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Upcycle: Reupholster an old Pillow or Cushion

Have you ever made a pillow from scratch? Its ingredients being fabric, filling, zipper and thread. Now if you’re familiar with buying these things a la carte you know that the two most expensive items on that list are the zipper and filler (unless you’re getting some kind of crazy expensive fabric, but let’s assume we’re dealing with normal, everyday fabric).
It just so happens that the pricey items – zipper and filler – are the most preserved parts of an existing pillow. And since upcycling is about taking what you have and making it what you want, today I’m going to talk you through upcycling your existing pillows and cushions should the need arise.

The cushion on my son’s desk chair has been around for literally decades. It was time for a refresher and a gender assignment – the floral pattern just wasn’t working for him.

Step 1: I unzipped the cushion cover and removed the foam filler and set it aside to be reused.

Step 2: I stitch ripped the zipper off the old cushion cover to be reused on the new one.

Step 3. I chose fabric that was durable (you don’t want to have to redo this project in a year). For my cushion I chose denim that was left over from curtains I had made for my son. I used the cushion as a template/pattern to cut 2 panels of fabric.

Step 4: I sewed the zipper onto each each fabric panel. It totally looks like lips.

“If I could talk I’d thank you for upcycling me!”

Step 5: I sewed the denim sides together. Remember to include ribbon or ties so that you can attach the cushion to the back of the chair. To do this the ribbon/ties should be inserted into the facing fabric inside and just the inside ends visable to sew through.

I used an olive colored ribbon for the cushion ties.

Step 5: Flip the cushion cover right-side-out through the zipper opening and stuff with the foam filler.

Here’s another testament to how much I hate ironing.

This project can easily be applied to pillow covers as well. Fashion changes, fabric wears out, stains happen. It doesn’t mean the whole thing gets tossed. Salvage what you can to reduce cost and waste.

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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