So pillows. We all love them and use them. We like them for comfort, we like them for decoration, we like them to add pops of color on our neutral colored couches. The more the merrier really…except for one little problem.
Throw pillows are freakin expensive.
Not like Rolex and Mercedes expensive, but even cheap pillows are $20-$30 a pop. I’ve seen plenty a pillow go for well over a hundred bucks and that is insane….especially in my house where they are just going to get peanut butter and boogers wiped all over them.
Well I have a solution. A looong time ago I showed you how to make your own envelope closure pillow, but this tutorial makes that one look like a rubix cube. Did you know you can make one in about 10 minutes, without a showing machine, for under $5? Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? It’s not…please allow me to blow your mind.
It all starts with a placemat (or two). I found these beauties at World Market for about $4 a pop.
The key is to get a placemat that has two layers…not all placemats have this, but many do. The layers will be sewn together all beautifully on about 90% of the border, but there will be one little section where you can see the stitching. All you do is open that up with a seam ripper (or whatever you have that works, I may or may not have used a steak knife before).
Then you stuff it. You can buy pillow stuffing at craft stores, the bag below was $1.50 at Hobby Lobby (it was on sale for 50% off) and I used one bag for two placemat pillows.
Then just stitch up the hole and BAM, you have a beautiful pillow that looks like it cost you way more than four dollars and change.
That’s it! I have never before and may never again do a tutorial that is so easy. Now if you’re anything like me (and I’m assuming you are since you’re here) you will be double checking placemats for double layerness everywhere you go. It’s okay, embrace it.
I’m far from done with this post though, this is actually an update on my lonely built-in bench.
It needs a lot of pillows, so a lot of pillows it will get.
So, next up we have napkin pillows. These are just cheap single layer napkins, they are pretty much just a square of raw fabric except that the edges are already hemmed.
If you want a large pillow you can just sew them together, I wanted smaller lumbar pillows so I sewed then in half (all but one short edge), stuffed them, and sewed then closed.
My pillows are going outside, so a gave them a few good coats of waterproofing fabric protector. I cannot vouch for how well this stuff actually works, but I had it lying around so I figured what the heck.
Lastly we have dropcloth pillows (made with leftovers from this project). These are NOT ten minute pillows because there is nothing “premade” about them…but fear not, they are still simple and totally doable. To make these I followed my own envelope closure tutorial. I’m not going to give you another full tutorial, so if you want to know your going to have to click on the link above (after you finish reading this post of course).
I thought big bold stripes would look nice paired with the above pattern, so I grabbed some masking tape and spray paint and went to town. This was my first time spray painting fabric and I have to tell you, it works really really well. I got really crisp lines…no bleeding, no smearing, dries fast, looks great. It’s also cheap, easy and quick. I’m pretty sure I’ll be painting more fabric in my future.
Since these pillows were getting an envelope closure they can’t just be stuffed, they need a pillow form. Do you know how much they want for a large pillow form at Hobby Lobby? Almost twelve bucks! Ummm, NO….so I made my own for about $1.50 a piece.
I painted a few more dropcloth pillows and tried to copy some of the elements in the placemat design.
Here they are adding some life to my bench! For all eight of them (including the two napkin ones not pictured) I spent right around twenty bucks. Not too shabby.
We are making progress!
In fact, the only real similarity in the pictures above is that they both include a pantsless toddler. Go ahead, I’ll wait.