By Rachel Pierre

Last year I bought 2 pillows that matched an old brown couch. A few months later we decided to buy a new couch and the pillows looked terrible! The color of the pillows was too similar to the color of the couch and they added no texture, color, pattern or visual interest. Instead of tossing the pillows I made some covers that filled in my pillow needs – adding some color. I love throw pillows and believe that they can really finish a space whether it is the bedroom, living room, or office.

There are many ways to repurpose an old pillow. Many stores are carrying pillowcases that you can purchase to put onto your existing pillow. You can also choose to sew a new pillowcase using many of the available sewing patterns. I wasn’t able to find exactly what I wanted however, so I decided to make my own. I also chose a no sew option to make it a quick and easy project that I could finish in just a few hours. This was exactly that, an easy process that took one Sunday afternoon and did not cost much; it was certainly less than the cost of a new throw pillow! I saw a similar design at my local Homegoods and decided that it would fit well with the look I’m going for.



  • Paint
  • 2 plain handkerchiefs, fabric placemats, or fabric swatches slightly bigger than your pillow
  • Pillow
  • Iron-on Adhesive
  • Paint brush or tool to make design
  • Iron
  • Measuring tape



  1. Measure the fabric around the pillow to ensure that it is slightly bigger than the pillow (2 inches) and allows for room to create hemmed edges.
  2. Decide on your pattern to be painted on the pillowcase. If you do not want to paint, you can simply use fabric that already has a pattern or is printed already. I’ve seen many fabric napkins that would be such pretty pillows!
  3. Begin to paint your design. I used a straight tool, dipped it into the paint and painted a herringbone pattern. The lines on my design are not exactly straight or clean, but that gives it the effect that I desired. The painted pattern looks like handmade fabric and the uneven spaces give it more interest.
  4. Allow the paint to dry on the pillowcase.
  5. Place the pillow on top of the backside of the fabric, fold a small hem (1 inch) on the edges of the pillowcase and secure with a pin until ready to use. Fold the corners to the inside to make a clean corner.
  6. Place strips of the iron-on adhesive along the first edge of the pillowcase and iron as directed according to the instructions of your adhesive. When using the iron-on adhesive make sure the adhesive is between two hemmed edges. Continue around each side of the pillow, taking care when you get to the corners.
  7. Once each side of the pillow is covered, ensure that it is completely dry before using with your furniture.

I did not add a zipper therefore I will simply spot clean as needed. These pillows match my décor perfectly because I was able to hand pick the color and pattern of the case. I love it!


Tell us, will you give your pillows a Just Haves makeover?!

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