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Super Snappy Repurposed Pillow Tutorial

I was away last week for a very fun project (the details of which I hope to share soon!), so didn’t have a ton of sewing time. But luckily, I didn’t need a ton of time to whip up a super-cute something—and you don’t either!

pumpkin pillow 8

I made this adorable flannel-and-faux-leather pillow yesterday morning. Including cutting, it took about 30 minutes to put together. That’s right. A half an hour to create a pretty piece of festive fall decor that dresses up any room. Most of us, myself included, spend at least that long checking Facebook and Instagram over our first cups of daily coffee, so this seems like time easily found and wisely spent!

One reason the project came together so quickly is that the pillow’s main focal point was already done. A few weeks ago, I was nosing around Homegoods, my favorite store, when I spotted a lovely set of dishtowels. I immediately LOVED the neutral colors, shimmery fabric, and sparkly embroidered pumpkin, but I needed more dishtowels like I needed less fabric in my stash. (Which is to say not at all.) Even if that weren’t that case, I still wouldn’t have bought the towels for their intended use. They were far too pretty for hand-patting and dish-drying! Deciding I could still use them for something, though I wasn’t sure what, I bought them anyway. For $4.99! That’s right. Five dollars for what would become a pretty piece of fall decor that dresses up any room. Most of us, myself included, spend that much on a latte, so this seemed like money easily found and wisely spent! 🙂

The first towel was used for the pillow’s central square, and the second became the pillow’s back. I already had flannel, faux leather, and an 11″ x 15″ pillow insert, which is why I made the cover this shape and size. That said, the tutorial can be easily tweaked to suit whatever materials you have on hand. In fact, the main reason I’m sharing this pillow is to demonstrate how quickly you can make a visual impact, and how fun it is to repurpose common fabric finds!

To make your own Super Snappy Repurposed Pillow, you’ll need:
Two dishtowels (or other fabric featuring a fun focal point)
Faux leather for central square frame
Rotary cutter/mat
Seam ripper
11″ x 15″ pillow insert

pumpkin pillow 1

Cutting Instructions
From Towel #1:
8″ x 8″ square (in my example, centered around pumpkin)

From Towel #2:
(2) 10.5″ x 12″ for envelope back

From faux leather:
(2) 1″ x 8″
(2) 1″ x 9″

From flannel:
(2) 2″ x 9″
(2) 3.5″ x 12″

A Few Notes
On fabric: As mentioned above, I used dishtowels, faux leather and flannel, because that’s what I had. The combo also felt appropriately autumnal. But this pillow can be made in an endless variety of fabrics!

On seams: I used 1/4″ except where noted.

On stitch length: I used 3.5” for topstitching and 2.5” for all other sewing.

Let’s Start Stitching!
1. Frame central square
a. Find your faux-leather strips. Sew the shorter strips to sides of central square. Press.
b. Sew longer strips to top and bottom of central square. Press.

pumpkin pillow 2

2. Attach flannel
a. Sew your 2″ x 9″ pieces to sides of square. Press, then topstitch 1/8″ to secure seams.
b. Sew remaining flannel pieces to top and bottom of square. Press, than topstitch 1/8″ to secure seams.

pumpkin pillow 3

3. Make envelope back
Find your 10.5″ x 12″ towel pieces. Hem one shorter edge of each. To do this, fold down edge 1/2″ and press. Fold again and press. Topstitch 1/4″ along each folded edge.

pumpkin pillow 4pumpkin pillow 5

4. Assemble pillow cover
a. Lay your pillow front and back pieces right sides together. Pin or clip around edges.
b. Using a 1/2″ seam, sew around perimeter of pillow cover.
c. Trim corners, then turn right-side out. Using a chopstick or other sharp instrument, poke out pillow corners. Press.

pumpkin pillow 6

5. Insert pillow and enjoy!

pumpkin pillow 9




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