Once upon a yard sale, I found this charming yellow place mat.
It was love at first sight.
The only problem? There was just one. (Don’t you hate that?)
Still, I had to have it, and when I brought it home I tossed in my “PILLOW FABRIC” pile.
Shrunken sweaters, scraps of old quilts, hand towels–when a piece of cloth catches my eye, it goes straight into the fabric pile…which just so happens to be right next to my “MAKE-OVER-PILLOW” pile.
My reasoning behind all this pillow madness is money. I mean, why spend upwards of $20 on something that is easy enough to make yourself? (Use that money to pay for something you can’t do easily yourself, like, cut your own hair.)
And so I am always on the hunt for fabric and throw pillows.
The best place to find inexpensive pillows? Yard sales. But not just any yard sale. I only buy throw pillows from people I know very well. I will not buy a pillow from a stranger because that’s just yuck. (Unless that stranger seems to have good grooming and housekeeping habits.)
I also save white pillow cases and sheets to use as pillow liners. (Because sometimes, you just need an extra layer of defense.)
This whole saving-piles-of-this-and-that may seem a bit chaotic, but if you love DIY, you’ll be pleased with the results.
I know I am.
HOW TO TRANSFORM A PLACE MAT INTO A PILLOW
Step #1: Choose a place mat that has two layers of fabric.
Step #2: Choose a pillow that will fit relatively snug inside the place mat.
Step #3: Sew a liner for your pillow.
This step is optional, but it really improves the finished look. In this case, the pillow I used was hot pink and black; colors that were very noticeable behind the yellow fabric of the place mat.
Making a pillow liner is a cinch, especially if you have an old pillow case (I prefer to use white ones).
-Turn your pillowcase inside out. Slide your pillow into the corner of the case. By doing this you will only have to worry about sewing two seams instead of four.
-To create the other seams, pin the pillow case together along the longest side the pillow.
-Remove the pillow from the pillowcase and, with a sewing machine, stitch up the seam you just pinned. Cut away excess fabric, leaving a half-inch border along the seam.
-Turn pillowcase right-side-out and place pillow back inside.
-Pin the second seam together and neatly stitch it up by hand. Cut away the excess fabric, leaving a half-inch border along the seam.
And ta-da! Pillow liner is done.
Step #4: Open up a side seam on your place mat.
Step #5: Work the pillow into the place mat and smooth out the fabric. (not shown)
Step #6: Neatly stitch the seam back up.
And there you have it, a charming pillow that cost you a bit of loose change and a few spare minutes.
Aren’t you clever?
Find inspiration for your whole house at Pancakes and French Fries‘ weekly William Morris Project!