Easy DIY placemat & table runner pillows

July 08, 2009

You can easily make pillows out of placemats, napkins and table runners! Table linens are inexpensive and an easy way to make seasonal pillows as well.  

I've been looking around for the perfect fabric to make new family room sofa pillows, but haven't been able to find what I want. Yesterday I spent an hour at Joann's looking for fabric and still didn't see anything that I loved. At the end of the day I ran into Pier One just to see what they had, and nada.

I moseyed over to the table linens to look for another option to make pillows that I had seen awhile back. YES, table linens. I found these placemats with beaded trim and they were perfect:
pillows using brown and green placemats

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Yep, placemats. Six bucks a pop. In the exact colors of our family room. 

It was sooooo easy to do this. Sew easy. 😂 For this to be as easy as possible, you'll want a placemat that has two layers -- not just one piece of fabric. 

I used a seam ripper to open up the two fabrics that make up the placemat:
using seam ripper That took about five minutes per pillow.

I made a hole big enough for my hand to get in:
filling DIY pillows Then stuffed them to the fullness I wanted. 

You'll need some pillow stuffing to fill your placemat pillow. I used one small bag of stuffing per pillow:
stuffing pillowStuffing always takes me longer than everything else combined, every time. 

I finished it up with a really simple stitch with some dark thread and a needle:
sew up pillow

Oh my goodness, I LOVE them!!:
placemats turned into pillows

cream lumbar pillow

sofa with DIY pillows
I love the beads on the side that add a little pretty detail:
easy pillows using placemats

I'm so excited because they also had a rust colored placemat that I didn't get yet (I know, I don't learn) but will be back tomorrow to pick up. It will be perfect for the fall and winter months. 

This next option is almost as easy at the placemat pillows, they just require a bit more sewing. 

I found this pretty brown, cream and green table runner for $13 recently:
brown table runner with cream and greenI knew I wanted to use it but held off on making the pillows until I found solid pillows to work with. 

They go perfectly with the placemat pillows!:
pillows made from table linens
All you have to do is cut the runner at the size you want. I went skinny to go with the size of the placemat pillows. 

Sew up one side and then the other, leaving a little opening to stuff.
brown sofa placemat pillows
pillow from a table runner
They look so good! No one will ever guess how they started. :)

I found some table linens online that would make for beautiful pillows! 


See all the ways I've made placemat and table runner pillows below!


pottery barn placemats


Seasonal pillows using Pottery Barn linens

DIY pottery barn fall pillows



Christmas placemats turned into pillows


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Comments

  1. These are great! I never would have thought to do something like this!

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  2. Another great project! They look fab. Whoever came up with this was definitely outside the box.

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  3. Fab! I've thought about doing this recently, and even looked for some mats, but couldn't find any that worked for what I wanted them for.

    I bet they'll last forever since table mats are usually thick.

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  4. Very cute Sarah!
    Love the little beads.

    I'll guess burlap but I know that's probably not right....:)

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  5. I have been making pillows for my home out of place mats for the last 4 years. They are the perfect size and as long as you have 2 sides to stuff, it turns out great! It is also a great way to use something embellished or embroidered that would cost more to buy in fabric. Love the way yours turned out! So cute!!

    Hugs,
    ~Victoria~

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  6. Looking good! A few years ago, I made pillows from the dish towels that I loved from Crate & Barrel. So, no, I don't think you are crazy!

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  7. I would have never thought of that. I'm going to have to try it out because pillows are so expensive.

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  8. What a cool idea! Wheels turning just thinking about all the holiday and seasonal placemats I've seen.......or have! LOL

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  9. Those turned out great and I have those placemats! LOL

    What a clever idea!

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  10. well, oooh la, la! I recently came across a huge bin FULL of tabel linnens at our local good will (cloth napkins, table cloths, and place mats) and I was thinking surely there is a way to repurpose some of this cheap 'fabric' - viola! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. I had never thought of that! Very clever!!

    Amy

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  12. Ack! I love it!! I could totally try that...I do have a seam ripper somewhere. :) Great project!!!

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  13. Adorable!! I saw something similar in the 100 Decorating Ideas Under $100 magazine and added it to my things to do list. Yours turned out so great!

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  14. Perfect! They are beautiful! Now I will be on the lookout for cloth placemats for pillows for my window seat. =)

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  15. Wonderful job! Love love it! Love Pier I!

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  16. looks great! It may be Bower Power that you got the idea from.

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  17. Seriously girl, PLACE MATS!?!?!?! Who'da thunk it! I can't believe I didn't think of that one! PURE GENIUS!!! I'll bet you found some beautiful matching napkins to make your accent pillows out of. I raided my closet and was going to consign some dated clothes, and I made a throw pillow from a zebra sequined top which turned out pretty cool, but PLACE MATS??? I'm not worthy!!! I bow to the queen!!! Great job once again girl!
    Jules :)

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  18. Uh, yeah!!! These are really cool! What an awesome idea! Leave it to the thrifty folks! :)

    Have a great day!
    Christina :)

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  19. Holy crap,I NEVER would have thought of that! How easy! Awesome idea.

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  20. They turned out fabulous! I would never have thought to do that. Very nice! You better get that other placemat before it gets sold out too!

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  21. Oh, yours are sooooooooo perfectly gorgeous.

    I think I saw this idea done by Katie over at Bower Power a few months back with her navy/white color scheme. I bookmarked because this idea is wicked brilliant, especially given the prices.

    Target throw pillows are now topping $25 to $35 buckaroos. What the ???

    I'm so looking for placemats for my family room too.

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  22. That's such a great idea! I need to keep an eye out for cute placemats.

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  23. VERY NICE! Love the pillows and your clever way of doing them! SO FUN to do things ourselves, right?
    XOXO
    Joni

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  24. I love these! They look great, I might even try them myself...eek!

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  25. Again, something I never would have thought of, but they're absolutely gorgeous!!! : )
    Macey

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  26. Love this project--very doable and QUICK!!

    ~ Sarah

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  27. **slapping forehead** DUH! Why didn't I think of that?!?! Great job!

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  28. Perfect! I've done this before too :) It seriously was so easy!
    I ripped an entire side seam and went and had it embroidered with initials in the center! It looked like it cost MUCH more than I actually spent!

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  29. What a fantastic idea! I can't wait to shop for placemats! Thank you! I lurve your blog.

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  30. Clever!! If the colors are right for your home I say go for it. Staci

    I added some bling to my curtains in my front room come and check it out.

    www.designingandmotherhood.blogspot.com

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  31. I am just proud of you for sewing...I thought more hem tape was on the way :-)

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  32. BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a great way to get what you want! So easy too!

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  33. Definitely Southern Fried Gal material (hee hee)...thanks for the inspiration!

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  34. I need some new pillows for our sofa (heck need new sofa too) so this is just perfect for me. I already have stuffing from other projects.

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  35. awesome idea! Now i need to find some great square placemats and recover the pillows I have! That would be great!

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  36. Today must be pillow placemat day; I just read one prior to yours about a hammock pillow! Very creative and I like that this was a quick and inexpensive project.

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  37. Going placemat shopping today! Love it, Love it, love it!

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  38. Simply brilliant! Looks easy enough that even I could do it! LOL!

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  39. I love them, they look great. I turned some napkins into square pillows last fall, so I'm with you on the table linens to pillows front.

    I think that Katie Bower at did the placemat to pillow thing a few months ago. http://allbowerpower.blogspot.com/2009/04/spring-into-summer.html

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  40. SO CUTE! What an awesome idea!

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  41. These are great! And how uncanny [insert Twilight Zone music here]: I just posted a placemat pillow DIY tutorial on my blog last night, but mine is a hammock pillow stuffed with plastic bags.

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  42. Great Idea! Thanks for sharing.

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  43. Brilliant! I've made pillows from napkins and placemats before, but I never thought of separating and stuffing the two layers of a double-layer placemat. Very clever! Too bad I don't need pillows... maybe I'll buy some cute place mats anyway. You know. Just in case.

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  44. Nice job on the pillows. I guess I've never got the double think placemats. I have used Christmas napkins as small seasonal pillows.

    My guess for the next project is tea towels.

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  45. Wow! What a fantastic idea!! I think my Hubs would certainly go go a accent pillow that cost $3.00 a pop as opposed to one that costs $20.00! Thanks so much for sharing this idea! Your blog is a joy to read!!

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  46. So creative! They turned out beautifully!

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  47. They look great! I was thinking of doing this very thing. And I was going to make some smaller pillows from the cordinating cloth napkins. But I'm the kind of person that has good ideas, but never actually DO it. LOL

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  48. Love it, they look gorgeous!! The beaded detail is my fave part!

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  49. What a great idea! I am not a huge sewer, so this is perfect for me! I will have to keep my eyes open for some placemats.

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  50. GREAT JOB!!! Guess who's going shopping on her lunch hour, lol. ME!!!!!

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  51. I am always on the lookout for cute placemats and napkins to make pillows out of. They are so easy! I love my beadboard backsplash. It is painted with semi gloss paint so I can easily wipe it off.

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  52. did you see it here?? http://theredchairblog.blogspot.com/

    both of ya'll did such great work finding CA-ute mats. ;)

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  53. Genius! I do not "sew" but I could "sew" do that!

    Thanks for the idea!
    Stacey

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  54. The pillows look great! I might have to try it.

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  55. LOVE this idea. For the girl who can't sew a straight line, this is perfection!

    ~Amanda

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  56. You did a fabulous job! Thanks for sharing this today.

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  57. These are beautiful. What a great idea, and yours came out so lovely. I have to try this, there is such a large selection available too.

    Karen

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  58. Beau-TY -- full
    Cheri
    www.itssoverycheri.blogspot.com

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  59. Love pillows - I think this is from Katie at Bower Power, but I didn't read all the other comments to know if someone else said that. Yours look fantastic.

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  60. I have also seen this before and I think it was on trading spaces. I love them and the beads are darling! You gonna make something out of napkins now?? lol

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  61. I just got done making my place mat pillows and I love them :)
    I found a clearance mat for 15 cents this morning wahoo!!!! and last week I tried washing my pillows (duh... bad idea) but couldn't swallow throwing the ruined things away, so I ripped the pillows apart and refluffed the batting and stuffed my place mats with that (is that taking the thrifty thing a little too far???) 15 cent pillow YAY!

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  62. Hi Sarah! Staci here again from www.designingandmotherhood.blogspot.com

    To answer your question.
    Yes, those are the curtains on the side bar of my blog. I have a detailed post under my post tabs called Home Decor, Window treatments. I show more detailed info. on the trim (where I got it etc). Scroll down on my blog for those tabs. They needed some bling! Take care-Come Back and visit soon! Staci

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  63. Awesome!! I'm going to dig through my placemats and see if I have any that are worthy of a transformation!!!!

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  64. Fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing.

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  65. Awesome! I love re-purposing things. How cool that you found the right colors. I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

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  66. No. Stinkn'. WAY.

    That is so cool! I bought some placemats to make a purse out of, but haven't attempted it yet. Seeing as how my current purse straps are about to break from wear, I better get busy!

    Mere

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  67. Love this idea! Cheap and easy...bad for dates, good for pillows. :)

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  68. Those are very creative, and I bet pretty durable too.

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  69. Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog to say hi and wonder at the mysteries of placemat pillow coincidences. And yes, of course I'd love it if you'd link up!

    :) Amy

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  70. Be careful of those beads...if you have a child that can pull them off....they could choke on those!! Sorry its the nurse in me :)
    Adorable idea otherwise

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  71. Pier 1 has the best Table Linens...I fell in love with a set when I was prego...and bought some, took them to a friend and she made me the best very large and awesome - Diaper Bag...she also makes purses too!!

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  72. Amazing idea and I'm so featuring this!! There are so many cute placemats to use...LOVE THIS!

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  73. I love your new pillows. What a great touch the little beads are!

    Gretchen
    birdnestcottage.typepad.com

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  74. That's a great idea! I've been running across a lot of "outside the box" pillow ideas lately. I'm dying to try some. Thanks for the how-to.
    Mary Lou

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  75. I luv the pillows. I am making outdoor pillows out of vinyl tablecloths, can't wait to use them. I luv your blog!

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  76. Cool idea!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-throw-pillow-from-a-placemat/2009/07/12/
    --Anne

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  77. I'm also a fan of making (covering) pillows out of cloth napkins. I have bought 2 and stiched together or I bought fancy lined napkins, split a seam and shoved my pillow form inside. Easy-peasy!

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  78. you are a genius.

    i must try this out. so that others may think i'm genius.

    thanks for the tip!

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  79. What a great project! We just made one with great success - so cheap and easy! Right up our alley!

    We posted about it on our blog http://homemademamas.blogspot.com

    Thank you for sharing such a fantastic idea!

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  80. Sarah - I've done a few of these now and I've found an even easier way. I've found some beautiful placemats at Wal-Mart where they also have what they call a travel pillow. I just open one side of the place mat, stick the pillow in and fabric glue it back together. People think I'm crazy when I tell them - but it works! Thanks for the tips.

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  81. I love these! I decided to make some after reading your post! I blogged about mine here: http://thriftyfindsandredesigns.blogspot.com/2011/03/placemat-pillows.html

    I love your blog!

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