How to Make Decorative Pillows at Home

Decorative pillows are a delightful addition to any home décor enthusiast’s collection. They have the power to transform a plain and ordinary space into a cozy and inviting haven. Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color, texture, or personality to your living room, bedroom, or even outdoor seating area, decorative pillows are the perfect solution.

Diving into the world of DIY decorative pillows allows you to not only unleash your creativity but also customize your home according to your personal style and taste. With a little time and effort, you can design and craft stunning pillows that perfectly complement your interior design theme.

This article will guide you through each step of the process, from gathering materials to showcasing your creations. You’ll learn how to choose the perfect fabric, master basic sewing techniques, add embellishments for a unique touch, insert pillow forms flawlessly, secure them with finesse, and properly maintain them for lasting beauty.

Get ready to embark on an exciting journey of creativity as we explore the world of making decorative pillows at home. So grab your materials and let’s get started. Your home is about to be transformed with custom-made plush accents that no store-bought pillow can replicate.

Gathering Your Materials

When it comes to creating stunning decorative pillows at home, having the right materials is essential. This section will provide you with a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need to embark on your pillow-making journey.


The first item on your list should be the fabric for your decorative pillows. Consider the theme and style of your home’s interior design when choosing the fabric. For a more formal and elegant look, opt for luxurious fabrics like silk or velvet.

If you prefer a more casual and cozy feel, go for cotton or linen fabrics. It’s also crucial to consider the durability and washability of the fabric, especially if you anticipate frequent use of the pillows.

Pillow Forms

Next, you’ll need to decide on the type and size of pillow forms to use. Pillow forms come in various shapes and sizes, including square, rectangular, round, and bolster. Make sure to measure the dimensions of your pillow covers accurately before purchasing pillow forms. Keep in mind that using high-quality pillow forms will ensure that your pillows maintain their shape over time.


Thread is an essential material for sewing decorative pillows. Choose a high-quality thread that complements or matches your fabric color. Opt for a strong thread that can withstand regular use and won’t easily break when stitching or closing your pillows.


Investing in a good pair of fabric scissors is crucial for cutting the fabric accurately without fraying the edges. Make sure to have a separate pair of scissors dedicated solely to cutting fabric to avoid dulling them with other materials.

Pins and Needles

Pins are useful for securing fabric layers together before sewing, while needles are necessary for hand-stitching details or inserting zippers. Gather both straight pins and safety pins to suit different sewing techniques.

Sewing Machine and Notions

If you don’t already have a sewing machine, consider purchasing or borrowing one for this project. Ensure that your machine is in good working condition and has the necessary accessories like a zipper foot, buttonhole foot, and an assortment of needles. Additionally, stock up on other sewing notions such as a measuring tape, iron, seam ripper, and tailor’s chalk to aid you in the sewing process.

Additional Embellishments

Depending on your personal style and creativity, you may wish to incorporate additional embellishments onto your decorative pillows. Consider including items such as lace trim, ribbons, buttons, or beads to add an extra touch of uniqueness and flair.

With this comprehensive list of materials in hand, you’ll be well-equipped to start creating stunning decorative pillows that will elevate your home decor.

Choosing the Perfect Fabric

When it comes to making decorative pillows, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right fabric. The fabric you select will not only determine the overall look and feel of your pillows but also how well they withstand daily use. Here are some essential tips and tricks to help you choose the perfect fabric that matches your interior design theme and personal style.

Consider the Durability:

Before diving into patterns or colors, it’s crucial to consider the durability of the fabric. Decorative pillows are meant to be touched, leaned against, and used on a daily basis. Therefore, you’ll want a fabric that can withstand wear and tear without losing its quality. Fabrics like cotton twill, linen blend, or polyester blends are excellent choices that offer both durability and comfort.

Match Your Interior Design Theme:

Your decorative pillows should seamlessly blend with your existing decor. Take cues from your interior design theme when selecting fabrics for your pillows. If you have a rustic or farmhouse-inspired space, opt for earthy tones, natural textures like burlap or canvas, and classic patterns like gingham or plaid. For a more modern or minimalist setting, choose neutral colors such as grays or whites with sleek finishes like velvet or silk.

Consider Comfort:

While aesthetics play a significant role in fabric selection, don’t forget about comfort. After all, decorative pillows should not only look good but also provide functional support. Consider using soft and cozy fabrics like faux fur or chenille for living room throw pillows where relaxation is key. In bedrooms or reading nooks, opt for smooth fabrics like satin or silk for an indulgent touch.

Experiment with Prints and Textures:

Fabric patterns can bring an element of visual interest to your decorative pillows. Depending on your personal style and design preferences, you can choose from various prints, including florals, stripes, polka dots, or abstract designs. Additionally, consider incorporating different textures like velvet, lace, or embroidery for an extra layer of visual appeal.

Remember to take into account factors such as lightfastness (how well the fabric withstands fading from sunlight), any specific cleaning instructions, as well as your budget. By carefully considering these tips and tricks and keeping your own personal style and interior design theme in mind, you’ll be able to choose the perfect fabric for your homemade decorative pillows that enhance the overall look and feel of your space.

Measuring and Cutting

When it comes to making decorative pillows at home, accurate measuring and cutting are crucial steps to ensure that your pillows turn out perfectly sized. Taking the time to measure carefully and cut with precision will result in professional-looking pillows that fit seamlessly into your home decor. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through this process:

  1. Measure your pillow form: Start by measuring the dimensions of your pillow form, including the length, width, and height. It’s important to measure from seam-to-seam for accuracy.
  2. Add seam allowance: Once you have measured your pillow form, add an additional ½ inch to each side for the seam allowance. This extra fabric will allow you to sew without the risk of the pillow form being too tight inside the cover.
  3. Mark and cut the fabric: Lay your chosen fabric on a flat surface and use a measuring tape or ruler to mark the dimensions of your pillow cover. Be sure to measure twice before making any cuts. Once marked, carefully cut along these lines using sharp scissors or a rotary cutter.
  4. Align pattern (if applicable): If you are working with patterned fabric, take care when aligning the pattern on both sides of the fabric before cutting. This will ensure that your finished pillow has a cohesive look.
  5. Cut front and back pieces: For a basic square or rectangular pillow cover, cut two identical pieces from your fabric based on the measurements obtained in step 3.
  6. Double-check measurements: Before proceeding with sewing, double-check that both pieces of fabric are the same size by placing them together and verifying that all sides align perfectly.

By following these steps, you can confidently measure and cut your fabric to create perfectly sized decorative pillows that are custom-made for your home decor style. The next section will guide you through beginner-friendly sewing techniques to assemble your pillow covers.

Sewing Techniques for Beginners

When it comes to making decorative pillows at home, sewing skills are essential. Whether you’re a complete beginner or just need a refresher, this section will provide you with a beginner-friendly guide on basic sewing techniques. By mastering these techniques, you’ll be able to create beautiful pillows that will elevate your home decor.

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Stitching is one of the fundamental sewing techniques that you’ll need to learn. There are different stitches you can use for decorative pillows, but the most common ones are the straight stitch and the slipstitch.

The straight stitch is used for joining fabric pieces together, while the slipstitch is perfect for closing seams so they don’t show on the finished pillow. Practice these stitches on scrap fabric before working on your actual pillow to ensure neat and even stitches.

Hemming is another important technique in pillow-making. Hemming creates a clean and professional finish by folding over and sewing down raw edges of fabric. To hem your decorative pillow, fold over the raw edge about 1/2 inch and press it down with an iron.

Then, fold it over again another 1/2 inch to enclose the raw edge completely. Pin it in place and sew along the folded edge using a straight stitch or a decorative stitch of your choice.

Adding zippers to your decorative pillows can seem intimidating for beginners, but with some practice, it becomes much easier. Zippers allow you to easily remove or change the pillow cover whenever needed. There are different types of zippers available, such as invisible zippers and regular zippers.

Invisible zippers are great if you want a seamless look while regular zippers can add an interesting accent to your pillow design. Follow step-by-step tutorials or watch video guides specifically tailored for adding zippers to pillows to ensure success.

By mastering these basic sewing techniques, you’ll be well-equipped to create beautiful decorative pillows. Practice on scrap fabric before attempting your actual pillow project to build your confidence. Remember to take your time and be patient with yourself as learning sewing techniques can take practice. With each pillow you make, you’ll see improvement in your skills and be able to create personalized pieces that reflect your style and creativity.

Adding Embellishments

Decorative pillows are a fantastic way to add personality and style to any room. While they can certainly make a statement on their own, adding embellishments takes them to the next level. This section will explore some creative ideas to enhance and personalize your decorative pillows, such as embroidery, appliqué, and adding trim.

One popular way to embellish decorative pillows is through embroidery. This technique involves stitching various designs or patterns onto the fabric of the pillow cover. Embroidery can be done by hand or with a sewing machine, depending on your skill level and preference. Consider using colorful threads and intricate stitches to create beautiful floral motifs, geometric shapes, or personalized monograms. The possibilities are endless.

Another option for adding embellishments to decorative pillows is through appliqué. Appliqué involves attaching pieces of fabric in different shapes and designs onto the surface of the pillow cover. This technique allows you to add texture, dimension, and visual interest to your pillows. You can choose from a wide range of fabrics in different colors and patterns to create unique appliqués that complement your interior design theme.

In addition to embroidery and appliqué, adding trim can also significantly enhance the overall look of your decorative pillows. Trim refers to decorative elements such as braids, ribbons, fringe, or tassels that are sewn along the edges of the pillow cover or used as accents within the design itself. Trim not only adds visual interest but also creates a polished and finished look for your pillows. Consider using trims that match or contrast with the fabric color for added impact.

By incorporating these creative ideas into your decorative pillows, you can elevate them from simple home accessories to eye-catching focal points in any room. Whether you choose embroidery, appliqué, trim, or a combination of all three techniques, let your creativity shine as you personalize your pillows according to your unique taste and style preferences.

Inserting the Pillow Form

One of the final steps in making decorative pillows is inserting the pillow form. This step is crucial as it ensures that your pillows have a professional finish and maintain their plump shape. With a foolproof method, you can easily achieve this without any hassle.

Firstly, make sure you have chosen the right pillow form size for your cover. The pillow form should be slightly larger than the cover to fill it out properly. It is recommended to choose a pillow form that is 1 to 2 inches bigger on each side compared to your cover measurements.

Once you have your pillow form ready, turn your fabric cover inside out. This will ensure that the seams are on the inside when you insert the pillow form, giving it a neat and clean finish.

Next, fold your pillow form in half vertically with one hand holding both ends together at one corner. Insert this folded end into the cover’s opening, pushing it all the way until it reaches the opposite corner. Release your grip on the folded end and allow it to unfold inside the cover.

Repeat this process for each corner of the pillow form until it is fully inserted into the cover. Once inserted, adjust and fluff out the pillow form so that it fills out all corners evenly and creates a plump look. Ensure that there are no lumps or empty spaces within the cover.

Finally, close up the opening of your decorative pillow using pins or clips as temporary closures before sewing them shut using a needle and thread or sewing machine. Be careful not to sew too close to the edge to avoid ripping open when pressure is applied.

By following these steps, you can effortlessly insert your pillow forms and achieve a professional, plump finish for your homemade decorative pillows.

Materials Needed
– Pillow forms
– Fabric covers
– Pins or clips
– Needle and thread or sewing machine

Finishing Touches

Choosing the Right Closure Method

When it comes to closing and securing your decorative pillows, there are several options to consider. The closure method not only affects the overall look of the pillow but also determines how easy it is to remove the cover for cleaning or switching out pillow inserts.

One popular option is using an envelope closure, which involves overlapping pieces of fabric on the back of the pillow cover. This allows for easy insertion and removal of the pillow form while maintaining a seamless appearance.

Another common closure method is adding buttons or zippers. Buttons can add a decorative touch to your pillow and provide a secure closure. Sewing buttons onto one side of the pillow cover and attaching corresponding buttonholes on the other side will keep your pillows securely closed.

If you prefer more versatility in terms of removing and changing inserts, installing zippers may be the way to go. Sewing a zipper onto one edge of the fabric will allow you to easily open and close the pillow cover for maintenance or swapping out inserts.

Seam Finishing Techniques

Properly finishing your seams is essential for durability and longevity in decorative pillows. One common technique is zigzag stitching along the raw edges of your fabric after sewing the sides together. This prevents fraying and adds reinforcement to ensure that your seams don’t come apart over time.

If you have access to a serger, this would be ideal for finishing seams as it trims excess fabric while simultaneously wrapping thread around them, creating neat and sturdy edges. However, if you don’t have a serger, you can achieve similar results by utilizing a mock-serge stitch on your sewing machine.

For an even cleaner finish, you can also opt for French seams or flat-felled seams. French seams involve enclosing raw edges within folded fabric before stitching them together, resulting in an elegant seam that hides any fraying threads or rough edges. Flat-felled seams, often used in clothing construction, involve folding and stitching the raw edges to create a secure and tidy seam that lays flat.

Securing Embellishments

If you’ve added embellishments such as embroidery, appliqués, or trim to your decorative pillows, it’s important to properly secure them for durability. Ensure that all embellishments are sewn securely onto the fabric with strong stitches and reinforced ends to prevent them from coming loose with regular use.

If you’ve used fabric glue or adhesive to attach any embellishments, make sure it is specifically designed for textiles and can withstand washing or handling. Additionally, consider sewing around the edges of glued items for added security.

By following these tips on properly closing and securing your decorative pillows, you can be confident that your creations will stand the test of time and become cherished pieces in your home decor.

Maintenance and Care

Once you have spent time and effort creating your own decorative pillows, it is important to properly care for them to ensure their longevity and keep them looking beautiful all year round. Here are some tips on maintaining and cleaning your homemade decorative pillows:

  1. Regularly fluffing and shaking: To maintain the shape and appearance of your decorative pillows, give them a good fluffing and shaking regularly. This helps redistribute the filling inside the pillow, preventing it from becoming lumpy or misshapen.
  2. Spot cleaning: Accidents happen, so it is essential to know how to handle stains or spills on your decorative pillows. For small stains or spills, spot cleaning is usually sufficient. Gently blot the stain with a clean cloth or sponge dipped in mild detergent mixed with water. Be sure to test the cleaning solution on a hidden area of the fabric before applying it directly on the stain.
  3. Hand washing: If your decorative pillow is made of delicate fabric or has intricate embellishments, hand washing may be the best option for overall cleaning. Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a gentle detergent suitable for delicate fabrics. Gently submerge the pillow in the water and use your hands to agitate it gently.
    Rinse thoroughly with clean water until no soap residue remains. Squeeze out excess water without wringing or twisting the fabric, then pat dry using a towel.
  4. Machine washing: Some decorative pillows can be machine washed if they are made with durable fabrics such as cotton or polyester. However, always check the care instructions on the fabric label before attempting machine washing. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics.
    It is advisable to place the pillow inside a protective case or laundry bag before putting it in the machine to prevent damage to any embellishments or trims. After washing, remove the pillow promptly and reshape it by gently patting and fluffing before air drying.
  5. Vacuuming: If your decorative pillows are not suitable for washing, such as those filled with foam or down, regular vacuuming can help keep them clean and fresh. Use a low suction setting on your vacuum cleaner and gently run it over the surface of the pillow to remove dust, dirt, and allergens. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or use a brush attachment that could damage delicate fabrics.
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By following these maintenance and care tips, you can ensure that your homemade decorative pillows remain in excellent condition for years to come. With proper cleaning and regular upkeep, your pillows will continue to be a stunning addition to your home decor.

Showcasing Your Creations

One of the most exciting parts of creating your own decorative pillows is finding creative ways to display and style them in your home. Whether you want your pillows to be the focal point of a room or simply add an accent to the overall decor, there are many options for showcasing your creations. Here are some creative ideas to help you make a stunning statement with your decorative pillows:

  1. Mix and match patterns: Don’t be afraid to mix different patterns and textures when styling your pillows. This can create an eclectic and visually interesting look. For example, pair a floral pillow with a geometric one or try combining different types of fabrics such as velvet, silk, and linen.
  2. Layer them up: Layering pillows can add depth and visual interest to any seating area. Start with larger pillows at the back and gradually add smaller ones in front. Experiment with different shapes and sizes to create a dynamic display.
  3. Play with colors: Use your decorative pillows as an opportunity to introduce bold pops of color into a space. If you have a neutral color scheme in your room, choose vibrant hues for your pillows. On the other hand, if your room has already bright-colored walls or furniture, opt for more subdued tones for balance.
Mix and match patternsPair different patterns and textures for an eclectic look
Layer them upAdd depth by layering pillows of different sizes
Play with colorsUse vibrant hues on neutral backgrounds or subdued tones on colorful backgrounds

Remember that it’s not just about displaying your pillows on sofas or beds. Get creative and think outside the box to showcase them in unexpected places. For example, you can prop up a decorative pillow on a bookshelf or use it as a centerpiece on a coffee table. Pillows can also be used to create cozy reading nooks by stacking them against a wall or placing them in a corner with a comfortable chair.

Lastly, consider the overall theme and style of your room when showcasing your decorative pillows. Use pillows that match the existing decor or choose ones that have elements that complement the space. This will help create a cohesive and polished look.

By using these creative ideas to display and style your decorative pillows, you can make a stunning statement in any room of your home. Have fun experimenting and let your creativity shine through.


In conclusion, making your own decorative pillows at home can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. By following the step-by-step instructions and tips outlined in this article, you have all the tools and knowledge needed to create stunning decorative pillows that match your interior design theme and personal style.

Not only do homemade decorative pillows add a unique touch to your home decor, but they also allow you to unleash your creativity and showcase your individuality. With a wide variety of fabrics, embellishments, and sewing techniques to choose from, the possibilities are endless when it comes to designing and creating your own pillows.

Making decorative pillows at home is not only a cost-effective alternative to purchasing store-bought options but also allows you to customize every aspect of the pillow according to your preferences. You can experiment with different colors, patterns, textures, and trims to truly make it your own.

So why not give it a try? Gather the materials mentioned in this article, select your favorite fabric, measure and cut carefully, sew with confidence using the beginner-friendly techniques provided, add personalized embellishments, insert the pillow form seamlessly, and finish with precision. With practice and patience, you’ll soon become an expert in creating beautiful decorative pillows that will impress everyone who sees them.

Unleash your creativity today by embarking on this delightful DIY project. Start making your own unique decorative pillows at home and transform your living spaces into showcases of style and personality. Happy crafting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a throw pillow from scratch?

To make a throw pillow from scratch, you will need to follow a few steps. Firstly, measure and cut the desired size for your pillow cover from your chosen fabric. Next, fold the fabric in half with the right sides facing each other and sew along three of the edges, leaving one side open for stuffing.

Turn the cover right-side-out and press it flat. Then, stuff the pillow insert into the cover through the open side and hand-stitch it closed using a needle and thread. Finally, fluff up your newly made throw pillow and enjoy!

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 a general rule of thumb, you can calculate it by adding twice the dimensions of your pillow plus an extra inch on each side to account for seam allowance.

For example, if you want to make an 18×18 inch square decorative pillow, you would need two pieces of fabric that are at least 19×19 inches each (to include seam allowance). However, this estimation may vary depending on your sewing preferences and how plump or firm you want your pillow to be.

What kind of fabric do you use for throw pillows?

When selecting fabric for throw pillows, it is important to consider both style and durability. Common choices include cotton, linen blends, velvet, or even upholstery fabrics like polyester or microfiber that can withstand frequent use and offer better stain resistance.

It is advisable to choose medium weight fabrics that are neither too stiff nor too flimsy so that they hold their shape without being overly rigid or collapsing under pressure. Additionally, opting for fabrics with interesting textures or patterns can add visual interest to your throw pillows and enhance their overall appeal in any room decor scheme.

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