The artist in me is always itching to get crafty. So, when the decorative pillows I was eyeing costs a hefty $58 each, I decided to design and hand make my own. This way, not only will you be able to save a ton of money, you can get a custom look with the pattern and fabric you choose. The material cost of this project was about $50 and I was able to make 4 decorative pillows AND use the extra fabric to make 4 matching dining chair seat cushions.
I know there are a lot of people who do not own a sewing machine or know how to sew. This project actually involves zero sewing. Also since we are making these pillow covers with a Velcro opening, they can be easily removed for wash or to change to a different cover. Here are the supplies you need:
2 yards of fabric (yields about 4 pillows)
Unique Stitch or Liquid Stitch fabric adhesive (get the large tube, you will need it!)
sticky back Velcro for fabrics (2 packs of 2ft Velcros for 4 pillows)
4 existing pillow you would like to cover
All of these can be bought from your local Joann’s Fabric store. Don’t forget to use their 40% coupon to save!
For the fabrics, I got fancy and bought two different colors/patterns to make pillows with two contrasting sides. But if you like to keep it simple, you can make both sides of the pillow the same color/pattern using the same fabric.
STEP 1: Cut your fabric. Take your existing pillow that you would like to cover and place it over your fabric to measure. Measure out approximately 1.5-2 inch from the edge of the pillow. Once you have one piece cut, you can use it as a template guide to cut all your squares. For 4 pillows you will need 8 squares.
STEP 2: Measure and cut your cord trim. With the patterned side (the side you want as the exterior of the pillow) facing up, you are going to lay down your trim about 1/2″ to 1″ from the edge of the fabric. The corded part should be faced in and the hem should be faced out. As you lay your cord now, a the corners, cut the hem with 3 slits to help you turn the corner smoothly (see image for reference). Once you have the cord laid down, you are ready to glue it down.
STEP 3: Attach your cord trim. Using your fabric glue, apply adhesive close to the edge of the cord. Imagine this as your stitch line if you were to sew this. Once you apply it on each of the four sides, press it down firmly onto the fabric the same way you had planned in your layout. Run your fingers back and forth at each of the glue edge to make a firm attachment. You can also use some clothespins or clips and clamp it down to ensure a firm attachment. Remember that whatever inside of the cord edge is now going to be the outside of your pillow case, so don’t get any glue on the fabric pass that line! Let it dry for 15-30 minutes. Work on another pillow as you wait or go do something else productive.
STEP 4: Attach the other side of the pillow. After the cord is dry and you have confirmed the stitch is firm, you can apply the fabric glue on top of the cord hem to attach the top fabric. Put the adhesive as close to the edge of the cord as possible. Again, imagine this as your stitch line. Apply the glue to only 3 sides of the cord leaving one side open. You will be using the open side to insert your pillow. With the pattern side down you will place the other piece of fabric on top of the glue, matching all the edges up. Then, press down on the edges where you have applied the glue. Use clips or clothespins to clamp down the holds while it dry. Allow another 15-30 mins to dry.
STEP 5: This is my favorite part. Once your adhesive is dry, it is time to seep what you’ve sowed. Reach in from the open edge and turn the pillow cover inside out. Voila! This is now your almost-ready pillow case. Isn’t it beautiful? If you see any open hems, you can go back now with the glue and fix it. Simply apply the glue and then clip it down with a clamp or clothespin.
STEP 6: Get your Velcro now and measure and cut according to the last open edge. You will line that entire edge with the Velcro. Remove the plastic film and apply one side of the Velcro adhesive down to the inner side of the cover as close to the inner edge of the cord trim as possible. Press down. Apply the other Velcro to the top edge of the cover and press down.
STEP 7: Insert your existing pillow into the pillow cover and close the Velcro edge. Your decorative pillow is now complete!