Easiest 10-Minute Throw Pillow from Placemat

Today I’m sharing an Easy Throw Pillow Tutorial with you all……and believe me, it doesn’t get easier than this! Would you believe me if I told you that the pillow pictured above was originally a placemat?  Well, it’s true!  I got this placemat today at Pier 1 on sale for $3.10 (including tax).  I turned this beauty into a pillow in less than 10 minutes, yes, LESS than 10 minutes.  Even if you don’t own a sewing machine, you can do this Easy Throw Pillow – just get out your seam ripper and hand-sewing needle.

Like I said in my previous post, I have really been into sprucing up The Cottage Home, but with being a stay-at-home Mom, I am usually on a pretty tight budget.  So I am doing the best with what I have (rearranging things galore) and adding in the occasional thrifty find.  I am so excited about this project and I hope you will be too!!

10-Minute Throw Pillow Tutorial

1 double layer placemat
Seam ripper
Fiberfill or other stuffing
Sewing machine or hand-sewing needle
Grab a standard-size placemat.  I got mine at our local Pier 1 (though I was inspired by all the pretty things I’ve seen in the Potterybarn catalog lately).  Perhaps you have a placemat on-hand or check out any of your favorite stores – I guarantee a place mat will be FAR less expensive than a pillow but will still have the same style as your favorite store.
I picked this placemat because I loved the texture and the colors (our family room is deep red, brown, tan and green).  Make sure you choose a placemat that has two layers – a top layer and a bottom layer.  Some placemats are trimmed with bias-tape.  Try to stay away from those for this project as it will only make your life more complicated.
Here’s what the back of my placemat looks like – just a simple, solid brown.
Remove the tag from the placemat.  I decided this would be a good place for me to open up both layers as it already looked a little wonky to me.  But you can open your placemat any where you see fit.
Take your seam-ripper and carefully open up your placemat.  Open a hole large enough for you to stick your hand through.  You need to be able to get your hand inside to stuff the pillow.

This is the size hole that I ended up with after opening up both sides of my placemat (I have kind of small hands).

Take your fiberfill (or whatever stuffing you are using) and fill your placemat.  Keep filling until you are satisfied with the look.

After you have filled your pillow, pin the opening shut.  I know my pinning is not entirely proper here, but just do your best to pin the opening closed.

For the next step, if you have a sewing machine, line up the original stitching and close your opening with coordinating thread.  Mine was a 1/8th seam allowance.  If you DO NOT have a sewing machine, hand-sew the opening closed in coordinating thread.

Here is what the side of my pillow looked like after I closed the opening.

And there you have it – a pillow in less than 10-minutes – does it get any easier than that?  Well, not for $3.00!!

I saw some placemats at Pier 1 with some fabulous beaded trim on two sides – that would make a totally cute addition to a pillow, don’t you think?.  Hmmmm…….my wheels are turning…….perhaps I need another placemat or two.  What about you?  Will I see you out tomorrow picking up a placemat?

Turn a Placemat into a 10-Minute Throw Pillow on The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama

Like this post? Want even more?
Sign up below and receive all my tutorials, recipes and updates directly in your email inbox.


  1. really cool lindsay, that placemat was a perfect choice. 🙂

  2. this is such a creative idea and so doable! thanks for posting – i must try it one of these days!

  3. I am totally doing this project tomorrow… I have been making placemat purses, but this is another great use for them. Thanks so much for the wonderful inspiration!!

  4. Hi Lindsay, I love your pillow idea. Placemats come in some gorgeous prints nowadays. The possibilities are endless!

  5. what a great idea!

  6. That is such a great idea, I will be looking at place mats everywhere now.

  7. thank you so so so much for this. i’ve read that you can make placemats into pillows but wasn’t quite sure how to do it or what to look for in a placemat so again, THANK YOU!

  8. That is genius! I am all about refashioning and reusing. Such a great idea.

  9. I have always wondered what I could do with the lovely placemats I see in stores like Pier1, HomeGoods, etc. and now I know! Thanks for sharing!

  10. beautiful…simple…so creative.
    I’ve been following your blog for awhile and LOVE it!

  11. Great idea. Thank you for sharing this.
    Stopping by from New Friend Friday. 🙂

  12. I did something so similar with napkins … it was one of my few “original” ideas. http://penn-fam.blogspot.com/2010/04/my-little-project.html

  13. Oh what a fab idea!!! I would not have thought to create a pillow this way with a placemat.

    The fabric only looks so-so as a placemat (in my opinion) but it looks absolutely stunning as a pillow! Unbelievable!!!

    You had some great vision there!

    Thanks for linking up!

  14. That’s great! You are super talented!


  15. Stopping by from New Friend Friday … awesome blog! Love the potato salad recipe – will definitely give that a try.


  16. excellent!
    easy + 10min + something really sophisticated as a result.
    we love this formula.

    do come link it up at our site so that our readers can find this and your other wonderful ideas:

    (new party every wednesday, findable at our home page)

    we look forward to featuring your work!

  17. Very nice! Far to pretty to eat off of too. 😉 Makes the perfect pillow!

  18. LOVE this idea!!!! I stumbled this post for you!!

  19. What a Fantastic idea! Now I’m on the lookout for a pretty placemat. Thanks for posting. 🙂

    kim l.

  20. Hello…..I just found your blog today and I just love it. I don’t sew (except on greeting cards that I make) but that doesn’t keep me from buying fabric and hoarding it.

    I am excited that you will be sharing some beginners tutorials. Thank you for that!

    This pillow blows. me. away. I’ve never seen this idea before….brilliant! I was just at Pier One on Friday but now I want to go back today!!!!!

    Have a great weekend.

  21. I did make some of these, and they turned out so cute! I posted about it on my blog if you’d like to check it out here: http://sandysewz.blogspot.com/2010/07/more-pillows.html

    Thanks again for the great idea… I’ll be making more of these!

  22. Pure.genius.