I was in Anthropologie a few weeks ago when I spotted this pillow, but with a hefty $70 price tag, I knew it wasn’t coming home with me. After a few days of pining after that pillow, I was walking through JoAnn’s and passed by their embroidery section where I spotted row after row of colorful embroidery thread. That’s when it hit me… I’ll just make my own tassel pillow!!! After picking out 9 different colors of thread (I bought 2 of each color to make sure I had enough), I headed to the fabric section to find some white or cream colored velvet. Well, not only could I not find white velvet, but the only velvet I did find was very expensive. But I didn’t give up, I kept searching for anything that would be similar and that’s when I found a white velour fabric that came in at $12.99 a yard, plus it was on sale that day for 50% off. SOLD! I bought one yard, as well as a 20-22 inch cream (they didn’t have any white at that length) zipper. Using a 40% off coupon for the zipper and I already had a pillow form I could use at home, this project came in at less than $15. Much better than the price of the original pillow.
I got home and got to work on my pillow… and I worked and worked and worked. Thanks to a lovely little crawling 11 month old I was only able spend short bursts of time on it over the course of about a week. But the time paid off! I love how it turned out and it was actually pretty simple to do.
Here’s what I did (I’m sure others would do it differently and there might even be quicker ways to do things out there, but this is what worked for me and I am very happy with the outcome):
1 yard of velour fabric (I made and 18”x18” pillow, but one yard is plenty to make a 20”x20” or even a little larger if you want)
Embroidery Thread- 2 in each color you chose. I purchased 9 different colors for this project, but you may want more or less depending on the size of your pillow.
A Tapestry Needle
Zipper – I used a 20”-22” hidden zipper for my pillow cover
Pillow insert- While I haven’t used them myself yet, the kind folks at pillowcubes.com offered to give my readers a 10% discount, use code BLISSFULLY10. Their pillows are all American made in Tennessee and there are a variety of options to choose from.
First, start by making all of your tassels. I used a dinner fork to make my tassels so they would all be the same size.
- Start by wrapping your thread around the fork tines, I wrapped mine 25 time to get the tassel to the thickness I wanted.
- Next, cut a tail a few inches long and wrap it around the top tine on the fork twice and tie it off.
- Take your needle and thread the tail through the top end of your tassel
- Pull it all the way through to prevent it from coming loose.
Once all of your tassels are finished, set them aside and it’s time to make your pillow cover.
- Cut your pillow cover one inch larger than your pillow form to allow for ½” seam allowances. Mine finished pillow was 18”x18” so I cut 2- 19”x 19” pieces.
- Next cut the length of one of your fabric pieces 4” from the top, so you will have one piece that is 4”x19” and one piece that is 15”x19”. This is where you will insert your zipper.
- Take one of your cut pieces and lay it right side up and place your zipper on top of it right side down. Pin it into place.
- Time to sew!! With your needle in the farthest left position sew as close to the zipper teeth as your machine will allow without sewing over it. Once done, repeat with your other piece of fabric.
Now that your zipper is in, it’s time to put your pillow cover together!
- Place your zippered piece of fabric right side up, then lay your solid piece of fabric right side down on top of it. Pin together.
- Using ½” seam allowances, stitch all four sides together. Make sure your zipper is open before you stitch the last side so you will be able to turn your pillow right side out.
- Trim your four corners.
- Turn your pillow right side out. I used a knitting needle to push the corners out, be careful not to push so hard that you make a hole through your corner.
And your basic pillow cover is done!! All that is left is adding your tassels and your project will be complete!
You have two different options for adding your tassels, I used both on mine and they both worked out fine. You will need to measure out the space to between each tassel so they are equal distance from each other. My pillow cover was 18” on each side and I attached 10 tassels from corner to corner (18/10=1.8), so I attached each tassel just over a 1 ¾” from each other.
Option 1- Using the tail to attach the tassel:
- Thread your needle with the tassel’s tail and insert the needle into the spot you want to attach your tassel (in the picture I am attaching a corner tassel).
- Pull your thread all the way through the inside of the pillow cover.
- Push your needle back through to the front just slightly offset from your original hole, so it comes out on the other side of the tassel.
- Next, thread your needle through the top of your tassel.
- And push it through to the inside of the pillow cover again.
- Make a knot to tie it off and you are done with one tassel. Continue with will method until all tassels are attached.
Option 2- Using a separate piece of thread to attach the tassel (you will need to trim all of your tassel tails for this method):
- Take one piece of thread and pull it through from the inside of the pillow cover to the outside.
- Thread it through the top of your tassel and back through to the inside of your pillow cover.
- Make a knot to tie it off.
- Trim and you are done! Continue with all remaining tassels to complete your pillow cover.
Once you’ve attached all of your tassels, insert your pillow form, admire your handiwork and enjoy your new pillow!