No Sew Cloth Napkin Pillow Covers

March 14, 2011

I popped into World Market over the weekend because I heard they were having a rug sale.  I was desperate for a new area rug, and when I say desperate I mean desperate with a capital D.   I’ve had the same cream Berberish carpet rug in my family room for two years, and with kids n’ pets n’ friends’ n’ snacks n’ all that loveliness, the carpet was looking very ‘Eww’.

World Market was having a sale on 6’ x 9’ rugs and 6’ x 9’ is the magic size in my house.  6’ x 9’ fits in the family room, the dining room, and the living room too, but hot dang if it isn’t hard to find an affordable stylish 6’ x 9’ rug.   They’re always 5’ x 8’ (too small) or 8’ x 10’ (too big).  Or maybe I’m just not looking in the right places.

After I scored my new rug on clearance, I couldn’t help but notice World Market had some pretty snazzy fabric napkins in their linens department, 2 for $6 dollars, nice!

m napkins

I always think pillows when I see sassy stylish cloth napkins like this, because that’s one inexpensive pillow cover if you’re willing to take the time to sew them together.  But I’ve already done that.

Then I remembered there’s a lot of you out there that don’t own a sewing machine or don’t sew, and I reckoned I could show y’all how to do it without Mr. Singer.

cg pillows in family room


Simple No Sew Removable Pillow Covers made from Cloth Napkins:

What You’ll Need:   Two cloth napkins measuring 20” x 20”; fusible web (found at any fabric store); moist washcloth; scissors; iron.




1)  Cut one napkin down the exact middle, fold over ½ inch, then align the fusible web underneath your edge.  This is to allow for an opening in the back of your pillow cover for easy removal, and also for inserting your pillow form.  With fusible web, but instead use the cut edge to seam together with your other napkin in

{Update:  *Heather makes a brilliant point !  You don’t need to bother seaming this cut edge and you can even skip step 2 !!!  Simply use the cut edge to fuse together with your other pillow as seen in Step 4!   Just like I did with these napkin pillows, well duh now why didn’t I remember that?  Thank you Heather!}

cut and web

2) Following the fusible web instructions, use a hot iron and moist washcloth to seal the seam.  Be patient, every 6 inches takes about 20 to 30 seconds for the steam to activate the webbing, but you’ll end up with a very clean seam if you do it right.  Repeat for both of the cut sides of the first napkin.

iron plus seam

BTW: This is another great trick for hemming window panels that are too long without sewing a stitch on a machine.

3) Layer your seams one over the other, with the pattern side facing up.  Next, layer your other full napkin (the one you didn’t cut in half) on top, with the pattern facing down so that both of the pattern sides are facing each other.  They will be inside out.

layer seams inside out

4) With your fusible web, use the iron and washcloth to attach the napkins together, starting first with one side with overlapping panels.  Trim the excess fabric you don’t need, and seam the remaining sides with your fusible web.

web together trim excess

Depending on how thick your pillow inserts are, they may pop out a bit in the back, but a simple safety pin or two will keep the opening closed.

Voila, purtay pillow covers from cloth napkins for six buckaroos each.

good seams

Me likey.

There’s that new rug too.

family room sofa

And another angle of the new pillows + rug.  

I played it traditional this time, but blues, creams, and traditional motifs work really well in my house.  The new rug is wool and very Ballard Designish if you ask me, but without the Ballard price tag.

side view family room


That pattern should hide kid residue a lot better than the last one.

I hope.




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131 Responses to “No Sew Cloth Napkin Pillow Covers”

  1. Caroline says:

    great no sew project. I always wanted to try this. Thanks for sharing

  2. Ooooh, these are beautiful!! What a great idea! We posted a link:

    Thanks for sharing!!
    Missy & Kimi
    if i could…

  3. Ooh, those pillows look great. I might just have to make a trip to World Market this weekend…

  4. Jessica says:

    Loved these SO much so I fead you :-). Please stop by and check it out!


  5. Kathy :) says:

    Love the rug and the tutorial…..

    Kathy :)

  6. Well I sew but why on earth would I WANT to when you did such a great job without sewing!!?? I was JUST looking at the pillows on MY couch and thinking — should I buy some that will say “spring” instead of “winter”? Thanks for the great tutorial!

  7. Cathy M~ says:

    awesome! I am going to try this one~thank you Kate! hugs, Cathy

  8. Shalini says:

    Made 2 pillow covers out of the cloth napkin.Thank you for the great tutorial.

  9. Ruth says:

    I’m such a copycat! I made two pillow covers for my front porch rockers out of the napkins and bought a 6 x 9 rug for my basement family room today with a 25% coupon off of the already marked down price. Score!!

  10. Allison says:

    Oh. my. goodness. I LOVE those napkins turned throw pillows! They would look so amazing in my living room. I want them. Like, badly. Really badly. :)

  11. Ruthie says:

    It’s a great idea, but it doesn’t tell what size pillow form to use! Just wondering, because I would love to try this too!

  12. LOVE it and love your blog!! I blog about similar stuff at , and just became your latest follower. Keep up the good work. Will be linking up soon! Thanks for the excellent tutorial!!

  13. This is TOO FUNNY! I haven’t been on your blog in a while, but I just happened to stop by today and guess what? I just sewed pillows out of those same exact napkins THIS MORNING! Great minds think alike I guess. ;)

  14. Carol says:

    awesome – thanks for sharing this!!

  15. Cindy Reavis says:

    i can’t wait to try this! :) thanks

  16. Carrie Fieweger says:

    OMG! I love, love, love that rug! I just checked the World Market website and couldn’t find it. I want to cry! Does the rug have a name so that I can try and track it down? Thanks!!!

  17. speed up website…

    […]Centsational Girl » Blog Archive » No Sew Cloth Napkin Pillow Covers[…]…

  18. vee says:

    This is an good nfor no sewers and I can teach my nieces and sisters. I sew and prefer to use my sewing machine to make pillows.

  19. Great idea. I wanna try it because it looks very sassy. Thanks for sharing this.

  20. Jennifer says:

    I just made my first one and it looks really nice. I used an 18×18 pillow insert and it fits perfectly. Great idea for new pillows.

  21. Amber says:

    I did the sew version of these and they turned out great. I was nervous about splitting the back and they did need velro to hold them together but they look great!

  22. Laura B says:

    Love this idea! I have heard of it before, but never seen pictures! I love world market, it’s probably my favorite home store. I am def trying this! Question though, where is the vase from on the coffee table? i LOVE LOVE it!

  23. Dawn says:

    That “window” mirror on the wall… where did you get that? Or how did you make it, which I’m sure you probably did. ;) Thanks!

  24. Leslie says:

    This did not work well for me,not sure why! The two napkins I bought from cost plus just wouldn’t stay stuck together. Any suggestions? I followed the tutorial and was really excited to redo my pillows!

  25. […] I made pillows for the couch out of napkins from world market. Seriously. I followed this blog post and it was super […]

  26. Jill says:

    I was wondering if you made your slipcovers on your couch or if you purchased them, or did you buy your couch that way? I have a green microfiber couch that lneeds lightening up. I also love your pillows…..going to world market this weekend. Thanks for the great tips.

  27. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Jill, those couches are the PB Basic from Pottery Barn and they came with the slate blue slipcovers!

  28. DawnG says:

    Thanks for sharing! Room is beautiful! I <3 World Market!

  29. Erin says:

    I was wondering how to do this. Thanks for the easy directions! They look beautiful.

  30. Michelle says:

    Hi there … I love the pillows … I was just wondering though, do you think you could use the webbing tape to install a zipper on one edge instead of having an envelope opening? I wonder if the tape would be strong enough and washable too? Just curious if you have ever tried it:)

  31. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Michelle, I don’t think fusible web will be strong enough for securing a zipper, but you could try!

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