Upcycle a Table Runner into DIY Pillows

Hi Everyone, It’s Becky from Patchwork Posse. Home of fun sewing projects, quilt alongs, and a lot of chit chat!
A few years back I had picked up a table runner that I had loved. It didn’t fit anywhere, but I couldn’t let it go and brought it home. It was super long and on one side it had the striped fabric and the other it had a swirl design.

After sitting in my cupboard for way longer than I want to admit, I decided it was time to do something with it. The once table runner became two matching bolster pillows.

Table Runner to Pillows DIY Upcycle @savedbyloves

Materials Needed:

table runner that is double sided and can be ‘pulled’ apart– meaning the layers aren’t fused together.

pillow form the size you need or polyfil stuffing

tablerunnerpillow10

Table Runner to Pillow Tutorial~

1) Lay your pillow form on top of your table runner and figure out where you need to trim the table runner. You will need to remember to add a bit for your seam allowance.

tablerunnerpillow2

2) Stuff your pillow inside the inside of the table runner

tablerunnerpillow3

3) Fold the ends under 1/4″-1/2″ and pin in place. Hand stitch the opening closed

tablerunnerpillow4

You are done!

Now, if you are like me, I didn’t really want the pillow form to be trapped inside. So, I came up with a second closure solution. A foldover end. And, because the pillow is double sided, you are able to showcase the fabric design from the back and contrast with the front fabric.

tablerunnerpillow9

Quick how to for the folded end pillow~

1) Cut a piece of fabric measuring 6″ –this size you can custom for your pillow. This is the size I decided to do. Feel free to make it larger if you’d like

2) Fold over one edge and sew in place– you’re making a hem here

tablerunnerpillow5

3) Open the pillow ends just a bit and pin your foldover piece to the right side of the SAME fabric (remember that after you are done, it will be folded over to the opposite side)

tablerunnerpillow6

4) Sew across this edge– make sure you don’t catch the other piece with your needle when you are stitching it!

5) Turn the foldover piece to the front, mess with the corners so they lay flat and pin in place along the side

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6) Sew directly on top of the original seams on the sides– if you don’t have visible seams you can either stitch it still, or hand stitch along the edges to secure

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7) Stuff pillow inside and fold the flap over in place

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I seriously love these pillows! The reversible option with them. The removeable pillow form. The extra little detail of co-ordinating designs on top of each other with the flap. Yes, the pom pom ends were already there– double bonus!

Now I am looking at table runners in a whole new light! Can’t believe this wasn’t figured out before…and how much time this saves in making them!

For more easy sewing projects, stop by my blog or facebook.

Make Quick and Easy Pillow Covers

How to Sew Easy Pillow Covers @savedbyloves

[pinit]

Whether you have a sewing machine and rarely touch it, or you are on it hours a day, this envelop pillow pattern is for you.  I fall in the first category, and these little cuties are a cinch to make.  I created them from some chevron fabric, an old sheet, a white tea towel, and black and white tea towels.  I love using things with seams already present for the back flaps (I know… if I am going to the trouble to sew my own pillow covers, surely I can seam the edge both back pieces, but it makes me really happy when I don’t have to}!  Using old sheets or pillowcases is a great way to create from materials you already have or can grab for cheap at the thrift store.  Warning, this project is very addictive.  You will be making pillow covers out of everything.

Love

I showed you how to make these last year.  The following tutorial is from the pillows I did then.  Just change up your fabrics for a different look.  I used acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium to put “Love” and “Sweet” on the white tea towels.  The backs of the word pillows are made from plaid and striped tea towels in black and white.  The chevron backs are an old sheet in aqua.

LoveSweetPillows

Supplies:

Fabric for front and back of pillow; Big enough to cut the following; for the front, 17 inch square and for the back 2 rectangles 17 x 12.75 inches each. This is for a 16 inch pillow form or throw pillow, with an extra inch for seam allowance.  If yours is a different size square, no problem.  Say you have a 20 in pillow form.  Cut your front square 21 in x 21 in (you don’t need to worry about adding seam allowance since the pillow will fit in and be nice and full).  For the 2 back rectangles, one dimension is the same as the length of your square sides (21), and the other is that length multiplied by 3/4.  For a 20 inch pillow, that would be 21 x 15.75  inches.

***For my fabric, I found an old shabby pillow case (the beige color on the back) and a cool striped tea towel for the front.

Self healing cutting mat and rotary cutter
Quilting ruler or other straight edge
Scissors
Threaded sewing machine in matching color to your fabric
Iron
Ironing board
pins

fabric pencils or air soluble disappearing marker

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cut your fabric on your cutting mat.  I like to measure and draw the lines on the back of the fabric.  In this case, the front and back of the tea towels are pretty indistinguishable.  If yours has a clear front and back, turn it over so you are looking at the back, and use your straight edge to draw the 17 inch square.  Then cut it with your straight edge and rotary cutter, making sure to cut away from yourself.  Here is my 17×17 square…

 How to Sew Pillows

Steam press the back fabric to smooth out wrinkles.  Now you are ready to cut your back pieces the same way, folding your fabric over on itself so that you can cut both rectangles at the same time, since they are the same size…

NOTE:  If you are using an old pillow case or other fabric with seamed edges for the back, make sure your cut so that you have the the seamed edges as the long edges on your rectangles.  That way you will not have to seam the back flaps.
How to sew pillows
Sewing pillows
Now you are ready to pin the front to the back.  You will have WRONG sides together.  This is unusual, I know.  You want to be looking at the right (fabric side you want to end up showing in your final project) sides of the fabrics when they are pinned together for the french seam.  Pin about every inch or so, close to the edges, all the way around.  Sew straight stitch length setting 2.5, stopping to remove each pin before you get to it, pivoting at each corner.  (I don’t like sewing over pins, it stress me out).  Back stitch for stability when you get back to where you started.
Easy sewing project
Easy sewing project
Press your stitch line to set the stitches.
Now cut around the edges, very close to the line you just stitched.  This doesn’t have to be perfect, it is more just to get rid of the bulk of the excess fabric outside of the seams.  BE CAREFUL.  You don’t want to cut through what you just sewed, but if you do, just go back and sew that area again.
Easy sewing project
Easy sewing project
NOTE:  I am far from perfect in my cuts and stitch lines.  These things will look great, even if you are a little off.  Don’t be hard on yourself!
Now you are almost done!  Turn the pillow inside out (so that the wrong sides are now on the outside.  Use a bamboo skewer to gently push out the corners, being careful not to poke all the way through.  Press the piece, then go back to your machine and sew 1/4 inch from the egde all the way around the pillow.  This step hides the raw edges, so that when you turn the pillow cover the right way, no raw edges will be on the inside!  Pivot at each corner, keeping your 1/4 distance from the edge.  Reverse stitch when you get back to the starting point and you are done.  Cut the thread, turn your pillow right side out and push out the corners with your skewer or a pencil.  Press if you want.  Shove your throw pillow or pillow form in there and beam with pride at the beautiful home decor accessory you just made from a towel and raggedy bed linen.  Yay you!

Chevron Pillow DIY

French Seam Envelope Pillow Covers

How to Sew Pillow CoversDo you want to refresh the look of your pillows and learn a fancy seam technique?  The French seam used in these envelope pillow cover means there are no raw edges, even on the inside cover’s inside.  The look is professional and neat.  No stray frayed ends.  Not that they are a huge deal since they would be on the inside, but the french seam is super easy.  If you are going to the trouble to sit in front of your machine, there is really no reason not to do it this way. I am a very new seamstress, so this tutorial is beginner friendly. Not to mention, it uses an old pillowcase and a tea towel, so you can probably make it now with things you have on hand.  If not, the supplies are no further from you than the nearest thrift store or Dollar Tree.

Easy Pillow Cover Tutorial

Supplies:

  • Fabric for front and back of pillow; Big enough to cut the following; for the front, 17 inch square and for the back 2 rectangles 17 x 12.75 inches each. This is for a 16 inch pillow form or throw pillow, with an extra inch for seam allowance.  If yours is a different size square, no problem.  Say you have a 20 in pillow form.  Cut your front square 21 in x 21 in (you don’t need to worry about adding seam allowance since the pillow will fit in and be nice and full).  For the 2 back rectangles, one dimension is the same as the length of your square sides (21), and the other is that length multiplied by 3/4.  For a 20 inch pillow, that would be 21 x 15.75  inches.

***For my fabric, I found an old shabby pillow case (the beige color on the back) and a cool striped tea towel for the front.

  • Self healing cutting mat and rotary cutter
  • Quilting ruler or other straight edge
  • Scissors
  • Threaded sewing machine in matching color to your fabric
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • pins
  • fabric pencils or air soluble disappearing marker

Instructions:

  • Cut your fabric on your cutting mat.  I like to measure and draw the lines on the back of the fabric.  In this case, the front and back of the tea towels are pretty indistinguishable.  If yours has a clear front and back, turn it over so you are looking at the back, and use your straight edge to draw the 17 inch square.  Then cut it with your straight edge and rotary cutter, making sure to cut away from yourself.  Here is my 17×17 square…
  • How to Sew PillowsSteam press the back fabric to smooth out wrinkles.  Now you are ready to cut your back pieces the same way, folding your fabric over on itself so that you can cut both rectangles at the same time, since they are the same size…


NOTE
:  If you are using an old pillow case or other fabric with seamed edges for the back, make sure your cut so that you have the the seamed edges as the long edges on your rectangles.  That way you will not have to seam the back flaps.

How to sew pillows

Sewing pillows

  • Now you are ready to pin the front to the back.  You will have WRONG sides together.  This is unusual, I know.  You want to be looking at the right (fabric side you want to end up showing in your final project) sides of the fabrics when they are pinned together for the french seam.  Pin about every inch or so, close to the edges, all the way around.  Sew straight stitch length setting 2.5, stopping to remove each pin before you get to it, pivoting at each corner.  (I don’t like sewing over pins, it stress me out).  Back stitch for stability when you get back to where you started.

Easy sewing project

Easy sewing project

  • Press your stitch line to set the stitches.
  • Now cut around the edges, very close to the line you just stitched.  This doesn’t have to be perfect, it is more just to get rid of the bulk of the excess fabric outside of the seams.  BE CAREFUL.  You don’t want to cut through what you just sewed, but if you do, just go back and sew that area again.

Easy sewing project

Easy sewing project

NOTE:  I am far from perfect in my cuts and stitch lines.  These things will look great, even if you are a little off.  Don’t be hard on yourself!

  • Now you are almost done!  Turn the pillow inside out (so that the wrong sides are now on the outside.  Use a bamboo skewer to gently push out the corners, being careful not to poke all the way through.  Press the piece, then go back to your machine and sew 1/4 inch from the egde all the way around the pillow.  This step hides the raw edges, so that when you turn the pillow cover the right way, no raw edges will be on the inside!  Pivot at each corner, keeping your 1/4 distance from the edge.  Reverse stitch when you get back to the starting point and you are done.  Cut the thread, turn your pillow right side out and push out the corners with your skewer or a not too sharp pencil.  Press if you want.  Shove your throw pillow or pillow form in there and beam with pride at the beautiful home decor accessory you just made from a towel and raggedy bed linen.  Yay you!

Easy sewing projectSee the stenciled word pillow from a couple of weeks ago.  I would love your feedback.  I am just getting to know my machine, and have never written this involved of a sewing tutorial.

 

Tea Towel to Stenciled Pillow

DIY tea towel pillow

It is my first ever sewn pillow!!  I am proud, being that I have used a sewing machine very little.  This is made from a tea towel I picked up at Target, along with a 14 inch pillow form.  I created a LOVE JOY PEACE text in Photoshop and cut it from vinyl with my cricut.  I wish I had taken pics of the process, but I was totally winging it, and had little faith that I was going to end up with anything I would want to share!  I will describe as best I can…

This towel was the perfect size for the 14 in pillow form, so I lucked out.  I decided to have a slot to make the pillow form removable, so I folded over a flap for the back, ironed where my seams would be, and sewed a straight stitch using my machine with the pillow inside out.  Here is the back (the image was already on the towel):

Tea towel pillow DIY

Since that photo, I have put velcro strips to close the flap.  Thought about buttons, but that was just way to advanced!

Before inserting the pillow form, I used Martha Stewart craft paint in black and a stencil brush to create the text.  I love this stuff cause you can use it on every surface!

Tea towel pillow DIY

 

Click here to download the stencil file.

Free Love Stencil

 

Stenciled Pillow DIY

What do you think?  Any easy easy easy sewing project you want to recommend to a newbie?

Painted Pillow With Monogram Print Canvas

DIY Monogram Pillow
Wow, I “made” a pillow.  You may have noticed, there aren’t sewing projects here at SBLC.  I don’t do that.  I think about doing it occasionally, but it doesn’t happen.  Here is a project, sans sewing, that includes printing on canvas drop cloth material, painting a pillow with fabric paint, and attaching fabric to fabric using liquid stitch.  Easily and quickly make yourself a beautiful, custom, decorative pillow!

Graphics Fairy Pillow DIY

 

Supplies:

  • Old Pillow (Mine is a Goodwill score)
  • Martha Stewart Decorative Paint by Plaid and Fabric Medium
  • Drop Cloth Canvas cut to 8.5×11
  • Graphic image (I used frame image from Graphics Fairy, and put the letters in with Photoshop)
  • Inkjet Printer
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Paintbrush
  • Ribbon
  • Stitch Witchery
  • Liquid Stitch or other fabric glue

Monogram Painted Pillow

Instructions:

  • Mix paint with fabric medium as directed and paint your pillow!  It felt kinda cool to be painting a pillow.  I got some strange glances from family members wandering by,  but who has a an awesome pillow now?

Martha Stewart Fabric Paint

TIP:  The instructions for the fabric paint medium said to let dry for 24 hours.  I needed to add another coat over the black area of the pillow, so I dried the pillow immediately after the first coat with my heat tool.  Then I added the second coat and let dry overnight.

  • While your pillow is drying, you can prepare your image on your canvas piece.  Go on over to Graphics Fairy, and get yourself a lovely free image (I used this image).  Cut it to fit your printer, and using spray adhesive, adhere the canvas piece to a piece of photo printer paper or to cardstock.  A regular old thin piece of printer paper isn’t sturdy enough.  Insert the piece into your inkjet printer, fabric side down, and print your image.
  • Cut your image to the desired size, fuze ribbon to frame it with Stitch Witchery, then glue the piece onto your dried pillow using Liquid Stitch.  Let dry overnight.  You are done!

No Sew Monogram Pillow DIY

What do you think.  I love it.  The pillow is a little “crunchy” from the paint, but let’s face it, it isn’t meant to be functional.  Not bad for a new sew project!