From Placemat to Pillow in 3 Easy Steps

December 19, 2015

If you love pillows as much as I do then you're going to love what I have to share with you today. 
It's a secret that I've known forever and the timing worked out perfectly for me to give it a try.
Now I have been known to make some pillows out of unusual materials before. 
Like my Thanksgiving pillow made out of Pier One napkins.

Or my monogram pillow made out of flour sack dish towels.

And every time I make a pillow I admit that I'm not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. I usually use Stitch Witchery and iron things shut instead of sewing. I'm all for shortcuts, aren't you? And today I've got a great one. Only minimal stitching involved!

How about using placemats for pillows covers? I picked up these four gorgeous placemats on clearance at Target after Christmas last year. And when I say clearance I mean clearance.

Price: $1.18 each. Yes you read that right. 

I knew when I bought them I was going to use them for pillows. They're made of a very soft, yet sturdy felt-like material on the front. The back fabric is a basic muslin. And the red appliqué flowers are just gorgeous. These really work well as part of my Christmas decor this year as I'm totally into red right now.

STEP 1: Rip out seam.

All you need to do is use a seam ripper to gently rip out some stitches, starting from one corner of the placemat. You need to make the opening large enough to be able to place your hand inside so that you can fill it with stuffing. I chose to open the seam on the side that did not have applique on it so as to avoid the possibility of it looking wonky and uneven after I closed it up. (I'm not the best seamstress, just sayin'.)

STEP 2: Fill with polyfill stuffing or pillow insert.

I chose the polyfill method. Keep in mind that if you choose to go the pillow insert route you'll have to rip out a lot more stitches and as a result you'll have a lot more area to sew closed!

STEP 3: Use needle and invisible thread to sew the opening closed.

The thread I use is called Coats Transparent. I got it at JoAnne's. It's a bear to thread onto the needle because its so hard to see, but it's great for invisible seams! This is especially important for those of us who were not born with a sewing needle in our hand. You can make a few mistakes but they won't be noticeable. (Don't tell anyone that I said that.)    

My Cost:

Placemat: $1.18 Target Christmas clearance 2014
Polyfill: $1.00 Goodwill
Total: $2.18 per pillow. ( I already had thread and seam ripper.)

And yes, I made two! At that low price I bought four placements. I think I'll make the other two next year. You might think that four of these pillows will be overkill but rest assured, we have a gargantuan sectional sofa that these will look incredible on.

Here they sit in our foyer on my favorite slipper chair that I love to use for photo shoots. 
There's great light in the foyer on most days.

The red Noel pillow is a Target dollar bin purchase. I think they all go really well together, don't you? I also think my placemat pillows give Pottery Barn Christmas pillows a run for their money.

What do you think?

 Expensive-looking pillows without the expense!

Well, Christmas is right around the corner! Are you ready? I'm done shopping and decorating but have not even begun to think about wrapping and baking cookies. Whoops. Today was the kids' last day of school so I say let the holidays begin! 

I'm not sure if I'm going to post again before Christmas Day except for the Vintage Charm party this coming Thursday, December 24th. (Be sure to stop by and share some Christmas Eve linky love!) So let me say now that I wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of new years! I appreciate you and your friendship and I'm looking forward to a great new year in 2016 (Gosh, I can't believe I just said that! Sounds a bit funny, doesn't it?). There will be some exciting changes coming for the blog in the near future and I hope that you're all going to stick around for the ride!

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Leave a Comment!

Cecilia Bramhall said...

Looks great and sounds easy! I've used dish towels and cloth napkins too for pillows. More sewing involved but still easy.

Diana Petrillo said...

Love them Kathleen! So bold and beautiful. Great idea. I bought a few Target napkins that I plan to stencil on and then turn into pillows. I like the simplicity of your placemats to pillows though. Looking forward to hearing about your upcoming changes!

The Speckled Hen Cottage said...

How cute! Totally do-able and you can't beat the price! I've sewed them together but never thought to open it up and stuff~~~GENIUS. Best ~ Mickie.

Lisa@New Again Design said...

I discovered this last year and everyone thought I was a genius! Such a simple inexpensive gift and I got mine on clearance at Target too! I did a transfer of Family Rules on a couple of them. Thanks for the remunder!

Vanessa said...

I love these so much. Red is my happy color and these are beautiful!

handmade by amalia said...

Very clever, Kathleen! They very pretty and perfect for the season.

Constance Chuha said...

I love Target clearance! This is such a cute project. Heading out to Target today. Will be shopping the clearance isles.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Love the pillows - very pretty.
I have made covers from place mats before - easy and economical.

JoanMarie said...

Hello! Your holiday pillows are so pretty and perfect for the season. Beautiful! Merry Christmas!

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