Yellow Accent Pillows

Just got back in town and wanted to share the pillows I made last week for our family room.  
If you recall, I was inspired by the color yellow which I posted about here, and decided to freshen up my sofa with some new pillows.  

Here's the result.
Yes, that cute thing in the left corner did proceed to pile her happy self up on top of those freshly made pillows the minute I finished snapping these pictures.  Lottie likes to perch there to monitor the backyard for squirrel activity and naps, of course.

The great thing about a neutral palette is when I grow tired of the yellow accents (which I am predicting, will be in late fall with the first cool weather we have here in Birmingham), I can change the look with new accent pillows.

Both fabrics are by Duralee in the Thomas Paul collection (Bird and Dandelion)  and really add a fun whimsical feel to the room.  These pillows cost me around $120 total, so for $30 each, I was able to change the look of our family room for the summer.  Here are my tricks for keeping the price down while still getting the custom high end look.    

Trick One
If you can sew, you can save money.  We are talking about four straight seams here, people!  This will save you a lot of money.  Most seamtress (in our area) charge around $55 per pillow (for non-trim pillows).  So that's a saving of $220 on this project.   

Trick Two
Buy less fabric - You do not need huge pillows on your sofa.  In fact, my experience has been that most people go too large with the pillow size.  Ultimately, it makes the sofa uncomfortable and you end up putting the pillow on the floor when you sit on the sofa.  
Consider the smallest size pillows you need to get the look.  This will allow you to buy less fabric and save money.  For my sofa, I used a pair of 22" and 20" squares.  So, I only had to buy one yard each of these high end fabrics for the project.  

For the smaller pillows, I had enough yardage to cover the front and back in my feature fabric.  But, for the larger pillows, I only had enough yardage for the fronts, so I used a leftover neutral fabric (from this project) for the backs.  This is a great trick to save money.    

Trick Three
Be smart about your pillow inserts.  I only use the down filled inserts in my projects (unless my client's family has an allergy issue), and these can get pricey if you are purchasing several for a project.  
 I saved some money on my inserts by recycling one pair from pillows I had in a closet (I was tired of the fabric on them - very dated).   The other pair (the 20" squares), I found at Home Goods on the clearance table.  They had the ugliest covers on them, but the inserts were down so I snagged them for $16.99 each.  You should have seen how fast I ripped those covers off!  So, don't always assume you have to order your pillows from a direct source, consider discount home stores and reuse the inserts.   

Trick Four
So, are you feeling discouraged and thinking, I can't sew, or figure out the amount of fabric I need?  Well, I have one last option for you on getting the custom look for less.  GO TO ETSY!  These days there are a number of shops selling handmade custom pillows in high end designer fabric.  You just have to take the time to search and find them.  Then, all you have to do is pick one you like! 

Have a wonderful weekend! M.


  1. Love your new pillows! The other day, I received a pair of free pillow covers from a giveaway and I have no inserts for them. I wanted to buy new ones. I happened to stumbled upon a consignment store and found two striped zebra pillows for $10 a pair. I like them so I bought them, thinking I can use them in the future. When I got back home, I think maybe I can put the free pillow covers on the new pillows instead of buying two new inserts.


  2. Gorgeous pillows!! I love your how to, so practical and impressed that you made these, something I could never do and given my horrible sewing skills would never attempt. They really look amazing and pillows indeed can transform a space so beautifully! So I am uber impressed that these are not only gorgeous but that you made!

  3. I love yellow as an accent color! And I have several Etsy pillows - such a great resource!

  4. Your new pillows are fabulous! Great tips too. I wouldn't have thought to buy an ugly pillow just for the insert!

  5. Yes....the yellow accent is great in your room, especially for the summer months. Great tips for saving money also. I often only put the expensive fabric on the front for that pow!

  6. Love the pillows - they are gorgeous! I recently bought 3 down filled inserts pillows size 14x22 @ Restoration Hardware Outlet for $5.99 each and and 3 20" pillows for $6.99! I am waiting on my fabric to arrive and will showcase them soon! :)

  7. Loving your tips and fabrics! Excited to look around your blog!



Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.