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DIY Dishtowel Pillows

August 15, 2012
by thenestinggame


Spain was so much fun. More on that coming up soon, as soon as I sort through 600 pictures of chorizo. But we came home to a deck, y’all! It was pretty far along when we left and they put the finishing touches on it while we were gone

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So, clearly, the day after we got back, before I did any laundry, I lugged the new furniture that’s been sitting in our living room for a month out onto the deck and ran out to buy fabric to make pillows in my green color scheme.

Ta da!

Let me back up. Here are the pillows I started with. Not horrendous, just not completely up my alley. They came with the furniture set (from Target).

My fave fabric store, Lewis and Sheron, is closed on Sunday. So I went to plan B, Forsyth Fabrics. I found several swatches I liked (2 were in stock, 3 were special order), but couldn’t really pull the trigger on one or two. They all ran between $15-25/yd. (Totally reasonable.) And I figured I needed about 3 yards total for 3 pillows.

So, I meandered about to a few other places: Hancock Fabrics, Homegoods and finally World Market. I didn’t see much outdoor pillow inventory. I guess it’s too late in the season for that. I did see someone walking out of Homegoods with a life-sized grim reaper, however.

But I did come across a stellar grellow ikat napkin at World Market. Only one. And it was $1.98. While the manager was calling another store to see if they had any in stock, I spied these dishtowels over by the cash register.

Um. Bingo. I bought three packs, even though I really only needed 2. I figured I’d rather have an extra in case I messed up. Which was likely. And which happened.

I followed Kate’s method of making envelope closure pillows. I wanted them to be easy to remove to wash and I didn’t want to fool with a zipper. I decided I would pair 2 shades of green on each pillow, one on the front and the other on the back.

Since the edges of the napkins were already hemmed, I could skip that step and use the hemmed edges for the “envelope” ends of the pillow, where the insert goes in.

And after a short bit of sewing, I ended up with 3 pillows perfect for my evergreen scheme.

Here’s a better pic of the color pairings:

I think my summer travels, as fun as they were, created a bit of a nesting drought. I was out the door as soon as I could on Sunday to get this project underway! Meanwhile, Taylor took it easy.

Yes, I even trotted out my plant stand for the full effect.

So, $32 later I have 3 pillows that are EXACTLY what I wanted. (And I still have a pack of dishtowels to return, so I could be netting $22.) Also I may have bought some MORE napkins future pillows at Target that look something like this (but less olive-y in real life):

It’s pillow mania! Somebody stop me.


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11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2012 8:24 am

    I love all the shades of green and how the front and backs of the pillow are different. It looks wonderful and such a creative idea to use towels.

    Have a great day!


  2. CDC permalink
    August 15, 2012 8:30 am

    Welcome back. Nice work. I see Taylor is already enjoying!

  3. August 15, 2012 9:15 am

    Bah! When I first read this I thought the Kate you were referring to was me! I did the same thing a while back with some vintage tea towels handed down from my grandmother. Great minds (and names) think alike!!

    Love the colours and fabrics you’ve chosen and JEALOUS of your trip and new deck!! Can’t wait to read and see more!

  4. August 15, 2012 9:36 am

    love the pillows! you should make me some :)

  5. August 15, 2012 9:47 am

    Isn’t it awesome when you find just what you want and it’s both easy and inexpensive? They look great!

  6. Elaine Smart permalink
    August 15, 2012 9:53 am

    The furniture and pillows are perfect for the deck! Can’t wait to sit among the trees and have a drink! How did you manage putting the furniture on the deck with the door not installed?! Up the steps?! Reminds me of when you and Taylor moved the green egg down the steps to the patio! Can we say, “strong?”

    • Taylor permalink
      August 15, 2012 10:38 am

      I truly don’t know how we’re going to get that thing to the top of the deck, but we did install a perfect little perch for it. Looking forward to having my grill back.

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      August 15, 2012 1:44 pm

      Elaine, you can get on the deck straight from the carport. But it will still be nice to have that door! Not looking forward to getting the egg back up there. Think we may need to hire some sumo wrestlers.

  7. Taylor permalink
    August 15, 2012 10:37 am

    Ummm….Yes, I took time to read a little of Tim Tebow’s life story. However, I did mow the lawn, weed the flower beds, clean out the hall closet and the kitchen window box. FYI. I love the greens on greens look and your new pillows, our new furniture and the new deck . Can’t wait to get it all stained, put the door in and have a deck party. Good job, hon.

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      August 15, 2012 1:44 pm

      Did not mean to belittle your accomplishments. :) You’re the best!

  8. katherine permalink
    August 15, 2012 11:17 am

    Molly – you have no idea how perfectly timed this post is for my life! i’m in the process of decorating our living room, and am searching for the perfect ikat pillows (i found a lovely one for $150. um, no). i never thought of using napinks and making my own — thank you!

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