8.17.2010

Couch Pillows turned Floor Cushions

When you buy a couch, you often get a bunch of coordinating throw pillows. I don't really like to use the term "coordinating" when it comes to these freebie pillows, because they often have a random pattern on the back. Such was the case with our throw pillows. We bought a brown couch, and the pillows that came with it were these beauties:
Okay, maybe the stripes are fine, and in fact the colors aren't horrible, they just aren't my color scheme. Another thing is that I much prefer a down pillow insert. These babies were stuffed with fiberfill fluff, so they're shapes weren't too fab. So, what is one to do with these big pillows that take up tons of room? There were four big, fluffy, uncoordinating pillows just sitting there taking up space.

I've been wanting some floor poufs for the playroom for a while now. I had considered these Land of Nod cushions, but then it came to me... two of these big fluffy throw pillows stack up to be kind of like a floor cushion. I unzipped the pillow covers (Freecycled the pillow covers) and found that the fluff was free flowing, and not in a pillow form. This would be perfect for removing and filling my own pillow pouf. From four pillows I made these:
The kids absolutely love them. My almost-one-year-old loves wrestling them and attempting to pull them around. They even make good bowling balls to rolls across the floor (and they may or may not knock over three-year-olds!) That same three year old sits on them to read books, pulls them up to a chair and uses them as a foot rest, and I myself use them as a back/neck rest when we are playing or reading.

I bought my heavy weight decorator fabric from Calico Corners for $2.99/yd. I bought 2 yards and made 2 cushions with enough left over for a throw pillow. So $2.99 for the fabric + 2 free pillows worth of stuffing = $2.99 per cushion. I'd say that's pretty darn good compared to the alternative price.



Here's the basics on how I did it.

Materials:
2 yards of home decor fabric it is usually wider at 60 inches or so (you need the length of two yards to get the full circumference of the pillows.)
Tinsy bit of contrasting fabric for pull handles (optional)
Fiberfill

Brief instructions per pillow:
I didn't take pictures as I went because I wasn't sure if it was going to work.

1. Make a 21" circle pattern for the cushion top and bottom. I used freezer paper taped together for mine.
2. Cut out one long rectangle measuring 10.5" x 66"
* make sure the layout of the large rectangles and the circles lays out to allow for each piece. I cut my two rectangles (for two pillows, if you're making one, you only need one rectangle) along the selvedge down the length of my two yards. Then the circles were staggered on the remaining fabric.
3. Cut two 21" circles per pillow.
4. Cut one 4" x 8.5" rectangle for pull strap or constrasting fabric or same fabric.

Very brief sewing instructions:

1. To create strap, sew 1/2" down length of small 4" x 8.5" rectangle with right sides together. Press seam open and sew down only one end. Turn right side out and fold under open edge. Pin to middle of 10.5" x 66" circle and sew both ends securely to fabric.
2. Fold under one short end of large rectangle and sew rectangle to circle circumference edge with right sides together using a 1/2" seam allowance. Overlapping ends at the end. Strengthen seam by sewing again around circle 1/8" from previous seam
3. Sew overlapped rectangle ends together using a double top-stitch.
4. Sew other side of rectangle to the other circle using a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving an opening to turn and stuff. Strengthen seam and sew around circle again. Backstitching at beginning and end.
5. Flip right side out, and stuff until full and firm
6. Handstitch the opening closed.
Enjoy!

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