Lofty goals…

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I’ve been struggling to find any and all neutral and aqua pillows to add a splash of lighter, brighter color to our beige and red-highlighted living room.  The Boy indicated one day that aqua was a color he liked, so I thought, why not?  Pillows aren’t a big commitment in any case, so I’ll try it out.pillow04

Alas, pillows brand new are prohibitively expensive!  Even when I started plotting to make my own, I was disappointed at the prices of pillow inserts!  Goodness, $20 for a 20 inch pillow?  That wasn’t going to fit within my nonexistent budget.  So what else to do but turn to my local secondhand shops?  On a trip with friends, I picked up several secondhand pillows – after confirming of course that they had separate inserts that could be removed.  I paid between $3-4 per pillow.  With two sets each of 20 inch and 18 inch, as well as an extra large floor pillow, I went in search of fabric.

I had some more neutral browns and soft grays in my collection, so I picked up remnants in the aqua color I was looking for.  Remnants are typically marked down at least once, and were on sale another half off their sticker price, so I saved a lot!  I’ve finished two so far, and have a few more to go!

pillowdiagram Want to try it?  It’s a piece of cake!  Get your fabric and sewing supplies, and here we go!  Measure your inserts from seam to seam, both ways.  Add an inch to each of those measurements for your seam allowance (that provides about a half inch for a seam allowance on each side).  Cut one side – presumably the front side – using those measurements.  Now hang on!  The opposite side – presumably the back side – can be cut differently, so we avoid any awkward seams.  For the reverse side, add about 6 inches to your original measurement for ONE direction.  Assuming your pillows are square, you’ll then have one square, and one rectangle.  Cut that rectangle in half.  Hem one long edge of each half of the ‘back’ pieces.

Now, on to the sewing!  Line up your pieces with all your right sides together.  The two back pieces should overlap each other a few inches in the middle.  This will be the pillow closure, but with the overlap, you don’t need any connections or hardware, leaving the pillow smooth and comfy.  Sew at a half inch from the edge, trip, and turn it out to the right side.  Fill it with your insert, fluff it up, and you’re done! 

I added a stripe to my second pillow there just by sewing in a contrasting color strip and then proceeding with the directions as regular.  The color – and the support – is a great addition to the room!  What’s your favorite fast and frugal room update?

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