Burlap Pleated Pillow Tutorial

So we bought new pillows for our living room. We saw them at TJMaxx and they were the perfect color and a great price. But when we brought them home, they were just a little too boring. So I spiced them up a little bit….

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Enter: Burlap Pleated Pillow

I think it adds a great touch to the room. (Take a peek at how it looks in the room here) It’s a little more structured than your typical ruffled pillow, which is why I have called it the pleated pillow.

If you would like to make a pillow of your own, here’s how to do it.  It’s very simple, a great beginner’s project. You don’t even need a sewing machine. (Although, I would recommend using one if you have one in order to save time)

Here’s what you need:

Pillow (mine was 17″x17″)

52″ Burlap Ribbon*

52″ Lace Ribbon*

Needle and thread

Pins

Scissors

Measuring Tape

*Note: This length depends on the size of the pillow. If you are using a different size pillow, I would recommend pinning the ribbon to the pillow as you are planning on sewing it before cutting the length.

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Roadrunner scissors are also a plus

Step 1: Sew the lace along the center of the burlap strip.

First pin the lace along the center of the burlap all the way down the length. Then sew them together down the center of the lace.You can do this either by hand or on a sewing machine. I used a sewing machine the second time around, and did it by hand the first time. The sewing machine will be much quicker and more secure, but doing it by hand will definitely get the job done.

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Step 2:  Begin pinning the burlap in place.

Begin by folding under about 1″ of the one end of the burlap and securing it to the edge of the pillow with pins. Pin the edge as close to the pillow trim as possible, and make sure the rough edge of the burlap is tucked under where it is not visible.

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Step Three: Pin in place the ruffles/pleats.

Pinch about a 1″ pleat together and fold backwards toward the edge of the pillow, overlapping a small amount of the burlap between the pleat and the edge. Pin in place on both edges of the burlap. Repeat this until you reach the center of the pillow. (This is where the tape measure comes in handy – use it to determine the center of the pillow)

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I think its time for a new manicure

 Step 4: Create the Center Pleat.

I thought it would look best to have symmetrical pleats – as having each side of pleats face the closest edge. So, once you get to the center, it is time to create the center pleat. Begin by creating the pleat as normal, but instead of creating a new one after it as you have been, fold it so that it is a double sided pleat as shown below.

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Step 5: Continue pleating until the edge of the pillow.

Continue creating pleats as you have been. But this time the pleats should be going the other way – towards the other end of the pillow. Make sure the width of each pleat is consistent – that will give it the best look. Continue until you reach the edge of the pillow. Once you reach the end, fold the edge under as you did before and secure.

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Step 6: Sew the burlap in place.

Sew along all four edges of the burlap, looping the thread around the outside edge as shown below. (Unfortunately, even if you have a machine this part needs to be done by hand since you are working on an already formed pillow. However, if you are making the pillow from scratch, you can sew the burlap onto the front face of the pillow with your sewing machine before sewing it all together and stuffing it.)
Make sure to sew through all the layers of the pleat to keep them down on the edges. This will give it the structured look I mentioned earlier.

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Once you have sewn around all four edges you are finished! You now have a gorgeous pleated pillow to display oh so proudly!

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Keep in mind that you can use this technique with various materials – it doesn’t have to be burlap and lace. (I just happened to be obsessed with those two) It would work great with ribbon and fabric as well – in fact that may even be easier to begin with, seeing as burlap can be tricky when it starts to unravel.

I hope this tutorial was helpful! Let me know if you try it and how your pillow turns out. I would love to see the results. If you have any questions or need clarification, please don’t hesitate to comment below.

Also, if you like what you’ve seen on my blog so far, I would recommend subscribing through the link on the sidebar. That will allow you to receive an email with each new post – to keep you up to date!

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What else would you like to see? If there is anything you would like to learn how to make that you have seen in my pictures, please let me know!

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3 thoughts on “Burlap Pleated Pillow Tutorial

  1. Thanks.I am so out of touch with sewing. I used to make draperies and pillows and now I don’t even know if I could produce a nice pillow. I would like to see a pillow with contrasting edging or piping.

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