How-to Make a Designer Pillow

by Diane Henkler on 03/01/2010

Pillow Ideas to make
If you love labels and logos then this project has your name written all over it. 

If you love to re-purpose then this is one way you can re-use the labels in your clothing.  

I almost always take the labels off my clothing because the tags itch and become annoying.  I carefully remove them with a seam ripper.   I place them in an envelope until I get enough to make something.  In this case I made this small 8″ x 10″ decorative pillow and accented it with beaded trim. Depending on how many labels you have collected you could make a much bigger pillow.    I am trying to save enough to make a throw blanket to toss across my sofa so that I can snuggle in style, but I am getting impatient.  I want it now, and may just start taking the labels out of everything, including my husband’s and daughter’s clothes. 

To create the pillow:

Use any pillow pattern.  Before sewing the two pieces of fabric together to create the pillow, stitch the logos onto the right side of the fabric.  I used Wonder Under on each label for placement purposes,  then stitched the sides down on each label.  I would leave a larger space/border between the labels and the seam the next time I make the pillow, so that the labels along the edges lay flatter. 

To create the beaded trim:

I measured the perimeter of the pillow and cut a piece of fishing line (Streen) or clear nylon thread a little longer than that measurement so that I had some extra for securing the beads on each end with a knot and for finishing the ends.  

I knotted one end and simply strung a variety of pearls, silver and glass beads onto the fishing line.  When I reached the desired length I knotted the other end  

Starting at one corner of the finished pillow, I  hand-sewed the beads onto the edge of  the pillow using the “blanket stitch” I learned when I was a Girl Scout, it is a pretty basic stitch and whenever I use it, it reminds me of making sit-up-ons to use when I went to GS camp.  Leave enough of the fishing line after the knot to push through a few beads on the other end, and then snip the excess fishing line so you won’t have any showing or poking out.  Repeat on the opposite end.  


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 HouseMama March 2, 2010 at 12:31 am

This is such a cute idea. I love it!


2 Holly L March 2, 2010 at 3:50 am

That is great! Being a former fashion designer, I totally appreciate it. I have a box of my old labels in the garage…I see a purpose for them now!


3 Cha Cha March 2, 2010 at 6:00 am

Cuteness, and since I can’t stand tags in my clothing, I will now have something to do with them. The possiblities are endless with this. Thanks for inspiring me, yet again.

Cha Cha

Congrats on making it on the Nesters tumblr


4 Cheryl March 2, 2010 at 9:44 am

how creative. I love this idea.


5 Kaysi @ Keeping It SImple March 2, 2010 at 2:31 pm

What a fun idea!


6 Diane @ InMyOwnStyle March 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I wish I had a whole box. Lucky you. If you make something take a picture to show me. One of my good friends used to work on 7th ave. I should see if she has a stash.

Thanks for taking the time to write a comment everybody.


7 Lia from Petite Little Bee March 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm

What a cute idea. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Lia


8 jeanne March 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm

very fun and creative.


9 Abigail March 4, 2010 at 9:54 am

My friend Max would adore this! It’s a shame I have no labels (well, one, in my ‘good’ coat)
Maybe I could collect the sometimes nonsensical ones I find in the clothes I buy here in Japan!


10 Lee the hot Flash Queen March 4, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I LOVE this!! It is so cute!


11 Summer March 5, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I am featuring this on my blog tomorrow! Thanks for linking up! Come grab my featured button!



12 Kim December 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm

That is such a great way to repurpose those annoying tags. I have to remove most of them too. They drive me crazy. Thanks so much for sharing this cute pillow.


13 Christine December 29, 2010 at 12:19 am

this is adorable!


14 Tracie January 2, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Sharing on fan page on fb. Love this!


15 fanny January 4, 2011 at 5:22 am

This idea is a genial one. I will start collecting labels, so I can sew my own pillow!
When I will, I’ll send the picture to you !
thanks and bye


16 Amber March 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I love, love, LOVE this! I love labels from a design standpoint. I have always saved the paper tags that come on my favorite items and the bags from the stores also. Never have really found anything to do with them though. This is a great idea for the labels, which I havent saved before, but probably will now!

I even had a friend wallpaper her walls with the shopping bags from her favorite stores :)


17 Anzhela Tesker October 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm

That is goegeous! It looks like something I’d buy!


18 Cussot October 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm

My mother had a bench pad just like this that she bought in a vintage store. It used clothing labels intermingled with scraps of hand embroidery. This kind of collage ends up being a snapshot of fashion history – I either didn’t recognize or only vaguely remembered most of the names on my mother’s piece.


19 Rose Myrtle October 13, 2012 at 10:18 am

So chic! Like I said, before, you have awesome ideas! You should write your own book!


20 pron adult social network adult stories May 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm

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21 vikki May 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm

I love it, I am making a necktie quilt and have all the tags or labels off of them just waiting for a project. I noticed a Josephine Chaus label, one of my favorites. Of course that is in part because my middle name happens to be Josephine, after my mother. My sister found the first one I ever owned and started me off.


22 Liz September 3, 2013 at 8:17 am

About 14 years ago I made a denim jacket with labels using the same method. I placed labels in diagonal, backwards an sometimes up side down and It looked so good I decided to make another one in black that looked even better. My niece “stole” them both from me.


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