Planning to redecorate? Need to refresh a room quickly? Hold off on painting the walls or splurging on brand new furniture; opt instead for a set of updated throw pillows. Fresh throw pillows are an accessible and simple way to completely change the look of a room. With new cushions, you can dip a toe into a bright color or busy pattern, too, without committing to an entire (read: spendy) re-do. Consider these approachable DIYs to get started decorating, covering, or crafting your own throw pillows.
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Bleach Pen Pillow
Revitalize an old cotton pillow cover, or start from scratch with a brand new one by adding pattern with a bleach pen. Keep in mind bleach will expand as it dries, so it’s best to keep your pattern work simple with this DIY. Don’t stress over tiny imperfections either–part of the charm of hand-patterned work are its subtle inconsistencies.
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Hand paint a couple of succulents onto the face of a plain throw pillow with the help of a trendy, printable template from A Beautiful Mess. Sew to a contrasting backside, and this pillow will add some serious whimsy to any sofa.
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DIY Faux Fur Envelope Pillow
Envelope-style pillow covers are especially convenient, as you can change them easily on a whim. This tutorial incorporates faux fur and a button closure, which is a nice opportunity to add coordinating hardware to your cushions. Sew a few of these at a time in different color schemes, then change the look of your living room with the season.
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Another no-sew option here! This delicately enhanced throw pillow looks almost designer with the addition of fabric rosettes. Select a fabric that doesn’t require a finished edge (felt or jersey work nicely), or use a length of one-inch ribbon for each flower. Hot glue the blooms together and then to the pillow cover.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
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Gold Foil Pillow
Customize a pre-purchased plain cushion with a personalized phrase. Scribble a message onto a fabric pillow cover with foil adhesive, then iron on a gold leaf for a metallic finish. Pro tip: practice your handwriting chalk first so that you can easily rub out any mistakes.
Gold Foil Pillow from Sugar and Cloth
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Nab a yard of wool felt, and zigzag a few strips into cute ruffles. This project is much more accessible with the help of a sewing machine, but it comes together quickly, despite the amount of stitching required.
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Big Bow Pillow
Add a sweet accent to a kid’s room with this simple sewing project. The bow can be constructed in any size (essentially two tubes of fabric stitched together), but a larger focal point is most eye-catching. Try one with a matching bow, a la Say Yes, or change it up with a patterned bow and solid fabric pillow.
Big Bow Pillow from Say Yes
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Twist Front Pillow
This DIY can pass for being store bought but is actually 100% homemade. Eliminate tedious measuring by folding and ironing creases into your fabric square, then marking out each twist where your creases meet. Stitch the twists closed on your machine, then flip for a polished, textured pillow front.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
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That once trendy New Year’s Eve dress gathering dust in the back of your closet? Give it new life with this clever upcycle project! Cut a length of sequined fabric from the dress (a fitted skirt is already mostly cushion-shaped), then fill with cotton batting and stitch closed. Bonus if you use the already finished hem!
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Dip Dyed Outdoor Pillow
Create an all-weather outdoor cushion by filling a DIYed cover with leftover plastic grocery bags. Use Kool-Aid or fabric dye to lend an ombre effect to your pillow, and set the dye with a run through the dryer and a quick ironing session.
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Heart Shaped Pillow
Up the romance factor of your home decor with these lovely heart-shaped pillows. Print out or free-hand a heart pattern, sew along the edges, and stuff! These look best in bunches of two or three, so make a few to fill your space with sweetness.
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Turn a winter sweater all-season by converting it into a cozy pillow cover. Just trim a pullover (ribbed or cable knit work best for this project–the knit acts as built-in guidelines for straight cuts and stitches) and sew closed. Add a few buttons to the open edge for interest.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
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Pom Pom Pillow
Bring a bit of color and a dash of sass to the bedroom with this trendy DIY. Pom poms can be made with just a few loops of yarn and opting for iron-on letters for your personalized message make this project absolutely affordable. Skip the sewing with fusible bonding instead of a needle and thread (you’ve already got the iron hot for the letters anyway).
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There is hardly anything better than snuggling up with a good book, so why not pack a pillow with everything you need for an afternoon of reading? Sew a clever pocket into your pillowcase, then slip in a novel, a pair of readers, or a little lamp for an all-in-one mini-escape. Finish your home-sewn cushion with trim, and your pillow will look great enough to gift.