how to make a pillow from a tea towel

here’s a fun, quick, and super easy tutorial for you!

i made a throw pillow out of an anthropologie tea towel!  if i bought an antrho pillow i’d be paying upwards of $100, but instead i paid $18 for a tea towel and it only took about 15 minutes.

this is also a fun tutorial if you’ve never sewed a zipper before.  it’s actually really easy, and i’ve taken a gazillion pictures to show you exactly how.

how cute is this towel? i love all the stitching (i swear its gotta be hand done), and the colors are fab.

when you’re choosing a towel for this project, its extra fun if there’s a print on the back, too.

so let’s start, ok?

fold the tea towel in half, length wise.  be sure to line up all the edges.

then cut straight through the fold line, making 2 equal pieces.

trim off all the hemmed edges.

lay the  pieces right sides together, lining up all the edges.  most importantly, if your towel has stripes like mine, be sure that all the stripes are lined up.

ok, here comes the sewing part.  take the short edge of the front piece of towel and lay the zipper on top, matching the edge of the zipper to the edge of the towel.  be sure your zipper is a little longer than the short edge of your towel.

the top of the zipper needs to be facing the top of the towel piece.  you can pin here, but it’s not necessary.

so here’s the regular foot on my sewing machine.

switch it out now for a zipper foot.  my girl gussy likes to sew her zippers without one, but i like to use the zipper foot.  it allows you to sew nice and close to the zipper teeth.

with the zipper fully zipped, start sewing 1/4 inch in from the edge (called seam allowance), and also start sewing about 1 1/2 inches down from the top.  this will make sense later.  sew all the way to the end of the towel.

see where the scissors are pointing?  that’s where i started sewing.  then i opened the zipper just past where i began my stitch, and stitch from the top of the towel down until you just cross over the first stitch.  the reason you do this is because if you want a nice tight stitch close to the zipper teeth, even with a zipper foot you might bump into the zipper when sewing.  so if you start stitching below it, then go back and stitch above it, you should be good.

this just shows finishing the stitch from the top of the zipper.

then get out the back piece of the towel.  put towels together, right sides facing each other.  stitch the same way as the first side with the zipper.

here’s what it looks like after the zipper is attached.  next step is to press this so the fabric lays flat.

with the zipper foot still on, i like to give a top stitch tight to the edge of the fabric.  this looks more professional and also gives added strength to seam.

see?  so nice!

this step is super important!  unzip the zipper about 1/3 of the way.  if you don’t do this, then you’ll sew the pillow shut, and have to rip out your mistake.  so just open the zipper and save yourself some time!

now line up all the edges, being extra careful if yours has stripes like mine.  i pinned, just to make sure the stripes stay lined up, but its not necessary.

ok, you want to see that cute pincushion a little closer?  here you go – so cute, right?  toni gave it to me after she was a vendor at a boutique at my house a couple years ago. i love it!

ok, now put the regular foot back on your machine.

start at the zipper, back stitch over it, all the way to the edge, then around the 3 sides of the  pillow.

snip the corners, and all the threads, and if the zipper goes past the seam edge, trim that as well.  since you were so smart and left the zipper partly open, put your hand through the opening and turn the pillow right side out.  gently poke out the corners, stuff a pillow in, zip up, and you’re done!

now that wasn’t too hard, was it?

i love how well the new pillow goes with my old pillows!

all this,  for only $18!  now i’m off to find more towels to make some unique pillows for my couch!

what i wore wednesday

my computer is working! at least temporarily…
i just paid a visit to the geek squad and was told most likely my motherboard was bad (huh? all i heard was $$$).
but, the guy was able to at least get my computer to start. so for now, i blog. i feel like i need to hurry as fast as a i can and do as much as possible, like there’s a bomb about to go off, only i don’t know when!
ok, i see i’m being a bit dramatic. i’d like to say it’s just a computer, but when i spend hours each day on this thing and then i can’t – well, that just makes running an online business very difficult.

instead of having a date tomorrow night, it looks like sean and i will be looking at new computers.  he’s pushing me to get a mac, i’m perfectly happy with a pc, so we’re going to see if a mac sales person can do their job and convince me of why i reeeeeally need a mac over a pc.  i’m cheap.  i wish him or her luck.

so on to “what i wore wednesday”!

if you’re new here, i started this eons ago as a place for accountability to get myself out of jammies and sweats everyday (my homeschooling/work at home attire).  some of you thought it looked fun and joined in!  i so enjoy popping by some of your blogs to see what you all are wearing and i get fun new ideas on ways to mix up things i already own!  if you want some motivation to get out of the yoga pants rut, join in!

i had to cut my head off of this one.  it was pretty bad!

i was trying hard to mimic lisa’s cuffed pants and boots, but it did not work!  i think my pants flared too much at the opening, making the cuff a little wonky, and although i love my boots, i need some cowgirl boots!  or frye’s.  really i’d take either you want to give me for free.  k’thanks!

sweater – old navy

jeans – local shop

boots – miz mooz

asymmetrical cardi – anthropologie

striped shirt under – old navy

jeans – forever 21

flats – marshalls

petal pusher – the pleated poppy

this was what i wore for a baby shower i helped with on saturday.  i tried to match the shower colors (yes, i’m that girl) which were navy, grey and grass green, but my allora handmade necklace was missing! (i left it at a friend’s)

cardi, striped top, jeans, & boots – target

necklace – local shop

cardi – target

dress & jeans – forever 21

shoes – marhsalls

ruffled scarf – the pleated poppy

petal pusher – the pleated poppy

i was able to wear this belt and it wasn’t totally uncomfortable (a first)! i think the key was to wear something slippery under it – the dress was sort of chiffon-y, so the belt didn’t feel so constricting.

navy polka dot dress, jeans, belt & boots – forever 21

ruffled scarf – the pleated poppy

just another shot to show you how sweet the dress is!

sweater – forever 21

ruffle tank – old navy

oooold jeans – local shop

ruffle flat – marshalls

grey pearl necklace – super old

see that? my hair is in a pony tail!  i think i’m trying to grow it out for a change.  you can laugh at me in a month when i change my mind.


wanna link up with me?

if you do i have a giveaway for you!

yep, i’m doing a few giveaways this week since it is my bloggy birthday after all (the big 4!).

i have this super cute laptop case that i originally bought for myself, but i was clueless that my laptop was way too big for it.  it’s about 13.5″ wide by 10″ high.  so i want to give it to one of you lovelies as a thank you for linking up with me every week!  it’s so much more fun to have you all join in than to do it alone!  wait, is it totally ghetto to give away something i bought for myself? uh, oh well!  its new and cute, and that’s all that matters, right?

so link up and i’ll choose a winner from the wiww posts in a bit!