Give Old Pillows New Life!

By Polly Conner

Want to freshen up some old throw pillows? Don’t throw them out! It is a lot easier to makeover an old pillow than you would think. All you need is fabric and some very basic sewing skills.

To see the whole tutorial, keep on reading!

I started my project with a few throw pillows that were old, stained, and needing a fresh start. 

The covers of these zipped off so I removed them. If you have pillows that don’t have removable cases, no big deal.

I had some sturdy fabric that I picked up at a craft store a few weeks ago. Since I only had 1.5 yards of it, I used the printed fabric for the front of the pillow and a thick cream fabric for the backs.

Start by measuring the pillows. Mine were 13×13. Since you need to account for 1/2 inch inseam, I cut two 14×14 pieces to make the cases.

Place your two pieces right sides together. This means face the sides you want to show towards each other. You should be looking at the ugly sides of your fabric.

Pin your pieces together.

Sew around the edges. If you have a pillow form that you are using make sure to leave a large space not sewn so you can slip the pillow in. 

Trim the excess fabric off the edges and cut the corners so that they will come to a point once turned right side out.

Turn your case right side out, slip your pillow in, and sew up the opening either by hand or by machine if you can finagle it under your machine.

That’s it!

I made three for my living room. Total cost: $5.00 for the fabric!


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2 replies
  1. Michelle says:

    Hi. I am not a sewer….although Im interested in learning. So could you sew this by hand? Also, could you recommend an inexpensive basic sewing machine that would get the job done for someone like myself who doesn’t have much experience with sewing? These pillow cases are adorable and so much cheaper than going and buying them!! Thanks!

    • Polly says:

      Hi Michelle
      I basically learned to sew but just jumping in and trying! I got a sewing machine at a garage sale, followed a few tutorials online, asked some friends for a little help and just kind of learned as I went. I’d recommend starting by getting a used sewing machine off of Craigs List or second hand somehow. That way you aren’t investing a ton of money before you figure out if you really like it. (Just make sure it comes with a manual so you can figure out how to thread it!). A blog that I learned a TON from is called Make it and Love it. You are on the right track by starting with pillows. That was my very first project. You’ll find that you can save tons of money if you learn just a few basic sewing skills. Oh and as far as a machine goes, I’d recommend getting a Singer of some type. Good luck!