decorate fabric pillow Tutorials

Side-Tie Pillow tutorial

My niece is such a special gal. She’s smiley and kind and such a good friend to my oldest. Her mom is in the process of gathering things to re-do her room and she asked me to make a couple pillows for her. I asked my niece to pick out some pillows she would like me to make for her, and this tied pillow was one of them. I have to admit- this is one of my favorite pillows to make as well. I love that it lets me show off a fabric, while adding texture with the bows. And, since I was making yet another one (you can see the others I have made here and here) I figured I’d do a tutorial, so you could make your own too.

First you will need to start with a pillow form. This will dictate the measurements of the fabric you are cutting. The pillow I made was 12″ by 16″. You will need to cut: 1 pillow back- the measurements of your pillow + 1″ (mine was 13″ X 17″), 2 pieces for the front- take the length of the front piece (on mine 17), divide by 2 (I rounded up to 9) and add 4″- (my pieces were 13″ X 13″). This will give you enough off-set that the bows will be on the side- but you are welcome to adjust the measurements (make one longer so the bows will be even further to the edge). Then you will need six ties. I am using a wool felt for this pillow, so I’m not worried about fraying- so mine are 13″ by 3/4″, but if you are using a fabric that frays, make the ties 1 1/2″ so you can fold in the edges. (you can make the ties longer if you want a larger bow- but I’d keep them no longer than about 16″ or they just get too long)

Take your ties and fold them in half. {If it’s a fabric that frays you will press this fold, open it up, bring the raw edges into the fold line and press those folds. Then re-fold the center crease so the raw edges are tucked into the center. Fold up one short end into the crease so the raw edge is hidden.} Then edge stitch both sides of the tie- keeping the folded edges as close together as you can. Set them aside.

Take your two front pieces. Hem one side of each front panel by first folding the edge over 1″, press, then fold over another 1″. Top stitch at 3/4″ and edge stitch the fold. (make sure the sides you’re hemming are the ones you want to overlap.

Lay the back panel of the pillow on a flat surface. Line up the top pieces so they overlap, using the back panel as a guide for the width of the pillow.

Take the front panel that will be on top of the pillow and fold it in half along the hemmed side. Mark the center with a pin.

Decide how far apart you want your ties to be- remembering that you will be sewing around the perimeter with a 1/2″ seam allowance to finish the pillow. Mine were 3″. Mark each measurement from the center pin.

Now we’re going to place the ties. If you are using a fabric that frays- you will pin them down as shown by the tie with the pink pin, folding over the end about 1/2″. When placing the tie onto the panel that is underneath, I usually put the tie about 1/4″ from the edge of the top panel. Pin all the ties in place and sew them down.

We’re almost done! But this is the step that always makes me stop and think- so follow along with me! Take your back panel and place it on a flat surface RIGHT SIDE UP. Now take the front panel that will be on the TOP (ties should be sewn close to the hemmed edge) and place it on the back panel RIGHT SIDE DOWN. Match up the corners and edges and pin in place. Now take the remaining panel and pin it down. Make sure all the ties are tucked into the middle and won’t get caught in the seam, or interfere with the placement of the front panels.

Here it is all ready to be sewn. Sew around the entire pillow using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Clip all the corners and turn the pillow right side out. Use a tool to push out the corners as much as you can. Now just insert your pillow form and tie your bows!

Some more shots of the pillows. I’m loving this gray, now I’m wondering where in my house I can put some!

If you have any questions, leave a comment or e-mail me. Some of the steps sound complicated, but they’re really not. The trickiest part is really the placement of the panels when you go to make the pillow- but that could just be my own mental block ;)!
Have Fun!

Linking up to Tatertots and Jello

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  • Samantha
    January 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Well, Amy, I think you just gave me my new project! It is just perfect, especially the gray color – awesome.

  • Gwen @ Gwenny Penny
    January 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I love that gray. I want it. Love that you used felt. I am putting this pillow on my list. I am definitely making one in this color. Gorgeous!

  • A Pretty Life in the Suburbs
    January 22, 2011 at 1:22 am

    So classy! Love them!

  • Ashley @ Life Is Beautiful
    January 22, 2011 at 5:49 am

    Oh I love this!! Like tons! I'll have to try it!

    -Many Smiles!

  • Jane@Little House of Projects
    January 22, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Oh, how I love to make pillows and this one is so different from any of the others I've made. I'll have to try these. Thanks for sharing!

  • Haven
    January 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you for the great tutorial! I love the side-tie and the ruffle pillow!

  • Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims
    January 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    these are adorable! i love them! 🙂

  • Eva Marie Harp
    January 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    very nicely done and a great tutorial

  • Andi @ Jane of all crafts
    January 23, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Really love this pillow and the one behind it! i have a thing for all things gray. Beautiful! Thanks for showing us how to make our own.

  • Allie
    January 23, 2011 at 3:37 am

    These are great! Love those ties. 🙂 I'm kinda obsessed with making pillows these days so I'll have to put these on my to-do list! Thanks for sharing!

  • Christina A-BEAR
    January 23, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Do I need more pillows? No, but will I make another now? yes. LOVE the ties 🙂

  • Here On Crow Creek
    January 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I love your pillows. I think they turned out sooo pretty and that gray one is my favorite. Looks soft to:)

  • Malory
    January 26, 2011 at 6:14 am

    This is so cute! I love all your pillow designs. I am you newest follower.


  • vanessa @ silly eagle books
    January 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    these are beautiful!! I love the grey. 🙂

  • Erin
    January 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I love the gray felt!! And I love the design! 🙂

  • AllieMakes!
    January 27, 2011 at 3:57 am

    I love this pillow! It looks cozy and chic at the same time! Well done!
    You should come link this up to my weekly Thursday through Sunday Making It With Allie Link Party! I think it would make a Fabulous addition!

  • Crystal
    January 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    This is adorable. Love the little ties

  • Shannon
    January 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Very cute! I love the details!

  • Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy
    January 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I featured this on my facebook page! It's just lovely!

  • April
    January 31, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Both of these are so cute! I love the ties and the ruffles!

  • Elizabeth
    February 1, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Wow these pillows are so fun! You did a great job! Would love for you to come visit me at Sew Chatty and link up to Made with Love Monday!

  • nancybabb
    April 18, 2011 at 3:02 am

    I LOVE this pillow! I have it added to my "To Do" list on my blog (I hope that's OK???) Anyway, I just learned how to make the SHARPEST possible corners when you turn the fabric out! An it isn't like we were all taught! I learned from a friend whose mom made pillows professionally for years. I was so excited I had to blog about it… so come check it out here:

  • Bless by Tone
    May 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    love this pillow – so beautiful. Tone

  • Simone de Klerk
    May 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Very pretty!

  • Anonymous
    June 13, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    SO flippin' cute! I'm linking to you at my Summer Kick off Tutorial Round Up!

  • Anonymous
    January 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Your project ROCKS! I just wanted to let you know I featured it today on "You Sew Rock Me Fridays" on my blog Sew Rockin'. You can view the post here: Awesome work…I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  • Anonymous
    January 23, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Oh I love how sweet the bows look 😉

  • Unknown
    June 15, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Loving this cushion! I'm in the middle of building it for my mum-in-law.. but I'm stuck on which side of the fabric the ties go on! For the longer/visible front panel are the ties sewn on the wrong side – so they end up coming out of the flap – or the right side of the fabric? I can see from your pics the other side (underneath panel has the ties sewn on right side. Help!!!