Placemat to Pillow Cover Conversion

As I mentioned in my tote bag to pillow conversion post, I’m making over most of the throw pillows in my house by sewing new covers. But I’ve had trouble finding fabric I want to use for covers in my local fabric stores, so I’ve gotten creative with fabric sources. This marble-print pillow is actually made from a placemat.

How to turn a placemat into a pillow cover

Here’s the pillow before:
pillow cover before

The front looks fine, but the back is stained, and it was time for a change. (That cat is a semi-permanent couch fixture, though.)

And the after:

How to turn a placemat into a pillow cover

How to turn a placemat into a pillow cover

(Getting major side-eye from Delicious! She clearly wants me to stop disturbing her nap on the couch crack by moving pillows around and snapping the camera shutter.)

How to turn a placemat into a pillow cover
I was actually browsing Paper Source for tea towels to turn into cushion covers. If you’re thinking, “Girl, it’s ‘Paper Source,’ not ‘Fabric Source,'” you’re right, but I’ve seen cute tea towels there in the past! And they have tons of non-paper stuff, including these amazing marbled placemats. They’re hand-marbled, so each one is unique, and they come in a set of four, so you could go wild with little pillows. I might make a second one, but keep the other two to use as placemats.

How to turn a placemat into a pillow cover

Converting one of these placemats to a pillow was actually super easy. I didn’t even need to use a sewing machine. One of my existing pillow forms happened to fit the size perfectly, but if you’re not so lucky, I think this 13×19-inch pillow form should be the right size for these 13×19-inch placemats.

The canvas marbled fabric is backed with thinner cotton that is sewn to it around the edges, both with inner seams and topstitching, but I unpicked the stitches using a seam ripper on one of the short edges. (If you’re using a different placemat without a backing, you’ll need additional fabric to create the back of the pillow, or you could use another placemat. Be sure to take the seams into account for determining the correct size for the pillow form.)

How to turn a placemat into a pillow cover

After opening up the edge, I slipped in the pillow form, and used an invisible stitch to close back up the edge. It took less than a whole episode of Orange is the New Black, so it wasn’t a big deal at all.

How to turn a placemat into a pillow cover

If you don’t know how to do an invisible stitch (also called blind stitch or ladder stitch), it’s super useful, and this is a good opportunity to learn. This looks like a clear tutorial.

This is a super satisfying and quick way to create new pillow covers, and I love how this one turned out, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for other placemats to convert to pillows.

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