Add mid-century polka dots or bright 1970s swirls to your home by turning vintage silk scarves and handkerchiefs into cushion covers. Perfectly sized for throw pillows, the finds can be sewn to backings to make sturdy coverings. Look for the scarves at vintage clothing shops (or for new ones at department stores).
Scarves and handkerchiefs come in many lively patterns, and vintage ones are delightfully inexpensive-as little as $2. Don't worry if a piece is too large or has a damaged edge. The solution is simply to cut the piece to size or trim the flawed side.
Silk-Scarf Pillow How-To
You'll need durable, decorative fabric, such as silk shantung, for the back, and muslin to reinforce your find.
1. Cut a piece of muslin 1/4 inch larger than scarf all around. Center scarf on it, right side up; pin, and stitch to muslin 1/8 inch from scarf edge.
2. Make a back with an envelope-style closure (two flaps that overlap, for inserting pillow): Cut two pieces of fabric, each three-quarters as long as the muslin and the same width. Stitch a 1 1/2-inch hem on one end of each. With scarf right side up, lay one piece of fabric at each end of scarf, right sides down, hems pointing toward center. Pin, and stitch to scarf just inside previously created 1/8-inch seam.
3. Turn, and press out corners with a knitting needle. Iron, and then slip pillow form inside.