July 23, 2011

How To: Make Pillows out of Napkins

Posted by Kristin

I don't know about you all but every so often I get an itch to switch things up a bit in the decor department. Mostly it coincides with the changing seasons but sometimes its just inspired by a really good find. Such is the case with these babies:

These happy summer napkins were found late one night at Target while Laura and I were on a mad hunt for items to use in Jennifer's office redo. For only 4 beans I got these two large square napkins (they're folded in half in the picture above). My living has been feeling a bit of the beigh blahhhhs lately so I took Laura's advice and snagged them while I could ( I won't tell you about how I was so wrapped up in buying curtain hooks for Jennifer's office that I nearly walked out of the store with out paying for these..woops!). 

Check out this serious lack of exciting color in my living room:

Big comfy pillows good for lounging on while watching the West Wing: check (you know you'd vote for Jed Bartlet for president, come on...). Big comfy pillows good for adding color and interest to an already neutral room: not. so. much.

So after 2 months of looking at the napkins sitting in my dining room, I finally borrowed Jennifer's new sewing machine (it works like a charm) and whipped up some covers. My goal was to make slip covers for new pillows that I could easily wash when I needed to. Let's just say that Mike and I have a small obsession with watching movies while we eat so its not uncommon to hear "woops! there goes the french fry" or "dang it! i lost another pea.". So washing pillows that get laid on this hard used this much is critical for messy folk like us (you're smiling at that one, aren't ya?).

First I started out by looking for the insert pillows. They can be expensive if they're new so I scouted out Good Will for a few weeks and found these ugggly guys for $1 each.

Just check out this awesome woven detail, fringe and all!

After washing them thoroughly, I cut off all the exterior knitted covers to reveal these gold colored winners underneath. Man, these pillows just get better and better the more layers you peel off!

Next I cut and ironed all my fabric pieces. I used some white fabric I had lying around (a flat white sheet to be exact) and cut a white square panel to go behind the napkins (so the lovely gold color didn't show through) and pinned them together.

After that, I cut two rectangular pieces to be the back of the pillow case and hemmed the side that would be the opening along back of the pillow. When the two sides get overlapped they cover the back of the pillow but create a pocket so the pillow can still come out.

Then I sewed it all together with the "good sides" facing each other. Sorry for any blurry photos- I had just finished using the string trimmer in my garden and that combined with 100 degree heat made my hands a bit shaky.

And after a bit of stuffing and arranging, I had two bright and cheery pillows holding down the fort in my living room (I may have added a few more accessories too...).

Here's a close up of the the front and back sides:

And a close up of the new pillows chillin' with there homies:

And just to really make you drool....a final show down of before and after:

Have you guys ever used anything unconventional to make pillows? Or anything else? Let the idea sharing begin!