5 Minute “Green” Placemat Pillows

I can’t take credit for the basis for this idea. I was inspired by Maryann over at Domestically Speaking when she posted about making these placemat pillows.  I have been on the lookout for clearance placemats since!
I found these placemats at Target on clearance for $1.98.  I really like the design on them, and they were the “two-ply” construction that this project requires.
The first step is to rip a few inches of the seam so that you have room to stuff the pillow.  This step took me the longest because it turns out cheap Target placemats aren’t sewn that well.  Weird.
This is where I deviated from the original placemat pillow idea.  I was too cheap to use a whole mess of poly-fil on these pillows.  The stuffing that I ended up using was slightly more, well….
If you are anything like me, you have an enormous stash of old plastic bags shoved into a drawer or cabinet somewhere.  I do have a few reusable shopping bags, but I always forget to bring them to the store so I end up with millions of these guys.  I know you can bring them back to the store to recycle them, but if I can’t remember to bring the reusable bags, you can probably guess how often I remember to recycle the plastic ones.
Disclaimer:  If you use the plastic bags as filler, be warned that the pillows will be slightly lumpy and very crinkly.  For me, that was actually bonus.  I didn’t want these pillows to be very comfortable because then they would get used for naps and snuggles.  I want these pillows to be purely decorative, so having them be a little bit uncomfortable is fine by me.
Shove a whole mess of bags into the hole you created in the placemat.  If you shake each bag out a little before you put it in, you will avoid the really big, hard lumps in the pillow.  Once the pillow is filled out to your liking, sew the seam back up.
I love my new pillows, and you just can’t beat $2 a pop for throw pillows!
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  1. says

    those are gorgeous!! i HATE buying stuffing for pillows b/c hello?? why is it 50 billion dollars to stuff a pillow? so, either i buy pillows at goodwill and use the stuffing from those, or i sometimes buy cheap quilt batting (we have a wholesale place that sells roll ends for like $5 and it is a LOT, like i have some from years ago) and fluff that up into a stuffingesque consistency. but plastic bags, nice idea! and also you can use them to put inside 2 pieces of fun fabric to make a crinkly baby toy, WITHOUT the $15 price tag :)

  2. says

    Plastic, really? They don’t crinkle and make weird noises when you lean on them?

    They look super hot though, I love that pattern (and price)!

  3. says

    The plastic bag idea is hilarious! I’ll have to make a mental note of that one. What a great way to *potentially* keep little hands from destroying something so beautiful. You should update us in a few months so we know how effective the plastic bags are as a child-repellent! :)

  4. Michelle says

    You have made me smile!! I once used plastic bags to stuff a pillow that was purely for decoration too! It makes me happy to see that I'm not the only one!!

  5. says

    That's what we call "internet good-looking" – the pillows are picture perfect, but when you use them, they're noisy. Heh! Still, great idea for stuffing, and I totally have ten b'zillion plastic bags and I always forget to bring them back to the grocery store.

  6. Katie says

    Just now reading this…but I LOVE THIS!!! I have many a time walked past beauteous pillows and had to walk right on by because they cost a fortune. Now I have my Friday night project!! Thanks Jess!

  7. says

    Great pillows… love them!!! Good tip about the plastic bags – people always use my good pillows and then they're not "good" anymore. Might try this!! Thanks!

  8. Anonymous says

    I'm passing on a great stuffing tip from my grandma, bless her soul. She used (washed) old pantihose . . . so save those snagged or destroyed tights. It makes the pillow easily washable, too!

  9. Anonymous says

    A comment from a slightly different angle – make a dozen DIY market bags from tee shirts. Hang one by looping one handle over the car's driver headrest. Put the others in there. No more plastics shipping bags! Uh-oh, you'll have to take the neighbor's plastics bags off their hands for your pillow stuffing. A double plus for the environment there though! No more plastic bags in the stomachs of dolphins is a very good thing.

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