Saturday, September 1, 2012

National Sewing Month...Napkin Pillow

Did you know that the whole month of September is National Sewing Month!! Sew let's get those machines humming. Start a new project, finish an old one or maybe teach someone how to sew...any way you do it, just sew a little bit this month!!

Today, I was going through piles of stuff I have been collecting from a sewing room clean up. I found these dinner napkins that my sister gave me a while back. They are either dinner napkins or bandanas, but I do know they were only $1.00 each at Walmart. You can probably find cloth dinner napkins in the clearance rack some where too.

I wanted to do something with them and a pillow came to mind. I know I could just sew 2 napkins together, but I wanted to experiment with another project I did a few years ago.

Here are the napkins...

Good size...

21 inches square.

Do you remember this coaster tutorial I did over 2 years ago? Click HERE to read that.

Well, I'm going to try and make a Jumbo one for a pillow cover. Truly flying by the seat of my pants, so we'll see how this goes!!

You will need 5 cloth dinner napkins all the same size ( or fabric you want to cut yourself)

  • One placed right side up
  • the other 4 folded in half, with right sides out.

Fold the 4 in half and iron.


I have a color coded, step by step picture tutorial below if this gets confusing with all the same black and white fabric.

Start with one napkin right side up...

Place one folded napkin on top of the base napkin going vertically with the fold towards the middle. Match edges on the bottom.

Now place your 2nd folded napkin on the right, vertically and the fold towards the middle again.

3rd napkin towards the top going horizontally again, fold towards the middle.

Now the 4th napkin has an extra step, but it's easy.

Place the folded napkin on the left side, vertically, fold towards the middle...

Before you lay the 4th down all the way...pick up the first napkin...

Now lay down your 4th one all the way...

and flap over the 1st one on the 4th. I know that sounds so confusing, so check the color coded cheat sheet below.

Here it is with all 4 folded napkins layered over each other.

Pin all the way around.

Here's the best sew ALL THE WAY AROUND...without stopping!! No opening

Trim seams and corners.

Reach into the center opening where all the folded edges come together.

and turn right side out.

Iron flat.

Go back into that center area again and stuff in your pillow form.

DONE!!! No seam to sew up! I love that part.

Here's the back and the only problem area. I told you I was flying by the seat of my pants.

The pillow makes it puff up and the little opening shows.

For me, I don't care. I'm using it for back support when I sew...

or on the computer.

I still think it's a great way to make a pillow...

  • easy to make
  • uses pre cut napkins
  • one straight stitch all the way around
  • no seams to close
  • easy off to wash

I just love the black and white check too!

Here is the Color Coded Cheat Sheet for you.

Remember folds towards the middle!

5 squares all the same size.

Fold the 4 you want to show on the front

1st on the bottom...

2nd on the right...

3rd on the top...

4th on the left...

Lift  the 4th...

then lift the first...

fold down the 4th...

Flap over the first...I know you hate me right now LOL It is easy though!

Sew ALL the way around.

Turn right side out and iron flat.

You can make anything in any size with this tutorial...coasters, pillows, pot holders, little purses etc.

Use all the same fabric, 2 different ones or 5 different fabrics. It's up to you. Just SEW!!!

Happy National Sewing Month,

Pin It


  1. This is one of the first things I learned to sew about 20 years ago. I love to make pot holders with them and put a tab in one corner. A set of 4 from 5" squares tied with a scrap of fabric look great sitting on an end table. 4" squares make a nice small coaster for a work desk or in you nightstand drawer. You can fold them into triangles too. Its my favorite go to project for holidays or a fun little gift.

  2. I have purchased several different sets of these coasters at thrift stores and garage sales, but, I've never made any. Cute pillow.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Wouldn't a solid red(or black) piece of fabric look cute in the middle...What a neat idea for a pillow! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow! That is amazing! Thanks for the tutorial.

  5. Happy Sewing Month :) It is a GREAT reason to get out my sewing machine - and I love how easy this pillow cover is! Thanks for showing it with the different colors, definitely easier to see what to do :)

  6. That is a cool way to make a pillow cover!

  7. Never thought of enlarging the coaster pattern. Cool! I have those same napkins in green.

  8. Never thought of enlarging the coaster pattern. Cool! I have those same napkins in green.

  9. Great idea! Thanks for sharing. When we finish our craft/office space & my sewing station is set up, I know what my first project will be! Everyone may get a pillow for Christmas this year:)

  10. Really clever idea, could always add a cute button to cover the opening! I love how quickly it works up!

  11. I'm thinking a small bit of velcro might take care of the gap in the back...or a cute button/loop combo? Great idea, as always!


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