Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Design Hack: Indigo Tie Dye Pillows

Updating pillows must be one of the most expensive undertakings you can do in a house.  You don't buy just one pillow (usually), and the price of pillow covers can be $50-$100 per pillow!  After scouring internet sales and etsy, I finally gave up on updating my pillow covers inexpensively and decided the indigo tie dye/ batik inspired look I wanted for our den was going to have to get hacked.

My Inspiration:

Constant source of local inspiraiton at Furbish Studio via
My Before:

I actually think these pillows that came with our couch are pretty -- it's just that they are too pretty almost.  Just not very inviting/casual/bohemian world traveler like I am currently wanting for the living space of a couple in their early 30s.  I have the rest of my life to have paisley tapestry pillows.

The Hack:

After giving up on the concept of affordable pillow covers, I decided that I would purchase fabric. This posed some problem -- mainly that I don't own a sewing machine and my hand sewing skills are limited.  But the real problem is that buying batik or shibori tie dye fabric isn't exactly cheap either.   Add in labor and the difficulty of me completing a project like this with a 6th Grade Home Ec skill-set; I came to my senses.

The solution?  I found that ordering pillow shams was waaayy cheaper than ordering pillow covers when it comes to tie dye fabric (maybe just because I am going too trendy and everyone wants this look).  I found clearance tie dye pillow shams from Pottery Barn Teen for $18.99 per sham.  I made sure they would be wide enough to fit my 18 x 18 pillow inserts, but of course a standard pillow sham is much longer (26" wide).  So I had extra fabric to deal with.

3 sides of the pillow sham fit my pillow insert perfectly, but I have that extra fold of fabric on one end to deal with.
 I could have cut and recreated a new pillow cover size, but that would have left me with sewing straight lines again.  My solution?  Fold over the extra fabric and attach it to the back side.   This involves minimal sewing skills -- just a loose slip stitch to hold that will be easy to remove when I decide I want new pillow covers.  You could even add a button or tassel to the fold to make it look more intentional and create a reversible pillow!

Start on the corner and make a few stitches here to reinforce.  I folded over the extra fabric and attached the edge to the back opening of the pillow sham to hide that area at the same time and create a more seamless backside.
The final look -- it takes about 5-10 minutes of sewing depending on the space between stitches that you make.  I can imagine attaching some tassels or pom poms on the seam if I wanted to reverse my pillows at any point.
The Final Look:

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