DIY ruffled pillow

I guess I have had a thing for pillows lately. All the Pinterest surfing has me really paying attention to pillows. I also love some re-purposing of items I already have on hand. Or really cheap ideas. Whichever, something crafty on a budget is what keeps me up at night (and a 16 month old, but what else do I have to do but “day”dream of pillows?). I saw this pin and this pin last week and figured, heck, I can do that. I have been needing to put my new sewing machine to the test and I had been given some valances that, although cute, just didn’t have a place in my house. Now onward with a tutorial of how I made my little ruffled pillow.

I didn’t take pics of the first steps, but it was pretty simple. I figured out how big I wanted my pillow to be, and cut out 2 panels(cut 3 if you want the front and back to have the same material). I then cut one of the panels into 2 inch strips. I took each strip and ran a long stitch down the center of it (no backstitching!) Once I had all the strips stitched, I started at one and held one of the pieces of thread while pushing up on the fabric. This started to bunch the fabric in little ruffles. I pushed mine pretty tight and stretched them as needed once I started laying them out on the pillow face. *one tip – use good thread! Cheap thread will break when you start pulling to ruffle it.* You can see in the pic below where I had all the pieces bunched up, and stretched the first out where I wanted it to fall.

Remember to leave about 1/2″ seam allowance. I let my strips overlap the allowance a little (not enough though, I ended up having to sew with about an inch seam allowance to catch-all the ends). Just watch when you pin them that you have the ends of your strips either all the way to the edge or sew overtop of the ends.

I pinned each ruffle down trying to keep the ends as straight as possible. I discovered while I was sewing them on that the most important step here is to make each strip’s first stitching line straight.

As you can see here, I just sewed each ruffle on by going over top that first stitch. As I went, I found that where the strips were not straight, I just unpinned, pinned them back and voila, easier to sew. If you look to the right of this photo, the edge ended up being 2 inches once I straightened out all of the ruffles and sewed them on. I just cut an inch off so that the whole piece would have the same seam allowance.

You can see that 2 inch side better in this pic.

And a little close up of the sewed on ruffles.

Here is what the back looks like…not really pretty, but no one will see it.

I also didn’t take pics of the next step. I didn’t use the same material to back the pillow. My bonus daughter had some old dress up clothes she was getting rid of, so I snagged a white dress out of it and used that for the back.

I placed the back piece and the ruffles face to face (front of the ruffles to what would show on the back of the pillow. Then I stitched all around the edges, leaving a small hole (maybe 4 inches) open to stuff the pillow fluff.

I actually sewed 3 sides and flipped it right side out to see how my edges looked and discovered that not all of the ends of my ruffles and made it into the inside of the pillow. So all I did was turn it inside out again and do another stitch a little further inside the first. You can trim extra material if you like. I did not.

I stuffed it, then turned the raw edges of that 4 inches I left open in and sewed it up on the sewing machine. Easy peasy. And I should note at this point… I don’t know how to sew. I am learning very, veerryy slowly.

Voila! Here you go…. one ruffled pillow!

And the back..

And here you can see how all of the ends of the ruffles are sewn inside. HHmmm little lumpy huh… needs some fluffing.

All done! My second pillow project complete!

Although it’s cute… I really don’t have a place for it in the house just yet still. I think I need to start working on pillows with a place in mind. But green is a good color, and I may work it in!

Anyone else been working on “pin” projects? Making pillows? Dreaming of pillows?


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