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How to Make a No-Sew Pillow on the Cheap

How to Make a No-Sew Pillow on the Cheap main article image
Posted on June 21, 2021 by Jennifer Carroll

Accent or throw pillows are scattered throughout our homes. They’re on our sofas, beds, and chairs. We put them in baskets and we even adorn our outside furniture with them. Pillows are an easy item to switch out with the seasons if you like to decorate for the holidays. But who wants to pay $30 – $50 for a seasonal pillow? You don’t have to!

Here’s more good news – you don’t even have to break out the sewing machine.

Preparing your materials

Start with a pre-sewn pillow case or cover. You can pick them up at your favorite craft store or order them from Amazon and save yourself a trip. I like the ones I buy at Hobby Lobby and they’re only $3.99 each.

Now to customize our blank canvas. I start with a panel of fabric that matches the theme or picture I’ve chosen for my pillow. I like to leave a border on the front of my pillow so if I’m working on a pillow that is 18″x18″ I trim my fabric to “16×16”. Then I use hot fabric glue to create a hem. Just fold the fabric in a half-inch and glue all around creating a hem on each side.

For the actual pillow face, I like to use canvas drop cloth because it matches the pillow cover and it’s cheap! I pick it up at my local hardware store. I buy the 6’x9′ piece for around $7 after they apply the $5 coupon I get in the mail. I get several dozen projects from one drop cloth. I use my own artwork to finish my products because I generally craft for resale but you can search for images just about anywhere. Just make sure they’re not copyrighted or that you have permission to use them.

The next part is as easy as flipping your image horizontally in your favorite editing program. Size it to your heart’s desire and print your image on clear heat transfer vinyl. Iron your image on a drop cloth panel that you have pre-cut to fit in the center of your pillow top.

Putting it all together!

Now it’s time to bring it all together. Once I’ve transferred my image to the drop cloth I like to fray the edges. I like the way it looks but if you don’t you can always create a hem like you did in the panel of fabric you chose earlier. In the next step, I center my swatch of drop cloth with my newly transferred image over the fabric I’ve prepared and glue it with my fabric glue just around the edges. Now I have one piece that consists of two layers of fabric with my image on top. Before I glue this piece to my pillow cover I make sure everything is ironed nicely and free of glue strings and loose threads. I glue the top panel to my pillow cover and press firmly while the glue dries.

To stuff your pillow you can use a pillow form or a cheaper option is to buy an inexpensive bed pillow and use the stuffing – I can get two pillows from a standard bed pillow.

There! For just a few dollars you can create pillows for every season and for easy storage just reuse your pillow forms as you go.

You can check out my creations at The Barnyard Boutique on Facebook.

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Julie Richards

June 21, 2021

I really love your work! Great article!

The Barnyard Boutique's profile picture

Thank you!

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