Tutorial – Throw Pillow Cover – 1hr Easy Sewing Project

Tutorial – Throw Pillow Cover – 1hr Easy Sewing Project

After moving to Seattle and inheriting a couch of my very own, I decided it needed some accent throw pillows.

They were a lot more pricey than I wanted them to be so I decided to make my own. But I wanted them to be washable. Maybe with changeable covers. And of course, cost-effective.

I made some super simple 15″ square pillows with some linen blend fabric and polyfill for super cheap. (Hi, I like coupons.)

It was time to make me some easily changeable throw pillow covers! I thought about the logistics of the fold-over pocket kind (I don’t know what they’re actually called) and, well, it’s a ridiculously simple concept!

Super excited for my new accent pillows! Made the pillowforms and the covers! No pattern necessary. #simple #sewing

A photo posted by Melissa Estuesta (@geekmew) on

This time around, it took me an hour to make two simultaneously AND take the photos for this post. Here’s how you can, too! This can be altered to change the size and dimensions of the covers, too. Perhaps one day I’ll make a little pillow cover calculator generator :) YAY MATHING!

Materials/Info

All you need for the covers is the fabric and a means to cut and sew said fabric. These measurements include a 1/4″ seam allowance. For some reason, I just don’t like having to cut extra fabric and I’ve been playing with different edge finishings since I don’t have a serger.

Let’s begin…

Step 1: Cut the fabric

Two fabric cuts at 15.5in x 35.5in
I made two

For a 15″ pillow, start by cutting your fabric down to 35″ x 15.5″

Unless you’re picky about the direction of the pocket seam on the back, it doesn’t matter if your fabric’s pattern is horizontal or vertical. The front, however, will be the CENTER of the cut piece.

Step 2: Hem the pocket edges

Hemmed edge
Hem both of the short (15.5″) sides

Hem up both short edges. Using the 1/4 seam allowance, I did a straight stitch and went back over it with a zig-zag. Roll it under if you’d like, serge it, use only the zig-zag.. However you want, I’m sure will be fine! The first time, I just did a straight stitch, no rolling. It frays a little so I wanted to try something different this time.

Step 3: Fold and pin the long edges

Lay the fabric flat, with the RIGHT side facing up so you can see it. 10″ from the short end, fold the fabric up onto itself like a pocket.

Folded fabric up at 10" from one of the short sides
Fold at 10″ from one of the short sides

From the other short end, do the same, overlapping the pocket you made.

Folded fabric 10" from the opposite side
Fold the other side down at 10″ from the other side

This will make two overlapping pocket things over the 15″ middle. The WRONG side will be all you can see. Pin both sides into place to secure the overlaps for sewing.

Step 4: Sew the sides

Sew up both sides. Yep, the whole side.

Sewn edge
My little lazy hems. No one sees these anyway ;)

Step 5: Turn right-side out

It might seem a little weird at first, but it will turn right side out properly. I found that it helps to do two corners at a time.. Reach into the obvious pocket first and pulling the corners through. Then, repeat for the two in the pocket that’s still inside out.

Pillow pocket in finished pillow cover
Shove pillow here!

You should be able to see the overlapping pocket where to shove your pillow form.

YOU’RE DONE!!

All done!

Put them on your pillow forms and enjoy some cute, custom couch accents!

For your next set, you can get all kinds of creative and add some cabling or frill to the edges, use a cross-stitch pattern on the fabric, use quilted fabric, whatever you want.

May your heads rest on comfy creativity :)

Turn your Achievement Medals into Coasters – REALLY EASY!

I just finished moving. I had only lived in my previous place for 2.5 years, and somehow still felt like I’d accumulated so much STUFF. (Most of it is coming in handy, however, so now I don’t feel so bad, haha)

There’s one thing that I still didn’t know what to do with until last week!

Medal coaster

Medals. The kind you get for actually winning and placing is pretty awesome, but I’m in possession of three generic, congrats-you-finished-and-we-don’t-care-about-your-time medals from two 5k’s and a mud run. I don’t need these hanging on a wall or bulletin board. So they just sat.

But last week, I observed that my coworker’s coaster (< a href=”http://www.twitter.com/bumblethunder”>@bumblethunder) was, in fact, a marathon medal! He said it came that way, with a foam ring on the backside and everything. I expressed interest in recreating it, so we discussed a bit.

I mean, you could just take the ribbon off and put it on the table, but it’d totally scuff and scratch the surface. Isn’t the point of a coaster to protect your surfaces? So, a little editing would be needed! Still, there’s no way it could be difficult.

Hey guess what! IT WAS REALLY REALLY EASY! You could do things a lot less crudely (like fill and cover the medal with a resin to make it all pretty and smooth) and come up with some super sweet results, but I’m just going to lay down the basics :)

Things you’ll need:

  • Your medal
  • Self-stick furniture felt pads
  • (OR felt or kiddy crafty foam sheet thing + hot glue/some other adhesive)
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Pencil (optional)

Step 1: Prepare your medal – Take only the medal

You’ll have to take off the sweet ribbon it came with, as well as any connecting metal rings. Most rings will have an opening that was squeezed shut. Use pliers to open up the ring and remove your medal.

Step 2: Prepare your felt pads – End up with three felt pads per medal

My coworker actually gave me some felt furniture pads he found lying around his house. They’re from Ikea (called FIXA). The small ones look to be about 3/4″ in diameter, which is pretty big for this project, so I used only one and cut it into thirds.

If you’re using craft foam or regular felt with an adhesive, cut three small squares or circles or rectangles or triangles or trapezoids or whatever’s easiest that is fairly substantial. Not teeny strips, you want a little support here! The width to aim for is just a little over 1/4″. They don’t have to be pretty.

Cut your feet

Mark your lines with a pencil if you’d like. Cutting something into thirds took my brain a second to figure out ;) Think peace sign.

You can go a little larger for larger medals, too. Remember, you’re going for support, but not too much to make the bottom uneven.

Step 3: Secure the felt pads to the back of the medal

Place your feet

Spread out the pads as evenly as possible near the edge of the medal, leaving only a little room at the edge. You don’t want it to show too much, but more importantly, you don’t want the weight of a cup to tip it over, either!

Make sure the medal is clean to get the best stickage. Once you’re satisfied with the placement, glue ’em down, or if using the self-stick kind, simply peel and stick!

Let your adhesive dry according to its instructions.

Turn over, test it out with a cup, slide it around the table and observe how it doesn’t make that awful scratchy sound or scuff up your surfaces! Yay!

Now, you can show off your accomplishments in a smooth and productive way!

*Achievement unlocked* I should get a medal for this ;)

Simple 3-Color Knit Bow Hair Clip

I decided to try my hand using three yarn colors. They came out pretty well for being new knitter :)

The red/black/white was inspired by Mass Effect’s N7 colors.

The teal/black/white was inspired by the San Jose Sharks <3 The thicker center color can be made by knitting 6 rows instead of 4 (described below). It gives a more angular, larger look. I'm not sure the correct terminology for writing patterns, but here it goes..

The Knitting

20130312-205029.jpg

Black:
Cast on 30 sts
Knit 4 rows, don’t cut yarn!

White (just start using it instead of the black strand):
Knit 2 rows, don’t cut yarn!

Red/Teal (just start using it like before): Knit 4 rows (Or 6 rows to get the thicker center)
Tie off/cut

White:
Pick up the white strand again
Knit 2 rows.
Tie off/cut

Black:
Pick up existing black strand again
Knit 4 rows
Cast off
Tie off/cut

The Construction

Fold the strip in half and sew the shorter seam together. The color and front/back facing out doesn’t matter because it will end up in the back anyway.

Cut about 8″ of each color yarn.

Take the clip apart and have it ready to be wrapped in.

Move the seam to the center-back of the loop. Flatten to see the front of the bow. Gauge the horizontal center and fold the top n bottom backwards.

Take the 8″ strands together and wrap them around the center of the bow a few times, wrapping the clip to the back of it. Make sure that there’s not too many wraps+knot, otherwise there won’t be enough room for hair!

Once tied, cut the yarn ends short, put the clip back together, and yay!

20130312-212106.jpg

OPTIONAL: Use the small holes to tie down the clip to one of the nearby stitches to anchor the clip.

Hanging Organizer

Made a hanging organizer with pockets for holding whatever! No pattern.. Just kinda made stuff up like I usually do;)

The only thing I would change is to put the hanging loops on the corners. It kinda folds in if item weight isn’t distributed right. Still works though!

20120520-033246.jpg