rug pillow {tutorial}

A vintage grain sack pillow is a perfect staple for any home : simple, graphic and classic.



The real ones can be a bit expensive and hard to come by but there are plenty of great faux versions available.


{via: potterybarn, etsy}

While walking through IKEA a few weeks ago, I saw a stack of woven rugs with great stripes of color. They were $3.99 and I was instantly inspired with the idea to turn one into a pillow. I know, weird idea to turn a rug into a pillow. But it was soft and not too heavy for my sewing machine, so I figured I could give it a try and see what happened.  I LOVE how it came out!

rug pillow

So here you go : a tutorial on how to turn a $3.99 rug into a grain sack look-alike pillow.

Here is what you’ll need:

what you need

:: a rug {I used the Signe rug from IKEA}

:: pillow insert

:: scissors & pins

:: sewing machine

STEP ONE: cut rug to desired size


I wanted the stipe to run horizontally through the center of the pillow, so I cut the stripes off of each side and then trimmed to the size of my pillow form {12 x 18 + 1/2″ on each side for seam allowance}


I only used one rug and the stripes worked out perfectly.

STEP TWO: pin right sides together


STEP THREE: stitch together


Because of the slightly loose weave of the rug, it frayed easily and I was nervous about the stitches not holding it together well.  So I used a smaller stitch {dial set to 2 on my machine} and went around the pillow twice {leaving an opening for the insert}


STEP FOUR: trim the excess


STEP FIVE: turn right-side out


STEP SIX: stuff in pillow insert


STEP SEVEN: pin the opening shut

stitch 1

STEP EIGHT: hand stitch it closed


I doubled my thread to make it extra strong.

hand stitch

And here it is:

pillow finished

This darling pillow was part of the February Giveaway

feb giveaway

and the lucky winner of the collection is:


Congratulations! Please send me a note at emily@jonesdesigncompany.com and I’ll get your Valentine’s Day goodies to you right away.

Wishing you all a great week!

44 Responses to rug pillow {tutorial}

  1. Andrew Barzani October 3, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Hello, My name is Andrew Barzani. I’m wondering where you get your designs from and you would be interested in getting another designer. All my designs are done completely by myself I sketch them out and revise them I’m looking to market my designs anyway I can even if that’s shirts, rugs, Tiles, Wall paper anything that can be marketed and make money and keep the world going around I’m all about making everyone happy. I’m easy to get along if we can make each other money then we’re both happy. I’m looking to either sell my designs or find company’s would like to hire me to make designs for what ever the purpose may be. Thanks for listening have a good rest of the day take care:)

  2. frank May 31, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    this is a really great idea, i like how it give off an organic feel to them. did you have any problems using dual stitches? i know once you cut weaving rugs they immediately start threading on the ends,

  3. Jen of Quality Sewing Tutorials March 29, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Great tutorial! You’ve been featured on the Quality Sewing Tutorials blog.

    We hand select only the best free tutorials and patterns for the home sewist.

    Grab a brag button!

  4. Lucy February 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Great idea. I made similar pillows from heavy cotton dishtowels and others from placemats I’ve had in storage for years and never used because they didn’t go with my dishes. They both worked out great, but I’m going to look for some rugs, too. It’s amazing what looks good wrapped around a pillow form, isn’t it? I’ve even made them from favorite t-shirts that don’t fit anymore but I couldn’t bear to get rid of. Someone is always looking for a pillow to rest their head, feet, back, etc. on.

  5. Barbara February 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    very sweet and tasteful invites for your daughter and I love the pillow tutorial. I need to learn how to sew. My mother and grandmother both were outstanding seamstresses. Unfortunately both have passed…but I believe it is hereditary and I should go for it. I am blown away by how many things you can accomplish when you know how to sew!

  6. liz@littlepeaceofhome February 10, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    Good Morning! I nominated you for a stylish blogger award. I love your creativity and all of the fabulous ideas you share in each post! Come on over to see your nomination!


  7. LLH Designs February 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Way to go, girl! I bought a real one before they were so expensive (many years ago in Maine at an outdoor antique show), but if I didn’t have one, I’d do this for sure. If I could sew, that is!

  8. laura February 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    What is the font that you wrote “jenny” in? {if you don’t mind me asking!?!}

    • emily February 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

      The font is called “Print Clearly” which you can download for free on dafont.com

  9. Natalie Rychecky February 9, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    So happy I found this site! Can’t wait to make some of these pillows!!!

  10. Erin McCall February 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    That looked so super easy and darling!

  11. Myriah Grubbs February 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Love this!!!! I’m soooooo feeling it. Too bad the nearest Ikea is 2.5 hours away. I guess i’ll have to improvise!!!

  12. Abby February 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    What a great idea! Wow, sometimes I wish I had your imagination for crafting. Oh, and I wish I lived closer than 8 hours to the nearest IKEA. Oh bother…. Blessings Emily!

  13. I Live in an Antbed February 8, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Great idea!!

  14. Betsy February 8, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    LOVE IT!!! Like the texture it brings.

  15. pat allen February 8, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    Oh dear, another reason to plan a trip to Ikea!! Thank you Emily. Luv it!!

  16. Emily February 7, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Congratulations Jenny! I am officially jealous!

  17. WhisperWood Cottage February 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm #


  18. Kelly Robison February 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    I bought your Valentine Cards and I love them! They are so cute and just the perfect size. I love how they are like quick “note” to someone. I also love the tutorial on the pillow. Talk about easy peazy!

  19. Karena February 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Congrats Jenny it is so beautiful!! Love the pilow!

    Come and join my amazing giveaway from Splenderosa!

    Art by Karena

  20. Rachael February 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Love this…I’m gonna have to run to Ikea!

  21. Jaime February 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Love this!

  22. Amy R. February 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    You always have the best tutorials! Thanks for sharing:)

  23. rachel February 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Emily, I love the pillow. I wish I had a sewing machine. Any chance you will be selling these in your shop??? Congratulations to Jenny!!

  24. Gina February 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    So cute! I wish I could work a sewing machine! Thanks for sharing! Jenny is a lucky girl!!

  25. Meg February 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    That’s really cool! Your giveaways are always adorable. One of these months, I’m going to win and all will be bright in my world! (Ok, that was a little exaggerated, but nonetheless, I will be excited!)

  26. Autumn February 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    I too am a blogging Christian mother of 4. So nice to read other blogs by like minded people. The things you create are very much like the work/colors/styles my mother does and currently shares on her blog. I think I’ll let her know where to see your creations!

  27. pam February 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Thanks for the tutorial Emily! And now that I am done with my sewing class I can actually do this!
    I love IKEA!

  28. Lisa February 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    I can’t believe you did that with a $3.99 rug! Very impressive – I love how it turned out!

  29. Cindy February 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Love the pillow, the texture is wonderful, and the color with the red stripe is great!


  30. Natalie February 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Ingenious! What a great idea! I love it! I am going to IKEA this week and must try this. Great job! And I am so excited about your sale..we are expecting a baby(#5) in June and find out this weekend what we are having..I’ve been waiting to buy one of your prints until then for the baby’s nursery. Thanks!

  31. MorningT February 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Love how it turned out!! I feel a stop at Ikea in my near future…

  32. Carrie February 7, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Great idea! I just bought a couple of European grain sacks at the flea market yesterday — not nearly as thrifty a price as your Ikea rugs though…Darn it :-)

  33. Lisa February 7, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    What a great idea! I’ve made pillows using placemats and napkins before, but not a rug! Love it! And I love your blog–beautiful and inspiring!

  34. Lisa @ greylustergirl February 7, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    Jenny is a lucky girl.

  35. Shera O February 7, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    What a great idea….will have to get s rug next time I head to Ikea. Great pillows can be so expensive…I love this affordable idea!

  36. Kelly February 7, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    Love this idea! I actually have that exact rug too. I’m not using it at the moment, so your tutorial gave me a great idea. I need a sewing machine though. Drats! I should really try to get one since it would be so handy to have for small projects like this. Maybe then I could get the courage to try bigger things. Thanks for the inspiration!

  37. Lauren February 7, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    I love this idea. I have been thinking about getting a sewing machine to make pillows and possibly other around the house items. The IKEA rug works so well for this look.

  38. Jo @ To a Pretty Life February 7, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    As soon as I saw that pillow, I knew it was a Signe rug! Thanks for the tutorial, I’m sure I will be making use of it.

  39. Priscilla February 7, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Oh, great idea! I need to go to IKEA to get some glass canisters anyway, so I’ll just add a rug to the list. I like how you used something unexpected to create something so cute…perfect!

  40. Andrea February 7, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    What an excellent idea. I am planning on going to IKEA this week and I will definitely look for this rug (pillow). Thanks again for a great tutorial!

  41. Caroline February 7, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    Brilliant idea! Thanks! I am definately going to Ikea tomorrow to pick up some rugs…..and maybe a few other items as well :)

  42. Jennifer Morgan February 7, 2011 at 5:25 am #

    Beautiful! Love it.

  43. Dianne February 7, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    Cool pillow…and congratulations to Jenny!

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