Pillow Shams to go with my new Antique Piano Headboard… (Tutorial)

In case you missed it, I ended up turning a soggy wet, trashed, antique, upright piano front into a new headboard for my bedroom. (HERE) I made a set of cotton pink and white checked pillow cases thinking that would satisfy my need for something new on my bed, but they didn’t do it for me. They were too cutsie, too flimsy and the pillows were too lightweight. I bet the pillows didn’t weigh 6 ounces so they were like 2 giant cotton balls on my bed. I wanted something more substantial, so what did I do? Go to the fabric store and find something? HEAVENS NO! I went shopping in my sewing room…in my bag of decorator fabrics. I showed a few possibilities on a post yesterday… (HERE)

My room is more rosy than it is the pink color it looks when I use a flash on my camera. The paint color is actually called Brick Dust and my hubby was the one who picked it out. We’ve lived with it for 10 years and it’s good paint, so I decided to work with it, making changes that were less expensive and use up some things I already had. I wanted the bed/headboard to be the focal of the room so I wanted to make sure and get the right fabric picked.

Many of you had opinions you left through the comments here on my blog and even some sent emails to me. In the end, I decided to go with the last one; the peachy/rose one with the sage green leaves. In person it was just the prettiest choice to use. Since I was going to show you my new pillow shams, I decided why not do a tutorial on how to make them for a post so you could all see how it’s done. They are actually a very easy project for even a novice sewer to do. SEW…. lets’s get started. I put some of my directions right on my pictures, and some had to have more explanation. If you have a hard time reading them, just click on any picture and it will enlarge. Let me just say one more thing… I sew and it comes very easy to me….having said that, sometimes I take for granted what someone may or may not know. I hope I’ve explained it well enough for you to understand, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.

(Spoiler Alert!!!) Sometimes it’s easier to understand directions if you know what it is you are making, so here’s a picture of the finished sham.



I got my pillows at Wal Mart and laid them on my fabric, cutting my pieces roughly 7″ bigger than the pillow laying on them.


Now don’t laugh… I had this green polar fleece piece of fabric that I really didn’t need, so I used it instead of running to the store to buy some batting. You don’t have to use batting or anything stiff in your shams, but it’s nice when you use something heavy…it keeps the flanges from flopping over.




Take the piece attached to your batting and lay it down with the fabric side facing up. (sorry, I didn’t get a picture of this step.)

Now for the back side, you’ll need 2 pieces of fabric roughly the same size as the front piece, but a little wider than your front piece. It will be like laying a piece of fabric on one half and then laying another piece on the other half, overlapping them about 5 inches or so. The overlapped edges need to be folded under about an inch or so and stitched and pressed. It just makes for a neater finish. This is where the pillow form will go into.


Take these 2 pieces and place them right sides down on top of the front piece you have facing right side up. Make sure your 2 pieces for the backside are straight up and down and overlapping. Put some random pins in place to hold things together.







For the pillow to fit into the middle section of my sham, I stitched all the way around the sham, using a guide along the edge at about 2 1/2″. I stitched mine from the backside so I could slightly roll the back piece just a little bit to the backside like you see in the picture where I’m pressing it.


After you stitch the inside rectangle, you are officially done with the sewing! YAY! Now you can work at getting your pillow form into the back flaps. It takes a little bit of maneuvering but it does go in there. Once it’s in, push it into the corners and sort of smack it between your hands a few times to get it centered.


Now look at what you’ve just created! Isn’t it wonderful? Want to see mine?




I guess you can see I’m pretty proud of the way mine turned out???



Awww come one… just one more look…


As I look at my new pillow shams, I’m more determined than ever to get my curtains made and hung along side my new headboard. I didn’t manage to get any smaller pillows made either, but I will, and I’ll keep you updated when I do, but I’m itching to get a doll dress started, so I must go and see what beautiful things I can create for your dolls!

Thanks for being my students today! Class dismissed!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    So pretty, Jeanne! Well, I DID laugh at the polar fleece soccer ball fabric, sorry! I was thinking, how beautiful, restful and romantic the flowered material was, then, BAM a green soccer ball pattern right alongside it! So funny!

    You did a perfect job, and mine are just like that, but mine are from Penney’s, since I have the comforter to match, and I’m not making a comforter for sure! Can’t imagine how much fabric that would be!

    Are you keeping the bedskirt or making a new one along with curtains? Can’t wait to see the next step!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      I had to laugh myself at my “choice” of “batting” with the soccer balls on it, since yesterday the US won the World Cup Soccer Championship. Who would have thought soccer balls would be in my post. I wish I could say I planned it that way, but I didn’t.
      It seems you weren’t alone in your BAM feeling when you saw the green soccer ball fabric.

      I’m glad they look like your Penney’s ones…that makes me feel good…since I had never made them before and just made them from how I thought they should look!

      I will be making a new bedskirt when I find the right fabric. I did find some decorator fabrics and some smaller pillow forms in my stash that I can use to make some throw pillows for accents.

      But dresses first… let’s see…who will be up next?

      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Hi Jeanne. I’m with Linda, just following along with your tutorial and pretty floral fabric pictures and then WHAT? At first, I thought your were going to use the soccer fabric for the back of the shams. Glad you didn’t. LOL. Actually, you are right on trend with the soccer fabric since the U.S. women’s team won the cup.
    Your fabric choice looks like a perfect fit for your paint color. You might not be getting a huge amount of doll sewing done, but your home is looking pretty spiffy. Great tutorial, BTW!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Cindy,
      I’m all for using up what I have, but soccer balls on the back of those pretty shams… I think not! Glad I gave you and Linda a good laugh from it. Yes, wasn’t it perfect timing to use soccer ball fabric since yesterday was such a big day for the U.S. Soccer team?

      I’m not getting much sewing done for the dolls, but it’s been a fun few projects. Now it’s time to get back to it.

      If I don’t make it to your site to leave a comment, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your pictures of the town you live in and how you all celebrate the 4th of July. They were really fun to look at. It looks like you had a really nice day for the parade and fireworks.
      Thanks Cindy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Hi Jeanne,
    I saw your piano headboard the other day and thought it looked so clever. The past few years I’ve tried very hard to look at things differently as to how they can be repurposed. Very thrifty to use the soccer ball fabric instead of buying batting. I do have to admit I laughed though, too, when I saw it..
    Your newly decorated room looks very soft and inviting. Between all the doll sewing, your home deserved some attention as well and now with a new cabinet and headboard I bet you are really happy.:-)

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Laura,
      Looking at things differently than how they are when you see them is something I’m trying to train myself to do. My sister is the best at it…she looks at everything that way and that’s why she can see the value in something that most people would think is trash.

      Thanks for your compliments on my bedroom projects. I have had a good time making and doing a few new things for my home, but now it’s time to sew for YOU all again.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Good choice on the fabric. Goes very nicely with the paint color. Can’t wait to see what other fabrics you use for drapes and accessory pillows. Great blog you have. Not only beautiful doll outfits, but decorating too.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Joy,
      I’m glad you liked the one I picked. The fabric does go very nicely with the walls now….even better than it did when I just had the fabric draped over the pillows. I guess having the shams done makes it more like an item instead of just a spread of fabric.
      Thanks for your kind words about my blog. I”m glad you are enjoying it and still sticking around even though not every day is about dolls.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Hi Jeanne,
    Beautiful choice for the shams. It pulls the room together. The curtains are going to look very nice when you get those done. It will be a lovely, tranquil looking room. I love bedroom sets and accessories – to make a room beautiful to look at and then get to live in it, is a good feeling.
    Since our doggies get up on our bed and sometimes leave little prints, I had to settle for a thin cover-like bedspread so I could wash it often and it still look nice in our bedroom. The only problem is there are no matching shams for the kings size bedspread. So, the best solution, I think, is to get a twin size bedspread of the same bedspread and find someone around here who can make the matching shams for me. You are so blessed by being able to sew!!
    It brings such joy when accomplishing and completing projects, doesn’t it?
    Jeanne, I wanted to share with you our comical bird story.
    Every year at my husband’s place of business, there is a barn swallow family who occupy a corner of the canopy outside the building’s entrance. Just this week, the babies left their nest for good.
    Then last week, we discovered a barn swallow nest up high on our front porch. That has never happened before. Six babies are now looking out over the nest as the parents fly in and out, tending to them. Now, this weekend we’ve discovered a little family of barn swallows that have built a nest up under the bow pulpit of our boat. (It’s a yearly thing pretty much despite my husband’s efforts to cover up the pulpit). Mama is sitting on her babies, and daddy is swooping over anyone who comes near our boat. We will not be taking our boat out to sea with those precious little babies in that nest. It should be about 2 weeks before they fly off and we can go anywhere. I think barn swallows must like us!
    It’s lovely outside…have a great day!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Paula,
      Thanks for your vote of confidence on the pillow shams! I’m glad you like them… I do too and it’s fun to get up and make my bed now and display them.
      Oh Paula, I think buying the twin bedspread is the way to go. You could do it yourself… I know you could. They aren’t that hard at all… I could walk you through each step it you wanted. You could just do a little each day and then they would be all done.

      I think your bird story is sweet. At the place where we used to live, swallows built up near the corner of one of our windows. It was a mess on the side of the house, but it was fun to watch them grow and then finally fly away. I think they always come back to the same area each year because they did it several times…
      I hope your birdies stay safe and you’ll soon be out on the lake!
      It’s pretty here today too… I’m off to sew!
      Thanks Paula.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Beautiful fabric, Jeanne, and thanks for the tutorial. I’ve never thought to use batting under the top but I will next time.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Jevne,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the tutorial and I want to see your shams when you make some!
      Your girls in their 4th of July outfits were adorable!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Batting/ soccer fabric was great…you are right then the edge doesn’t flop over…you smartie you!
    It looks great!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Kathie,
      Well, a seamstress has to use what she has, don’t you agree?
      Thanks for commenting…
      Blessings, Jeanne

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