How Can I Make My Own Throw Pillows?

Are you tired of the same old throw pillows on your couch? Are you looking to add a personal touch to your home decor? Well, look no further because in this article, we will show you just how easy it is to make your own throw pillows. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner with limited sewing skills, we’ve got you covered. From choosing the fabric to sewing the perfect seams, we will guide you step by step through the process, ensuring that you end up with beautiful, custom-made throw pillows that will instantly transform your living space. So, grab your materials and let’s get started on this exciting project!

Table of Contents

Choosing the Right Fabric

When it comes to making your own throw pillows, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is selecting the right fabric. The fabric you choose will not only impact the overall look of the pillow but also its durability and texture. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the fabric for your throw pillows.

Consider the purpose of the throw pillow

Before you start browsing for fabric, think about the purpose of your throw pillows. Are they primarily for decoration or do you want them to be functional as well? If you’re aiming for decorative pillows, you’ll have more flexibility in terms of fabric choice. However, if you want pillows that can withstand daily use and are easy to clean, you’ll want to opt for a fabric that is more durable and stain-resistant.

Select a fabric that matches your decor

Another key consideration when choosing fabric is how it will complement your overall decor. Look at the color scheme, patterns, and textures in the room where the pillows will be placed. Choose a fabric that harmonizes with the existing elements in that space. If you’re not sure which fabric will work best, consider bringing home swatches or using online design tools to visualize how different fabrics will look in your space.

Decide on the level of durability needed

If you anticipate a lot of use or have young children or pets, you may want to opt for a more durable fabric that can withstand the wear and tear. Fabrics such as cotton and polyester blends tend to be more durable and are easier to clean. On the other hand, if the throw pillows will be placed in a more formal or low-traffic area, you can consider more delicate fabrics such as silk or velvet.

Determine the appropriate texture

Texture plays a significant role in the aesthetics and comfort of your throw pillows. Consider the overall feel you want to achieve and how the texture of the fabric will contribute to that. Smooth and silky fabrics create a more refined and luxurious look, while fabrics with more texture, like linen or tweed, can add depth and interest to your pillows. Think about how the texture of the fabric will complement the other textures in the room, such as the upholstery or curtains.

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Measuring and Cutting

Once you’ve chosen the perfect fabric for your throw pillows, it’s time to measure and cut the fabric to the correct size. Accurate measurements and precise cutting are crucial for achieving a professional-looking finished pillow. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through this process.

Measure the size of the pillow insert

Start by measuring the size of your pillow insert or form. Take a tape measure and measure the width and height of the pillow insert. Write down these measurements, as you will need them when cutting the fabric.

Add seam allowances to your measurements

To ensure a snug fit for your pillow cover, you’ll need to add seam allowances to your measurements. Seam allowances are the extra fabric you include along each edge to allow for sewing and provide a bit of wiggle room. A common seam allowance is around 1/2 inch, but you can adjust this based on the thickness of your fabric and personal preference.

Mark and cut the fabric pieces

Using a fabric pen or chalk, mark your measurements on the wrong side of the fabric. Double-check your measurements and make sure they’re accurate. Then, using fabric scissors or a rotary cutter and cutting mat, carefully cut along the marked lines. Take your time to ensure clean, straight cuts.

Sewing Techniques

Now that you have your fabric pieces cut to size, it’s time to sew them together to create your throw pillow cover. Whether you’re a seasoned sewist or a beginner, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basic sewing techniques before getting started.

Prepare the sewing machine

Before you start sewing, make sure your sewing machine is in good working condition. Clean the machine, change the needle if needed, and ensure that all the necessary parts are present. Familiarize yourself with the various functions and settings on your machine, as different fabrics may require adjustments to the tension or stitch length.

Thread the machine and bobbin

Once your machine is prepped, thread it with the appropriate thread color. Match the thread color to the fabric or choose a contrasting color for a decorative touch. Also, make sure your bobbin is properly wound and inserted into the machine.

Practice sewing straight lines and corners

If you’re new to sewing or haven’t sewn in a while, it’s a good idea to practice sewing straight lines and corners on scrap fabric. This will help you get comfortable with the machine and improve your accuracy before sewing the actual pillow cover.

Sew the fabric pieces together

With your practice stitches complete, it’s time to sew the fabric pieces together. Place the fabric pieces right sides together, aligning the edges. Using a straight stitch, start sewing along one edge, backstitching at the beginning and end to secure the stitches. Sew all the way around the fabric, maintaining a consistent seam allowance.

Leave an opening for the pillow insert

When sewing the fabric pieces together, remember to leave a small opening for inserting the pillow form. This opening should be large enough to easily fit the pillow form but small enough to be discreetly closed later. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the opening to reinforce the stitches.

Trim excess fabric and corners

Once the fabric is sewn together, trim the excess fabric and corners to reduce bulk and create sharp, crisp corners when the pillow cover is turned right side out. Be careful not to cut into the stitches or too close to the corners.

Turn the pillow cover right side out

After trimming, carefully turn the pillow cover right side out through the opening. Use a blunt object, such as a chopstick or knitting needle, to push out the corners and edges for a clean finish. Take your time and be gentle to avoid tearing the fabric or distorting the shape of the pillow cover.

Insert the pillow form

Once the pillow cover is turned right side out, it’s time to insert the pillow form or insert. Shake the pillow form out to ensure it’s evenly distributed, then gently slide it into the pillow cover through the opening. Smooth out any wrinkles or bunching and ensure the pillow form fills the cover completely.

Close the opening with a hand stitch

To complete your throw pillow, you’ll need to close the opening. Thread a needle with a coordinating thread color and use a small, discreet hand stitch to close the opening. Knot the thread securely and trim any excess. Take care to make the stitches as invisible as possible for a polished final result.

Decorative Embellishments

Now that you have mastered the basic techniques of making throw pillows, it’s time to unleash your creativity and add some decorative embellishments to take your pillows to the next level. Here are some ideas to inspire you.

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Consider adding piping or trim

Piping or trim can add a touch of elegance and definition to your throw pillows. Choose a piping or trim that complements your fabric and overall decor. Sew it along the edges of the fabric pieces before sewing them together, sandwiching it between the right sides of the fabric.

Attach the piping or trim to the fabric edges

To attach the piping or trim, align it with the edges of the fabric, placing the decorative side facing inwards towards the fabric. Sew along the edge, using a zipper foot or a piping foot if available, to sew as close to the piping or trim as possible. Trim any excess piping or trim before continuing with the sewing steps.

Incorporate buttons or bows

Adding buttons or bows can give your throw pillows a playful and charming touch. Sew buttons onto the fabric before sewing the fabric pieces together, ensuring they’re evenly spaced and securely attached. For bows, you can create them using matching or contrasting fabric strips and sew them onto the pillow cover after it’s assembled.

Sew on decorative appliques

If you want to add a unique design or pattern to your throw pillows, consider sewing on decorative appliques. These can be pre-made appliques or cutouts from fabric or felt. Arrange them on the fabric pieces before sewing them together, ensuring they’re centered and securely attached with a tight zigzag stitch or hand stitching.

Adding Closure

To make your throw pillows functional and easy to remove for cleaning or seasonal changes, you’ll need to add a closure method. Here are a few common closure methods to consider.

Choose a closure method

The closure method you choose depends on your personal preference and the style of your throw pillows. Some popular closure methods include buttons, zippers, Velcro, snaps, or an envelope closure. Consider how easy it will be to open and close the closure and whether it complements the overall design of your pillow.

Make buttonholes or loops

If you opt for a button closure, you’ll need to make buttonholes or loops on one side of the pillow cover. Use a buttonhole foot or follow the manual instructions for your sewing machine to create evenly spaced and secure buttonholes. Alternatively, you can create fabric loops to attach buttons to instead of buttonholes.

Sew on Velcro or snaps

Velcro or snaps are another convenient closure option. Measure and cut the Velcro or snap tape to the appropriate length and sew it onto the fabric, making sure it aligns when the pillow cover is closed. Sew around the edges of the Velcro or snaps to secure them in place.

Create an envelope closure

An envelope closure is a simple yet effective closure method. To create an envelope closure, overlap the fabric pieces on the back of the pillow cover, ensuring they extend beyond the width of the pillow form. Sew along the sides to secure the overlap, leaving a small gap on each side to insert and remove the pillow.

Different Pillow Shapes

While square or rectangular pillows are the most common shape for throw pillows, don’t be afraid to experiment with different shapes to add visual interest to your decor. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Experiment with square or rectangular pillows

Square or rectangular pillows are versatile and can easily work with various decorating styles. They are well-suited for layering on sofas, beds, or chairs. Experiment with different sizes and fabric patterns to create a dynamic arrangement.

Try making round or bolster pillows

Round pillows can bring a sense of playfulness and softness to your home. You can make them by cutting two circles of fabric and sewing them together, leaving an opening to insert the pillow form. Bolster pillows, on the other hand, are long, cylindrical pillows that can add elegance and comfort to seating areas or beds.

Consider unique shapes like hearts or stars

For a more whimsical touch, consider making throw pillows in unique shapes like hearts or stars. These unconventional shapes can be eye-catching and add a playful element to your decor. You can find templates online or create your own by tracing the desired shape onto the fabric before cutting and sewing.

Adding Inserts

To achieve the plump and full appearance of throw pillows, it’s essential to choose the appropriate insert size and filling material. Here’s what you need to know about adding inserts to your homemade throw pillows.

Determine the appropriate insert size

To determine the appropriate insert size for your throw pillows, use the measurements of your fabric cover as a guide. If using a square or rectangular insert, choose one that matches or is slightly larger than the dimensions of your fabric. This will ensure a full and well-filled pillow.

Choose the filling material (polyester, down, foam)

When it comes to filling materials, you have several options to choose from depending on the level of softness and support you desire. Polyester fiberfill is a common and affordable option that provides a plush and lightweight feel. Down or feather inserts offer a luxurious and soft texture, while foam inserts are firmer and provide excellent support.

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Insert the pillow form into the cover

Once you’ve chosen the appropriate insert, carefully insert it into the cover through the closure method you’ve selected. Manipulate the insert as needed to distribute the filling evenly and achieve the desired plumpness. Smooth out any wrinkles or air pockets to create a polished and professional-looking throw pillow.

Embellishing with Embroidery

If you want to add a personal touch and showcase your creativity, consider embellishing your throw pillows with embroidery. Here are some steps to guide you through the process.

Design and transfer the embroidery pattern

Start by designing or selecting the embroidery pattern you want to use. You can find patterns online or create your own using tracing paper or a transfer pen. Carefully transfer the pattern onto the fabric using your preferred method, making sure the design is centered and aligned.

Choose appropriate embroidery floss and needles

Next, select the appropriate embroidery floss and needles for your design. Consider the color and texture of the floss, ensuring it complements or contrasts with the fabric. Choose needles with a size and shape suitable for the type of embroidery stitches you’ll be using.

Practice basic embroidery stitches

If you’re new to embroidery, it’s a good idea to practice on scrap fabric before working on your actual pillow cover. Practice basic stitches such as the backstitch, satin stitch, or French knot to build your skills and confidence. Play around with different stitch lengths and thread tension to achieve the desired effect.

Embroider the fabric before sewing the pillow

Once you’re comfortable with the stitches and ready to start on the actual pillow cover, embroider the fabric using the transferred pattern as your guide. Take your time and work steadily, ensuring neat and even stitches. Consider using different colors and types of stitches to add depth and dimension to your design.

Caring for Throw Pillows

To keep your homemade throw pillows looking their best and prolong their lifespan, it’s important to follow proper care instructions. Here are some general tips to help you maintain the beauty and cleanliness of your pillows.

Read the care instructions of the fabric

Different fabrics require different care methods, so it’s important to read and follow the care instructions provided by the fabric manufacturer. Some fabrics may be machine washable, while others may need to be spot cleaned or dry cleaned. Understanding the care requirements will help you avoid damaging the fabric or altering its appearance.

Use a lint roller to remove dust and pet hair

Regularly lint rolling your throw pillows can help remove dust, lint, and pet hair that accumulate over time. This simple step can freshen up the appearance of the pillows and prevent them from looking dull or unkempt. Keep a lint roller handy and give your pillows a quick roll every now and then.

Spot clean stains promptly

Accidents happen, and it’s important to address stains promptly to prevent them from setting into the fabric. Follow the fabric care instructions for spot cleaning, and use gentle cleaning agents or stain removers as recommended. Blot the stain with a clean cloth or sponge, working from the outer edges towards the center to prevent it from spreading.

Follow proper washing and drying methods

If your throw pillows are machine washable, follow the fabric care instructions for washing. Use a gentle cycle and mild detergent, and avoid overloading the washing machine to ensure a thorough and even cleaning. After washing, carefully reshape the pillows and lay them flat or hang them to dry. Avoid using a dryer unless the fabric care instructions explicitly permit it.

Personalizing with Dye or Paint

If you’re looking to add a pop of color or create a unique design on your throw pillows, consider personalizing them with dye or fabric paint. Here are some steps to help you achieve the desired effect.

Choose the appropriate dye or paint for the fabric

Different types of fabric require different dyes or paints. Before getting started, check the fabric care instructions to ensure compatibility with the dye or paint you’ve chosen. Be mindful of the type of fabric and its color, as certain dyes or paints may react differently depending on these factors.

Experiment with tie-dye, dip-dye, or ombre effects

Tie-dye, dip-dye, and ombre effects can add a fun and vibrant touch to your throw pillows. Follow the instructions on the dye packaging to create the desired effect. Whether you’re going for a bold and eclectic design or a subtle gradient, take your time and experiment with different techniques to achieve the perfect look.

Apply fabric paint using stencils or free-hand

If you prefer a more controlled and precise design, consider using fabric paint. You can use stencils for crisp and uniform patterns or free-hand painting for a more artistic touch. Practice on scrap fabric before applying the paint to your pillow cover, layering colors and experimenting with different brushes or applicators.

Allow the fabric to dry and set the color

Once you’ve applied the dye or fabric paint, allow the fabric to dry fully before handling or using the throw pillows. Follow the instructions on the packaging to set the color, whether that involves heat-setting with an iron or allowing the fabric to cure for a specific period of time. This will help prevent the color from bleeding or fading over time.

With these comprehensive steps and guidelines, you now have all the information you need to confidently make your own throw pillows to enhance your decor. From choosing the right fabric to adding personal touches with embellishments and dye, you can create unique and stylish pillows that reflect your personality and elevate the look of your home. So go ahead, let your creativity soar, and enjoy the satisfaction of crafting beautiful throw pillows that will bring comfort and style to your living space.