Thursday, June 23, 2011

4th of July Ruffle Pillow Tutorial

Now that Father's Day is done and we're (finally!) officially into summer, let's get ready for 4th of July!!
Here's my newest addition to my 4th of July decor! I just love how this ruffle pillow turned out. Simple, easy, and even my daughter said," it's a flag!" I love that it's a little bit unexpected. If you'd like to make your own, here's the simple steps.
Step 1: Get Your Supplies
1/2 Yard of White Fabric
1/4 Yard of Red Fabric
1/8 Yard of Blue Fabric
16 inch Pillow Insert
Sew-On Velcro

*All of my measurements are for a 16 inch square pillow insert, but you can adjust accordingly if you have a bigger or smaller insert. I did have plenty of extra fabric I'm going to use for another little project this weekend.
Step 2: Cut out your pillow pieces in white. The pillow insert is 16 inches. Cut 1 piece exactly 16 inches square. Now cut a second piece 16 inches going 1 direction and then about 19 inches in the other direction. Then make another cut along the 8 inch line. So now you should have 3 pieces of white- 1 is 16x16, another is 8x16 and another is 11x16. These two will make flaps that will fold over each other so you can get your pillow insert in and out.
Step 3: Cut (4) 2 inch strips out of red material. Cut (2) 2 inch strips out of blue material.
Step 4: Take 1 of your blue strips and cut it in half. Take one of your red strips and cut it in half. Now take the 1/2 strips and sew 1 blue to 1 red. Repeat with the other 2 strips. You should now have 2 strips that look like this.
Step 5: Now it's time to ruffle all of your strips. There are lots of tutorials on ruffling. It's very easy. Simple change your settings on your sewing machine: lengthen your stitch to almost as far as it will go. I use a 4. And increase your tension to as far as it will go. I use a 6.8. I also use a gathering foot as I think it makes it ruffle even more, but it's not necessary. I also hold my finger right behind my presser foot and bunch up the fabric as it comes out. Hold it until you can't hold it anymore, release and start holding again. This really helps it ruffle up. For this ruffling, run your seam at the 1 inch mark so it will go down the center of the fabric.
Step 6: Take your 1 all blue strip and fold over the end 2 times so it is a finished edge. Take a seam down this fold so the edge is finished (ie. no raw edge).
Step 7: Now we're going to lay out all of the ruffles. Take your 16x16 white fabric and position your strips on it. Position one of the blue and red strips along the top, another about 3 inches below it. Then place the 3 all red strips 2 inches apart down the rest of the pillow top.
You're now going to move the red/blue strip over to the left. You want the blue ruffling to start on the left and go out 6 inches then turn to red.
Take the one blue ruffles strip and lay it in between the two blue pieces of the strips. Line them up so all of the blue pieces stop at the 6 inch line and let the 2 red pieces continue on the remaining part of the pillow top.

Step 8: Pin all of the ruffle strips into place. Then lay the pillow top on your sewing machine and follow the line again down the center of each strip, sewing the strip to the white pillow top. Try to get on the same white line. Sometimes it won't match up. Don't go crazy with it. But I think it looks better with just 1 obvious line going down the middle. It would be different if we were using red thread I guess.Step 9: Now the top is done, we're going to make the back of the pillow. Take your 2 white pieces (the 8x16 and 11x16 pieces), and overlock one of the 16 inch sides on both pieces. Take the 11x16 inch piece, fold the overlocked edge over and sew down this edge. This will make a finished edge that will show on the pillow.
Step 10: Now you're going to lay the 2 flap piece on top of each other, overlaping them until their new width should be 16inches (16x16). Make sure the pretty finished side is on the top. This is what will show on the outside of the back of your pillow. Pin the two pieces where they overlap. I usually sew one little seam on each side where they overlap so that when I place the flaps over the pillow, they stay in place.
Step 11: Now we're going to add velcro to your flaps so it will stay closed nicely. measure to the center of the flaps where they overlap. Take your small square of velcro and pin the velcro to each side of the flap. It should look like this. Then sew the squares of velcro on. The back of your pillow is now ready.
Step 12: Now you're going to put the pretty side of your pillow (the side with all the ruffles), and the pretty side of your 2 white flaps (the side with the finished edge facing up), and put them so they are facing each other ie. right sides together. Pin the two squares together all the way around. I also pushed up some of the ruffling to make sure it didn't get caught in the seam allowance.
Step 13: Now you're going to sew all the way around the square with a 1/4 '' seam allowance. Then you can overlock all the way around the square. This will also cut off any extra ruffling that is still poking out. If you don't have an overlock, simply cut off the excess ruffling and do a zigzag stitch all the way around the square.

Step 14: Open your flaps on the back of your square and flip the pillow cover inside out. Poke the corners out, insert your pillow insert, close up the velcro flaps, and you're done!


  1. What a fun Fourth of July project!! I Shared it on my TT&J Facebook page and linked to you :)


  2. Cute!!!! If I wasn't so lazy, I might just have to make me one.

  3. this is such a cute pillow! I love it! You have a great blog! I am visiting from the Boost My Blog Friday! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would follow me back! thanks so much!

  4. Really cute! I'd love for you to share it at my link party...

  5. Adorable and very decorative Americana.

  6. This pillow is ADORABLE!!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial with us! :)

    Would LOVE for you to stop by and say "hello" :)

  7. This is SO clever, and I featured this project on my blog today. Here is the link:

    Thanks for inspiring!


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