thrifty thursday transformation: $4 placemat pillow

One of my "do" goals this month was to make cute pillows for the girls' room. I made one, but now I want to keep it downstairs for the living room! :D

When I saw the fabric at the store, I fell in love:

But what really sold me is that I knew I could whip up this adorable pillow with all these fancy seams for just $4 and 5 minutes of my time {okay, more like 30, but optimism won out at the store}. The reason? It was already mostly done for for me! 

You may recognize this Target placemat:

Double-lined, and just $3.99, all I needed was an old pillow for filling. I happened to have one in the junk pile:

I seam-ripped an opening big enough to stuff. {this is where you have to be careful to not rip through the fabric, or the whole process gets a lot harder. ahem.}

And I ripped open my slip-covered junk pillow:

Stuffed the new one, and repinned:

I hand-sewed it loosely, then machine stitched it. This is where having green thread would have come in handy, but, hey, I had white. And I tore the fabric with my seam-ripper in two places, so I had to close those too. So, my pillow bottom isn't too beautiful:

But it works! It's one of those things where my mind really wanted perfection, and I had to tell it no. It's a $4 pillow, and it's not worth another hour of my life to rip it out, redo it all, and achieve a perfectly hidden seam. Like the Nester says, it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful! :)

And you can't see the bottom anyway. :D

It's the world's cheapest and easiest pillow to make- even when you mess it up like me. :D

Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. Brilliant! I love the pillow!

  2. That is really cool! Did you make the turquoise one behind it, too?

  3. Such a pretty green, great job!!!

  4. this is brilliant & i can't wait to meet you IRL next month @ #MamasWrite! :)

  5. Brilliant!! It always makes me crazy how much it costs for throw pillows but I'm never motivated enough to make one from scratch - so clever to change a cute, but already stitched item into a pillow! I will have to try this!!


  6. Wow - that is a fabulous idea! It looks great and I love the green/white combo.

  7. Genevieve WilliamsonJanuary 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    I think there are going to be a lot of Target placement pillows all over the U.S. now. I know I am going to make a few! Genius on your part! Thanks for the idea.

  8. Genevieve WilliamsonJanuary 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Oops! Meant to write "placemat"

  9. I absolutely LOVE this idea! I never would have thought to use a placemat in this way, but it definitely has me thinking! Thanks Mandy!!!

  10. Most Excellent ! Took my girls to The International Quilt Show in Long beach this wknd. They are Addicted ! Give a younger ladies a chance to sew on your machine No matter how young they are they can do it !

  11. Clever idea. The pillow looks great.

  12. So clever! I love it. Thanks for the inspiration. With Joy, Carey

  13. Gorgeous! Love this pattern. Target has the cutest prints. I just posted my pillow that I made from Target napkins.


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