Tis the season for decluttering, organizing, and giving away all the excess stuff. While I love a good January declutter session as much as the next person, there is one thing I don’t want you to get rid of!
Yep, throw pillows.
While we might be tempted in a rush of Konmari enthusiasm to throw the baby out with the bath water, guess what? Those pillow forms that are holding up those outdated pillow covers? They are STILL GOOD my friends. And the best way to make sure something gets re-used is to do it yourself, so why not? I almost donated all my old throw pillows, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Instead I’m sharing with you how I gave my pillows an easy makeover and how you can update throw pillows too, farmhouse style.
Now yes, this project does require a bit of time, fabric, and sewing. But I promise, it’s not hard at all!
So I realize that for some of you, this is kind of a “duh” to reuse store-bought pillows for a diy update, but I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t until I had these two (really pretty, but not my style) pillows sitting in my “to be donated” pile that I realized, oooh…I should just take their covers off, use the pillow forms, and update these pillows to be farmhouse style. But of course!
Farmhouse style pillow covers
Before I jump into a quick explanation of how to update throw pillows, I want to give credit where credit is due. I first saw this pretty idea for farmhouse pillows over on Lisa’s blog at Farmhouse on Boone. She has a great tutorial to make these pillow covers with ticking fabrics and grain sacks. So head on over there for all the measurements and step-by-steps.
These farmhouse pillows are essentially two simple pillow covers, one tied over the over. You can make a set in an evening or two of sewing (super easy, I promise!) and you want to know the best part? These are very inexpensive to make! Roughly $5 bucks per pillow to sew two covers. Or even less if you have some of the supplies/fabric on hand already.
Lisa’s pillows use grain sacks for the outer covers, which look gorgeous, but I didn’t have any available, so I went with another awesome (and inexpensive!) option. Bleached drop cloth. A giant drop cloth costs about $20 for several yards of fabric and these pillows will consume just a fraction of that. You will also need ticking fabric (I grabbed mine at Hobby Lobby, don’t forget your coupon) and some bias tape.
How to update throw pillows – farmhouse style
First, just unzip the old pillow covers. If yours are sewn all the way around, don’t be shy to just carefully cut them away.
Then you will sew a simple ticking fabric envelope style cover. For my 18″ throw pillow, I cut one 19″x19″ and two 19″x13″ pieces of fabric. I will say, matching up stripes is tricky. I thought I had it perfect each time and they always came out slightly off. But so long as they are as close as you can get them, it really isn’t noticeable.
For the outer cover with ties, I cut two 19″x19″ pieces of bleached drop cloth and four 18″ lengths of bias tape (for the ties). I accidentally bought a thinner bias tape than I intended to and would go with a wider one next time. The ties could also be a bit shorter, maybe somewhere in the 14″-16″ realm.
I also wanted to make three ties on my pillows, but I only had enough bias tape for two, so I went with that. The drop cloth cover is really simple to sew. It’s basically just a pocket and you are adding ties. I would just suggest marking your tie placement well before you start sewing. I was rushing and one of my pillow covers ended up a bit crooked. Oops.
After finishing off the interior seams, you’re all finished with a set of lovely updated throw pillows. Just slip the envelope cover onto your pillow form and then slip the drop cloth cover on top and tie it closed.
The finished look
And do you want to know another great thing about these pillow covers? They are very family/pet-friendly. Because I sewed these covers from drop cloths and ticking (a nice sturdy fabric) they will hold up to a lot. And of course, because the drop cloth is bleached, you can just bleach again to refresh them
if when stains happen. Yay for functional decor!
Well I hope I didn’t distract you from decluttering for too long! If anything I hope this idea inspired you to update some of your own throw pillows. It’s so easy to do, and the sky is the limit.
Thanks for stopping by!