Napkin Pillows

Napkin PillowsA few years ago I bought some cute homespun dish towels and made pillows for my family room using this same technique that I’m going to show you today.   Those pillows are not only well worn by now, but outdated.  And now I have a bright flowery area rug in our family room so I want some bright happy-looking pillows to complete the look.

For this tutorial I’m using cute, colorful napkins {copying my sister-in-law ~ Thanks, Stacey} purchased from Pier 1 Imports a couple of months ago.  This is such a simple way to make pillows because it requires no fabric cutting, no corners to cut, no turning the fabric right-side out, and no slip stitching.  Since the edges are already finished you will get a nice finished border, and napkin fabric is usually good quality and some even have fun decorative features like beads, fringe, ribbon, etc. that are already sewn on so you won’t need to.  These napkins were on sale for $3.49 each and I used the pillow forms from my pillows mentioned above because they were still in good condition.  So the total cost for these two pillows was only around $14.00.

Here’s what you will need:

:: 2 napkins for each pillow
{sometimes the quality control for napkins isn’t exact,
so check the sizes of the napkins you choose by laying one
over the other to make sure they are the same}

:: 1 pillow form or batting for each pillow {mine were 17″ square}

:: thread

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These are the napkins I chose.

Here’s what you will need to do:

1. Wash and iron the napkins.

2. With wrong sides together pin around the edges leaving an opening for inserting the pillow form or batting.

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Napkin Pillows 10

Leave an opening like this.

3. Stitch around the napkins directly over {or just inside} the existing edge stitching.

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Stitch like this.

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After you have stitched around the napkins, the edges should flare open like this.

4. Insert the pillow form or batting.

5. Pin the opening and stitch it closed the same way you did for the rest of the pillow.

Napkin Pillows 4

Instead of using the same napkin for the front and back of my pillows I decided to use one of each so that I have more options for displaying them.

Napkin Pillows 6

Napkin Pillows 2
Five easy steps to create a beautiful new pillow.
What kind of pillow are you going to make?
I would love to hear back from you or see photos of what you create.

This tutorial was featured on:
Things To Do Yourself~DIY
Inside BruCrew Life
The Mandatory Mooch
Sweet Bella Roos


{Click here to see where I link up.}

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45 Responses to Napkin Pillows

  1. Crystelle Boutique February 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Wow! These pillows are so cheerful….. What a great idea to use napkins: such vibrant colors and minimal sewing… ! Love em!

    hugs x

    • Lori March 29, 2013 at 12:25 am #

      Thanks, Crystelle.

  2. Sarah February 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    So pretty! Love the colors! I’d love for you to link this up at my Make Something Monday party!

    ~ Sarah

    • Lori February 26, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

      Hi Sarah. Thank you. I love the colors, too. I’ll see you on Monday.

  3. Maureen February 27, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    What a great idea! I always come across beautiful napkins I never buy because I think its a shame to use them! I now know what I can do with them, and being a very new sewer I love how easy it is!!

    • Lori March 29, 2013 at 12:27 am #

      Go for it, Maureen. The next time you see pretty napkins you know what you can do with them! I’m not a great seamstress but I can make things like these pillows.

  4. Stacey Denison February 27, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Hi Lori! The pillows are great! I made a pillow the other day from a place mat (like the ones you made for Toni) it turned out super cute so thanks for the idea.

    • Lori March 29, 2013 at 12:28 am #

      I’m eager to see it, Stacey ~ next time I come to SLC.

  5. Tara @ Suburble February 27, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    Love this idea! It’s a great way to get some fantastic fabrics into your space; excellent upcycling idea too!

    I’m going to try this one, I think!

    • Lori February 28, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      Hi Tara. Let me know how they turn out if you make one, or two. 🙂

  6. Haley @ The Saucy Apple February 28, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    These are so cute, Lori! And since we’re moving, I have a 20% off at Peir 1 right now. The only thing that’s holding me back is the fact that I can’t sew, and I let a friend borrow my machine. But maybe I can commission her to do the sewing for me. 🙂

    • Lori February 28, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      Hi Haley. I really think you should commission your friend to sew them for you ~ after all, what are friends for? You loan, she sews. Right? Let me know how they turn out if you make some for your new house.

  7. the cape on the corner March 1, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    love the bright colors in this! i did something similar, but a lot less nice. i don’t sew, so i just glued the sides together with fabric glue, and clipped them with clothespins til it dried.

    • Lori March 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      That’s a good idea, too. If you don’t sew you just do what you gotta do, right? My goal is to learn how to knit better and crochet. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Brittany Suell March 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Okay…this is so cute! I love this idea, so easy…just sew and stuff! Love it and so vibrant and fun! great idea!

    *found you on Whipperberry linky party!

    • Lori March 29, 2013 at 12:29 am #

      Thanks, Brittany, for visiting my blog and commenting. I’m glad you think they are cute, cuz I do, too!!! I love that they are so colorful and fun.

  9. Jen March 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    This such a cute idea, and it looks easy enough that even a newbie like me could do it. I just completed my first sewing project:

    • Lori March 29, 2013 at 12:31 am #

      You for sure could, Jen. I’m not a great seamstress but I can make pillows. Haha. But not clothing or anything complicated. Mostly just straight lines. So give this a try and let me know how they turn out.

  10. Jenn March 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Great idea, I love the colors.

  11. Jess March 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    These are super cute! Thanks for sharing with my Link Up! Hope to see you back again this week! 🙂

    • Lori March 29, 2013 at 12:32 am #

      Thanks, Jess. And thank you for hosting your link-up party. I’ll be back each week.

  12. Sarah March 4, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    I love this so much that I featured it at Make Something Mondays this week! Come by and check it out!

    ~ Sarah

    • Lori March 29, 2013 at 12:33 am #

      Thank you, Sarah, for featuring these pillows from your link-up party. I’ll check in and grab a button. I’m glad you loved it.

  13. Rachel @ March 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    These are fantastic! What a great idea to use napkins. Next time I see some napkins on sale somewhere I will be sure to snatch them up and give this a try. Love it!

    • Lori March 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      Great idea, Rachel.

  14. Lanaya @ Raising Reagan March 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    What a clever way to use old napkins you may have lying around!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. 🙂

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

    • Lori March 29, 2013 at 12:34 am #

      I know. There are so many cute or pretty napkins that could be made into pillows. Thanks for hosting your party.

  15. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life March 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    What a fun idea to use napkins and to have different colors and patterns on each side!! I really need to find some for the pillows on my couch!!!

    • Lori March 5, 2013 at 12:19 am #

      Hi Jocelyn. Thanks for visiting. Send me photos if you make some.

  16. Anne @ Domesblissity March 6, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    Hi Lori. What beautiful napkins. I’m sure I’ve got some napkins lying around not doing anything. Great idea. I’m featuring this at tomorrow’s Thriving on Thursday linky party. Thanks so much for linking up.

    Anne xx

    • Lori March 6, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

      Hi Anne. Thank you. I’ll be sure to check in.

  17. Nichi - The Mandatory Mooch March 6, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Lori, I love this project. What a great idea. Thanks for linking up to Tasty Thursdays. This post will be FEATURED this week. The party will be live tonight. Bring all your friends. Thanks, Nichi

    • Lori March 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

      Thank you, Nichi. I’ll pop on over.

  18. Shauna {The Best Blog Recipes} March 13, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Cute Idea! Thanks for linking up to The Best Blog Recipe’s Weekend re-Treat #6!

    Wanted to stop by and pin your image to My Link Parties Craft/DIY & Recipe Boards while I was here.

    Hope you have a great rest of your week 🙂


    • Lori March 29, 2013 at 12:35 am #

      Thank you Shauna for hosting your party and for stopping by my blog. I’ll see you again next week.

  19. Nicki Traikos March 22, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    How beautiful and easy!! I am inspired to make some! Thanks Lori!

    • Lori March 22, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      Oh good. Nicki, after you make them send me photos.

  20. Lori March 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Oh, thank you, Emily. I love your blog and am happy that you liked my pillows.


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