...ruffle pillow {tutorial}...and a GIVEAWAY! (now closed)

Here it is!
The Springtime Ruffle Pillow tutorial!

OK...let's do this...

Here is what you'll need:

*Pillow or pillow form you want to cover. I've used a pillow form that is 12"x16" for this tutorial, but you can use any size pillow you like...the measurements adjust easily...
*Fabric: for my pillow I needed only 1/2 yard, and I had fabric left over. But if you're using a larger form, you'll (obviously) need more fabric...smaller form, less fabric. I always think having more on hand is better than having less...if you make a mistake, or decide you need more ruffles, you'll be set. Plus, you can always use the leftovers for other projects.
*A rotary cutting tool (or scissors)
*Straight edge (so you can achieve perfection in cutting your fabric...{smile})
*Tape Measure (this will really help when measuring the pillow's circumference...trust me - a ruler just doesn't cut it in this instance).
*Straight pins (nope, they're not in the photo, but you'll need 'em)
*Sewing machine (or needle & thread)
*Iron (yes, this is a must!!!)


IRON, IRON, IRON your fabric! This is just so important to ensure correct measurements, to make the project easier to work with and to make your finished project pretty...


Measure the circumference around the width (longest dimension) of your pillow - try not to squeeze the pillow while you're doing this. Better to have a circumference that's too large than too small.

Take your circumference measurement and add roughly 6" (this number is just a matter of preference...this extra fabric will be what forms the overlap on the back of the cover. I like to have a fairly large overlap...this way it will lie flat on the pillow).

...this is what your fabric will look on your pillow after you have overlapped the two ends on the back...
**You can also avoid any measuring at all by simply wrapping your fabric around your pillow, overlapping the ends a little and cutting it (make sure your cuts are straight!).**


Cut your fabric. You should end up with a rectangle...the long side should be your width circumference + 6", the short side should be the height of your pillow + 1" (for your 1/2 seam allowance on each side).


Working on the short sides of your rectangle, with the right side of the fabric down, turn down your raw edge 1/4" and then again 1" to form your hem. Iron flat and sew 1/8" from the inner edge of the hem.


Once you have your hems sewn, place your pillow down on the right side of the fabric and fold your edges up over the top of the pillow...allow one side to overlap the other. 


With the pillow form still between the fabric layers, mark the fabric where the top & bottom layers of the pillow meet (the side seams of the pillow). This will allow you to see where the "front" of the pillow cover is when you remove the pillow. Mark both the "top" and "bottom" of the fabric with pins (see photo).


Carefully remove the pillow form from between the layers of fabric, being sure not to disturb any of your pins. You should have a rectangle of fabric with four pins marking the "top" of your pillow cover (your pins should be on the "right" side of your fabric)...The area between the four pins is where you will attach your ruffles.


Now it's time to cut your ruffle strips...
Here is the general rule I follow when it comes to ruffles...cut the ruffles twice as long (in this case twice as high) as the fabric you are attaching them to...for example, the height of this cover is 12", so cut your strips 24" long. The width of the strips is up to you...I used 2" strips for this pillow. For a smaller pillow, I may go more narrow and for a larger pillow I would probably go wider. Cut at least 10 strips to start...I'm sure there's some great math formula I could figure out that would give me an exact number of how many to cut for a certain width pillow, but I ain't doin' it. So, just cut a bunch...if you need more, cut more.

STEP 10:

Take each of your ruffle strips and sew a basting stitch (or the longest stitch you have on your machine) all the way down the center of your strip. REMEBER: DO NOT backstitch when you start or end this stitch...just put the fabric under the needle and go...when you are done - no backstitching...leave it loose. Also, leave enough thread on both ends of the stitch so that you can grab hold of it without any trouble.

 STEP 11:

Now take a basted ruffle strip and place it so that it lines up next to the pins that you have in your fabric. This strip will be the first one on the top of your pillow. Pin the strip to the bottom (or top, whatever is easier for you) of the fabric rectangle, allowing about 1/4" - 1/2" overhang.

...this photo doesn't show it, but pretend there is a pin along the right side of the ruffle strip -  

STEP 12:

Grab one of the long strings from your basting stitch (either the bobbin thread or the needle thread...doesn't matter which one...but one will probably pull more easily than the other) and start to gently tug at it. You will see your ruffle start to develop. Start to spread the ruffle out along the length of the strip, being very careful not to pull too hard on either the thread or the fabric...you don't want the thread to break...then you have to start all over with the strip...and that's not fun...believe me.

STEP 13:

When you have finished creating your ruffle, pin the top of the ruffle to the fabric rectangle (and the middle, too, if you'd like...this will make the ruffle a little more stable and easier to sew to the rectangle). The top of your ruffle should line up with the other pin at the top of your rectangle...this will assure that the ruffles are straight.

STEP 14:

Now take your rectangle with the ruffle attached back to your machine and sew down the middle of the ruffle, just to the right (or left) of your basting stitch. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitch. After you have finished attaching the ruffle, take the thread that you pulled to make your ruffle and continue to pull it all the way through the ruffle and out of the fabric. Then remove the other thread (either the bobbin or the needle - whichever one you didn't pull to create the ruffle)...be careful when removing these threads - if the thread breaks while you are removing it, it's no big deal - it just takes a little longer to get it out...

When you have the basting stitch removed, take your attached ruffle and pin one side (the side that will be closest to the next ruffle) and pin it up so that it won't get in the way of you attaching the next ruffle.

STEP 15:

Take your next ruffle strip and attach it the same way you did in STEPs 11-14. I usually attach my ruffles so that there is a slight overlap between the edges of each ruffle. You may like them more bunched up or more spread out, so attach the next one wherever it looks "right" to you. In this example I left about 1/2" between the middle of the previous ruffle (the stitch) and the edge of the next ruffle. When I unpin the previous ruffle, it's edge will slightly overlap the edge of the adjoining ruffle. How's that for a crazy sentence? Make any sense?

Continue attaching ruffles in this manner until you reach the other two pins. (I worked from right to left on this pillow...don't know why, just did. You may choose to work from left to right - like every other normal American).

STEP 16:

Almost done...hang in there...this is the easy part...;)
Place your pillow form on top of the ruffles and bring your edges up over the top of the pillow (again, these edges should overlap). You should find that the ruffles cover only one entire side of the pillow (the side that is now on the bottom) - if you see that your ruffles are coming up over the top or around the side, adjust the rectangle until they lie across only one side of the pillow (unless, of course, the former is the look you're going for). 

...looks like these edges could stand to be ironed again!!!

STEP 17:

Now pin the overlapping edges of the fabric (make sure the fabric rectangle fits snugly (is that a word? Or is it snuggly?) over the pillow - you don't want it to be too loose...)

STEP 18:

Carefully remove your pillow form, again being careful not to disrupt the fabric placement. You want to make sure the ruffles are still on the "bottom" and that they stretch from side to side of the pillow cover. Also, make sure that each individual ruffle lays flat...you don't want any of the edges folding back on itself.

...umm, iron, please?

STEP 19:

Now you will pin the sides of your cover together. You may find this a little more difficult because of the slight ruffle overhang on each side...no worries, just take your straight edge, and your cutting tool and slice off the extra ruffle yuck (make sure you don't cut the sides of the rectangle! Just the ruffle ends...) You should now have a (relatively) nice, clean edge to pin...

STEP 20:

Now sew (with your 1/2" seam allowance) down both pinned sides of the cover, being careful to not sew over the pins.

NOW...turn your cover inside out, push out the corners and fill with your pillow!


Not too bad, huh?

You'll notice that I left the edges of my ruffles raw...I really like this  look, especially with linen (the fabric I chose to use). If you would rather hem your ruffle edges or finish them with a rolled hem, fantastic...just make sure to add a little to your ruffle width measurement to account for either a hem.

Now, for the fun part!
Wanna win this pillow cover??? The same one pictured above? Just leave a comment on this post and you'll be entered to win it! Yay! Heck, why make it when you can have it delivered right to your door???

...the cover will fit a 12"x16" pillow form (not included in the giveaway)...

I will chose a winner through random.org on Sunday night (April 10) and the winner will be announced Monday morning (April 11). Giveaway has ended...congratulations, Kristin!

Have a great weekend!!!

Linking to:

it all started with paint


This tutorial was featured at:

The DIY Show Off


  1. what a great tutorial for a beautiful pillow...i love these ruffled gems...thanks for the clear instructions and photos...would love for you to share this at fridays unfolded @ http://www.stuff-and-nonsense.net/2011/04/fridays-unfolded-13.html


    stuff and nonsense

  2. I couldn't find the post about the Boost my Blog Friday Blog Hop, so I am leaving my note

    BLOG HOPping around - I am now a follower of
    your blog, wont you also follow me?? ~KM

    Krafty Max Originals

  3. I am following you from Boost My Blog Friday. Please visit my blog and follow me back at

    If you have a few check out a couple giveaways I have like: Build a Dream PLAYHOUSE, The Can Organizer or Rebecca St. James new CD

    Thank you

  4. Great tutorial! Very detailed. I found you on the Friday blog hop!

  5. LOVE this! Followed a link from another blog because I had to see if I could make it. You're right why make it if you can have it delivered to your door! You are so talented.

  6. Just stumbled across your blog--I love it! This pillow is so beautiful! I really need to make some pillows to spice up my living room and bedroom . . . they add so much personality. This is a great one and I'm excited to make it! Thanks for the tutorial--I'm a new follower!

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

  7. oh thank you thank you thank you! remember i wanted this pillow when you posted about it the first time around - i'm exctatic that it is avail for such a fabulous giveaway! okay - so i am signing up & keeping my fingers crossed as i love love love this pillow! (i also, know right where i plan to put it!) lol xoxo, tracie

  8. Absoutely darling pillow cover, and great job with the tutorial!!


  9. great tutorial. seriously adorable. may have to bust out the sewing machine if I don't win :)

  10. What an awesome tutorial! Love the pillow. I've got to learn to use my rotary cutter!

  11. Wow what an awesome tutorial I would LOVE to win, seeing as how I can't sew worth a darn! This pillow is absolutely beautiful! :)

  12. Absolutely beautiful pillow! Wonderfully detailed tutorial! I can't wait to make one just like it! Thank you so much for sharing!

  13. Great tutorial, found your blog via Boost my Blog Blog Hop. I am now your newest follower...

  14. Thank you for the great tutorial!! It really is a beautiful pillow!! I'm a new follower as well :)

  15. Love the pillow. Would make a great gift for my upcoming birthday! (wink)
    I've bookmarked the page because I am desparately in need of some new pillows in my house and I want to make at least some of them.

  16. I'd love the pillow giveaway, but if I don't win it, it's definitely going to be a summer project for me! Thanks for the idea, Mags!

  17. So lovely! Thanks for the tutorial. I have been sewing for years, but have always focused on sewing for my kids. I think this is one I may just have to tackle...on a body pillow for my bed...now that will be alot of ruffles :)

  18. Great Post! I love this pillow! Can't believe you are willing to part with it! I promise I would give it a great home!

    Happy Day,
    Jasey @ Crazy Daisy

  19. Love this!! Count me in!! I know right where I'd put it :)

  20. Thanks for visiting my blog. I am on the prowl for pillows and your ruffled cover would be perfect! Keeping my fingers crossed!

  21. thanks maggie! i can do this project!

  22. Love, love, love this! So happy to have found your blog!

  23. I'd love to win this- it's adorable!!

  24. I LOVE the ruffle pillow! Thanks for the awesome tutorial.

  25. I have been wanting to make a ruffle pillow for EEONS (sp?) now, and have read many a tutorials on doing so! Your tutorial has BY FAR been the most clear and concise. Thank you so, so much for explaining things in my language! hehe! (Now, even though I've learned how to do this pillow cover, I would SURE like to win it instead!!!!)

  26. LOVE the ruffle pillow, thanks for the tute") (would be even better to win it lol)

  27. I love the pillow!! I am into a ruffle craze right now! It might have something to do with being surrounded by boys...I need my girly things! And ruffles would be awesome!! :D
    I will have to give this a try! Thanks for the tutorial! And....bookmarked! :D

  28. Love this! Great tutorial and an absolutely darling pillow. Thanks so much for sharing it at Inspiration Friday this week!

  29. What a great tutorial...I really am going to try this.

  30. Making ruffles is so easy! I never knew... thanks!!

  31. I found you on Blue Cricket. Even though the giveaway is done, I just had to say, What a Great Tutorial! I've seen so many of these in the $stores$ and have considered making a few. Now I know exactly how. I appreciate the time you took to be detailed about your instructions. Keep up the good work.

  32. Great tutorial. Your ruffled pillow is so classy. Love.

    I'd be oh so happy if you could share this with my readers tonight @Creative Juice Thursday. Get your crafting shoes on... Hope to see you there...

  33. I have serious sewing envy! I have a sewing machine but don't have the expertise to do anything like this. I'd love for you to come link this up at my Tuesday Time Out Linky Party! The link is below!
    Reasons To Skip The Housework
    Tuesday Time Out Link Up Party

  34. Ack! That is just so stinkin' cute! Great job!

  35. Maggie I love this! I think you did a fabulous job - thanks for linking it up to Think Pink Sundays!! I featured it today in the Crush of the Week! http://bit.ly/fDzze8
    We're making this a habit. ;)

  36. Darn it!! This would have gone perfectly with my new ruffle bedding which you can see here -


    Guess now I have to make my own. Thanks for the tutorial!

  37. So glad you popped by to link up! Thanks for sharing your pillow at Creative Juice! Hope to see you again this Thursday!

  38. Maggie - this is just so sweet! I love ruffles. And linen. And pillows! lol

    Thank you so much for sharing your creativity in the DIY Earthy Essentials party! I'm including a link to your tutorial in tomorrow's highlights! ;)

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  39. Hi, friend! I'm admiring all the creativity in your blog so can you please share them at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? You can find us here: http://www.homemakeronadime.com/2011/05/creative-bloggers-party-hop-050111.html.

  40. I know ruffles have been in for awhile now but I am still in love with them! Thanks for the tutorial, I posted a link on my site today!

  41. Hi, I'm new to blogging and am working on a tute about ruffles. May I link to this tute and/or any of your other ruffle projects? I am referencing as many other bloggers as I can, and I just love your work! Thanks from Ricochet and Away!

  42. Hey, it's Erika again! Just wanted to let you know I'll be featuring this on tomorrow's Thrifty Thursday link party! Thank you so much for linking this up :)

  43. I finally completed my tutorial on bias ruffles and linked to this gorgeous ruffled pillow. You can find it at http://ricochetandaway.blogspot.com/2011/08/bias-ruffles-godsend-for-ruffle-addicts.html

  44. Yummmmy!

    I am visiting your blog tonight. Thank you so much for visiting my party.

    I love it here!

  45. Hi! I love the fabric on your ironing board! Can you please tell me what it is?

  46. @Anonymous

    Well, thank you! I wish I could say that I made that ironing board cover...but I didn't...I bought it at Target...so, unfortunately, I have no idea what fabric was used...I'm so so sorry!!! Maybe they still have them at Target???

  47. Hi Massy, i love ruffles very much! If my hubby hasnt complain because it is very girly, I could have all the house with ruffles everywhere.
    But, yes, there is a BUT this year 2012 I will redo some stuff around the house and guess what RUFFLES with take it over!!!
    jejejeje, tks for sharing this great tutorial. I will let you know if I do something as gorgeous as your.
    Here your new follower & reader, dalys (aka burundanguitas)
    If you have a chance, come an visit my blog and maybe become my follower? it is www.burundanguitas.blogspot.com
    hugs, dalys

  48. Hey there.

    I absolutely love this pillow. I was thinking about re-doing the ones I currently have in my living room to look like this. But I've never sewn ... lol. So...it might make an interesting blog post to say the least ;)

  49. Oh wow. I love this pillow tutorial. I'm going to re-do the outdated pillows I currently have in my living room to look like this. I've never sewn before so it should make for an interesting blog post ;)

  50. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial; I'm hoping to get a sewing machine soon so I added it to my dream projects list.

  51. Maggie,

    I just love, love this pillow and your tutorial is awesome! When I make one and blog about it I'll just link up over here ... cuz I hate writing the tutes ...

    So I pinned and tweeted and FB shared ...

    Thanks so very much for linking up and sporting my button!



  52. Such a beautiful pillow...thank you for the wonderful tutorial!

  53. Thanks for the tutorial...it was very straight forward and easy to follow. Just one question, do you have any suggestions for making a ruffled pillow in which the ruffles have a more finished edge? Since the edges of these ruffles are not finished, I would think this would fray quite a bit over time....especially if I were to use cotton fabric. The type of fabric you used looks great with a little fray, but I was just curious if you had a good easy suggestion to avoid that.

  54. After raising two boys who have now moved out of the house, I need some ruffles in my life! I love the look of your pillow. Thank you for sharing this!

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  56. Such a gorgeous pillow and thank you SO very much for the AWESOME tutorial!


Thank you so much for leaving me a comment! I so appreciate you taking the time to write...xoxo

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