DIY Fast and easy Pillow tutorial

Pillows are sew easy to make. Plus, it is the one time I think sewing is cheaper. When I bought my new chairs they had these super cute grey wool pillows in the chairs which cost over one hundred dollars. Each. The chairs were only a bit more than twice that. Yikes! I kept that idea in my head and finally made them. Cause I am an all around nice gal, I will show you how I saved about 200.00 dollars! Here is my DIY Fast and easy Pillow tutorial.

First you need a pillow form, or in my case two. I picked them up last time I was power fabric shopping. I had gotten some nubby, heavy, fabulous grey cotton when I was in Portland. The letters I had pillow re 1leftover from my Fabric alphabet project. But you'll need more than that. How about a supply list?


  1. 1/2 yard fabric per pillow(16" by 20" pillows)
  2. pillow form
  3. letters for words you want to spell
  4. wonder under scraps to attach letters
  5. scraps of fabric for letters
  6. thread for attaching letters and sewing pillow

pillow re 2To begin cut out the pillow front. My form was 16" by 20" so I cut out 16.5" by 20.5" of grey fabric for each pillow.

Then I decided what words I wanted and cut out the letters. I had originally wanted BEHAVE but it didn't fit right.

I ironed the wonder under on the scrap of turquoise fabric I planned to use for the letters.pillow re 3

I then laid them out backwards on the wonder under, traced them and cut them out.

See that bit of extra at the bottom? I was glad I had it as I actually traced the "d" as a "b" so I had to redo it!

pillow re 4Use a pin to scratch a line in the wonder under and gently peel it off, leaving the adhesive behind.

Repeat for all the letters. pillow re 5

If the paper starts to peel off prematurely, you can press it again.

If the adhesive is a tiny bit messed up that's fine. It is just going to keep the letters in place while you sew them onto the pillow.

pillow re 6Cut them all out.

Arrange them adhesive side down on your pillow top. I would do this on the ironing board itself. pillow re 7

Use a damp pressing cloth, yes mine is baseball fabric. Press over the letters. They will stick pretty nicely.

Just be sure you don't budge them from where you wanted them.

If you do, peel those suckers up and try again!

pillow re 8Now you need the color thread that matches the letters. I always use Aurifil Mako 50 wt.

You can zig zag them on or use the blanket stitch. I used the blanket stitch as these pillows won't be thrown around or used roughly. Nothing will take off a zig zagged letter but blanket stitch looks better.pillow re 9 Sew around the outside of each letter slowly.

Now you need the backs.

The width will be the same, 20.5". But the height will be 10" as you want the two back pieces to overlap. If your forms are different size than mine, cut the width the same as the front but the height about 3/4 of the front. You are cutting TWO backs.

I make the overlapping flap pillows but if you want a zipper, go for it!

pillow re 9 You will have two pieces for each back.

Each piece needs to be finished on top.

Switch the thread in the machine to match the main fabric. pillow re 10

Iron the tops twice about .25" each time. You are encasing the raw fabric top.

Pin it.

Sew the top folded piece down on each back piece.

pillow re 11Place the right sides together of the pillow top and a pillow back piece.

The right side is the side where the letters are and where you don't see the folded fabric, just the sewing line.

You are going to layer another back piece on top of this first one. pillow re 12

Pin it all together.

Make sure you pin where the fabric edges are so they don't flap down while you are sewing.

You can see where I have one pillow top all pinned and the other one waiting to be  pinned.

This actually reads slower than it sews.

pillow re 13Sew each pillow top to the bottoms.

Feel as you go so the bottoms stay in place.

When they are all sewn together, clip the corners across diagonally. This will reduce bulk and make your corners flat.

Turn the case inside out and smooth out the corners with a purple thang. pillow re 14

Place the pillow form inside each case.

You might have to fluff them to get it to fit right.

I have even smacked the pillows around!

And there you go, two hundred dollar pillows for about 20.00 bucks!

And they look great on my chairs, I just adore them.

pillow re 15pillow re 16








Sew happy!

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I also made a quilt to put on these chairs, there are four of them. Check out part one or part two of that quilt.

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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