Thursday, October 10, 2013

Upcycled Coffee Sack Pillow


I need more pillows like I need a hole in my head. But the thing is, I'm taking a sewing class and since I don't need any curtains at the moment, I'm making pillows. Besides, Joann's Fabric is having a sale on pillow forms right now so I bought...um...six, I think. Can you ever have too many pillows? I say no.

Of course, the upside of all of this is that now it seems insane to pay crazy prices for throw pillows. These things range from $30-60 at most of the stores I typically admire. Last night I bought a pillow insert for $4 and some fabric for $2 so for $6 I can make something just as cute. 

If I can do it after six hours of instruction, I think maybe anyone could do it. And it gives you the opportunity to use cool stuff like this burlap coffee bag I bought at the Hometalk Halloween Hunt last weekend. 


I'd always wondered where people found things like coffee bags and grain sacks and last weekend I saw both while out shopping in rural Maryland and Virginia. So now I know. Pretty neat, huh? I bought this bag at Chartreuse & Co. for just $7.

Anyway, I decided to put my newly acquired sewing skills to use and make a pillow. I'd never used burlap before and I was a little worried about the whole unraveling issue, but luckily while I was pondering all of this, I ran across this pillow on The Happy Housie.

DIY Burlap Pillow at The Happy Housie
Suddenly, I knew exactly how to deal with the unraveling burlap issue and, even better, I had a cool idea for spicing up the pillow by putting a strip of another fabric in the middle. Plus, since the pillows I'd made to date were all one fabric, I thought it might be fun to expand my skill set by figuring out how to accurately measure, cut and piece together three separate pieces of fabric.

First though, I had to get rid of the coffee smell.


The smell of coffee doesn't bother me so much since coffee is basically one of my food groups (which also include chocolate, caramel and cheese puffs in case you were curious). However, I knew if I smelled coffee, eventually I'd smell rancid coffee since if the smell is still there, the oils are still there. So I soaked the bag overnight in the bathtub with four scoops of Oxiclean.


Next I unraveled where the bag had been sewn together so I could get as much fabric out of it as possible. As for how I figured out which pieces I would need, I pretty much just followed the instructions at The Happy Housie. For my 14" by 28" pillow form, I cut all the pieces 15" high. But the length was a little more complicated. 


I decided I didn't need as much overlap as Krista so I used a 9 1/2" wide piece of fabric in the middle (allowing for a 1/2 inch seam on either side) and two 28" wide pieces that would wrap around the back to make a simple envelope style pillow.


Next I cut the pieces I would need. My sewing teacher taught me that with a loosely-woven fabric, you can pull out a thread to make a line for you to cut. That was pretty good advice because as it turns out, cutting in a straight line is kind of challenging.


Next I started sewing pieces together. First I pinned the three pieces of fabric together. Then I rolled the ends and ironed them so that the back would look finished when I turned it back right-side out. Finally, I sewed up the sides.




I had planned to put the writing on the back of the pillow so it would be visible, but not obvious. But when I turned it right side out, it turned out that's not exactly what happened. Unfortunately, I attached that piece backwards so it's not really all that visible, but the front still looks good!


This also marks the start of our bedroom redecoration, which is pretty much the only room in the house we haven't touched at all. 


We've had the bedding for a while. I bought it at West Elm when they were having a sale. The new pillow matches perfectly, which actually wasn't an accident. Of course, I think the next step will be to make up a mood board because what are the chances I'm going to get that lucky with the next decision?

Finally, I wanted to thank Cassie at Primitive & Proper to the invitation to the Hometalk Halloween Hunt. Doug and I really enjoyed shopping all four locations. There's also a link party for all the bloggers who participated over at Primitive & Proper so you can check out all the other projects they did with their finds from the weekend.

I was invited along with other DC-area home bloggers by Sweet Clover Barn to take part in the Hometalk Halloween Hunt. In return, I agreed to make a purchase from one of the stores on the tour and write a post about what I created. All content, ideas and opinions are my own.

Linking up to: Making Home Base | Handy Man, Crafty Woman | New Nostalgia | Give Me the Goods Monday | The Shabby Nest | Uncommon Designs | Liz Marie Blog | Blissfully Ever After | Design, Dining & Diapers | Crafty Scrappy Happy | Craftberry Bush | The Shabby Creek Cottage | Link Party Palooza | The Creative Connection | Serenity Now | Share Your Creativity | Dear Creatives | Simply Create | Making Monday | Super Saturday Link Party | Inspire Me Tuesday
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