Sweet n Shabby Woven Pillow Cover

One Honey Bun – featured Hello Betty by Chloe’s Closet
One fat quarter (for backing)
16 inch pillow form
17 inch square of muslin or other fabric
Heat n’ Bond sewable (light) iron on adhesive

buttons, pompoms, chenille, ribbon

Since the pillow we are making is 16 inches, we will cut the backing fabric 17 inches square. I just used whatever white fabric I had available, as it will not show. Use a clear acrylic quilters rule to mark pencil lines 1 to 2″ apart. Both vertically and horizontally. This will be somewhat of a guide to keep you straight and on track as you lay the fabric strips down.

Cut several 1/2″ strips of Heat n’ Bond.

Apply them to the backing fabric with a hot iron, about an inch apart

Pull all the paper strips off, exposing the adhesive (the lower five shiny rows you see above).

Determine how many strips from the honey bun you need for your square. For this size I needed 22 1.5″ wide strips (11 horizontally & 11 vertically). Pick the fabrics you will be using

and cut them into 17 inch lengths. (nip off those white selvage edges first.)

This next picture shows how I start a strip in the middle, one for each direction. For an accurate measure, I just butt strips side by side starting at the edge and leave the one in the middle.

Now you just start weaving strips in one at a time. Pretty much like we did in grade school, but in this case it is easiest if you start in the middle and work your way out. Alternating one horizontal and then one diagonal.
See how I just flop every other strip back to weave in a new strip? Then lay them back down and go do the same thing on the other side. When you complete the first corner, you might want to carefully slide it onto the ironing board for a quick press of the finished area (I used a large cutting mat to transport it) and then put it back on the worktable to complete the weaving.

When you get to an end piece it’s helpful to pin back the strips that you are weaving under.

When the entire square is satisfactorily woven, go to the ironing board and press the piece well. Except for every other little end piece flapping loosely, it’s relatively secure at this point, but I would suggest you sew up and down each edge for added security (You will see I did that in the next photo). If you are adding a fabric silhouette piece, do so now. It’s easiest if you back a contrasting fabric with the iron on adhesive, cut out your shape, iron it down, then stitch around it.
If you are adding pompom trim to the edge, do so now. For beginning sewers who haven’t yet added trim like this, I’ll give a quickie lesson. Lay the pompom trim down with the poms facing inward as shown, butting the edge of the trim to the raw edge of the right side of your woven pillow top. Then sew a half inch seam all around. I like to sew in a little curve around each corner, rather than turning a sharp 90degree angle at each corner.

(Remember to note in the above photo how I sewed up and down each raw edged strip).

Now take your 18×22 fat quarter, trim it to 17×22, and cut in half so that you have two pieces that each measure 17×11. On one long side of each of those do a scant hem running the 17″ direction. (I fold over once, press, then zigzag stitch). Pin each of these two rectangles to your pillow front, right sides together, hemmed edges toward the center, and corners matching (I flapped up one end to illustrate the overlap you will have)
Now sew around all four sides, and turn your pillow cover right sides out. A lot of people might choose to just stitch a 17×17 backing square most of the way around, leave a little opening, turn right sides out, fill with stuffing and whip stitch the opening closed, but this way you can easily remove the pillow insert and wash the cover as needed.

Make small marks on both sides of the pillow back, for two ribbon closures as shown.
I cut four equal lengths of ribbon, six or seven inches long. With each of the four pieces, place an end on the marked spot with the right side of the ribbon down as shown, stitch back and forth 2 or 3 times,
Then, without taking the piece from the machine, leave the needle in the down position in the fabric, raise the machine foot, flip the ribbon over right side up, and stitch back and forth over the ribbon 2 or 3 times again.

Don’t you agree this is a nicer way to finish a pillow? I thought you would!

The sweet shabbiness happens after you wash it a time or two.

When I pulled this out of the dryer I had to cut off a lot of threads that had unraveled from the raw edges, but because Moda uses a mini zigzag cut on the edges(they think of everything!) it is really quite minimal. Just the right amount of ‘fuzziness’, in my opinion.

I really had such fun making this and kept having ideas for other ways to decorate it so I had to immediately make a second one. I remembered I had some of this instant *chenille* that I’d bought several years ago.

(You can find it here and there online if you google “Chenille-It”)

I did not stitch down each side of each strip as I did above, I just laid two strip of the chenille tape (double layer for extra fluffiness) down over each strip edge and sewed down the center as shown in this next picture

Then, as you can see, I thought about putting pom poms at each or every other intersection, but ultimately I decided to add buttons.

I think for this option to really work you want to have a wide variety of buttons. A real “Grandma’s stash” assortment. 🙂

The *magic* happens with this chenille after a machine wash and dry.

I can’t say it was “fun” sewing down 100 buttons through all the layers, but I am glad that I did it. 🙂

Well, now I have TWO very similar pillows, so I think I’ll give the bird and pompoms one away to someone. Come leave a comment on the pillow post at my blog and it might be to YOU! WINNER HAS BEEN DRAWN. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME AND COMMENTED!

Two pillows with a fair amount of leftover strips and pieces for another project on another day.

31 comments on “Sweet n Shabby Woven Pillow Cover

  1. Sherri says:

    Both are great!!! I love the pom pom fringe on the first and the chenille on the second one!!!

  2. I love this, it is just too cute- & shabby too! 🙂

  3. Jackie says:

    Love both pillows! They are fantastic! Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. jaybird says:

    so pretty… i need to get some of the Chenille-It!!!

  5. That is the cutest darn pillow! Love it. ooxx`jodi

  6. Heather says:

    Love them!!! Oh the things you can do with Heat and Bond!!

  7. V and Co. says:

    oh yes i can't wait to get my hand on some of that chanielle! i want to make this pillow!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Couldn't be cuter! How can you stop at 2?

  9. I LOVE these pillows! I MUST make at least one VERY soon!

  10. OMG. I love it. And I love the chenille one as well. Now Jen, for those buttons, next time sew them down by machine!!! You can get a button foot,or just use your open toe foot! xo

  11. these are cute! love them!

  12. BUMBLE BEANS says:

    cute pillows! my daughter just made a cute one too! go see!
    I love that bottom one. great to see something fun and new!

  13. thestitchinchicken says:

    So cute! I really love the instant chenille! That's a great touch!

  14. amylouwho says:

    Ack!! I love it! Now I have to go and buy a honeybun, darn it!

  15. Lorraine says:

    I just love the chenille pillow! Is there a way to make your own faux chenille bias?

  16. Brigitte says:

    wow – this cushions are really lovely!!!! GREAT idea, too cute

  17. I have never heard of that Chenille-It stuff, completely awesome! Adorable pillow.

  18. Hi! I am Nika from Russia. I realy like your blog! You have a great ideas!!!! Thank you!

  19. Donna Layton says:

    Jen this is awesome!

  20. Birgitte says:

    I love this idea, have never seen it like this! I would love to have one for my daugther!

  21. madrekarin says:

    Cute, cute, cute! I have some Chenille It! in my sewing room. I think I have to make on of your pillows. 🙂

  22. Very, very cute Jen!!! Love them both.

  23. amandajean says:

    both of these pillows are AMAZING!!! i love them both!

  24. quilts says:

    love it love it love!

  25. happy zombie says:

    Dying over both pillows, Jen! You ALWAYS come up with THE cutest and most clever ideas!

  26. Kathy says:

    The chenille fringe is a great look. What a wonderful project og make to match a teen girls beroom!

    Thank you!

  27. Dawn says:

    I loved the pillow so much I talked my boss into letting me make for the store. (I work in a sore that sells quilting fabric,and I make most of the displays.) Needless to say they have had to order more bias stuff because everyone who's seen it has fallen in love with it. Ps. I made the chennille style pillow.

  28. Kim says:

    I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to stop by and leave a comment. I really wanted to tell you how much I love the two pillows you made. They are both very creative and charming. I would love to try out the chenille-it. It really makes that 2nd pillow adorable!!!

  29. I love them both but the chenille and the buttons one is my favorite! YOU DO WONDERFUL WORK! Sandi

  30. disa says:


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