How to Make Decorative Pillows at Home

Decorative pillows are an essential element of any well-designed home décor. These small accents have the power to transform and elevate the look and feel of a space, adding style, comfort, and personality. Whether you’re looking to refresh your living room, bedroom, or even outdoor seating area, knowing how to make decorative pillows at home allows you to not only save money but also unleash your creativity and tailor the design to match your personal style.

When it comes to home décor, every detail counts. Decorative pillows play a crucial role in tying together different elements within a room. They can introduce color and pattern, create visual interest, and provide a cozy atmosphere that invites relaxation. Moreover, decorative pillows offer versatility – they can be easily swapped out or mixed and matched with other accessories to keep up with changing trends or give your space a fresh new look.

Making your own decorative pillows is not only a cost-effective way to update your home; it’s also a rewarding creative project. With the right tools and materials, you can design custom-made pillows that perfectly complement your existing décor or add a unique touch to any room.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of making decorative pillows at home, from choosing the right fabric and construction techniques to exploring various shapes and designs. So let’s dive in and discover how you can unleash your creativity while transforming your home with homemade decorative pillows.

Choosing the Right Fabric

When it comes to making decorative pillows at home, selecting the right fabric is essential. The fabric you choose will not only affect the overall look and feel of your pillow but also its durability and ease of maintenance. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you select the perfect material for your homemade decorative pillows.

  1. Consider the Style: Think about the style and theme of your home decor. If you have a modern or minimalist style, sleek and smooth fabrics like silk or satin can add a touch of elegance. For a rustic or bohemian look, consider natural fabrics like linen or burlap.
  2. Assess Durability: Depending on where you plan to use your decorative pillows, durability may be an important factor. If you’re making pillows for outdoor use or high-traffic areas like the living room, opt for durable fabrics like canvas or polyester blends that can withstand frequent use and cleaning.
  3. Evaluate Texture: Texture can add visual interest and depth to your pillows. Consider using fabrics with different textures such as velvet, chenille, or faux fur to create a tactile experience. In contrast, if you prefer a sleeker look, go for smooth fabrics like cotton or silk.
  4. Check Care Instructions: Before purchasing any fabric, make sure to check its care instructions. Some fabrics may require special care such as dry cleaning or gentle washing, while others can be easily machine-washed and dried. Choose a fabric that aligns with your preferred level of maintenance.
  5. Explore Color and Pattern: Finally, consider the color scheme and patterns in your space when choosing fabric for your decorative pillows. Opt for colors that complement your existing decor or serve as accent pieces to create visual interest. Patterns can add personality and character; just ensure they don’t clash with other patterns in the room.

By taking these factors into account when choosing fabric for your homemade decorative pillows, you can ensure that they not only look great but also stand the test of time. Experiment with different fabrics to create pillows that reflect your personal style and enhance the overall aesthetic of your home.

Essential Tools and Materials

To successfully make decorative pillows at home, it is essential to have the right tools and materials. Before taking on any sewing project, it is important to gather everything you need to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Here is a comprehensive list of the essential tools and materials you will need:

  1. Fabric: Choose a fabric that complements your home decor and fits the style of your pillows. Common choices include cotton, linen, velvet, or faux fur. Make sure you have enough fabric to cover the front and back of your pillows.
  2. Thread: Select a thread color that matches or complements your fabric. It is always better to have extra thread on hand in case you run out during the sewing process.
  3. Sewing Machine: A reliable sewing machine will make your pillow-making journey much easier and quicker. Make sure it is in good working condition before starting your project.
  4. Scissors: Invest in a pair of fabric scissors that are sharp and sturdy. These will be used for cutting out your fabric pieces and trimming any excess thread.
  5. Pins or Clips: Use pins or clips to hold your fabric pieces together while sewing. They help with keeping everything aligned during the construction process.
  6. Sewing Needles: Having various sizes of sewing needles on hand ensures you can easily sew different types of fabrics without damaging them.
  7. Measuring Tape or Ruler: Accurate measurements are crucial for achieving professional-looking results when making decorative pillows. Use a measuring tape or ruler to ensure precise dimensions for your pillow covers.
  8. Iron and Ironing Board: Pressing your fabric before and after sewing helps create crisp edges and smooth seams in your pillow covers.
  9. Pillow Forms or Stuffing: Choose pillow forms that match the size of your finished pillows if you prefer easy stuffing options. Alternatively, you can use fiberfill stuffing material if you want more control over the firmness of your pillows.
  10. Optional Accessories: Depending on the style and design of your pillows, you may want to gather additional materials such as zippers, buttons, trims, or appliques for added embellishment.

Having a well-stocked supply of tools and materials will ensure that you can complete your decorative pillow project efficiently and with excellent results. So, gather all of these essential items before you start sewing to avoid any delays or interruptions in the creation process.

Basic Pillow Construction

When it comes to making decorative pillows at home, learning the basic pillow construction is essential. Sewing a square pillow is a great starting point for beginners, as it introduces them to the fundamentals of pillow-making. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to sew a square pillow:

Gather Your Materials

Before you start sewing, gather all the necessary materials. These include fabric for the pillow cover, coordinating thread, scissors, pins or clips, a sewing machine (or needle if hand-sewing), and a ruler or measuring tape. Choose a fabric that suits your style and complements your home décor.

Measure and Cut the Fabric

Next, measure and cut two identical squares of fabric to serve as the front and back panels of your pillow. Use a ruler or measuring tape to ensure accuracy. For example, if you want a 16×16 inch pillow, cut two 17×17 inch squares to account for seam allowances.

Sew Three Sides

Place the fabric panels with right sides together (the side you want to show facing inwards). Pin or clip along three sides of the squares, leaving one side open for stuffing later. Using a straight stitch on your sewing machine or hand-sewing with small stitches, sew along these three sides using a ½ inch seam allowance.

Add Finishing Touches

After stitching the three sides together, reinforce the corners by backstitching or overlapping stitches for extra durability. Trim any excess thread and use pinking shears or zigzag stitch along the raw edges of the seams to prevent fraying. This step ensures that your pillow will hold up well over time.

Turn It Right Side Out and Insert Pillow Form

Once you have finished sewing the three sides and prepared the seams, carefully turn your pillow cover right side out through the opening. Use your fingers or a blunt object to push out the corners and smooth any wrinkles. Then, insert a pillow form into the cover through the open side.

By following these simple steps, you can easily sew a square decorative pillow for your home. This basic construction technique is the foundation for all other pillow shapes and designs. Once you have mastered this skill, feel free to explore more intricate designs and advanced techniques to further enhance your homemade decorative pillows.

Adding a Personal Touch

Decorative pillows are a versatile and creative way to add style and personality to any room. While the basic construction of a pillow is important, it is the unique embellishments and design ideas that truly make them stand out. In this section, we will explore various ways to add a personal touch to your decorative pillows, allowing you to create one-of-a-kind accents for your home.

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One simple yet effective way to add a personal touch to your decorative pillows is by using fabric paint or markers. These can be used to draw or stencil designs onto the fabric, creating custom patterns or images that reflect your individual style. Whether you prefer intricate mandalas, playful polka dots, or elegant monograms, fabric paint offers endless possibilities for personalization.

Another way to personalize your decorative pillows is by adding embellishments such as buttons, beads, or ribbons. These can be sewn onto the surface of the pillow or used as closures for pillow covers. Beads and sequins can also be arranged in specific designs or patterns, creating a stunning visual effect. By selecting colors and materials that complement your existing home decor, you can ensure that your decorative pillows seamlessly blend with their surroundings while still making a statement.

Incorporating texture into your decorative pillows is another great way to make them unique. Consider using different fabric textures such as velvet, faux fur, or embroidery for an added tactile element. You can also experiment with three-dimensional embellishments like appliques or fabric flowers.

These can be sewn onto the surface of the pillow or attached using adhesive methods for a no-sew option. By mixing and matching textures within a single pillow or pairing different textured pillows together, you can create visually interesting arrangements that catch the eye.

Fabric Paint/MarkersAllows for custom designs and patterns
Buttons, Beads, RibbonsCan be sewn onto pillows or used as closures
Texture (e.g. velvet, faux fur, embroidery)Adds tactile element and visual interest to pillows

By adding a personal touch to your decorative pillows, you can transform them into unique works of art that reflect your individual style and creativity. Whether through fabric paint, embellishments, or texture, there are numerous ways to make your pillows truly stand out in any space. So let your imagination run wild, and have fun experimenting with different ideas to create statement-making decorative pillows for your home.

Exploring Different Pillow Shapes

Pillows are a versatile and essential element in home décor, providing both comfort and style to any living space. While square pillows are the most common shape, there are various other shapes that can add visual interest and dimension to your home. In this section, we will explore different pillow shapes such as round, rectangular, and bolster pillows, discussing their unique characteristics and how to create them.

Round Pillows

Round pillows are an excellent choice if you want to add a touch of elegance and softness to your home décor. They create a sense of balance when placed among square or rectangular pillows on a sofa or bed. To make a round pillow, start by cutting two circles of fabric with the desired diameter plus seam allowance.

Then, sew the two pieces together leaving an opening for filling. Once filled with stuffing or a pillow form, hand-stitch the opening closed using an invisible ladder stitch.

Rectangular Pillows

Rectangular pillows are often used as lumbar support on sofas or chairs, providing added comfort while also adding visual interest. To create a rectangular pillow, cut two rectangles of fabric with desired dimensions plus seam allowance. Place the right sides together and sew around three sides, leaving one short side open for filling. Turn the fabric right side out through the opening and fill with stuffing or a pillow form. Finally, hand-stitch the opening closed using a slip stitch.

Bolster Pillows

Bolster pillows are cylindrical in shape and add depth and dimension to any seating arrangement. They can be used as decorative accents on beds or as back support on sofas or chairs. To make a bolster pillow, cut two rectangles of fabric with dimensions that correspond to the desired length and circumference of the pillow plus seam allowance.

Sew these two pieces together along the long edges, leaving both short ends open for filling. Turn the fabric right side out and fill with stuffing or a bolster pillow form. Hand-stitch the openings closed using a slip stitch.

By exploring different pillow shapes, you can create unique and eye-catching accents for your home décor. Whether you choose round, rectangular, or bolster pillows, remember to consider the overall style and theme of your space when selecting fabrics and embellishments. With these versatile shapes, you can easily elevate the aesthetic appeal of any room in your home.

Mastering Advanced Techniques

When it comes to making decorative pillows, adding advanced techniques such as ruffles, pleats, and piping can take your designs to the next level. These techniques add texture, visual interest, and a professional touch to your pillows. In this section, we will explore how to master these advanced techniques and incorporate them into your homemade decorative pillows.

One technique that can instantly elevate the look of a pillow is adding ruffles. Ruffles are a classic embellishment that can bring a feminine and romantic feel to any space. To create ruffles, you will need to gather fabric strips and attach them to the edges of your pillow cover. You can choose to make small or large ruffles depending on your preference. Experiment with different fabrics and colors to create unique and eye-catching designs.

Another advanced technique is pleating. Pleats add sophistication and structure to decorative pillows. There are several types of pleats you can try, including box pleats, knife pleats, or accordion pleats. To create pleats, you will need to fold the fabric in a specific way and secure it in place with pins or stitching. This technique may require some practice to perfect but once mastered, it can add elegance and dimension to your pillows.

Lastly, piping accents offer a polished finishing touch for decorative pillows. Piping refers to a narrow strip of fabric covered by bias tape that is inserted along the edges of a pillow cover. This technique not only adds visual interest but also provides durability by reinforcing the seams. You can choose contrasting or matching colors for the piping fabric depending on the look you want to achieve.

Incorporating these advanced techniques into your homemade decorative pillows allows you to showcase your creativity and craftsmanship. With patience and practice, you will be able to master these skills and create stunning pillow designs that stand out in any space.

RufflesA classic embellishment that brings a feminine and romantic feel to pillows. Fabric strips are gathered and attached to the pillow edges.
PleatingAdds sophistication and structure to decorative pillows. Various types of pleats can be created such as box pleats, knife pleats, or accordion pleats.
Piping AccentsNarrow strip of fabric covered by bias tape inserted along the edges of a pillow cover. Provides visual interest and reinforces seams for durability.

Alternative Non-Sewing Methods

No-Sew Decorative Pillows are a great option for those who want to create personalized and unique pillows without having to use a needle and thread. This section will cover different methods and techniques for making no-sew decorative pillows.

One popular method for creating no-sew decorative pillows is using fabric adhesive. Fabric adhesive allows you to bond fabric together without the need for sewing. To create a no-sew pillow using fabric adhesive, start by cutting two squares or rectangles of fabric in the desired size for your pillow.

Apply the fabric adhesive along the edges of one piece of fabric, leaving a small opening for stuffing the pillow. Press the two pieces of fabric together firmly, ensuring that they are bonded securely. Allow the adhesive to dry completely before stuffing your pillow and closing up the opening with more adhesive.

Another no-sew method is knotting or tying the fabric together. This technique works particularly well with fabrics that have some stretch to them, like fleece or knit fabrics. To make a knotted no-sew pillow, cut two squares or rectangles of fabric in your desired size and place them wrong sides together.

Along each side of the fabric, make evenly spaced cuts about 1 inch long and 1 inch apart, stopping about 2 inches from each corner. Take one set of strips from both layers of fabric and tie them into knots, repeating this process around all four sides until three sides are closed. Stuff your pillow through the open side before tying the remaining strips together to close it up.

No-sew decorative pillows allow you to get creative with different materials and techniques while avoiding traditional sewing methods. They are perfect for people who want to add their personal touch to their home décor but do not have sewing skills or equipment. With these alternative non-sewing methods, anyone can easily make beautiful decorative pillows that will enhance any room in their home.

Fabric AdhesiveUsing fabric adhesive to bond fabric together without sewing.
Knotting or Tying FabricTying the fabric together using knots, particularly suitable for stretchy fabrics.

Caring for Your Decorative Pillows

Cleaning Your Decorative Pillows

Keeping your decorative pillows clean is essential to maintaining their appearance and prolonging their lifespan. While specific cleaning instructions may vary depending on the type of fabric used, here are some general tips for cleaning your decorative pillows:

  1. Check the care label: Before attempting to clean your decorative pillows, always check the care label attached to them. The care label will provide specific instructions regarding washing temperature, detergent type, and any other important details.
  2. Spot cleaning: For minor stains or spills, it’s best to spot clean the affected area rather than washing the entire pillow. Start by blotting the stain with a clean cloth or sponge dampened with water and mild soap. Gently rub the stained area in a circular motion until the stain begins to lift. Rinse with water and blot dry.
  3. Machine washing: If your decorative pillows are machine washable, make sure to remove any removable covers or inserts before washing. Place them in a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the wash cycle. Use a gentle cycle and cold water, along with a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics.
  4. Drying: After washing, allow your decorative pillows to air dry completely before using or storing them. Avoid using high heat settings in the dryer as this can damage certain fabrics or cause them to shrink.
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Storage and Maintenance

Proper storage is crucial for preserving the quality and appearance of your decorative pillows when they’re not in use. Here are some tips on how to store and maintain your pillows:

  1. Clean before storing: Always make sure your decorative pillows are clean and completely dry before storing them. This helps prevent any moisture or stains from setting in during storage.
  2. Store in a cool, dry place: Choose a storage location that is away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, humidity, or areas prone to pests such as basements or attics. Opt for a clean, dry closet or drawer instead.
  3. Protect with covers: To further protect your decorative pillows during storage, consider using dust covers or pillowcases. These will help shield them from dust, lint, and other potential dirt or debris.
  4. Fluff regularly: Regularly fluffing your decorative pillows helps maintain their shape and loftiness. Gently fluff them by hand or give them a quick shake to redistribute the filling evenly.
  5. Rotate and swap: To prevent prolonged compression of the filling, it’s a good idea to rotate and swap the placement of your decorative pillows periodically. This helps distribute wear and tear more evenly across all pillows.

By following these cleaning, storage, and maintenance tips, you can keep your decorative pillows looking fresh and beautiful for years to come.

Showcasing Your Creations

When it comes to decorating with decorative pillows, one of the most important aspects is how you showcase and arrange them in your space. The right arrangement can elevate the overall look and feel of a room, adding style, comfort, and personality. Here are some tips and ideas for styling and arranging your decorative pillows to create a beautiful and cohesive look.

Coordinate Colors and Patterns

One of the first things to consider when showcasing your decorative pillows is how they coordinate with the rest of your décor. You want to choose colors, patterns, and textures that complement each other and tie in with the overall color scheme of the room.

Consider using pillows that have similar or coordinating colors as your curtains, rugs, or accent pieces in the space. You can also mix patterns by choosing pillows with different but complementary patterns such as stripes, floral prints, or geometric designs.

Play with Sizes and Shapes

Another way to create an interesting display is by playing with different sizes and shapes of decorative pillows. Mix standard square or rectangular pillows with round or bolster-shaped ones for added visual interest. Layering different sizes and shapes can create depth and dimension on a sofa or bed. Experiment with different combinations until you find a balance that works well for your space.

Create Varying Heights

To add more visual appeal to your pillow arrangement, try creating varying heights. Instead of piling all the pillows at the same level, place some closer to the back of the sofa or against a headboard while others are arranged towards the front. This will give your arrangement a more dynamic look.

Consider Texture

Texture can also play a big role in showcasing your decorative pillows. Mixing different textures such as velvet, linen, faux fur, or embroidered fabrics can add depth and richness to your display. Try pairing smoother fabrics with more textured ones for an interesting contrast.

Experiment with Placement

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different placements and configurations for your decorative pillows. Play with asymmetry by placing pillows on one side of the sofa or bed, or create a symmetrical look by arranging them in pairs. You can also try layering pillows and overlapping them for a more relaxed and casual look.

Remember, the key to showcasing your decorative pillows is to have fun and be creative. There are no set rules when it comes to styling and arranging pillows, so experiment with different ideas until you find a combination that makes your space feel cozy, stylish, and uniquely yours. With some creativity and thoughtfulness, you can elevate any space with your homemade decorative pillows.


In conclusion, making decorative pillows at home allows you to embrace your creativity and transform your living space into a personalized haven. By following the comprehensive guide provided in this article, you can easily select the perfect fabric, gather all the necessary tools and materials, and construct beautiful pillows in various shapes and styles.

Adding unique embellishments and design ideas will further enhance the visual appeal of your decorative pillows. Whether it’s embroidery, appliqué, or beading, these personal touches will make your creations stand out and add a touch of charm to any room in your home.

Furthermore, advanced techniques such as creating ruffled accents or using piping can take your pillow-making skills to the next level. These intricate details showcase craftsmanship and attention to detail. However, if sewing isn’t your forte, don’t worry. The article also offers alternative non-sewing methods for those who prefer a more minimalist approach.

Once you have finished crafting your decorative pillows, maintenance is key to keeping them looking fresh and vibrant for years to come. Follow the tips provided in this article for cleaning, storage, and maintenance to ensure that your homemade creations stay in excellent condition.

Finally, when it comes to showcasing your creations, don’t be afraid to experiment with different arrangements and styles. With a variety of shapes and sizes available – from round and rectangular to bolster pillows – you can mix and match them to suit any space in your home.

So go ahead, unleash your artistic side and have fun with making decorative pillows at home. With these step-by-step instructions and creative ideas in mind, you’ll soon be able to transform any space into a cozy haven that reflects your unique style.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a throw pillow for beginners?

To make a throw pillow for beginners, you will need a few basic materials and tools. Start by selecting your fabric – choose something durable yet soft, like cotton or linen. Next, measure and cut two equal-sized squares or rectangles of fabric for the front and back panels of the pillow. Place the two pieces together with their right sides facing each other and pin them in place. Using a sewing machine or needle and thread, sew along the edges of three sides, leaving one side open for stuffing. Trim any excess fabric and clip the corners to achieve crisp corners when you turn it right-side out.

Turn the pillow cover inside out, gently pushing out the corners with a pointed object. Now it’s time to fill the pillow! Use polyester fiberfill or stuffing material of your choice and stuff it into the cover through the open side until you achieve your desired fullness. Finally, hand stitch or use a sewing machine to close the open side of the pillow cover, and voila! Your throw pillow is ready.

What are decorative pillows filled with?

Decorative pillows are filled with various materials depending on personal preference and desired look. One common filling material is polyester fiberfill, also known as polyfill. This synthetic material is fluffy, lightweight, and affordable, making it a popular choice for decorative pillows as it provides good loftiness and plumpness.

Another option is down feathers or feather fillings which offer a luxurious feel but tend to be more expensive compared to polyfill. Microbeads are also used as filling material in some decorative pillows; they are tiny polystyrene beads that give a unique contouring effect when compressed.

How much fabric do you need for a decorative pillow?

The amount of fabric needed for a decorative pillow depends on its size and shape as well as whether you want double-sided or single-sided coverage with different fabrics for each side. Generally, for a square or rectangular throw pillow, you would need two equal-sized pieces of fabric for the front and back panels. To determine the fabric requirements, measure the dimensions of your desired pillow and add an extra inch on each side for seam allowances.

For example, if you want a 16-inch square pillow, you would need two fabric pieces measuring approximately 17 inches by 17 inches each, considering the additional inch on all sides for sewing. Keep in mind that if you prefer a knife-edge finish which does not involve adding a separate border or trim to the cover, ensure the final size allows for a snug fit after sewing and stuffing.

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