Yesterday Apartment Therapy featured some pillows made from vintage scarves by Madeline Weinrib (directly below) and sheesh, they run from US$900-$1200. You can make your own. AT recommends this tutorial from Martha Stewart Living but we’ve also included our own below, because 2 tutorials are better than one. Our scarf pillows are above and in Oprah at Home, below.
How To Make a Vintage Scarf Pillow
Note: this tutorial involves a zipper. If you don’t want to do a zipper, use the Martha Stewart tutorial, though we don’t think flap pillows look quite as finished. You can do a zipper! How-to here.
For a square pillow we recommend using a different scarf on back and front, which we think looks better than a pillow with a heavy backing. It’s also more versatile because it’s like having two pillows – flip it over when you feel like a change. We like the common scarf size of 22″ square, partly because it can be cut down to 20″ because good standard 20″ square feather pillow inserts are available from IKEA for an extremely affordable $5, about a quarter of what you’d pay normally! It’s okay if your pillowcase ends up a little smaller than 20″ – it’ll look more well-stuffed.
Serge (or, if you don’t have a serger, do two lines of stitching) along the bottom edge of each cut 20″ square. Then sew a zipper to these edges. Choose a 16″ or 17″ zipper – at 18″ things may get a little cramped. With right sides of the scarves together, hem closed the remaining 3 sides with a serger or two lines of straight stitch. (We topstitch over our serged hems, for extra durability.) Turn the pillowcover inside out and voila, you have a really beautiful pillow. As long as you’re comfortable doing zippers, it’s really easy. Oblong scarves are often very long and can be doubled over, as with our black and white graphic pillow below made from a vintage Vera Neumann scarf. The only drawback is that you may have to make your own custom insert for these. Try both! A mix of oblong and square pillows looks great on a sofa.