Vintage Tea Towel Pillow Tutorial

Vintage linens make me swoon! Not only are they beautiful but they can be very economical. I am alway on the lookout for old linens in good condition with interesting designs.
They are just too pretty to sit in a drawer waiting to be used. One of my favorite ways to display vintage tea towels is to make pillows…

This sweet-as-sugar pink pillow took under an hour to make. So easy!
Vintage Tea Towel Pillows make a wonderful gift, too! Wouldn’t you love to receive one?
So, dig out your pretty tea towel and put it to use as a decorative pillow!
StoneGable Vintage Tea Towel Pillow
1 vintage tea towel with interesting design and edges
white cotton muslin
matching thread
Iron tea towel flat.
Turn the top edge of  the tea towel down to make the front flap of the pillow. Make sure motif is showing.
Take bottom edge of the tea towel and fold up so that 2 inches show out from under the top flap.
Cut a piece of muslin to match the width of the tea towel and 2 inches longer than the crease at the top of the pillow.
With RIGHT sides together, pin the bottom of the tea towel to the bottom of the muslin. Stitch tea towel and muslin together.
Cut off excess fabric and press seams open.
Using the fold lines at the top and bottom of your tea towel, fold fabric the opposite way, so that RIGHT sides are together and the motif is facing inward.
Pin the front flap with the design towards the center of your pillow. You do not want to catch any part of it when you sew up your pillow for the flap will be sandwiched between the front and back of your pillow.  Leave 1/4 inch at the top to sew. Be very careful that your front flap fabric is not in the way!
Fold up bottom of tea towel with attched muslin. Pin all around the pillow. The top layer will be muslin with the tea towel bottom, the middle layer will have the pinned up front flap with design and the bottom layer will be the tea towel back.
Leave a 2-3 inch opening at the side of the pillow that will be covered by the front flap. I used a fabric marking pen to remind me where to begin and end sewing.
Sew around the pillow, leaving tthe 2-3 inch opening. I use the side edge of the pillow determine my seam allowances. At the top I use a very small seam allowance so the flap will lay nicely.
  Reinforce the ends very well as you will be using this whole to pull the pillow to the right side and to stuff it.
Cut any extra muslin away.  Using the side opening, pull out any pins from the front flap. Turn pillow right side out. Press.
Fill pillow with fiber fill. Make sure corners are filled. Do not over stuff.
Close opening on the side with a whip stitch.
Press again, but do not press too hard. Gently tack down flap if desired. Press again. Fluff and find your pillow a home!


  1. says

    I have a couple of old towels that were turned into pillows. They make the prettiest pillows. Yours look so fresh and crisp! What a wonderful tutorial! I can’t wait for your meme!

  2. says

    Yvonne, your little pillow of vintage textile is so pretty and delicate. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.
    I’m off to do some voting. 😉

  3. says

    What a fabulous idea, Yvonne. I have a large collection of these lovely items, just sitting. And, my daughter would swoon to have them as pillows. So, it’s done.
    Love you, cookie.

  4. says

    Of course, I headed right over and voted for you.

    Happy Pink Saturday, Yvonne.

    This pillow is lovely. It is crisp, delicate, fresh and pretty – all at once.

  5. says

    Hello sweet lady…

    Ohhh my…what sweetness! Yvonne, your vintage tea towel pillows are simply gorgeous!!! You are so right about taking those pretty linens out of the drawer and using them…enjoying them…and this is a GRAND way to do that!!! Your tutorial was great! I have been sewing all weekend…I need to go and get a few of my linens and give this a try! Thank you so much for the idea and inspiration, my friend!!!

    I also just wanted to congratulate you on being chosen as one of the contestants for the Daisy Pink Cupcake contest! I followed your link over there and ohhh, you are so right about all of the beautiful entries! But I must admit that your fabulous pink table was my most favorite!!! You have my vote, sweet lady! Wishing you and your pretty pink table…the best!!!

    I hope that you’re having a wonderful weekend!
    Chari @Happy To Design

  6. says

    How absolutely wonderful! Thanks for lesson- I’m going to try this on my vacation in 2 weeks! I need a fun and simple project!

    Happy PS!
    “Do these shoes match this purse?”

  7. says

    Sweet Yvonne, You always have such loveliness at your blog. This pillow is absolutely gorgeous, just like everything else you do.

    Well, off to church on this pretty Kansas morning.

    Thank you for blessing us so!!! I still want to come and spend a day with you! smile

    Blessings, Linda

  8. says

    What a gorgeous little pillow you’ve made! I love the little embroidery design and the edging is just so pretty!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  9. says

    This is my first visit to your blog (found you through House in the Roses)…I will definitely be back again. Your blog is lovely.

    About this gorgeous tea towel…in answer to your question, yes, I would LOVE to receive a gift like this. It is simply beautiful!

    Sadly, I always have to buy things, which I can’t usually afford, because I’m not very able in the sewing and creating department. Oh, I can cross-stitch, but that is about the extent of my abilities with a needle. In fact, I’m close to tears right now at the thought of how I wish I could make something as beautiful as your pillow. Thank you for sharing the directions…even if this gal doesn’t think she can do it.

    Wishing you a blessed day,
    Patti (Fill My Cup with Beauty)

  10. says

    So elegant. So gorgeous. So you. All you do is just full of beauty and class! Thanks for sharing! ♥Laurie from Scene of the Grime

  11. says

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I followed you over from The Girl Creative. What a fun and super easy idea. Thanks for sharing. Your photos are always so beautiful and inspiring.

  12. Anonymous says

    Yvonne, just saw this post….I love it! Great idea to use those beautiful linen tea towels I inherited. Thanks for always doing such a beautiful job on your blog. You are one of my very favorites! Sue V.

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