Simple Sew and No-Sew Pillows, Cushions and Toys
Find easy and unusual ideas for using fabric to add a little comfort and style to your decor.
Photo By: Picasa ©Becky Hutcherson
Photo By: unknown ©Denise DuBois
Here is a quick, simple way to make pillows without having to learn to sew. These pretty cushions were put together using fabric glue and an iron. No one ever has to know that you didn’t spend hours at the sewing machine.
Vintage quilt squares found at an antique fair are fastened onto coordinating fabric to make a set of charming window seat pillows.
Upcycle Old T-Shirts
Kids sometimes have trouble parting with favorite T-shirts after they outgrow them. Instead of getting rid of the old tees, upcycle them into decorative throw pillows for their bedroom or playroom. Get the step-by-step instructions >>
Turn your couch cushions into a photo album, use iron-on transfers to add family photos to throw pillows.
Stuffed Toy for Baby
If you are new to sewing, this is a great starter project. It requires only a basic straight stitch and you can use old scrap fabric or upcycled clothes. Get the step-by-step instructions >>
Kathryn Johnson offers a charming menagerie of plush monster characters at her Etsy shop, Dust in My Eye, all recycled from unloved sweaters. This fellow, called “Battyfly,” is crafted from an old wool sweater stuffed with fiberfill; his expressive face and diminutive wings are made from cotton fabric and buttons.
Easy Chair Cushions
Re-covering your dining chairs is probably the easiest and one of the most inexpensive ways to get a new look in your dining room or kitchen. Go for a durable fabric that can be wiped clean. Keep in mind that a random pattern is easier than stripes or chevrons because you don’t have to worry about the design lining up.
Stuffed Rattlesnake Toys
Beginners can handle this simple toy sewing project, says Becky Hutcherson, who sells her rattlesnakes on Etsy.com at The Boomin Granny. She stuffs a single tie with poly filler, glues or whipstitches the opening shut, and then adds button eyes, a ribbon tongue and a “rattler,” usually a plastic bottle filled with beans. If you’re making the toy for a child, she says, be sure to stitch on the accents securely rather than gluing.
Etsy shop owner Denise DuBois (House on the Hill Quilts) loves making pillows from her old sweaters and her stash of fabric remnants and notions. “Cotton sweaters work the best for me,” she says. “They don’t stretch as much as polyester or wool and, best of all, they won’t pill!” Cable-knit sweaters in particular make smart-looking contemporary designs. Here, DuBois machine-quilted a panel cut from an old sweater to a piece of cotton batting and some fabric backing so that the pillow retains its shape.
Instead of purchasing new decorative pillows, make simple, no-sew slipcovers and cover the old ones with new fabric that suits your updated decor. Get the step-by-step instructions >>
Instead of covering your bed with a pile of throw pillows, try the simple, fuss-free look of a single bolster. They’re easy to make and provide comfy support when working in bed or just curling up with a good book.
Felt for Color and Personality
To add a memorable pop of color, felt a favorite old sweater or baby blanket, cut out an unusual shape and stitch it onto a plain pillow.
Even when never worn, some old t-shirts are just too precious to throw away. Gather up those tees and upcycle them into an easy, no-sew pillows. See how easy it is >>
Tie It Up
Perfect for decorating on a whim, these no-sew pillows will give any room a polished look. Get the knot pillow instructions >>