Give Pottery Barn a run for it’s high profit margins, by whipping up these DIY pillows that could have easily been store-bought
BY NORA GENETTI
Don’t you love rearranging and replacing your pillow collection to relax the mind and freshen up your living space? After all, it is the quickest way to rid home décor of the visual boredom that sets in from looking at the same accessories every day. And if you’re ready to DIY throw pillows, you can also knock price considerations off the pros and cons list.
We’ve selected 10 DIY throw pillow ideas for you to try, that are as gorgeous to look at, as they are fun and easy to make. What’s more, the end result and can rival the best stuff Pottery Barn has to offer!
2-SIDED QUILTED PILLOW SHAM WITH POMPOM FRINGE
What do you do when you’re super inspired by a décor item, want it real bad, but don’t want to spend $ 20 + shipping? You make it! That’s exactly what Megan Duesterhaus at The Homes I Have Made did when she came across a version of this darling 2-sided and quilted black-and-white pillow sham with pompom fringe in an online store.
Megan swears you don’t have to be an ace needleworker to achieve this kind of finishing. And she walks us, step-by-step, through a process that honestly doesn’t look that difficult.
Currently, this black-and-white sham is sitting pretty in her little Henry’s `big-boy’ room – with a bunch of pillows Megan has also made and shared via tutorials on her website.
We are totally loving the bold statement this ensemble of pillows is making.
Somehow, the attraction of black-and-white coupled with pops of peppy multicolor never seems to grow old.
WOODBLOCKED DIY PILLOW
If you’re a fan of Pottery Barn/Cost Plus World Market type of décor style, this DIY project is really the thing for you.
Woodblock-printing is a very traditional and signature printing style from countries like India, that anybody can do. Provided you have the woodblocks.
In this tutorial, Erin Francois from Francois et Moi tells us where to buy the woodblocks and then how to use them to create amazing DIY throw pillows like these.
For this project, Erin uses the khairi mango paisley motif that is one of India’s most popular repeatable pattern. The way she has spaced them apart creates an understated, elegant look. You can also go the whole hog, and bring the prints in closer to each other for a busier, ethnic appearance.
A Minneapolis gal and a flea market wander with a penchant for all things French, Erin has some classic DIY inspirations in her Handmade section we’re itching to try. The overall style direction is quiet, cultured and extremely sophisticated. And all tied up with excellent photography.
EYE-PRINT DIY THROW PILLOW
Can DIY-ing get any more fun than this! It’s just drawing eyes, like we did in play school. Only, this time we do it on a plain, white cushion cover, and the effect is so tribal in its appeal, it’s…awesome.
Plus, the minimal black-and-white spare look goes well with any pillow mix you create with stripes, prints and multi-colors.
This eye-print DIY throw pillow cover is the handiwork of Stephanie Lee at Make And Tell. Inspired by all the embroidered `eye’ pillows she saw on the web, she decided to give the design a shot with paint. And the result was almost as good as embroidery – maybe even better because it reminds us of rude, ancient African rock art.
If you’re worried about not being an artist, Stephanie takes care of that concern too by showing us how to do the painting with stencils made out of cardboard toilet rolls. The tutorial sure lives up to Stephanie’s ambition of making magic happen with the most basic tools like paper, paint and scissors.
HOUNDSTOOTH DIY PILLOW
3 pieces of foam, some fabric, paint and readiness to get messy. That’s all you need to get DIY-ing on this houndstooth project with Anna at Crafting Fingers.
The houndstooth pattern of broken checks that originated in Scotland is one of those instantly-recognizable prints we mentally associate with tradition, quality and sober sophistication. However, Anna gives her cushion prints a grungy, mod vibe by using homemade foam stamps to deliberately distress them. (If you want clean, even stamp impressions, you can do the same process with linoleum instead of foam.)
Born in Finland, Anna lived in the US before crossing the Pond to settle in UK with her husband, taking her bagsful of crafting ideas and inspirations from shore to shore.
Her dream home is a place where Mid-Century meets rustic Industrial, and where a cat is in residence.
This distressed houndstooth tutorial is one of our favorite Anna projects, one we think is a great representative of her design direction, and we’re already dreaming up what colors we will try them in next.
CANDY HEART DIY CUSHION
The “meh” on this candy heart cushion is the maker Tally Heilke’s way of balancing all the artificially sweetened emotions of Valentines Day out of a perfectly cute and universally-loved product: candy hearts.
And we got to confess, that we couldn’t agree more. The “meh” is such an empowering expression for the candy heart to claim its independence from the clutches of February 14th, and let the world admire its form, shape and sweetness for is own sake.
Works well in home décor too, because the candy heart has now been un-stereotyped and can sit on your sofa round the year.
If white is not your color, you can always use fleece in other traditional candy heart shades like minty green, yellow, pink, purple and orange.
The Prizes & Sponsorship Coordinator for the annual Desert Bus For Hope – the world’s longest-running video game-inspired fundraiser – Tally also manages her personal coffer of DIY tutorials at Tally’s Treasury.
It’s east to get caught up in Tally’s world of clever crafty ideas, served up in her irreverent, inimitable style every Thursday.
SUNFLOWER DIY THROW PILLOW
How good are you at cutting, pinning and sticking? We’re sure you’ll say you can manage, if there is a sufficient supply of crafty inspiration.
And so we supply you with this amazing floral treat that is actually quite simple to put together. As long as you’re willing to cut, pin and stick a bunch of petals.
“It’s probably the cutest thing I have ever made with felt,” says Stephanie Saul, founder and creative director of Fab You Bliss, who saw a version of this petal pillow on the cover of Country Living magazine.
Putting her self-confessed passion for peonies aside for just long enough to finish the project, she set cutting and sewing on a bundle of petals. (Yes, this calls for some patience, and you can use glue if you don’t want to sew.)
The result was a joyous yellow piece of floral home accessory that grabs the eyes and starts conversations. You can make one of your own too, by following Stephanie’s detailed tutorial.
And while you’re on her wedding and lifestyle blog, you might also want to browse through her collection of genius eco-chic ideas that don’t need a wedding to look beautiful in our homes!
PRETZEL DIY THROW PILLOW
Just stitch, twist and salt…says Kelly Mindell, founder and editor of Studio DIY, about her snackalicious pretzel DIY throw pillow that can be a whimsical addition to any room décor that wants a few playful touches for people to see and enjoy.
After all, everyone needs a pretzel pillow, and you really don’t know what you been missing until you give this cuddly bread knot an easy, beginner-level try.
An LA-based DIY enthusiast, Kelly’s vision of the world is floating in confetti and she’s always going to bed with glitter on her feet. Kelly says it’s quite okay to crack open a piñata on a Tuesday morning for no apparent reason at all. Celebrations mustn’t wait for a worthy occasion, and risk the best moments of life passing by. And to make sure that that doesn’t happen, she’s always thinking up crafty, colorful projects that her husband Jeff is styling and photographing for the rest of us!
NO-SEW DIY SWEATER PILLOW
We’re ruthless when it comes to discarding old sweaters during our summer clean-ups because the weather is warm, and the idea of woolly layers on our skin is so seasonally-inappropriate at the time.
Cheers then, to Natalie Pirveysian at Crème de la Craft, who has shared this marvelous way to upcycle damaged and holey woolies and give our sofas, chairs and beds a welcoming pop of cozy, textured color. It’s a no-sew project, and takes just a few minutes to style, so anybody can try it.
In the image above, you can see how Natalie has dressed her new outdoor lounge chairs, bringing the comforts of indoors to the patio with two of her favorite damaged sweaters in pleasing patterns.
Natalie, who started giving art classes at Michaels and currently hosts monthly craft nights with TOMS in LA, has ten years of pro crafting experience, and her website is laden with a ton of projects with beginner’s in mind. She’s also a deft hand at hosting “craft parties” in the LA area (just in case, you’re thinking of throwing one!).
MONOGRAMMED DIY PILLOWCASE
We shouldn’t be surprised really that a professional wedding and events planner should think of such a personalized way to make houseguests feel special.
The cost is only that of a pillowcase, but the memory of you monogramming a guest’s name on it is a sweet gesture that will live on forever in his/her memory.
As Ashley says, staying in somebody’s house as a guest can be a little awkward for most of us. So she looks beyond the usual `welcome baskets’ and bedside cookies, and devises the idea of monogrammed pillowcases. The bold black lettering looks so clean and crisp, and takes only a few minutes to complete.
When Ashley is not busy planning the most romantic day in the lives of her clients, she is busy making our lives beautiful with projects like this DIY pillowcase at the Let’s Mingle blog.
NO-SEW DIY PIZZA PILLOW
There goes Katie again, Running With A Glue Gun! This time, for a slice of pizza that can be displayed as evidence of our pizza addiction on sofas, beds and chairs.
No-sew projects are such a joy, and if you’re crazy for pizza, won’t you just love cutting up the brown, red and yellow fabrics, imagining delicious tomato, cheese and toppings on soft brown bread as you layer them on, one after another….The pizza pillow project has been made super-easy by Katie, and this is something you could enjoy doing at home with the kids – provided you order out for some real pizza afterwards!