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How to Make Pumpkin Pillows from a Table Runner

We love pillows. We love simple pillows that we can make easily and inexpensively. I’m going to show you how to make pumpkin pillows from a table runner.

Yes, from a table runner. I have a great, easy, and inexpensive pillow project that you can make faster than you can carve a pumpkin. Learning how to make a pumpkin pillow from a table runner is easier than you think.

And this pumpkin pillow has a story. 

We all love pillows for everyday decor, seasonal, and holiday decor. I’ve made a pillow or 2 in my day, but I have never made any type of pillow, much less pumpkin pillows from a table runner.

If you have only thought of table runners as table runners, I hope to show you out to step out of your decorating box and think of a table runner as a home decor project with other possibilities.

Use a Table Runner to Make Pumpkin Pillows

I told you that this pumpkin pillow project had a story.

Last month I was meeting one of my best girlfriends at a central location where we would then drive to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch.

When I parked my car, I called her to tell her I had arrived. She said she was across the street at Tuesday Morning. I headed over to meet her. You probably know how this story ends.

Browsing the aisles, we found a bunch of cute fall table runners. As we looked through the offerings, I found one with a pretty embroidered pumpkin and leaves at each end.

My friend thought I would love it as a runner, but I immediately thought, NO. I’m going to make pumpkin pillows out of it.

My Pumpkin Table Runner

The fabric on the front of the table runner had a linen~like look and feel. 

As you can see the pumpkin had a burlap~like fabric that was outlined in bronze~colored thread.

The vines and leaf design were made of a mix of bronze thread and gold thread. I loved the circle motif and immediately thought it would be perfect to make 2 pillows. 

The runner was 14 inches X 72 inches. That meant my pillows would be 14 inches wide.

runner for making a pumpkin pillow cover

The fabric on the back of the runner had a silk~like (I’m sure it’s polyester) look in champagne color. 

making a pumpkin pillow

My original idea was to fold over each end of the runner to make a “pocket”. Then I would stitch up the 2 sides, fill with a pillow form and machine stitch the opening. Easy peasy. 

pumpkin table runner

I was hoping for a 14~inch square pillow, but to have the pumpkin design centered on the pillow, I would have to make a 14 X15~inch pillow. That wasn’t a problem. I would just stuff the pillow form in the pillow for a full look, which is what I like.

Making the pillows this way would leave about 11 inches of the center of the runner left. Maybe I could fill it with batting and make a hot pad?

sewing ruler

Starting My Pumpkin Pillow Project

I already had laid out my ironing pad that I like when I’m using the kitchen island or the breakfast room table to work on.

The next step was to iron the runner, front and back.

ironing a pumpkin pillow cover

It was at this point that I realized that the front and back of the table runner could be separated. What if I didn’t fold over the runner at each end? What is I just used the ends as the pillow cover?

Oh, I amaze myself sometimes. This approach would mean no machine sewing, less time spent, and I would have much more of the table runner left over.

making a pumpkin pillow cover

So, now let’s go step~by~step how I make the pumpkin pillows.

Making the Pillows

Here are the supplies you will need:

  • sewing scissors
  • sewing ruler
  • sewing pins
  • pencil
  • thread and needle
making a pumpkin pillow cover supplies

The first thing was to measure from each end of the table runner. I knew I needed 15 inches + 1/2 inch for a hem.

I measured 15 1/2 inches and drew a line with a pencil on the backside.

making a pumpkin pillow cover

Then I cut my pillow “cover” from each end.

making a pumpkin pillow cover

Here are my 2 “pillow covers”. By the way, I still had 41 inches of lined fabric left over. I will definitely make something with it.

making a pumpkin pillow cover

I was pleasantly surprised when I turned the pillow cover inside out to find that it was lined with interfacing. That would give the pillow more body.

Next, I measured a 1/2~inch hem on the cut edge and pinned it.

making a pumpkin pillow cover

Then I ironed the hem.

making a pumpkin pillow cover

Now I was ready to fill it with a pillow form. Except I didn’t have 2 pillow forms in my sewing closet that would work. I didn’t have any pillows that I could unzip to use.

But what I did have on hand was a huge roll of batting. I’ve used this roll for a few other projects ~ making a fabric covered headboard for a king bed in a guest room when we moved into our house 7 years ago, so no pics and filling some cushions. 

batting forpumpkin pillow

That would work. I cut a few widths of 16 inches, thinking that would really fill my pillow forms, but it was actually too much, so I had to trim the batting down to 14 inches. You just have to play with batting until it fits snug with no bumps. 

making a pumpkin pillow cover

I also had some pillow filler. I like to keep a bag on hand for filling in the corners of pillows. You don’t want points at the corners that aren’t filled. I just grabbed a handful and push it into the corners. You can also use pillow filler to “fill out” the pillow and make it full.

making a pumpkin pillow cover

Once I had the batting and filler in the pillow, I pinned the open side closed.

making a pumpkin pillow cover

I decided not to machine stitch the opening since I already had a package of gold metallic thread on hand. I bought it a few weeks ago just because I want to have some gold thread on hand and it was 40% off. It will probably last me 10 years.

thread for making a pumpkin pillow cover

Since the other 3 sides of the runner pillow had stitching that showed, I used a simple running stitch to close the opening. Then I gave the pillows a good whack.

TIP: “Whacking”, hitting your pillows together or on a hard surface helps to evenly distribute the filling.

I first set the pillows on our sofa with 2 other pillows that I made a few years ago.

Then I decided to try them in our dining room on 2 extra dining room chairs. I like having decorative pillows here for color, design and interest. I think I like this placement better. And this is where the pillows will stay ~ at least for now.

 pumpkin pillow on chair

Now, honestly, have you ever thought of making pumpkin pillows from a table runner? I will look at table runners differently now, with an eye for the designs. Maybe you will too.

So how much did each pillow cost me? The table runner was $16.99, which means each pillow cover was $8.50. If you count that I still have 41 inches of leftover runner fabric to work with, then the cost per pillow goes down even more. I didn’t buy anything else for this project. Not bad, right?

I will use that 41 inches for another project and when I do, I will share it.

If I had time to go to Joann to buy 2 new pillow forms (either 14 or 16~inch) and they were on sale, I might have used that option. Since these pillows are on the dining room chairs and just for decorative purposes, I think my option works just fine.

Here are a few other pillow projects:

No~Sew Dish Towel Pillows

How to Make the Easiest No~Sew Pillow

How to Make a Zippered Pillow in 5 Easy Steps

So I’m done with my pumpkin pillows, and I hope you will PIN this project to your PINTEREST boards. 

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  1. Love your pumpkin pillows. I often thrift table runners at GW and have made some with pocket backs. The runners with pointed ends and a tassel look so cute with the “envelope flap” on the front–either simply tacked shut or Velcroed. I have even used off season towels (like a beach towel) to stuff a larger pillow–you just have to leave yourself a note saying WHAT/WHERE you put that towel! Once I scored a dark green sheet and used all 4 edges to simply rip up pocket back pieces to make backs for Christmas placemat “lumbar” pillows. Only having to stitch around the outside pillow cover edges sure makes a pillow quickly!

    1. Hi Kathy. Thanks again for visiting Bluesky at Home. So glad that you are making use of runners for other purposes. Keep up the good work!!

  2. What a great idea, Carol! Your pillows are so cute! Next time I see a Table Runner, I just might make some pillows out of it! One can never have enough pillows! Right?! I have a pillow addiction!

  3. Carol I love this idea and aren’t you a smart one? The pillows are so pretty too. Love the pattern on the runner.

    I can’t sew a lick but I could use fabric glue. Thanks for sharing and I’m going to Pin. I may look for a Christmas runner.


  4. I love this table runner. It’s even prettier as two pillows. They are so pretty! I will be keeping an eye out for a table runner to make a few. Have a great week!

  5. Carol what a wonderful idea!! I have several old table runners that I could do this to. How awesome! Thanks for sharing. I love the table runner you picked for the pillows. The pillows are so pretty. Happy Fall!

  6. What a great idea, Carol. I have some old dresser scarves that are just gathering dust on a shelf. I think you’ve inspired an idea for them!