Monday, August 15, 2011

$1 pillow sham = 2 easy projects {tutorial + pics!}

Have you ever found an adorable pillow sham on clearance somewhere and wondered what you could do with it?

Okay, maybe I'm the only person that has- but I just can't bear to leave those beautiful mismatched shams all alone at the store!

In my effort to rescue pretty unwanted pillow shams all over the world, I'm going to show you how to make two cute projects from one standard pillow sham. The first project- a throw pillow, and the second- a kitchen towel or burp cloth.
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I'm giving this set as a housewarming gift, but I think it would make a perfect baby gift {a burp cloth and matching nursing pillow}, or wedding gift in the bride's colors. You could even use an old pillow sham that matches your decor and keep it all for yourself!

Here's what you'll need: a standard or larger pillow sham, an old throw pillow {you can buy pillow forms at Wal-Mart, but why spend the extra $?}, matching thread, scissors, and a sewing machine.

Start with your pillow sham. Mine was originally from Target, and I bought it at Goodwill brand new for $1. {A $1 sham with birds! And matching polka-dots! It was meant to be mine- I snatched it right up and put it in my cart!}

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Place your pillow on top to make sure it will fit.
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Cut a square around the pillow. I didn't measure, but you can if you want to!
Leave about a 1/2- 3/4 inch allowance around your pillow.
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If you have a border on your sham, cut off the top and bottom.
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Here's what you should have:
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Notice I put my sham's two end pieces together to make the towel/burp cloth.
{I was trying on different embellishments before I sewed-
 I love this version too!}
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Take the two pieces and pin together back sides touching 
{or tops out on both sides}.
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Oh, and check the back for extra fabric where the pillow inserts.
{mine had an extra layer of the same back fabric, 
I just cut it off and you'll see what I did with it later}
Sew together. Your seam will be on the top of the towel.
I left about 1/8- 1/4 inch excess or so, and folded it over,
 since it would be covered anyway.
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Now take your top and bottom borders from the pillow cut out,
sew them end to end to make one long piece
then run a loose gathering stitch down the middle.
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Pull the top or bottom string to make a little ruffle.
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Pin the ruffle on top of the towel where you'd like it to go.
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Sew down the middle to attach it to the towel.
And don't expect perfection. Hey, who wants a perfectly made homemade gift, anyway? Or one that looks like it came from a factory in China? 
Imperfection is beautiful, I say. :)
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And you're done!
One adorable and frugal gift down, one more to go!
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Now on to the pillow!
Take your two square pieces and face the good sides inward and pin together.
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Sew all sides, leaving a big gap on one side to insert the pillow form.
{If you have a thick material, you may need to trim your corners right outside of the seams to get a better point.}
Turn pillow cover right side out, insert pillow form and hand stitch closed.
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Easy, peasy pillow.
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Remember that extra fabric from the back of the sham 
where you insert the pillow? Cut it in strips if needed to look like this:
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Twist it...
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and wind it into a little flower, starting small in the center and winding and folding it into the shape of a flower.
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Then hot glue it to a circle of fabric... {don't be afraid to be generous with the glue}
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Hand stitch to connect to pillow and...
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that's it!
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One pillow sham and an old throw pillow = two cute projects!
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And the cost is even better- all this for just $1 out of pocket!

I'm loving the easy, frugal gifts!
Coming later today- BH's big giveaway!

Now I'm dying to know, do you have a love for pretty mismatching pillow shams like I do? :)


Linking up at: 
Tip Junkie handmade projects 
and 


The Lettered Cottage
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