It’s a sign, it’s a dish towel. No, it’s a pillow! When is a dish towel not a dish towel? When it’s a pillow! I knew that this dish towel would definitely not stay a dish towel. It was just too cute to get dirty or wrinkled or shoved in the dish towel drawer. No, this dish towel had to be given the star treatment, walk the red carpet, have a place of honor on the sofa for all to see and ooh and aah. You might have seen my earlier transformation of a dishtowel from North Detail (She has the cutest designs!) How to Make a Dish Towel into a Work of Art. Now I’m going to show you how to make a Christmas pillow from a dish towel.
How to Make a Christmas Pillow from A Dish Towel
It’s been a long time since I shared a sewing DIY, but I can tell you that even the beginning sewer can make this pillow; it’s just sewing straight lines. Because the edges of the dishtowel are all hemmed, even that step is already done for you. Because this is a pillow that will only be used for a short time each ~ 1 month in December ~ I chose to make an envelope closure so there are no zipper, snaps or buttons involved. Easy peasy.
Other than your dish towel of choice, all you need are scissors, thread, pins, a seam ripper, and a sewing machine.
STEP 1: Iron the dishtowel to remove any wrinkles.
STEP 2: Measure the width and length of the “picture” or “sign”. In this case, since the picture was so close to the bottom of the dish towel (about 1 1/2 inches), I used a seam ripper to take out the hem. This gave me an extra 1 1/4 inches for a total length of 18 inches with the sign centered from top to bottom; since I had an 18 inch pillow form on hand, this was perfect. Also remove the hem from the top of the dish towel (You’ll see why in a minute.)
STEP 3: Fold the dish towel in half lengthwise to determine the center and mark with a pencil on the wrong side.
STEP 4: Fold the right side of the top (unprinted) of the dish towel down over the right side of the printed area, measuring the size of the length of the pillow. Your measurement should be the same as the size of the pillow form, in this case, 18 inches. Measure the width of the pillow using the center mark you previously made (for me, that was 9 inches each side of the mark). Using a ruler, draw a pencil line down both sides of the dish towel. Pin the sides and the top of the dish towel.
STEP 5: On the sewing machine, stitch directly on the penciled lines starting at one side. When you are 1 1/2~inches from the corners, start increasing the width of the seam. When you reach the corner, turn the dish towel and stitch, decreasing the width of the seam until you get to 1 /4~inch from the folded edge. Continue to the other corner, stitching in the same manner and down the other side.
NOTE: Stitching 1/4~inch from the fold gives the pillow a stitched look on all four sides.
STEP 6: Cut the excess fabric of the dish towel on the sides 1/4~inch from the stitched sides. These pieces will become the remaining backs of the pillow. Pin one piece to the bottom of the pillow front, right sides together, hemmed side facing up and sides lined up. Pin the second piece to the bottom of the folded back. Make sure that you pin the raw edges and the hemmed edge is at the top facing out.
STEP 7: Remove the pins and iron the top piece open. Fold it down on top of the bottom back piece. Pin and stitch the sides and corners to create the envelope closure on the back side. Stitch the corners as you did in STEP 5.
NOTE: Increasing the seam allowance at the corners gives the pillow a more snug look and tighter fit at the corners.
STEP 8: Turn the pillow right side out. Iron the seams flat from the outside of the pillow.
STEP 9: Fill the pillow with the pillow form. You may have to “pound the pillow” around to get a good fit, pushing the corners of the form into the corners of the pillow.
I placed the pillow on our sofa with a couple of “candy cane” pillows that I made a few years ago. It’s my cheerful, red nod to traditional Christmas decor.
Now you know how to make a Christmas pillow from a dish towel. This whole DIY took about 1 hour, including a break for lunch. Any cute dishtowel would make a great candidate for this little sewing project. Now every Christmas I can get out a pillow to add to the holiday decor. Maybe next year North Detail will come out with another Christmas dish towel and I’ll make another one to pair with this one.
What’s on my newsletter, The Bulletin, this week? Christmas Dinner Menu Guidelines and a Super Appetizer. Be sure to sign~up to receive it in your in~box.