DIY Pillow Shams

I’m not usually a big fan of the traditional fall colors on the color wheel.  An occasional mustard is about as comfortable as I am with the warm spectrum, but I do want to shake things up for fall.  Darker, gloomier colors are some of my favorites, and also play quite nicely with this cooler season.  Of course, one little way to make a change is pillows, for living areas and the bedroom.  After looking at oodles of beautiful shams, I couldn’t find exactly what I was after, so I sewed my own.


If you’re not big on sewing, don’t worry, the process is very easy.  Using a cotton quilting fabric, cut one piece for the front.  Mine standard pillow measured 22 by 29, including an extra inch for my seam allowance.  Next, cut two more pieces, 22 inches square for the back panels.  Sew the insides of the smaller pieces, folding over once, then again for a finished edge.


Next, pin the pieces, right sides together, overlapping the back panels to create the envelope closure.


Sew along the outer most edge, leaving a 1/2 inch seam, then turn the fabric right side out.  Before sewing the flange of the sham, press the edges with an iron for a professional look.  Now, to create the flange, simply sew two inches in from the outer edge.


To make measuring easier, tape off two inches on the machine edge to follow against, and use a ruler to measure at the corner.  Once at the corner, keep the needle down and pivot 90 degrees to make a seamless corner before carrying on with the edge.


That’s it, a super quick flange sham that can be customized to any size.  Go ahead and make a Euro, throw, or lumbar pillow with a sweet edge detail.


I love the tiny gold birds on this fabric for a subtle detail from across the room.


For about 15 dollars in fabric and an hour of sewing, our bedroom is rocking another layer and feeling a bit cozier.  Maybe a different, warmer toned accent pillow would round out the room and really bring in that fall feeling.  If you’re in the market for navy pillow shams, here were my top contenders:


  1. Deil Global Sham
  2. Flannel Stripe Sham
  3. Shabori Dot Sham
  4. Ticking Stripe Sham
  5. Organic Stamped Dots
  6. Tassel Sham
  7. Ladder Stripe Sham
  8. Vintage Washed Solid Quilted Sham

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