{DIY} One Hour Bow Pillow

Against our better judgement, we bought a cheap sewing machine from Target a few weeks ago. Gwyneth advised against the purchase because she knew there was no way I was going to be able to control myself with it. She warned me that it was only a matter of time before we had entirely too many pillows for our tiny apartment or before I started wearing creations that looked a little too.homemade.

And as it turns out, Gwyneths concern was fair. Because in the two weeks that weve had our new sewing machine, weve added two pillows to our collection. (Dont worry, were rotating some of the older ones into storage, so our seating areas are still suitable for actual seating.) But would you be able to restrain yourself if you could make one of these DIY Bow Pillows in an hour flat?

DIY Bow Pillow

If youre a novice seamstress like I am, this is a super-easy project that will give you a finished product while you sharpen your skills. Heres how we made our DIY Bow Pillow in under an hour.

First, we found about a yard of extra fabric leftover from our Dumpster Dive Reupholstered Slipper Chairs. Then we made our pattern with craft paper and a ruler. We traced and cut out:

  1. One 19 x 13 piece for the body of the pillow.
  2. One 5 x 26 piece for the middle band.
  3. Two 5 x 13 pieces with slanted ends for the bow ends

With our craft paper pattern, we cut out our fabric, so we had a front & back of the pillow, front & back of the middle band and two slanted bow ends (each with a front and back piece. Then we got sewing.

DIY Bow Pillow

  1. First we sewed the body of the pillow together (leaving a small part open so we could fill it), flipped it right side out and set it aside.
  2. Then we sewed the bow ends together, leaving the top completely open.
  3. After flipping each of the bow ends right side out, we closed it by running a seam all the way along the top of the end. (The beauty of this project is that there are lots of parts you wont see, so you can quickly sew on the outside of a few pieces.)
  4. Then we sewed the two pieces of the middle band along the long sides, leaving the top and bottom open.
  5. Next, we flipped the middle band right side out, folded it in half out and closed the loop by sewing the two ends together. (This is the inside facing part of the middle band.)
  6. Next we attached the bow ends by folding them in half and sewing to the middle band along the seam from step five.

Then fill and close your pillow. (And because the middle band is going to go over the opening you left to fill your pillow, you can close the opening by running it through the machine with the right side out. No dreaded hand sewing it closed!) Finally, flip the middle band and bow ends right side out and slide over to the middle of the pillow. Youre finished!

DIY Bow Pillow

Our second pillow was not as quick, but we love it for its sentimental value. Tomorrow marks one year since we moved to San Francisco and in honor of our 1 year anniversary, we spent the past few weeks needlepointing the California State Flag pattern and then we turned it into a pillow. (Clearly we need to find a better, more distinguished home for it!). We found the California State Flag pattern here, and those of you who live outside of the Bear State, you can find your state at CyberStitchers.com.

DIY California State Flag Needlepoint Pillow

We think well take a break from pillows, since were more than covered right now! if youve got an easy sewing project that weve got to try, wed love to hear from you! Otherwise, well have to start working on the shopping bag full of hemming and small repairs that weve been procrastinating on!


mk & Gwynnie


  1. Such cute pillows! Ive been toying with buying a sewing machine as well but I still havent made the plunge. Luckily my friend lets me borrow hers on occasion :) And I think I need to make that needlepoint! I havent done one in forever but they are always fun.

  2. California is the Golden State, Meredith. ;) Both pillows are lovely. I applaud you for all the work it took to stitch the California state flag. Ill admit that thought (of stitching a state flag into a pillow) has never occured to me, although I did learn the Nevada state song while living there. Home Means Nevada . . . . Perhaps you can learn I Love You, California? :)

  3. I inherited a sewing machine from my boyfriends mom. Its nothing fancy, probably one you could pick up at Target. Still havent used it though. :( Intimidated, but theres so many projects that I want to undertake

  4. Great pillows can one really have too many? What about aprons some cute retro ones. I still think of the one that got away; I didnt buy it and am still kicking myself but have been thinking of making it. It has written on it: Buffet: French for get it your self.

  5. Both pillows are so cute! I am impressed. Though I love DIYs, I dont think I am brave enough to add sewing to my repertoire….but I am planning to make some pillows with that iron on tape instead. :) Thanks for sharing love you decor projects!

  6. Love the pillows! What sewing machine did you pick? Have thought about getting one at times.I love your decorating style! Thanks for sharing

  7. Meredith I am curious which sewing machine you bought, and are you happy with it? I would like to have one just for simple sewing. Thnaks.

  8. Adorable pillows, love the gold and white dish in the picture also. Hope you two are having a great summer.

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