DIY Holiday Burlap Pillows

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend filled with lots of turkey and pumpkin pie! If you stopped by the blog this weekend you may have noticed that it got a BIG makeover! I’m so excited about the new look, I’m still making a few tweaks but it’s almost there.  I’m anxious to hear what you think. Thoughts?

This weekend I finally completed my first Christmas project of the season, very timely I might add. Are you ready for the big reveal? Here are my new DIY holiday burlap pillows to go with my ‘rustic-glam’ Christmas decor this year.

DIY Burlap pillows, Holiday pillows

I hand painted the designs on the pillows using white acrylic paint (full tutorial below). I was a little nervous to do them completely free handed, but I think that’s my favorite part of them… they aren’t perfect.

burlap pillows

I love the rustic vibe and how they add just the right touch of holiday decor without going over the top. Since I won’t have these pillows up year round, I wanted to make the covers easy to remove so I made them with envelope backs. They are so simple to make, you don’t have to hassle with zippers or spend hours hand sewing them shut.

Here’s a closer look at each design.

Winter Snowflake (crossing my fingers for lots of snow this year!)

And my modern Christmas tree!


For those of you interested in how to make these here is the full tutorial:

What you need:

– 2 yards of burlap for 2 18 X18 ” pillows (you will have a little left over)

– 2 18 x 18 pillow inserts

– 3/4 yard of white cotton fabric (muslin would work great too!)

– white acrylic paint

1. Start out by cutting 2 20 X 20″ squares out of the burlap for the front of the pillows.

2. Paint your design with the acrylic paint directly onto the pieces used for the front of the pillows (If you look closely you will notice the tiny little fingers of my assistant : P)

3. Then cut 2 20 X 25″ pieces to use for the envelope style back and cut them directly in half. So you will have 4 pieces at 20 X 12 1/2″

4. Press a 1″ hem on the inside edges (1-4 shown above) of the envelope pieces and sew.

5. To make the trim, cut 8 3 X 20 1/2″  strips and then press in half.

6. To create the corner pieces, align the two right sides together and cut into a triangle shape shown below. Sew together. Depending on your seam allowance,  you may need to trim some excess fabric.

7. When you turn the pieces right side out, you will get a perfect corner piece for the pillow trim. Repeat for all four corners.

8. Pin the right sides of the pillow front and back together with the trim in-between. All of the raw edges should be aligned. Note: When pinning the pieces together, the two pieces of the envelop back will overlap 2-3″, creating the pocket.

9. Because of the fragile nature of the burlap, I ended up placing a thin layer of all-purpose glue over the seams to keep them from fraying and pulling.

10. Turn the pillows right side and stuff them with a pillow!

If you get stuck along the way, always feel free to contact me :)

What are you working on for the holidays? I have so many projects on my to-do list, I’ll be lucky if I complete half of them!

I’m sharing my rustic holiday pillows at these parties and The CSI Project! Hope you join us :)


Taryn is the owner/editor of Design, Dining and Diapers, a lifestyle blog that focuses on DIY home decor, design, seasonal crafts, easy recipes and just being a mom! She is all about making things for less by upcycling thrift store finds and using what’s on hand. Taryn lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband, 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son.

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  1. says

    I love the pillows, I’m in to anything burlap right now. I really like the christmas tree one so much I’ll be making one. Freehand? That means my lines won’t be very straight . Here’s hoping you’ll share your project over at Sunday’ Best. Sharing is a good thing.

  2. Ann says

    Your website looks terrific. And I love those pillows. Not sure I’d trust myself to do them freehand but i might give it a try.

  3. says

    These are fantastic, Taryn! I may just have to rip this one off big time. I absolutely love the white against the scratchy burlap and the fun mod shapes you chose.

    Visiting from Tip Me Tuesday, and I would love it if you’d stop by my neck of the woods for a visit! : )

    ~Abbie (

  4. says

    What a cute idea!! I’m not very good at painting but I think i may be able to do the tree. It looks simple enough. I love your ideas. I’m now following you on pinterest. Love your gluten free board. I could always use more recipes.
    Would love to see you DIY Home Sweet home.

    P.S. More the Merrier Monday end tonight so stop by and link up if you have not already.

  5. says

    Wow – these are so amazing. I just found 50 lb. of burlap remnants for less than $60 – so I have a lot of raw material to work with. Ha ha, ha ha . . . .material. Eh, it’s late, I’m tired, that’s probably not really that funny.

  6. says

    I love these! Simple, elegant and rustic at the same time. Thanks for the tutorial, too!

    I’d love to invite you to share this project at my Thingamajig Thursday party going on now.


  7. says

    I love the look of these pillows! The snowflake one is my favorite, but I’m partial to snowflake designs anyway. I am definitely going to make some like these.

  8. says

    Wow! You are a Christmas crafting genius! So glad I found your project via Centsational Girl.

    Please stop by for a visit to my blog. I am currently in the midst of a Gifts to Make series.

    Be Merry and Bright!

  9. says

    Always nice to see other people who love to sew like I do! Love the mitered border you added around the edge of this pillow, I think it finished it off nicely. Thanks for sharing!

  10. JaneEllen says

    Really love your pillows. So glad you featured them. How do you sew burlap with your machine? Mine just won’t sew it, jams every time even tho we adjusted the tension and stitch.
    Because of my machine I”ll most likely make these pillows with painters cloth.
    We’re only people in our neighborhood that do any decorating for Fall, Easter, etc and they do little for Christmas if at all.
    I really love decorating for the seasons, gives some new color and different decorating to look at. I get very bored with things so love to make my own decorations. Some of friends think I’m weird because I change rugs and curtains for Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. I move my art around often also. I”ve always done decorating and crafting even when I had 4 small children.
    Your blog is so delightful, so glad I found you, love your projects..

  11. says

    These are absolutely amazing and despite what you say we think they are perfect! Definitely on our to-do list. We will let you know if we give them a try. Thank you for the inspiration!
    xox Liz and Lo {}

  12. Sue Cushman says

    If you are afraid to do the drawings freehand, just put a ruler right by where you are doing the drawing and follow the line, or something with a straight edge. It will give you a little more confidence maybe. I love the pillows. They are beautiful. I also wondered if you might want to use one long length of material and then just use a ____(this is where my memory fails me) basket-weave) to sew it together after you have put the pillow form in.

  13. says

    I have one question, when doing #8 step, you only mention “pinning” the trim with the burlap, doesn’t it need to be sew together also?or Is it only going to hold together with the glue? I didn’t see anywhere saying that it needs to be sew together tho? :/
    Thank you!!!


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