Project Idea: Throw Pillow

Throw pillows are an easy project that can add a nice homemade touch to home décor. You can make one in a snap with a sewing machine, or take the longer (but sometimes more relaxing) route of hand stitching.

This pillow was made using a velvet-like fabric sample, which was already cut into a square. I used scraps of yarn to make tassels, a scrap piece of fabric for the back, and recycled some stuffing from an old pillow headed to the dump.

Here’s a brief overview

Supplies & materials:

  • Fabric

  • Yarn

  • Needle & thread or sewing machine

  • Stuffing

  • Pins

  • Scissors

Cut the fabric to the desired size. Make sure to cut it a little larger than the intended finished product to account for seam allowance. You can use the same or different fabric for the front and back. This is a great place to be creative with textures and materials. Use a favorite band T shirt, upcycle and old quilt, or use a fabric sample.

Make four tassels out of scrap yarn.

Wrap yarn around a few fingers or a piece of cut cardboard of the desired length. Wrap to your heart’s content - there is no’ too little’ or ‘too much’ here. I wrapped around 3 fingers about 20 times for each tassel. When you’ve reached your desired amount of chunk, thread a piece of yarn approx. 6” through the loops and tie it with a double knot. Continue knotting until a chain forms as a hanger for your tassel.

Cut another length of yarn, at least 4”. Tie this length around your yarn bundle, part way down (again, not right or wrong place). You can knot it once and be done, or wrap the yarn around the bundle multiple times to create more of a collar. It can be helpful here to have a tapestry needle (large and blunt) to tuck the loose strands in.

Chop the bottom loops off the tassel and trim to your desired level of fluffiness.

Repeat 3 more times to make four tassels of approximately the same size and girth.

Lay one square of your fabric down flat and arrange tassels on each corner, facing towards the center as shown in the diagram. Leave a small tail hanging over the edge of the fabric on each corner. Carefully place the second square on top, matching up the edges. Make sure to place this piece face down so that the right sides of the fabric are facing one another on the inside of the sandwich. Pin all around, making sure to put a pin in each tassel tail.

Sew around the edges, leaving a seam allowance of your choice. Make sure to leave a small slit open for stuffing. I recommend double stitching over the corners to ensure the tassel remains in place.

Remove pins, trim threads, and turn inside out. Stuff.

I used stuffing from an old pillow heading to the dump. Another reuse idea is to use tiny fabric or yarn scraps stored up from other projects as stuffing.

To close the slit, make yourself a seam by folding over a small bit of each fabric and pinning together. The fabric should naturally fold because of the seam allowance you made when sewing. Hand stitch the seams together using an invisible stitch.

For another simple upcycling pillow idea, check out this video tutorial on making a t-shirt pillow from my friend Calin.