The Strategic Homemaker

learning to follow the Father, care for the clan, and redeem the resources

I’ve got a golden pillow!…


“…I’ve got a golden twinkle in my eye.” Or, how to get a new throw pillow for $3.

I’ve been updating my pillows in the past couple of months, and I think this golden one concluded the throw pillow updates for the foreseeable future. Unless of course, I win one of these coffee bags off my friend’s blog, “Rhymes with Smile.” Then I will make another pillow.

TSH and I have a few goals in decorating our house. First, we want it to be simple–no extra stuff collecting dust. Second, we want it to be comfortable, putting us and others at ease. Third, we want nearly every item to have a story behind it,or at least appear so. and finally, we’d like the decor to transport people to other lands. Not literally, obviously, although that would be cool.

(I figured out this international theme to the decor when I took this quiz from Homegoods last semester. The quiz results were totally off–gave me “Spa Life”, and suggested I have a giant Buddha in my house, or something like that. However, by browsing through the other possibilities, I figured out what I wanted– an international theme. Most of my decor is from other countries anyway.)

Back to the pillows. We started with some solid red and brown pillows I had gotten on clearance at Lowes for $6 apiece. These were functional, but resulted in a complete absence of pattern in the living room. See below.IMG_4317-001

I covered two of them in Kenyan kikoy material I had on hand, but I felt like we needed a splash of yellow, and it needed to be patterned. I was debating making a patchwork cover, although that didn’t seem very international. And then I saw the international fabrics at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Bam. $3 and 1 hour later, we have a golden pillow. I am a fan.


I admit, it doesn’t transport yet, but I think this is mostly the builders’ beige walls, the too-low valances, and that random pattern of two clocks and some art on the right. Working on figuring something out for the latter. The former two will just have to wait until we move in a couple months. Here are the pillows, up close.


On to making them. There’s a video tutorial here, but making a pillow slipcover is really easy. You measure the sides of your pillow. Then you cut out pieces of your fabric measuring one inch longer on each side, but for the back panel, you add 4 inches to the length. (E.g. I had an 18″ x 18″ pillow, so I cut pieces 19″ x 19″, and 19″ x 23.”) You then cut the back panel in half. (Mine became two 19″ x 11.5″ panels.)


You hem one long side of each of those small panels. You pin it together, right sides together, so the hemmed edges overlap in the middle. These will make the opening for you to slide your original pillow or pillow form into.


Sew along the edge, and voila!  Flip it right side out, and insert your old pillow. Cheap update.

Another example–In my daughter’s room:

Before, boring solid yellow:


After…cool Kenyan kikoys:


Your turn! Go update a pillow and send me a picture. Or give me decorating ideas. Seriously.


4 thoughts on “I’ve got a golden pillow!…

  1. Wow, they are so cute and make a statement! Bravo!

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