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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pillow Update on a Budget

I have been busy updating my new rental home's decor. Since I can't do what I love and paint the walls, I decided to inject color with my accessories. Like you've seen in my previous posts and will soon see again, I've been inspired by the color palette of yellow, turquoise, coral and grey. It all started with this beauty.

So, off to Target I went and fell in love with their new Threshold line. It was just what I was looking for in color and design. In this post I'll share with you my first step, which was updating my boring couch pillows. 

There I was in the decorative pillow aisle falling in love, till I looked at the prices and started to do the math in my head. I wanted 9 pillows, and at a minimum of $25 a pop, that would come to at least $225 in pillows. In my head, I could hear my hubby saying, "You spent $225 on what???" So, I came up with a plan as I put those beauties back on the shelf and headed over to the kitchen aisle. That is where I found the same beautiful designs and colors in the form of napkins and placemats but at a fraction of the cost. So, $32 dollars and a little elbow grease later, I had myself 9 beautiful new pillows and was bragging to my hubby, asking him to guess how much I paid. Don't you love playing that game with your husband?

Here is my before: We got this super comfy couch at RC Willey, and it came with these blue pillows. They were nice but boring, all the same color and too dark. Can't you hear my couch screaming for help?

Here is the after. I just love the colors--they make me and my couch sooooo happy. Now, let's get started on this tutorial.


1. Threshold Ombre Placemat $3.59

2. Threshold Grey Placemat $4.49

3. Room Essentials Dot Napkins, set of 4 $8.99

4. Threshold Watercolor Floral Napkins, set of 4 $4.98 clearance 

5. Threshold Coral Kitchen Towels, set of 2 $5.99

6. I used 3 pillows that came with the couch to be recovered, plus 2 small long pillows I bought at DI, a local thrift shop for $4

7. Not pictured, I had 1 bag of filling from Joann for the placemat and dot pillows.

First up, is my cute coral small and long pillows.

These are a super easy sewing project. I bought a set of 2 kitchen napkins that were 28" by 18" and  I  found 2 pillows at the DI for $4 to fit inside them.

1. I folded the napkin right sides together to form an envelope pillow.
2. I pinned it and sewed straight up on both sides.
3. Turned it right side out and inserted pillow.*

*Note: If you didn't want to buy a pillow to go inside, you could complete steps 1-3, and then fill pillow with filling and hand sew the envelope opening closed.

Next up, my dot square pillows.

I bought a set of 4 Kitchen napkins that were 18" by 18". With these I made a regular pillow that I stuffed with filling I had from Joann's.

1. I put 2 napkins right sides together and pinned on all sides.
2. I sewed up all 4 sides *make sure you leave an opening to insert filling*
3. Before turning the pillow right side out, I cut the tips of the corners to help make nice, pointy corners when the pillow is filled. I then filled the pillow with filling and then hand stitched the opening closed.

Next up, my watercolor floral pillows.

I bought a set of 4 Kitchen napkins that were 20" by 20". I used the napkins plus 2 yards of scrap fabric to make 3 envelope pillows that I inserted my old couch pillows into. 

Last up, my 2 placemat pillows. These are the easiest pillows to make. 

1. I used a seam ripper to rip an opening just enough to fill the pillow--about four inches long. (Make sure your placemats have two layers, or this won't work).
2. I filled the pillow and then hand stitched the opening up.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. The next time you are in the market for some pillows, try checking out the kitchen section. You never know what you might find, and you might save your self some $ MOOLAH $ like I did--which of course will be used on your next DIY project.

Again here is a before shot of my living room. Soon I will share with you how I took care of my other problem spots.

1. New curtains: again, too much brown.
2. Side table: an old table that needs new life or maybe something new there all together.
3. My son's toys: OK, confession. I cleaned and removed the actual problem for this picture. That corner is usually bursting with boy toys that need some corralling.

So be sure to check back as I share those updates and as always budget-friendly solutions for home-decorating and more!

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  1. I love all the different pillows. They add beautiful pops of colour!

  2. These are all very very beautiful pillows! they turned out quite elegant!!

  3. I love the pop of color that your updated pillows bring to the room. ;o) Nice Work.

    1. nice to see the office pillow in our city which is very comfortable i am looking to buy it for my new office. Payroll Services Garland

  4. These pillows are gorgeous! I need to make a trip to Target! I love how you thought outside the box to come up with an economical way to inject color and style into your space. Awesome! I'd love for you to link this up to our All Things Thursday Blog Hop that goes live tonight at 8pm Central. I know our readers would love to see this transformation! Hope to see you there!

  5. These look great! I just bought two sets of napkins from Target to make window valances for my daughter's room. I don't sew so I'm improvising and seeing what I can come up with.

  6. oh! I just love all those patterns!! I'm pretty much in love with all those fabrics!
    Oh I've got several pattern and fabric giveaways going on now along with my sewing series.. come on over and enter!!

  7. Love the combination of colors and patterns! So fun.
    (Stopping by from House of Hepworths)

  8. I've been thinking about recovering my pillows and this is a genius idea!! Come link up with us tomorrow at Craft Frenzy Friday at!!

  9. These are so cute! It really makes me wish I could sew. I need to go back to my lessons! By the way, I found you via the Shabby Creek link party.

  10. This is the exact tutorial I need! I'm trying to find cute, cheap ways to cover some pillows for my three-year-old's bed. Thanks so much for sharing! Have a great day!

  11. Love your pillows and the couch! Don't you love how most couches come with pretty much the same pillows just in different colors? lol

  12. That couch looks SO comfy to climb up onto. :) Those pillows seriously transform it too! I will be on the hunt for clearance placemats and napkins from now one!!


  13. What a great idea! I have some extra placemats and napkins that I love, perfect for this. Thank you for coming by and sharing this project on Fluster's Creative Muster. Now that you found our party I hope that you continue to join us every Tuesday evening.

    Robin @ Fluster Buster

  14. I love what you have done. I makes me want to stay home from work tomorrow and create. Oh wait, everything makes me want to do that. Come post your creative self at:

  15. I love these patterns and they turned out great!

    I'd love if you joined our link up party!

  16. Oh WOW! What a difference! You did a fabulous job! Love, love, love them! Thanks for linking up to Thrifty Thursday!

  17. I love the colors and patterns you picked out. So pretty!

    If you’re interested, I’d love if you shared this with my Show & Tell link party this week.

  18. The patterns on the fabric are gorgeous, what a great way to use them!

  19. I just bought the same gray placemat and yellow/gray napkins for our bedroom pillow makeover! I've done it in the past and have found they clean up great - especially with two dogs in our house!

  20. These are seriously awesome! I love how easy they are - great little tutorial!! Thank you so much for sharing this at our first mega Work it Wednesday. I'm pinning this and will be featuring it on my facebook page this week! Hope to see you back next week:)

    - Krista @ the happy housie

  21. I love the patterns you chose! Don't forget to link up to The DIY'ers.

  22. this is an awesome idea! I always find the cutest napkins and placemat fabrics!!!! perfect prices for updates!

  23. You did a great job - they look so good! I'm pinning! Julia

  24. What a fabulous idea! I LOVE the napkins and placemats that you've chosen here. So fun!

  25. Amazing the difference when you add a pop of color! Your tutorial and photography are excellent. We would love to have you share this at
    our Saturday Link Party. Each link will be shown on two blogs, Made From Pinterest and Bakerette! It starts Fridays at 3pm, hope we see you there!

    Please remember to put a link back to Made From Pinterest at the bottom of your post(s).

  26. You found some great napkins and placements! I love all their patterns and colors. Well done! ~M.

  27. I still can't believe the transformation a few pillows and new curtains made. It looks lovely!

    School started again, and I am super busy, but I cannot explain how much I wished you still lived in Phoenix right now. Who else understands my need to visit IKEA within three weeks of receiving the new catalog? Also, you're just awesome, and I miss you.

  28. Hi Desiree, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris