DIY $3 Throw Pillow Insert

DIY throw pillow from $3 standard sized pillow

I tend to find throw pillow inserts a little bit overpriced for what they are just smaller square pillows. So when I found this $3 standard sized pillow at Big Lots (I hear you can find cheap ones at Walmart too) the other day, I decided that I was going to DIY my own throw pillow insert.

standard pillow

Step one: Measure shortest side of the pillow. If youre making a square pillow, this is going to be the length of the other seams.

Step two: Cut off one of the short end seams (if there is a serged seam, cut off that one).

measuring and cutting pillow

Step three: Pull out all the stuffing and put it somewhere safe for later use.

Step four: Turn pillow inside out and iron out the wrinkles. Make sure the seams are ironed flat.

emptied pillow with iron

Step 5: Measure up the long side of the pillow. If you want a square pillow use the measurement that you got in the first step. Add an inch or two for seam allowance. Tip: When measuring, dont measure from the end of the fabric, measure from the seam instead.

measuring pillow

Step 6: Mark your measurement (I used a silver sharpie, because no one is going to see it once it has a cover) and cut carefully along that line insuring that both sides of the pillowcase are lined up. Use pins to keep the fabric from slipping around if you need to.

cut pillow case

Now get out your sewing machine, and (optional) canine helper.

zuko with sewing machine

Step seven: With your pillow still turned inside out, pin the pillow about half way across, and then sew a seam halfway across the open top. Use a small stitch size.

pinned fabric

Step eight: With the top seam half way sewn, turn your pillow right side out, the excess seam allowance should fold in on its own. Now get out the reserved stuffing and start stuffing.

stuffing pillow

Step nine: Your pillow should look lumpy. Youre going to want to push the stuffing down as far as you can so that you have room to sew the top opening.

Lumpy Pillow

Step ten: zig zag stitch the opening, ensuring that the seam allowance in flipped inward.

zig zag setting

This is what the finished seam should look like. Its not the prettiest, but it wont be seen once you put a cover on it.

Finsished Seam

Final Step: Punch the crap out of your pillow, massaging the stuffing into the corners. Punch it, poke it, roll around on it, beat it against the floor, just keep going until the stuffing is evenly distributed. You could avoid this step to some degree if you have a serger or if you want to insert  a zipper in the seam, like they have on some premade throw pillow inserts.

zipper

And heres the finished product

finished pillow

Not too bad, right? Here it is beside one that I bought a few years ago.

two pillows

I think I like mine better, and I can guarantee you it was at least half the price. Now, to cover these suckers

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The Sofa Saga Part 2 (how to replace karlstad legs)

As I mentioned in The Sofa Saga Part 1, I wasnt loving those legs. They looked cheap and IKEA-y.

bulky ikea legs

Altering or replacing karlstad legs for a sleeker, sexier, less IKEA look is by no means an original idea.  It’s been done here, here, here, here, here, and here, and probably by hundreds of other people. There are even companies that make better looking replacements for IKEA legs such as Pretty Pegs, and Uncle Bobs Workshop. The latter makes replacement legs specifically for the Karlstad, and I would have seriously considered them if we didnt need 8. 8 x $9+ = too much for me to spend in addition to already buying the damn couch. Luckily Lowes offers cheaper options. We found these for less than $3 each.

unstained new leg

The other supplies we needed included mounting plates (less than $2.00 each). There was a choice between flat and angled, we choose flat (or as it says straight)

top plate

Stain love me some golden pecan (I think this little jar was about $7, and we barely made a dent in it)

supplies not pictured: a brush made for stain ($5?), clean cloths (free), masking tape (cheap), and a cardboard box (free). Howard Feed-n-Wax is optional, but I already had some lying around, so I figured, why not?

Step 1: Make sure that your replacement legs are roughly the same size as the originals.

side by side legs

Step 2: Tape over the metal part of the leg. I did the blue ones thats why theyre so much prettier.

taped legs

Step 3: Stab the screw end of the leg into a cardboard box so that its standing up straight-ish.

legs stuck in box

Step 4: Apply stain according to manufacturers instructions. I think we may have actually failed at that because Im pretty sure we were supposed to be going with the grain, but it all worked out so who cares?

Step 5: Wait desired amount of time, and then wipe off excess stain. Our container said to wait anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes depending on desired color. We waited 5.

wiping stain

Step 6: Wait again, follow manufacturer instructions. Ours said to wait at least 8 hours for stain to dry.

(Optional) Step 7: Apply wax/polish/some type of sealant. With the Howards, you soak a clean cloth in the wax, wipe it on, wait 20 minutes, and then buffer it off. Easy peasy, and it smells like oranges.

howard feed n wax

Step 8: Remove the cushions and flip your couch over. Make a cushion fort if you feel so inclined. Because our sectional is such a beast, we ended up separating it into its three sections to make it more manageable.pillow fort

Step 9: Remove original legs. Just use the same tool you used to screw them in.

removing old legs

Step 10: Remove plastic mounting plate. We used a flat head screw driver, and it was really easy. In these pictures my husband is working from the bottom, but I found it easier to work from the corner with the hole in it. There are no staples up there, so the screwdriver just slides right in.

removing plastic top plate

TA-DA!

Step 11: Attach metal mounting plates with given screws. My husband did all of these, but I believe he tried to line the middle up over the original screw hole.

mounted top plate

Step 12: Screw in much better looking legs

screwed in new leg

Step 13: Flip that thing back over, reassemble if necessary, throw the cushions back on, and admire your new and improved couch.

couch with sexy new legs

before and after leg comparison

Side note: We can keep the dogs off the couch, but we apparently cant keep the dog hair off the couch. Dog hair dominates our lives!

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