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Pillows from Placemats in 3 Easy Steps

Between painting my kitchen cabinets and remodeling an entire house to sell, I’ve had enough of big projects for a while. So today I thought I’d share a super fast and easy up-cycle.  I was at Target the other day (not an uncommon occurrence) and found these fabulous placemats on clearance.

I looked at them for a minute, thinking “I don’t really use placemats.” But I was sure they needed to come home with me anyway. Once I got home, I realized they were the perfect size and pattern for adding a little much-needed color to my couch. Now I just had to figure out how to refashion them into pillows, which turned out to be much easier than I thought. Read on to see how…


  • Double sided fabric placemat. Be sure the placemats are made from two pieces of fabric sewn together around the edges.placemat-pillows-two-sided
  • A seam ripper.
  • Fiber Fill. Each standard size placemat will take about 10 oz. of fill to make a full pillow.
  • Needle and thread. The thread should be a coordinating color to the front and back of the placemat.

Placemat Pillow Instructions:

  1. Decide which way you want your pillow to be facing. (Some have directional designs or patterns.) Use the seam ripper to gently cut and pull several stitches out along one of the bottom edges of the placemat.placemat-pillows-ripping-seams You want to have an opening of about 3 inches. (You can do a larger opening to make the stuffing process easier, but then you’ll have to sew more at the end, and as a general rule I try to sew as little as possible.)placemat-pillows-open-seam
  2. Pull apart small chunks of the fiber fill and stuff them into the opening. As you’re stuffing, be sure to work the filling down into the far edges of the pillow. Keep stuffing until the pillow feels full and fluffy. You’ll want to use plenty of stuffing, so it will keep its shape over time. (My kids take the term “throw pillow” very literally, so I need my pillows to be well-stuffed.)placemat-pillows-stuffing
  3. Now simply sew up the opening, using a simple stitch. I know almost nothing about sewing, so I’m sure there’s a name for this stitch, but I just call it the in-and-out stitch. In one side and out the other. placemat-pillows-sewing-seamMake sure you overlap where the original stitching was, so that it doesn’t unravel over time. It doesn’t have to be perfect if your thread color coordinates well with your fabric.placemat-pillows-seam

That’s really all there is to it!placemat-pillows-stacked

The size of the placemat turns out to be the perfect shape for a lumbar pillow or throw pillow.placemat-pillows-couch

Oh, and did I mention the total cost for both pillows was under $9.00?placemat-pillows-sofaIt’s hard to beat that price, even if you do have to put in a little work to get there. Now you can happily buy up all the clearance placemats you want, knowing they don’t have to live the rest of their lives in the dark recesses of your table linens drawer.



Thursday 3rd of August 2023

You are so smart. How simple to make throw pillows. Thank you so much.


Monday 28th of November 2016

These are lovely, I make them all the time. I started making them last Christmas around this time. Kathleen Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home}


Saturday 10th of December 2016

Thanks Kathleen!


Saturday 19th of November 2016

When you have a pillow fight, you don't want to use just any pillows, you want pillows with style! Now you're all set. :-)


Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

That's right! If you're going to have a pillow fight, better have one in high style!

Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

Tuesday 15th of November 2016

Oh my, making pillows out of placemats never would have occurred to me, but what a great affordable idea to give a try one of these days.


Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

It wouldn't have occurred to me either, if I hadn't had to find an excuse to buy those pretty placemats!

Alana Dawson

Saturday 12th of November 2016

Heading to Target right now. Fingers crossed for some clearance placemats!! What a terrific and easy tutorial Meredith!


Monday 14th of November 2016

Thanks Alana! Good luck on your search! Even if you can't find these, they always have such pretty things...


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook