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Continuing my obsession with “making things into other things” (see: these ruffled farmhouse tablecloth curtains and this throw blanket made from an old sheet), today I’d like to share a simple way you can turn old fabric placemats into a throw pillow.
The approach is basically the same as the one I used for the throw pillow I made from napkins: Pin some ribbons, sew them in place, do two lines of stitching, and you’re done. My favourite thing about it is that it doesn’t require any measuring or hemming. I don’t know about you, but measuring and hemming is my least favourite part of sewing, so I like not having to do it.
- Two fabric placemats. You can get ones similar to mine (with the little detailing around the edges) here (natural linen colour) or here (white linen colour).
- A sewing machine, scissors, sewing pins, and thread.
- Grossgrain ribbon. I used 5/8″ wide ribbon in white – this stuff, to be exact.
- A rectangle cushion insert. You want to choose an insert that’s about the size of your placemats or slightly larger. A larger insert will make the throw pillow look nice and full.
To begin, cut eight 8″ pieces of grossgrain ribbon. You can cut them shorter or longer depending on how big you want your bows to be. The longer the ribbon, the bigger the bow.
Flip your placemats so that they’re facing wrong-side up. Pin four pieces of grossgrain ribbon to each placemat, as below.
I pinned my ribbons about 3 1/2″ from the edge. You can pin them wherever you want, just make sure they’re in the same spot on both placemats so they line up when you sew the mats together.
Sew a line of stitching across the top and bottom of the ribbons, where indicated below.
Because the ribbons will have to withstand a bit of tugging, I like to start and finish each line of stitching by doing a few stitches forward/then back/then continuing forward. This helps keep everything in place.
Once your ribbons are attached, lay the placemats on top of each other so that the front side of each mat is facing in. Sew along the top and the bottom of the placemat, as below. As with the ribbons, it’s a good idea to start and finish each line of stitching by stitching forward, then back, then forward again.
Flip your throw pillow inside-out, pop a cushion insert inside, and you’re finished.
Have you made throw pillows from old things before? I’m a little bit obsessed with throw pillows and am always looking for new ways to make them so I’d love to hear your ideas!