3 Easy DIY No-Sew Throw Pillow Covers

By Erica Loop in Thinking Sustainably

Get crafty, express your artsy self, and help the planet with DIY no-sew throw pillow covers. Don't stress if you aren't already a Pinterest-perfect crafter. These DIY throw pillow ideas are perfect for beginners! Whether you want to refresh your living room space, are ready to learn something new, or just need a project to keep you busy, these eco-friendly pillow covers can save you money and reduce waste.

Gather Your Materials

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2017, Americans generated more than 267 million tons of municipal solid waste, including more than 11 million tons of textiles thrown in landfills. Upcycling any extraneous fabrics you have at home can help to reduce textile waste. So, go ahead and round up any unused clothing items or fabric scraps to get started on your throw pillow project. Any of the following items work great for making your DIY no-sew throw pillows:

  • T-shirts
  • Towels
  • Bed linens
  • Sweaters
  • Sweats and hoodies
  • Socks (as stuffing)

Thoroughly wash and dry everything before you reuse it, then try one of the following three pillow crafts.

Person cutting fabric

1. T-Shirt No-Sew Pillow

Put that stack of old T-shirts, hoodies, or sweaters to good use—and transform them into throw pillows!

Choose a larger T-shirt or sweater to use as the pillow cover. Turn your pick inside out and place the shirt or sweater on a flat surface. Next, draw a square or rectangle onto the fabric. The bigger the shape, the larger the pillow. Cut along the lines to make two equal sized pieces. Keep the two pieces stacked and cut two-inch slits inward from the outer edges along all four sides. When you're done, the shirt should look like it has fringe around the borders.

Keep the two pieces of fabric flat, with one on top of the other. Tie each strip from the first piece of fabric to the piece of fringe below it on the second piece of fabric to create the pillow cover. Keep going until you've gone all the way around three and a half of the sides. Flip the cover inside out to reveal the outside of the shirt or sweater. Stuff the pillow with shredded leftover fabric pieces or socks and then tie the remaining pieces of fringe together to complete the craft.

Change up the pillow cover by starting with the fabric turned right side out. Instead of using the tie-and-flip-inside method, leave the fringe on the outside of the pillow. You can also switch up the type of fabric or the shape of the pillow. If you're not into a traditional square or rectangle throw pillow shape, draw an oval, circle, triangle, or any shape you wish.

Person completing no sew pillow craft

2. Linen Candy-Shaped Pillows

Your old clothes aren't the only fabric picks to recycle and reuse. Old bedsheets, blankets, tablecloths, and towels are other great no-sew craft candidates. Fold your fave upcycled linen in half, draw a rectangle on the front, and cut the shape out—making both pieces the same size. Use the rest of the fabric for stuffing and pillow ties.

Place both pieces of fabric on your workspace, stacking them. Overlap the edges at the top. Cut two strips to use as ties. Gather the fabric at one end of the rectangle, twist it, and tie a strip of fabric around it. Loosely tie the other end to hold the pillow's structure tight for the next step. Stuff the middle part of the pillow with the extra pieces of the sheet, towel or other type of fabric. Create a tight closure. Hold the pillow at the other end as you twist the fabric and then tighten the tie. Add extra strips to the ties as artsy accents or tie the fabric into bouncy bows.

3. Sock-Stuffed Yarn Pillow

The solo socks that you find at the bottom of the hamper don't have to go to waste. Reuse them as pillow filling! Start with a sweater, T-shirt, towel, fleecy jacket, or any other used piece of fabric. Again, turn it inside out and draw your desired shape on the front before you cut the pillow cover out. You'll have two separate pieces of fabric, stacked on top of each other.

Fold the fabric about one inch in from the edge and cut a small slit. Repeat this pinch-and-cut process, spacing each slit about one inch away from one another. The slits should go through both layers of fabric, creating a hole to thread a piece of yard through.

Cut a piece of yarn that is longer than the full border of the pillow cover. Pull the yarn through the first set of slits—through both pieces of fabric—and tie it together around the edge of the fabric. Use a sewing motion to thread the yarn in and out of the pairs of slits, threading the yarn down through one pair of slits, then pulling up through the next pair. Stop threading before you get to the end. Turn the cover right side out and stuff it with clean reused socks. Finish threading through the remaining slits, tie the ends and fluff the pillow.

With a rainbow of colorful hues and a ton of textures, your DIY no-sew throw pillow covers will certainly add a splash of fun to your living room or bedroom once they make their debut! But before you populate the couch with pillows, personalize the covers. You can try drawing on the front of your pillows with a fabric marker, or use fabric paint to create patterns and designs.

Are you looking for more ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle? Check out the Thinking Sustainably @tomsofmaine Pinterest board for inspiration.

Image Sources: Unsplash | Pexels | Flickr

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Why It's Good

Reduce waste and recycle your old tees, sweaters, and other textiles. Instead of adding them to a landfill, transform your would-be throwaway fabric items into awesome home accents by making marvelous no-sew pillow covers.