Okeedoke, so I am going to let you in on a little secret of mine. I’m the kinda girl that always experiments/injects loads of color into my wardrobe…but I must admit I’m a bit of a commitment phobe when it comes to adding splashes of color to my living space. While out shopping for my latest DIY, I thought throw pillows would be the answer — they’d be the perfect solution to ramp up the color factor in a way that’s changeable with the seasons. I’ve never done these before but I gotta say, I think they turned out pretty darn good, and even have some professional finishes. Let me know what you think in the comments below, or if you plan on trying them to give your space a little color.
SUPPLIES: fabric, straight pins, invisible zippers, needle and thread, rotary cutter, chalk, measuring tape, scissors, and a sewing machine.
1. Cut out front and back forms. I have 18×18 inch pillows (Note: if you’d like them nice and snug, cut them exactly 18×18 inch, but if you’d like a little room in yours like I have here, cut them 19×19 — the extra inch is for a half inch seam allowance on each side).
2. I wanted to illustrate how to cut the form if you want to use a fabric with a design that needs centering. So here I used my ikat pillow. To center it, place a straight pin at the design’s mid point, then measure 9.5 inches to the left, and then to the right of that center point.
3. If you happen to get a zipper that’s a bit too long…no fear, I just learned a trick to shorten them. The ones I purchased were about 25 inches, but I wanted them shorter than my pillows. So, starting at bottom of zipper, I stuck a straight pin at 16 inches — my new desired length.
4. Next take a needle and thread and stitch around the teeth of the zipper at the 16 inch mark.
5. Once you’ve knotted the thread around the teeth, cut the remainder of the zipper about a half inch beyond this new point.
6. Then you’ll snip the fabric on either side of the zippers teeth up to the thread.
7. Hold the side flaps back and remove the excess teeth.
8. This is how is will look on both ends when you are finished.
9. Take one side of your pillow forms, facing right side up (doesn’t matter which side). Next use your straight pins to attach face down zipper against the top raw edge. (Note: I placed pins on both side of the zipper because it tended to move around a bit).
10. Using a zipper foot, I sewed the zipper onto the fabric, with the foot getting as close to the zipper’s teeth as I could.
11. Sew right up to the head of the zipper.
12. Lift zipper foot, pull back the zipper’s head and continue to stitch, and then back stitch to fully secure the zipper to the fabric — avoiding any weird bulges in places that might have been missed had you not maneuvered the zipper head.
13. Once this is complete, take the second side of the pillow form and place right sides together. Secure the other side of the zipper to the very top of this form with straight pins.
14. Sew the zipper on in the same way you did for the previous side.
15. You are now ready to close the pillow up. I pinned it on all sides to keep it straight. (Note: Be sure to start and end on either side of the zipper. If you want a finished look, create a little pocket for the zipper by sewing slightly below the zipper before continuing down the pillow form sides).
16. Sew down sides.
17. Before you make this last turn right below the zipper on the opposite side, be sure to leave the zipper open a few inches (even more than I did here) so you can open it once you’ve sewn it all shut). It will be tricky to open if you don’t.
18. Snip the bottom corners of the pillow form.
19. Flip the pillow form to the right side, and you are all set!