Seasonal and/or decorative dish towels are easy to come by, and they can be quite inexpensive. That makes them a prime candidate for sewing up some DIY pillow covers. What makes this DIY project particularly fast is that you don’t have to finish any edges; they are all done for you already. These DIY Halloween pillows are one of the fastest projects you can do to really bring the holiday décor into your space. There are three tutorials for three different dish towel circumstances. Enjoy!
- Dish towels (Seasonal fall/Halloween print or coordinating)
- Pillow form(s)
- Sew-on velcro (optional)
DIY Dish Towel Pillow with Velcro Closure
To sew a pillow cover with velcro (a good idea for when your dish towel isn’t large enough to double up on one side of the pillow form), cut a velcro set that runs 1/3 to 1/2 the opening length of the envelope pillow cover.
Center the velcro on the wrong side of one end of your dish towel and pin in place. Center the second velcro on the right side of the other end of your dish towel at the point where the two would meet if the towel were to be snugly folded against the pillow form. Pin this second velcro piece in place.
Fold the dish towel around the pillow form to make sure the velcro aligns perfectly. Adjust if needed.
Sew the velcro in place.
Tip: When turning a sharp corner, as you will need to do to sew all four sides of the velcro into place, leave your needle down in the fabric at the corner point, lift your pressure foot, and pivot the fabric carefully 90 degrees. Set the pressure foot back down onto your fabric and continue sewing. Leaving the needle in place helps you to maintain crisp corners.
Your velcro, sewn in, will look something like this.
Lay your dish towel down on the floor with the right side up, place the pillow form on top, then close up the velcro.
Pin the sides of your dish towel together, taking care to not pin the pillow.
Remove the pillow form, then continue pinning the corners.
Lay the dish towel flat. If it is patterned, make sure the pattern is even across your pinned lines. Adjust if necessary.
Sew the dish towel seams in place.
Turn the dish towel pillow cover right-side-out.
Insert the pillow form, then do up the velcro closure. Done!
DIY Dish Towel Pillow Requiring Two Dish Towels
In the instance that your dish towel isn’t big enough to enclose the pillow form by itself, you’re going to need to use two dish towels.
Wrap the pillow with the first towel as much as you can, the lay another dish towel on top. Mark the point where you’ll need to cut it so that you have enough fabric to overlap ends by about 1/2 to 2/3 of one side of the pillow.
Cut the dish towel.
With right sides together, align the raw (freshly cut) edge of your second dish towel with one of the edges of your first dish towel. If there is a pattern or print, do what you can to line these up for a seamless appearance.
Sew the two towels together.
(Note: This seam should run along one end of the pillow itself so it’s less noticeable than if it were to run across the face of the pillow.)
Lay the dish towel piece right side up, then place the pillow form on it with one side next to the dish towel seam. Fold the dish towel ends down onto the pillow, with the end that you want on the outside of your pillow being folded down first.
Pin everything in place. Be sure to position the pins at the point where your seams will go; depending on the size of your pillow, this might be a couple of inches in from the side of your pillow. One of the great things about using dish towels for sewing pillow covers is that the edges are already finished, so you don’t have to worry about raw edges coming unraveled.
Sew up your seams.
Turn the pillow cover right-side-out and put the pillow form inside.
Because the overlap on this large pillow is about 2/3 of one side of the pillow, you don’t need velcro to close it up and hide the pillow form underneath.
DIY Dish Towel Pillow with Exposed Envelope Flap
Sometimes, the edge of your dish towel is detailed or pretty, and that’s something you want to show off on your pillow cover.
To make the most of your detailed edge, lay your dish towel down with the right side facing up. Fold the detailed edge (the one you want visible on your final pillow cover) in about halfway down the pillow form. Or fold it as far over as you want it to end up on your pillow form.
Fold the other side of your dish towel over to create the width of your pillow form. If you have extra length, you can simply fold the end of the dish towel over at the end. This saves time, because you don’t need to re-finish the edge, and no one will notice its being folded over because it will end up inside your pillow cover anyway.
Lay your pillow form on top of your folded dish towel, and pin the sides at the point of the pillow form edge. Be sure to pin the exposed edge of your dish towel (folded up inside at this point) in correct alignment so it doesn’t move while you sew.
Sew up both sides of your pillow cover along your pinned line.
Remove all pins and flip the pillow cover right-side out.
Insert your pillow form into your new dish towel pillow.
Of course, it’s a good idea to choose dish towels (when you can) that coordinate.
While dish towels often come as a coordinated set, I prefer to coordinate my own look and style.
These Halloween pillows are casual enough that they don’t scream out as Halloween décor, but upon closer inspection, they absolutely reveal that the holiday is coming.
One piece of advice when selecting coordinating or mix-and-match dish towels is to choose one larger scale classic pattern (in this case, the green and white stripe; a plaid would work well also), a smaller repeating print (in this case, the black and white cats; polka dots or pumpkins would work well also), and a modern type of floral print to keep it sophisticated.
Dish towels may not sound sophisticated, but we like the look and the price tag.
Another thing to keep in mind when selecting your dish towels is texture. While the green and white pillow cover here is a sort of waffle weave, I avoided any terry towel because it would look and feel like, well, a towel.
I like this DIY project because you can change it up easily with each season, every year if you want to. Tip: Check post-holiday sales for dish towels that would work for your pillow covers for the season next year.
Three super simple ways to create an envelope pillow that will work for your Halloween décor. What are you waiting for? Happy DIYing!