Placemat To Pillow In Less Than 10 Minutes

December 10, 2018

Merry Christmas Placemats 

Today I have a tale to tell about the perils of decorating ~ the difficulty of getting something in your head, but being unable to find it. While it's not a dangerous story, although I did prick my finger with a needle, it is one that starts out with frustration.

It does, however, have a happy ending.

But let's get back to the beginning, shall we?

I adore my bedroom...lots of green and white...fresh and festive in all seasons, but at Christmas I usually like to add something small to decorate the room. For years, I have wanted a pillow, but haven't been able to find one that was just right.


This year, I shopped like crazy, in stores, online, looked high and low for one in the perfect color, perfect size and perfect match to the vision I had in my head.

Of course, no such pillow existed. They either had too much color to go with my green and white scheme, they were printed on a beige background or they were too large for the bed.

So this year, I decided I would make one myself. I was going to whip up a pillow cover and I was going to design my own graphic. It was an exciting prospect and I got busy right away.

I went to the craft and fabric stores to purchase my supplies. I spent an hour in front of the computer and came up with a fabulous wreath graphic. I even began sewing the cover with its sweet ball fringe when...stagnation hit.

Holiday parties, a dinner I hosted for ten, festivals, an ornament exchange and shopping all took precedence over my pillow and that was the end of that.

Then last night, my daughter and I took a quick run out to Target to grab a few green towels to update the color scheme in my master bathroom and we spotted these placemats. I may have a slight placemat obsession.

And at $4.99 each. I had to have them.

Unfortunately, they didn't work out.

The pictures here are dark, taken at close to midnight, they're more of bright white and when I put them in my bisque colored kitchen, they didn't look right.

Bummer.

I really wanted to keep them.

Merry Christmas Placemat

That's when I realized they were double sided. They were constructed with two separate fabrics and when I pulled on them, they came apart easily. Hmmm....

Suddenly, the lightbulb went on. They would make great pillow covers. The pattern was perfect, the colors were perfect and the size was perfect.

So in the middle of the night, I got to work.

How To Turn A Placemat Into A Pillow

It took me just about ten minutes to turn that placemat into the throw pillow cover of my dreams. I honestly can't believe how simple it was. As long as you find a placemat constructed in the same way, this crafty DIY, will work in any season. Here's how I did it.

Placemat to Pillow In 10 Minutes

I started by taking note of the two sets of seams holding the fabric together. The larger red thread was just decorative. It was embroidery thread stitched over the already closed seams. I knew that my pillow form was a small square and since the placemat was a rectangle, I was going to have to make it smaller to fit.

I would do that by taking in the sides. So, I clipped the embroidery thread right after the knot on the corner and began carefully unwinding it along the short side of the placement.

How To Open Up A Placemat

Next, I went back to that corner and using a seam ripper, removed the second set of seams that were truly holding the placemat together. If your placemat doesn't have a decorative stitch, this is where your process would begin.

How To Rip Out A Seam

As the thread was removed, a hole began to open, confirming my notion that I could just pop a pillow form inside. I kept ripping the stitch out until the entire side was open. Note that I only had to do this to one side of my placemat.

Easy Way To Make A Pillow Cover

My next step was to turn the placemat inside out, measure how big I needed the pillow cover to be and run a stitch up the side that was still closed up, thereby making the cover smaller. I didn't cut off the excess, I just folded it back inside. I figured I might want to make a bigger pillow one day or who knows, maybe a placemat.

Just kidding. Or not. Crafting is a tricky muse.

How To Make A Pillow Cover

Anyway...I did the same thing on the open side of my placemat, but this time I only stitched about a quarter of the way down from the top and a quarter of the way up the side from the bottom, leaving a large hole in the center to slip the pillow form inside. 

How To Stuff A Pillow

The longest part of the process was hand sewing the side of the pillow closed after I stuffed my form inside. Even that didn't take very long.

When I was done, I honestly couldn't believe my result. Wasn't this just a placemat like ten minutes ago??

Placemat Pillow Cover Easy DIY

It turned out better than I ever could've imagined. 

I wanted to try it on my bed, but since it was after midnight and my husband was already sleeping, it didn't seem fair to wake him up to calm my decorating crazy, but when I plopped it on the bed this morning, I was thrilled.

It was the pillow of my dreams, so close to what I had in mind and to what I had designed. 

But better. Certainly easier. No pillow cover to construct, no zipper to install

And way less expensive. 

Now that's what I call, just right

I told you there was a happy ending.

Would you try this? 

48 comments:

  1. Oh Kim you need to sell your crafts on line. Seriously the things you come up with. I love that you take old and tossed things or even new things like a placemat and make it into a pillow. So clever. Love your bed room. Just so pretty. Looks so cozy and relaxing. Happy New Week.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Kris, you are so nice to me!! I had friends over this weekend and they said the same thing about selling online. I'm just not sure I'd have the confidence in my work to charge for it. When I make it for myself it doesn't have to be perfect....just good enough for me! 😉 And thank you.

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    2. Kim, I totally agree with you. I make stuff all the time, and it works for me, but I wouldn't have the confidence to charge for it. Besides, making something to sell takes all the fun out of it!

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    3. Nancy, I know you could sell your creations, too, but yes, the pressure that goes alone with selling would take the fun out of it for me. Although if I've learned anything, I know to never say never...but right now it's never! 😉

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  2. I love your pretty pillow you made from a placemat Kim. It looks really pretty on your bed and you made it yourself. :)
    Hope you have a good week.
    Julie

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    1. Thanks Julie! One of these days I'll conquer crocheting...how pretty would a white crocheted pillow be? Hope you're staying warm!

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  3. Turned out so cute. And it looks great in your room. Lovely.

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    1. Thanks Lorri! I can't believe after all that work I found a way to cheat it after all...when I stopped looking!! Figures!

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  4. Kim, I went looking at my placemats to see what you are talking about. I still can't figure it out, BUT, no matter that is the sweetest pillow I've seen yet, and you know I've seen a lot of pillows!! My only regret is that I couldn't see the whole bed all together. Surely, we will get a tour soon..I'm hoping, anyway, and in the mean time my imagination is running away with itself and I can see how pretty it all looks..xxoJudy

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    1. Hi Judy! I read this piece over several times before posting, wondering if I was conveying it correctly. Sewing tutorials are not always so easy to explain. So what I mean is it’s two separate pieces of fabric stitched together to create the placemat…a top and a bottom that are only connected by the seams…not fused together or single ply if you will. I hope that clears things up, unless I’m not understanding you ~ which is entirely possible!! I’ll try to get a full picture of the room, but this year, it’s a bit boring, that pillow is the star of the show. But it is a pretty bright star, so I guess that’s ok!! Thanks for the sweet words! xo

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  5. simply beautiful. and beautifully simple! plus... your posts just make me smile. or even laugh out loud.
    they're light hearted and as cozy as your little cottage! xo

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    1. Thank you, Tammy. What wonderful words. ❤️ I'm so glad that you enjoy the stories. I adore the DIYs but telling the tale is my favorite part..and I'm glad you can see the humor. Decorating is not a serious matter!

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  6. You are brilliant! It is so cute and I love that it was so simple.

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    1. Wow! Thanks Mari! I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was and how well it turned out. Not bad for $5!

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  7. So cute, Kim! Love this idea and it turned out so well.

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    1. Thanks Kristi! I have to say I'm smitten with this one.

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    1. Thanks Penny! It was such cute pattern, it was begging to be a pillow!

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  9. It's adorable Kim. Imagine finding just the right placemat, I think the little Christmas elves must have seen how frustrated you were and decided to give you an early pressie :D

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    1. Thanks and I think you may be right, Michelle! Those little elves are sneaky...

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  10. Love this! Where did you find these place mats at?

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    1. Thanks Tammie! I found them at Target. They had a ton of them...

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  11. Fabulous! You are the 'Queen of Placemats' and crafting, of course!

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    1. Thank you, Ann! What a nice thing to say. 😊

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  12. It's absolutely beautiful! I can't imagine what that would cost in a store.
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks Brenda! I know...pillows have become ridiculously expensive.

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  13. You never cease to amaze me, my friend! I can barely sew on a button, no doubt my pillow would be all wonky!! Super cute....and I love your bedroom, it's so peaceful and serene!

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    1. Thanks Debbie! I guess we all have our strengths. You certainly wouldn't want to eat here very often. My meal would be wonky!! 😉 Decorating and crafting, yes. Cooking? Not so much!!

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  14. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Guess where I’m off to? I hope they have these same placemats because this is exactly what I want on my red couch. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Sally!! I hope you can find them in the store. I rarely go to Target, but this was motivation for me to stop by more often. Good luck on the hunt and Happy Crafting!

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  15. Kim, I love how this project turned out! What a beautiful pillow! I would have never thought about turning a placemat into a pillow! Such a great and creative idea! It looks so pretty and festive on your bed! Your projects are always so perfect! Love and hugs!!

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    1. Thanks Benita! This one happened in a moment of midnight crafting craziness…but it worked out well. And it really did only take me ten minutes to do. Thank you for your very sweet comment. It made my day! When I asked my husband what he thought of my new pillow he said, Oh that’s new? Guys…they just don’t get it! Love and hugs to you, too!!

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  16. You amaze me! This has got to be one of the best ideas yet my dear friend. I love it. I absolutely love it.

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    1. Thanks Carla! I had fun with this and now I can’t wait to make my bed each morning.

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  17. such a pretty pillow.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family

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    1. Thank you so much and to you and yours, as well!

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  18. Kim,
    This is such a great idea!! I love how they came out and I adore the stitching that you did! Thanks too for taking the time to stop by and leave such a kind comment!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. Thanks Debbie! I had fun with this one...and a lovely time visiting your pretty site. Merry Christmas to you!

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  19. What a perfect pillow! I was laughing because I too would have started on it right away, even if it was midnight. I wouldn't be able to contain my excitement over my new idea! :) Such a smart and fun craft!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! Haha…I have to strike when the iron is hot or it would’ve sat until after Christmas. And it only took ten minutes and was way more fun than emptying the dishwasher!

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  20. Simply charming ... Simply perfect. I love it. Homespun Hugs ♥ Teri

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    1. Thank you so much, Teri! Merry Christmas!

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  21. What a great idea, it looks so good :)

    All the best Jan

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  22. Kim you have inspired me. I will have to go out looking for placemats now. Yours looks perfect against the white bedding.

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    1. Thanks Mary! Target. I rarely ever go there...but it was so worth the trip this time.

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