If you're a lover of decorating magazines, you've no doubt seen the cute pillows in graphic and mixed prints casually-on-purpose tossed on furniture in magazines like Dwell or Domino. You may think " Well, I may not be able to afford the $5,000 sofa but I can probably swing that adorable pillow." A quick look at the shopping section and that little pillow is a not so cute price of $200. Boy, have I got a trick for you.
Unless you're a quilter, you probably haven't heard of fat quarters. They are pieces of fabric that are a quarter of a yard (they are rectangle shape but very close to being squares really). They are usually packaged together by color or pattern or designer. They are meant for quilters who don't want to buy a whole mess of fabric but need different fabrics that go together.
Buying fat quarters is like buying perfectly precut fabric for pillows (though you can take off an inch or two to make pillows square). My favorite fabric designer is Amy Butler because she's got great colors and graphics. A quick search online and I find 13 fat quarters for $32. This means I can make six pillows (two pieces of fabric per pillow for way less then one designer pillow.
After fabric, all you need is stuffing. You can buy online or at a fabric store but on the first page of my Google search I saw a great deal on Craigs List. You may also want to take stock of your pillows and see if some of them can be taken out of commission and their stuffing recycled. Even if you have to buy new, stuffing for one pillow shouldn't cost you more than $5.
2 fat quarters of fabric that "go together"
Stuffing for one pillow (when in doubt, get more then you think you'll need)
Sewing machine or needle and thread
1 margarita (optional)
(0. If you want to be a real over-achiever, you can tattoo a design on the fabric you're going to use. The embroidery thing on top of a pattern is hot!)
1. Pin the pillow on three sides, right sides facing each other.
2. Sew the pillow on three sides. You should be looking at the wrong side of the fabric during this process so that when you reverse it, you'll hide the seams. Sew half of the fourth side.
2.5. Invert the pillow. You'll see the right side and the hems are hidden. Yay! Drink some margarita.
3. Stuff the pillow. Fluff the stuffing to declump it and ensure even distribution.
4. Sew a little more of the fourth pillow side and double check the stuffing. Is it even? Do you like it?
5. Finish sewing. Admire your handiness. Lie on your new pillow while finishing margarita.
I'm going to warn you; your first pillow won't come out well. The second one though will be much better so save your best fabric for something besides your first project. And when people ask you where you got your pillow (because they will), say proudly that you made it. Go you!