Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Holiday Makings!

Hi, all!

Scraps!  We've all got them, and no matter how hard we work at it, they never seem to go away, do they?  Well, today I'm going to share something a little different, but it's a technique you can use to use up those scraps, too, so it's all good!

I love the Target Dollar Spot. Every time the season changes, they put out new two packs of kitchen towels.  For $3, you can get some really cute stuff - usually one towel with a saying on it, and one in a coordinating print.  I love this kind of towel, but I hate actually using them and getting them dirty, so I use them to make pillow covers on the cheap - and I'm going to share a tutorial here today.

I started with a two-pack of towels.  These are made of cotton toweling, a nice weight.

They were each barely 16" wide as I bought them, so I took a few minutes to take out the hems and sides and press the heck out of them.  Spritzing with water or spray starch will help make them nice and flat.  Sometimes you may need to do this just to get straight edges and square corners!

On the back, I wanted to retain the cute fringe trim on the coordinating towel, so I took the hems out of the sides, but not the top and bottom of the towel.  I did have to release the hem stitching on the sides a little bit to unroll the side hemstitching, but it was easily stitched back.

Next I cut two pieces for the back from the coordinating towel.  When I'm using a 16" pillow form, I like to make my pieces 16" wide also.  That way my pillow is nice and over-stuffed, rather than loose. If you prefer yours looser, you might want to make your pieces a little wider.  This pillow will have an envelope closure, so divide the finished size by 2, and add 2" to that total.  For a 16" pillow, I need two pieces 16" x 10" (16" / 2 + 2").  I cut one from each end of the towel, so I have two pieces with one finished edge each.

Normally I would just cut a 16" square from the other towel that incorporates the design, but on this particular towel, the design was printed very close to the bottom.  Luckily I had a piece left from the coordinating towel, so I sewed it to the bottom of the printed towel.

I then cut a 16" square from my printed towel piece.   Here you can see the three pieces that will make up the pillow cover.

Lay your pillow front face down and top of the design to the top.  Lay one of your backing pieces face up, finished edge towards the top of the pillow, and corners aligned with the bottom corners.  Pin the bottom in place.  Then lay the other backing piece (this would be the one with any edge finish like fringe) with the finished edge towards the bottom of the pillow, overlapping the lower piece, and corners aligned with the top corners.  Pin the top in place, then pin the sides, carefully pinning the overlaps.

If you do have a decorative fringe, Clover clips are great for pinning them out of the way so you don't sew one in the side seam by mistake (don't ask me how I know this...)

Next you'll need binding.  I like to use french fold binding, cut 2.25" wide and pressed in half.  Attach the binding to the BACK of the pillow pieces, stitching through all layers.

Trim the corners of the pillow cover materials (not the binding) so the corners will turn nicely.

Turn the binding to the front and stitch it down, mitering the corners.

Voila!  You have finished a beautiful pillow cover!  Now it's time to put in that pillow form.  Fold the top piece of the back over the front (basically turning the top inside out) and tuck the pillow in the bottom pocket.  Push the stuffing into the bottom corners.  Now fold the top piece back over the top and stuff the top of the pillow form into it, working it well into the corners.  It will be tight, but it just takes a little perseverance.  And now you're done!

First I'll show off the back - isn't it cute with those little tassels?

And now the big reveal...

A beautiful and quick pillow to bring in the season!

And yes, I have plans for Christmas pillows - here are the towels I picked up just a week or so ago at Target!

These pillow covers make wonderful hostess gifts, too - so grab a few packs of towels to keep on hand!  And if you're really lucky, you can find a great sale on pillow forms...

So now I can hand out pillows EVERYWHERE!!


I hope you enjoy this tutorial and it's something you can use!  I really need to get on the ball and make my Christmas pillows - but these are quick and easy, so maybe I can get some made this week before I decorate.  An instant way to bring some Christmas cheer!




  1. what a good idea Sarah thanks for the tutorial on it

  2. What a cute idea. Very clever and looks pretty easy to make. I may have to zip over to Target to see if I can find the "Believe" towel. Thanks for sharing your great idea. And Happy T-Day.

  3. Fun idea, Sarah! I hope you have a sweet day with your family tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. As always, you give us great inspiration. Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. And now I know what I am making for the ladies in my family!! Less work than the bags and cases I made last year.

  6. I'll be hitting up my local dollar store to look for towels. This is a great idea.

  7. What a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration and tutorial. .eat well tomorrow!

  8. Love the fringed edging on the back! So cute!

  9. I love your pillow, Sarah! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  10. Super helpful ideas here! I love the new pillow (and the sentiment!) I have never thought to use binding for the edges--what a neat way to finish it up!!!!

  11. Thanks for the great idea. We don't have a Target nearby, so it's a treat when I get to visit one.


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