Clever Pillows

Cute as a button and easy to make, these decorative pillows bring charm to a chair, bed, or any corner that begs for a little cushy comfort.


Enlarge Image Top: Slipcover Pillow, Middle: Flange Pillow with Buttons, Bottom: Flange Pillow with Rickrack.

These indoor-outdoor pillows are such a snap to make, you'll have plenty of time to sit back and enjoy a cool drink.

Sporting fun fabrics, buttons, and rickrack, this trio of patio pillows becomes a cheerful plump-up for outdoor furniture. Choose durable and affordable materials, such as terry cloth, cotton knit, and pique. The dressmaker details provide the finishing touches.

What You Need:
  • Medium-weight solid-color and print fabrics
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Purchased square pillow forms
  • Clothes iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing thread
  • Buttons or rickrack
Slipcover Pillow Instructions
  1. From one solid-color fabric, cut two squares 1 inch larger than the pillow form. With right sides together, sew the squares together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance and leaving an opening for turning. Turn right side out and press to make a pillow cover. Insert the pillow form into the pillow cover, and slip-stitch the opening closed. (If desired, skip these steps and start with a purchased solid-color pillow.)
  2. From a contrasting print fabric, cut a panel twice as long as the pillow cover plus 1 inch and two-thirds as wide as the pillow cover plus 1 inch. Press the long edges of the panel under 1/4 inch twice to hem; topstitch. Fold the hemmed panel in half crosswise with the right side inside; sew the short ends together to make a slipcover. Turn right side out. Slide the slipcover over the pillow.
  3. Measure around a pillow end from one side edge of the slipcover to the other; add 1 inch. Cut two rickrack pieces that length.
  4. Remove the slipcover from the pillow; sew the rickrack ends to the hemmed slipcover edges to make straps. Slide the slipcover over the pillow, and loop the straps around the end.
Flange Pillow Instructions
  1. From one fabric, cut two squares 5 inches larger than the pillow form. With right sides together, sew the squares together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance and leaving a large opening for turning. Turn right side out and press to make a pillow cover.
  2. Sew around the perimeter of the pillow cover 2 inches from the edges, leaving an opening that matches the outer opening. Insert the pillow form into the pillow cover. Use a zipper foot to sew next to the pillow form, closing the inner opening and creating the flange. Slip-stitch the outer opening closed.
  3. Sew buttons to the corners of the pillow cover
  4. Or sew rickrack around the flange's outer edges.
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