No-Sew Ribbon Pillow Tutorial (with PillowCubes!)

I am so excited to share that I have finally made some forward progress in our upstairs family room! Seemingly like in the last house, I was able to make a lot of initial progress in our main living space, and then the room and design kind of stalled out on me. One would think that because we are only in this house for a year, I’d be quick to make decisions and get spaces done. But I’m actually finding the opposite to be true. I know I won’t have the time or interest to fix or re-do things I don’t like while we’re here, so I feel myself being much more deliberate and thoughtful in my project choices. While I don’t like taking forever to make a simple decision, sometimes the wait is worth it!

Blue, green and yellow pillows

With two living rooms in this split-level house, we decided early on that our big blue sectional would go downstairs and ordered the Lakewood Tufted Sofa from Home Decorators to be our upstairs sofa. I immediately threw out the stiff, matching pillows that came with the couch, knowing I would eventually replace them with different inserts and covers. I had been putting off deciding on fabrics and patterns for the couch when one of my favorite past blog partners, PillowCubes, reached back out to me regarding another partnership! Many of you long-time readers may recall that I partnered with PillowCubes earlier this year when I decided to swap all of the poly-filled pillows in our house with feather-filled pillows. At that time, PillowCubes only dealt in bulk-style orders, which was perfect since I needed quite a few pillows all at once. However, PillowCubes recently revealed that they now offer single pillow pricing and ordering (yes!), so all the convenience, quality and great prices are available whether you need 1 pillow or 12!

Pillow Cubes

This new ordering model was perfect for our situation, and I couldn’t wait to jump on board! Our new couch is pretty deep and tall, so I knew I wanted to have a variety of pillow sizes along the back to break up all the white. I started with shopping by size to view and consider all the available options. After lots of measuring, I decided on one 24″, two 22″ and one 20″ pillow (all in their 10/90 Down Feather fill) and ordered them from the comfort of my own home using their easy-to-use online system. Within days, a slender box of pillows arrived and just like before, I really couldn’t be more thrilled with the quality, size variation, and ease of the whole process. Once I slid on their pretty new covers, our whole room came to life!

Pretty floral pillows

So let’s chat about those pretty new pillow covers, shall we?!? In our last house, the patterned walls and window treatments in our family room forced me to pick solid pillows for our big blue sectional. The pattern-loving gal in me was so frustrated, but every time I tried a patterned pillow, there was just too much going on. This room though, has proven to be the opposite. Although there are stripes surrounding the fireplace, the neutral walls, carpet, couch and window treatments left me with a pretty blank slate and a yearning for some color and patterns. I love fabric, and it’s no secret that I tend to hoard great patterns that work within my decor scheme, so the problem was not finding fabrics, but selecting which ones to actually make into pillows!

Pretty Couch Pillows

After playing around for weeks with countless options (seriously), I finally decided on a combination of four different fabrics that I think work really great together. The blue/yellow/green flower matches the curtains in the adjoining dining room (and essentially ties the two spaces together), and the blue polka dot one is made from leftover fabric from our old command center wall. The yellow floral is one I’ve been holding on to for ages and am so giddy to have finally found a place to use it (and I have another project in the works with it too!). My original plan was to stick to all blues and whites in this space, but I am SO loving the pops of kelly green and canary yellow to freshen the whole space up!

The last pillow on the couch is done in a bright kelly green linen. The color was spot on with the other elements in the space, but the solid green stood out a bit too much among all the other patterns. Using some ribbon I had on-hand and Ultrahold Heat’n’Bond, I was able to jazz up my plain green pillow cover in a completely easy and no-sew way! Ready to see how I made this adorably chic ribbon pillow?

No-Sew Ribbon Pillow

Here’s what you need:

  • Fabric (or a pre-made pillow cover!)
  • Ribbon
  • Ultrahold Heat-n-Bond
  • Coordinating thread and zipper (if making the pillow yourself)
  • Tools: Pins, scissors, sewing machine, iron, erasable fabric pen

Ribbon Pillow Supplies

Start by cutting your fabric down into the right dimensions using a rotary cutter/ruler or a scissors. For pillow covers to fit just right, I always make them to be the exact same size as my pillow insert (you can even make them a little smaller to make your pillows appear fuller). Adding 1″ for seam allowances, I cut out two 23″ squares from the green fabric for my 22″ pillow insert. Next, using an erasable pen and ruler, draw a square around the perimeter (on the right side of one of the squares), about 5″ in from each side. This square will serve as your guide for measuring and ironing the ribbon in place.

How To: Ribbon Pillow

To determine how much ribbon you need, simply stretch the ribbon all the way around your drawn square and add about 6″ inches for the mitered corners. Don’t cut the ribbon into sections; you want one long piece that runs the entire way around.

How To: Ribbon Pillow

Using an iron and following package directions, adhere the Heat-n-Bond stripping to the back side of the ribbon…

How To: Ribbon Pillow

…and then remove the paper backing from the Heat-n-Bond side once it’s cool enough to handle.

How To: Ribbon Pillow

(Note: In order for the mitered corners to face outward on the finished pillow cover, TURN THE RIBBON OVER so that the Heat-n-Bond is facing up for all of the following steps. If you don’t want to see the mitered corners, work with the adhesive facing down.)

To miter the corners of the ribbon, pick a place to start (it really doesn’t matter where), and mark where the turn needs to be with your disappearing pen. Fold the ribbon 90 degrees downward (completely perpendicular to the starting line of ribbon), lining the edge of the ribbon up with your pen mark. To complete the mitered corner, fold the ribbon straight up onto the triangle you just made, again lining up the edges. These two folds together create a perfect 90 degree angle in the ribbon.

How To: Ribbon Pillow

Here’s another angle how the ribbon should look once you’ve completed both folds.

How To: Ribbon Pillow

Flip the entire fold over to see your perfectly mitered corner and clip it in place using pins or clips.

How To: Ribbon Pillow

Continue working your way around the circle using the same steps above and the pen-drawn perimeter as your guide.

How To: Ribbon Pillow

Once you get back to where you started, trim the length of ribbon to fit inside the mitered diagonal on the final corner.

How To: Ribbon Pillow

Again using a hot iron, adhere the ribbon to the pillow front, following the pen line and ensuring the ribbon is fully secured all the way around before moving on.

How To: Ribbon Pillow

Because of how the ribbon is folded, there is no adhesive on the underside of the mitered corner so it won’t lay flat. To help the corners lay flat, add some fabric glue and hold the triangle in place until the corners set.

How To: Ribbon Pillow

With the front done, you can add a zipper and the backing to complete the pillow cover! (By the way, in recent months, I have perfected my method for making pillow covers with invisible zippers. I feel like there are a million pillow tutorials out there already, but if you would like to see the simple way I do it, let me know in the comments! If there is interest, I’ll put a tutorial together!)

How To: Ribbon Pillow

With the cover done, I slipped in the 22″ feather/down insert and tossed it on the couch with the others! The ribbon detail completely made the whole display. Even if you don’t want to make a pillow from scratch, this is a great way to add interest to or update a plain pillow cover you already have!

No-Sew Ribbon Pillow

I couldn’t be more thrilled with our new pillows! In our last house, the pillows were always a distracting and frustrating element for me, but in this space, they are the design element now driving the rest of my decisions. With these done, there is new pep in my step for this space and I’m on track to wrap up a few final projects in here!

Pretty and preppy pillows

I know pillows are easily swapped for different looks, but I hate to waste precious fabric so I take my pillow decisions pretty seriously 😉 I’d love to know what you guys think of my pillow choices. See you back here Wednesday with a kitchen storage roundup you won’t want to miss!

No-Sew Ribbon Pillow Tutorial


Megan Signature

I did not receive compensation for this blog post; however PillowCubes did provide the pillow inserts for me to use and review. Please remember that I only work with brands and products I fully support and that make sense for my home, my family, and this blog. All opinions are 100% my own!

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21 Responses to No-Sew Ribbon Pillow Tutorial (with PillowCubes!)

  1. Love your choices. Would also like to see any easier way to make the pillows. I need to get back to make quite a few so anything to make it easier would be a big help! Love your style!

    • Thank you so much for this comment, Nadine! I will be getting to work on that tutorial soon and (hopefully!) get it posted within the month!

      Have a good rest of the weekend!

  2. Yes, please! An easy zipper tutorial would be greatly appreciated. Love the couch choice too. Great color, shape, details and lines.

  3. Yes to the tutorial. There may be hundreds of others out there, but that doesn’t mean they are from someone I already know and trust (in the virtual world, that is 🙂

    Also, LOVE the pillows. Your color scheme is pretty spot on for my living and dining room, especially now that you have thrown in the pops of green and yellow. I may have some copying going on in the near future!

    • Hi Heather!

      Thank you so much for this! I’m so glad you consider me a friend you can trust, especially considering I make things up as I go along so often 😉 I will be getting to work on the pillow tutorial soon and (hopefully!) get it posted within the month!

      Please feel free to copy away – I am just loving this color scheme!!!

  4. LOVE the pillows. They look fantastic. I wish I dared to use more patterns in my living room. I think though I need to start with some color on the walls besides white.
    I would love a tutorial. I have sewn for years but for some reason invisible zippers scare me. So having some help in doing pillows would be nice. Especially since I get to help my sister in law do her pillows because I sew and she doesn’t!

    • Kristie!

      Your comments are always a highlight for me, so thank you for taking the time to leave them!

      Pillows are a great place to play with pattern (of course, says me, the girl who puts pattern on everything 😉 If they are too much, you can always change them! I will be getting to work on the pillow tutorial soon and (hopefully!) get it posted within the month so you can get making some pillows for you and your sister!

      Have a good night!

  5. Love your blog! I log in each week excited to see what is next. I’m new to sewing. I have taken a few Saturday classes at the local park and rec dept but mainly teaching myself with anything I can find on the internet. I would love to see how you made yours. Keep up the great work on your blog. It inspires me to try new things around my home.

    • Hi Michelle!

      Thank you so much for checking in regularly and reading…and for leaving such a nice comment!! I always wonder and worry that no one is out there reading, so comments like this really make my day/week!

      I am mainly a self-taught sewer too and tend to make things up a lot as a I go, but there has been some good interest in the pillow tutorial, so I will (hopefully!) be putting it together and getting it up on the blog within the month.

      Again, I’m so excited to have you following along as a reader and glad I am inspiring you to do fun things in your home!

      Have a good rest of your weekend!

  6. Love the pillow choices and all of your tutorials on how to sew them. Please, if you get a chance, I would love to see the zipper tutorial. You are so creative, thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you so much, Cindy! There has been good interest in the pillow tutorial, so I am hoping to get working on it soon and (hopefully) have it posted on the blog within the month!

  7. Hi Megan
    I must admit I’m don’t sew at all but I like a couch with lovely pillows so made by hand or bought I do enjoy them. Your colors are wonderfully coordinated with your walls, windows treatment and couch, a lovely one too. You were right to mix all these colors and the white ribbon makes a great difference, it softens the green. Mine are around burgundy red and golden yellow in order to suit to our alcantara old couch ! As soon as I read you I suddenly do something to improve my home so thanks !

    • Hi Michele!

      Happy weekend! So glad my projects inspire you to do and try new things in your home. Yes, I am loving the colors in my new family room so far. In our last house this space took me forever to get right, so I’m thrilled it’s coming along so well!

      Thanks for leaving a lovely comment!

  8. LOVE THIS PILLOWS!! O my word, I have been searching for pillows for my couch for a while and just can’t bite the bullet on some. I would for these! Love all the different colors and the brightness they add to the room (is brightness even a word?). Great little easy project to add interest to a plain pillow.

    Great work as usual, looking wonderful.

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor

    • I am the same way about pillows! As much as I know they are easy to swap out, I have the toughest time committing to them! I am so so thrilled with how these turned out. Thanks for the blog love!

    • Thank you! This combo is all over my house…for some reason, I just can’t seem to get enough of it!

      Thanks again, Happy Sunday!

  9. Cute tutorial! And I love your color selection! I find that if I round the corners of my pillow covers, they’re much easier to sew (especially if you like piping in your seams) and the pillows fill out the corners a bit better. I use a pint glass or biscuit cutter to get the desired shape. It’s strictly personal preference, but I thought I’d share my tip.

    • Thank you so much Kelly! And thank you for sharing your great tip! Yes, when adding piping, I also like to make my corners rounded because, as you said, it makes sewing with the piping MUCH easier! For non-piping pillows, I do mine the old-fashioned way, just sew through the corner and snip 🙂

      Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  10. Wow! That’s creative. Loved the choice of colours 🙂 I’m new to sewing. I can’t wait to try this on pillows this weekend. As always, keep up the good work.

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