Ugly Pillow Makeovers that save Money
UGLY PILLOWS GET A THRIFT STORE MAKEOVER
Thrift store makeovers are deeply satisfying. I feel benevolent for saving something from the landfill and saving my pocketbook. Maybe that’s just me. But seeing these darling thrift store pillows might change your mind about rummage sales.
These pillows were ugly on the outside and had a sweet shape on the inside. They were mismatched and begging for new (ish) fabric in a bright happy color to liven up my back patio. One of beautiful home décor fabrics found me in the tablecloth section of the thrift store. It had lived its previous life as a table runner. The other fabric was tucked in a bin with blankets, placed there by thrift store fairies.
I brought them all home and threw them in the washer to freshen them up. Then I pulled out my trusty seam-ripper and started unraveling the table runner.
HOW TO RECOVER THE PILLOWS
The easiest way to recover a pillow is to sew a pillow envelope cover, but I didn’t have enough fabric. I simply opened the table runner, cut it to size, and inserted the pillow. Then I just sewed the edge and they were all complete in about ½ hour. I even had enough of the table runner left over to finish the end and use it as an outdoor table runner.
Thrift store pillows are the cheapest pillow forms available. Pick pillows that are smooth for the best look. I also like pillows that are light in color so that they don’t show through.
To cover a pillow using the least amount of fabric possible, measure the pillow from seam to seam in each direction, then add a 1-inch seam allowance on each side. Put the fabric right-sides together, then sew three of the edges. Sew in a few inches from each corner on the fourth side, leaving an opening for inserting the pillow form. Finish with a hand stitch for the cleanest look.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU SAVE BY USING THRIFT STORE PILLOWS?
As much as I love my new pillows, it’s really the money savings that excites me. Consider this: large pillow forms (20×20) are $10-13, but thrift store pillows in the same size range from $4-8. Bolster pillow forms (9×20) are about $18, but thrift store pillows can be purchased for $4-10. This is a significant savings if you’re covering a lot of pillows.
Let’s compare: This represents a typical throw pillow project for a living room. Two couch pillows, plus a bolster and a throw pillow for each chair. I used Toile in this comparison because I found 2 sets of Toile curtains (54″x 72″ panels) in great shape at the thrift store, so I know that they can be found at thrift stores regularly.
|Each||Total Cost Retail||Each||Total Thrift Store|
|4- 20″x20″ Pillows||$17.99||$71.96||$5.99||$23.96|
|1 – 9″x20″ Bolster||$19.99||$19.99||$5.99||$5.99|
|2.5 yards Toile||$17.99||$44.98|
|2 Toile Curtain Panels||$14.99||$14.99|
It’s a significant savings. You can save even further by being a garage sale shopper. I regularly pick up throw pillows for $2 at garage sales–even in bigger sizes. The bottom line is that thrift store pillow makeovers are ideal for the budget designer.
What do you think? Is it worth sorting through thrift store racks to save money on fabric and pillow forms or is there a better way to save?