The Throw Pillow Challenge: Placemat Pillows


I've been a little obsessed with throw pillows lately.  It started because I kinda dislike my current pillows.  Alright, seriously dislike.  Okay, occasionally I have the urge to see if they fit in the garbage disposal.  I picture Scott coming home to find me surrounded by shreds of fabric and fluff and laughing maniacally.  Yeah, it's that bad. 

Initially, my search for replacements was very casual - I'd glance around at my favorite stores or websites to see what was out there.  But the more I looked, the more I found myself in a state of shock at the cost (I mean, $45 - $80 for one pillow?! That's crazy talk!)  Slowly my search began to ramp up until I found myself scouring websites, sales and clearance racks looking for anything remotely attractive that I could afford.  As I lamented to my ever-so-patient husband over the fact that the simple cost of materials couldn't possibly justify the prices, he stopped me in my tracks with his annoyingly logical question "Then why don't you make them?" 

Yeah, okay, that makes sense.  But it also means that I have to, you know, sew.  
I hate sewing.  Alright, "hate" might be too strong a word. But measuring, cutting, pinning, stitching, hemming... urgh.  Let's just say that if we still lived in a time where we had to make our own clothes, I'd probably be wearing paper bags, grain sacks and pipe cleaners, lovingly held together by gobs of paste and bubblegum. 

Never one to shy from a challenge, however, I have assigned myself the task of finding ways to create pillows that I like without spending an arm and a leg (and to do it without stressing my oh-so-limited sewing capabilities).  And so far, I'm pleased with the results.

This weekend, I started with a simple method that turned out really really well: Placemat pillows.  

Placemats already have the size, shape and majority of sewing done for you.  In addition, the fabric is usually meant to withstand a little wear and tear which is perfect for sofas like mine, where the pillows are for more than just show.  

After a quick search, I found and purchased a couple of beautiful printed placemats at Target for $3.99 each.

I love the graphic print and the gorgeous colors!
Using a seam ripper, I tore the seam out of a 4 inch section, separating the plain backing from the printed front.

The next step was to carefully pack stuffing into the area, leaving a tiny bit of air space for proper arm-propping squish.  I had a bag of stuffing on hand that I supplemented with, but I actually started by deconstructing an old pillow and transferring its innards to the new pillow (waste not...).

Finally, I used my sewing machine (gasp!) to reseal the four inch hole with a straight seam.  Sealing them up by hand might have actually yielded slightly straighter lines, but I personally feel more confident in the strength of the machine stitch. 

The results?  A pair of beautiful accent pillows for $4 each.  Love!

The challenge as I progress is going to be not only finding new ways to make and embellish beautiful pillows, but also to coordinate fabrics and styles while using different sources.  Keep your fingers crossed and I'll keep you updated with all of the wins and losses!

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1 comment:

  1. I never even realized that those placemats were double-layered and could be filled! How the heck did you spot that?!? You Home Ec Genius!


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