DIY home decor: Vintage scarf pillows

This post is dedicated to my mom, my tolerant seamstress.

Decorating is a never ending project, and I mean that in a very good way. I am constantly updating my space- putting something special here, changing art there, adding a pop of color anywhere. As you may know, before I moved to San Francisco I put a lot of thought into decorating my bedroom. One of the ideas I was most excited about was sadly not one I could finish before the move: decorative pillows made out of vintage scarves.

I found the solid pillows pictured at the Long Beach Antique Market, plus four more in other bright colors. Once I realized that the whole set felt very Lifesaver-esque, I started thinking of other options for bed accessorizing. Then the lightbulb went off: use one of my favorite vintage things! Quick web search, and turns out Martha Stewart (also in Apartment Therapy), OunoOuno and Eddie Ross were way ahead of me. Here’s my spin on their DIYs for sewing beginners, so you can make some badass pillows of your own.

1. Gather your materials. To make pillows like mine, you’ll need four vintage scarves. I picked mine up at American Vintage, where they sling ’em for $5 a piece, or 5 for $20. Martha’s version calls for two scarves and a thick decorative fabric, like silk shantung, for the back. You will also need pillow forms. I used 18″x18″ forms, but you can use any size you please. Finally, pick up some cotton muslin, which will serve as a reinforcement for the lightweight scarves.

2. Measure and cut the muslin. Measure one inch larger than the pillow form on each side. Since my pillows were 18″x18″, my pieces of muslin were 20″x20″.

3. Pin the muslin to your scarf. Pin the muslin on the part of the scarf you like for your pillow, and make sure your scarf is wrinkle-free before pinning.

4. Trim your scarf. Leave a half inch margin around perimeter of the muslin piece.

5. Using a sewing machine, sew the muslin and scarf together. Don’t forget to remove your pins as you go- no need to break a needle! Trim margins closer to the seam once they are sewn together.

6. Sew the scarf pieces together. Pick the two scarves you want on the front and back, then place them face-to-face, or scarf-to-scarf. Sew three sides completely shut, and one about 1/4 of the way. Then, turn the pieces inside out and put pillow form inside. Fold in the remaining edges at the opening, and sew the opening closed.

And ta-da! The pillows are done. For less than $40, I made two one-of-a-kind pieces for the place I lay my head.


One thought on “DIY home decor: Vintage scarf pillows

  1. Pingback: Accessories Make it Your Own | SinkDotCom

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