned in ad sometimes not in the title. I bought a California king size and cut with an electric knife. Five years later I’m still happy with the quality of the foam. Best of luck on your search.
Love your color and pattern combos…plan on trying your pillow cover technique very soon! I have a bench to recover as well and was told about the camping foam someone else mentioned. Apparently, you can buy it at Lowes or Home Depot in 3″ thickness for a fraction of the decorator store price. It’s on my to-do list!!!
Ashley Christensen says
I love these darling pillows! I would love it if you would come and link this up at my link party
Dandelion Wishes Wednesday. I’m also pinning this :)
I see that this was posted a few months ago and I’m sure you already purchased your foam… but I have an amazing tip for you. If you purchase foam camping pads from Home Depot or Fred Meyer they are only about $18 each!! Not sure the exact measurements but they are about the size of a camping bag. They work great too!
Thanks, Rebecca. I ended up using a foam mattress from Ikea, but I have some other smaller projects coming up. I will be trying your tip!
The pillows are lovely Jackie. The colors are awesome. Great job.