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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