Does anyone else cringe at the high prices of throw pillows? Maybe it’s just me but I have a really hard time justifying the high prices of certain household goods, particularly the ones that are just for show. Now, don’t get me wrong…I love making homes look beautiful. Much of my life has been devoted to educating myself on interior design and implemented that in peoples’ homes…so I can really justify a lot when it comes to that…but for certain things, e.g. throw pillow covers, that really just act as some jewelry for your sofa, it’s hard for me to swallow the high price-tags.
(On a side note…can we also talk about garbage cans?? Buying a decent garbage can for my kitchen literally pains me. I put garbage in you. You get stinky, smelly and gross. Why are you so expensive?!)
But, I digress…back to pillow covers. I’ve been looking around for quite some time now for new living room throw pillows. (I’ve still been using our Christmas ones. Don’t judge.) It’s been so hard for me to find anything that I even kind of like for a price that I can even partially justify, so in the meantime, I’ve looked for an inexpensive alternative until I find something that works for me. Unfortunately I am not the most skilled seamstress, and while I can sew a mean button on when in a bind, I definitely don’t have the goods to whip out some fancy pillow covers..so my options were limited. After doing some thinking, I came up with a way to make some DIY no-sew pillow covers on the cheap that will tide me over until I find the right ones at the right price.
I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and bought a couple yards of fabric that I thought would look nice. Since these are only temporary pillow cases (and because I wanted to keep costs down) I went with the classic cotton fabrics but if you wanted a higher quality more permanent pillow cover, there are some beautiful Home Decor fabrics to choose from that will give you a thicker, more durable cover. But, for my purposes, the less expensive cotton fabric would work just fine.
I have been saving some old throw pillows sans covers just for this reason (we had a few left over from old bedding and I even had some leftover from my childhood room. Even though I knew the old pillow covers wouldn’t work for me, I was more interesting on what was inside so they’ve been living in a storage closet for the last several months.)
Using a T-square and a white colored pencil, I measured out 3 different rectangles depending on the size of the pillow insert. For this one, I had at 18″ x 18″ insert so I cut one 19″ x 19″ square and two 19″ x 14″ rectangles from my material.
(Try to avert your eyes from the wrinkles. I wasn’t sure how this first pillow was going to go…it was truly a blind experiment at its best, so I wasn’t trying to be perfect in case things went terribly wrong, because let’s face it… the chances of that were high! I would, however, suggest you iron your fabric panels before you construct the covers and avoid the wrinkles.)
The large square panel would be acting as the front portion of the pillow. This should be cut to fit the size of your insert plus an inch or so on each side to account for the space where you will be gluing. The smaller rectangles will be the back panels that will overlap to create a sort of envelope where you can stuff in the pillow. You want to make these larger than just half of the front panel though, so that they can overlap each other while covering the pillow insert. Then, glue the outer edges of each of the panels together (make sure the side of the fabric you want to be showing as your pillow cover is facing the inside. Once your glue is dry, you will be turning the fabric inside-out to create the pillow cover, so all patterns or finished “pretty” sides of the fabric should be hidden until the final flip of the fabric. Does that make sense?)
The glue says to allow 30 minutes to dry but I would suggest waiting overnight since you will really be pulling at the fabric when you stuff the inserts inside. I’m really bad at waiting so the first pillow came unglued a bit at the seems after only 30 minutes so I forced myself to wait longer with the others. After a good waiting time, the glue really held well. I was surprised at the
hulk like force I could pull at the seams without it coming apart.
Once all was said and done, I had 5 pretty nice pillow covers that cost me about $15, no sewing required, that will satisfy my need for sofa jewelry until I find the right ones at the right price. They aren’t perfect by any means and a skilled seamstress would probably shake her head in dismay at my use of fabric glue but they certainly get the job done at the right price for the time being.
Have you substituted sewing for fabric glue in any projects lately?