DIY Cute Burlap Halloween Pillows: Spookily Simple

In the mood for something super fast, simple, and adorable to decorate your home this Halloween? Look no further than these cute burlap pillows. They are so quick and easy to sew up, even a beginner can do them. And drawing the faces on is a breeze. In under an hour, you can make these three iconic Halloween faces and bring a smile to your own.

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Materials Needed:

  • 3 pillow forms (or old fall pillows)
  • Burlap in orange, cream, and green to fit those pillows (example had 3/4 yard of each color and had a little extra to spare)
  • Extra-large black permanent marker
  • Thread, pins, scissors, sewing machine

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To begin, you want to start with a straight edge on your burlap. Sadly, burlap isn’t always cut this way at the fabric counter. To do it, make about a 1” snip on the selvage edge of your burlap.

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Pull one of the threads along your snip out the side of the burlap. If it breaks, simply fish out the end (in your burlap fabric) and start pulling again.

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You’ll end up with a neat little row of space.

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Follow this gap in the burlap weave with your scissors to cut a perfectly straight, square edge.

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Lay your pillow form on top of the burlap with about 1/4″ space between the pillow’s edge and the burlap edge. Repeat the burlap-cutting process on the other side of your pillow, also about 1/4″ away from the pillow form edge.

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You’ll want about 2-2/3 the length of your pillow form in a straight burlap piece. The extra 2/3 is for sewing an envelope-style pillow cover.

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Repeat this cutting process for the other two burlap colors, custom-fitting each burlap piece to the pillow form assigned to it.

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To sew your burlap pillow cover, lay the burlap flat on a work surface and place your pillow form directly in the middle of it. Fold one side of the burlap snugly over the pillow.

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Fold the other side of your burlap over the pillow. The two burlap ends should overlap by about 1/2 to 2/3 the width of your pillow form.

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With the pillow form centered this way, pin one side of the burlap at the point where you’ll want the seam snug against the pillow form. The most important points to have pinned here are: both folded corners, and both ends of the burlap. (Note: One end of the burlap will be sandwiched between two other pieces of burlap. Be sure and find this end and pin it with the rest of the seam.)

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Keeping the burlap snugly folded against the pillow form, move to the other side of your burlap and pin only the corners.

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This is so the corners are marked for sewing but you can still remove the pillow form somewhat easily. Remove the pillow now.

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Sew along the pinned side to create your pillow’s side seam. Tip: Backstitch over each of the burlap ends as you sew over them to reinforce the seam at these points, as this is where the fabric will be stretched the most as you insert the pillow forms.

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If you don’t have a serger, zig-zag stitch all raw edges of your burlap. This is a critical step when you’re dealing with burlap, as it is infamous for fraying.

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After your first side is sewn, lay the burlap flat and pin the other side’s burlap ends to the seam. (Your corners should already be pinned, so it’s just a matter of laying everything flat and pinning from there.) Sew this second side seam.

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After you zig-zag the burlap edges of your second side seam, you should have a piece of burlap that looks something like this.

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Turn the burlap right-side-out, using the overlapping flaps.

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The outside of your pillow will look something like this, with the selvage edge visible. You can opt to position the selvage edge on the back of your pillow; however, for this green pillow, I chose to make the selvage edge an abstract part of Frankenstein’s “hair.”

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If you aren’t able to use a selvage edge as part of your burlap pillows, simply create your own finished edge by double-folding the raw edge and sewing that up in its own seam.

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Finish up all three burlap colors. You should now have three completed pillows with their corresponding pillow forms.

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Now comes the fun part. Insert a piece of scrap cardboard into your pillow so that the permanent marker doesn’t bleed through to the back. Because, with the loose weave of burlap, it absolutely will bleed through without something like cardboard to block it.

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Decide what you want your face to look like (sketch it out on scrap paper beforehand if you want, or just freehand it), then draw it directly onto the front side of your burlap pillow.

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Hold the fabric taut with one hand while you sketch/color with the other, as burlap has a tendency to wrinkle as you color on it.

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After you’ve draw the face, slide your pillow form into the pillow cover.

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Plump out the corners to make sure it fits snugly and perfectly.

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The orange burlap pillow will, of course, be the jack-o-lantern.

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The white burlap pillow will become a ghost.

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And the green burlap pillow makes a fine Frankenstein. This one is the personal favorite of our household.

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Quite a Halloween lineup of some cutely spooky (or spookily cute?) faces.

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Feel free to use these faces as your guide, or find something else that more closely aligns with your imagination.

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Happy DIY Halloween!