Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Quick and Easy Pillows

Pillows on the couch and in the chairs are a necessity in our home.  We are a family who uses our living room to it's fullest potential.  I needed pillows that were pretty, extremely functional, quick and inexpensive to make.  An unlikely item fit this criteria nicely.

Several years ago I came across a set of placemats that I thought were beautiful and they were on clearance for $1.00 each.  I do not use placemats on my table very often so I as I stood there drooling over my find I kept thinking I wish these were pillows.  They were the perfect mix of colors and had a small lace detail, who could ask for more.  That's when the pink lemonade idea popped into my head.  I could make these into pillows.

My first thought was to sew a piece to the back but that sounded like a lot of work and would make the pillows smaller.  As I began to examine the placemat I noticed that the back was separate piece of fabric and only top stitched around the outside edge.  So, if I opened up the top stitching and the side seam I would have an opening that would allow the placemat to be "stuffed".  In the basket they went.  I used those "placemat pillows" for several years before they finally wore out.  I would unstuff them each year, put them through the wash and re-stuff them.  Since my first encounter with those placemats I have made several sets for different seasons.

When I was Christmas shopping this year I came across a new set, yes on clearance.  They were green but had snowflakes on them.  I thought they would coordinate nicely with my snowflake theme in January and February in my green chairs.

Below are some before and after pictures.

The partridge bird is the front of the placemat and the snowflakes are on the back.

The pillows turned out very nice.

I use them more on the snowflake side right now, but either side would work.
Here are the simple steps to creating a Placemat Pillow
Take your placemat making sure that the back is loose from the front fabric.  If there is any stitching in the middle of the placemat this process will not work.  Open a small section of seam on the side of the placemat.
Side opened about 3 inches

I opened mine where the tag was so I could remove it easily.
Once you have opened the side seam stuff your pillow with polyfil.  Be sure to push the filling into the corners.  When filled to the desired plumpness (is that even a word?) hand stitch the seam back together. 
After you make a set of these pillows you will never look at placemats the same again.  I do sometimes get funny looks in the store when I am pulling the placemats apart to see if the backs are a separate piece of fabric.  But those funny looks don't discourage me from seeking out the perfect placemat for a new set of pillows. 

Check out this link party at Chic on a Shoestring

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