make a pillow out of a table runner (tutorial)

Changing out pillows is such a good way to update your home or decorate seasonally, plus they are super easy to make and you can get creative with materials (like using a woven rug or a sparkly tank top or a thrifted sweater).

Remember the pretty ombre line Target had two years ago? I bought this table runner on sale and have been saving it – not really sure of what to do with it – until I was decorating for Valentine’s day and it was the perfect combination of colors. So I decided to cut it apart and make a pillow.


Table runners and place mats are great unconventional materials that come in many different colors and patterns and are often inexpensive.

Here’s how to make this pillow:



table runner or placemat (like this, this or this – you just want to make sure it is double sided so that you’ll have a front and back of the pillow)
pillow insert (I prefer down and choose a size based on table runner/placemat dimensions)
scissors, pins, seam ripper, sewing machine & thread

STEP ONE // Cut the table runner to size, leaving a few inches for seam allowance


Then stuff in your pillow.

If you are using a placemat, you will just need to open up one side seam and slip in your pillow form.

STEP TWO // fold in your cut sides for a clean closure


STEP THREE // match up front and back and pin to hold


STEP FOUR // topstitch with a sewing machine


Since you will see the topstitch thread,  I used a light pink for the top to match the front of the pillow and a coral pink for the bobbin thread which blends in with the back.


Cute, so easy and a fun way to add color!


Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends. Hope it is lovely!

13 Responses to make a pillow out of a table runner (tutorial)

  1. Danicka March 22, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

    Love your couch. Where is it from?
    Such a cute and easy idea for covering pillows!

  2. Rachel February 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    what a great idea! Sometimes it’s difficult to find the perfect fabric, if you can find it elsewhere and adjust it to make it work it’s even better. I have a few table runners that I’ll have to assess for a project.

  3. Kristina February 16, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    This is beyond brilliant! Thank you for your practical and CUTE tutorials that you’re always coming out with, and for always being willing to share the wealth!
    One question, where is a good place to buy throw pillow inserts?

    • emily February 17, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      IKEA sells square inserts and they are inexpensive. You can also get them at fabric stores or online. Sometimes I’ll buy a pillow at marshalls or homegoods on clearance even if I don’t like the pillow cover if the insert is down – just remove the cover and make a new one and the price is still very low. Potterybarn also sells down inserts – they run sales from time to time so keep looking for those.

  4. kimberly oyler February 15, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    this takes genius to a whole new level.

  5. Renee February 14, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    A great tutorial…need to find a good table runner now. A quick question…where do you purchase your washi tape through?
    Thanks! Happy Valentines day to you!

    • emily February 14, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

      I have bought washi tape from cutetape.com They have so many great options!

  6. pretty little things February 14, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    what an awesome idea to custom make decorative pillows — love this! ox


  7. ranee February 14, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    love this idea…so simple and cute!

  8. Christine W February 14, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    Did you make or buy the diamond pattern pillow in these pictures? I love them!

  9. Marie-Maguelone Créations February 14, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    This is actually very quick and easy! Congratulations Emily!
    A French blogger near Lyon!

Leave a Reply