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New Pillows, with a Nip and a Stitch


Subtler than graphics, textural accents give pillow covers a decorative extra without being distracting. You can make these puckered folds with a needle and thread.


  • Pillow and pillowcase
  • Needle and thread
  • Disappearing-ink pen 


  1. Step 1

    Start with pillowcase turned inside out. Using a disappearing-ink pen, create a grid of dots on case (each dot will be the tip of a fold).

  2. Step 2


    Double-thread a needle with heavy-duty thread, and knot. Pinch the fabric as shown (1). Pass needle through fold (the farther from the tip you stitch, the more puckered the fold will be); then pull it all the way around fold.

  3. Step 3


    Pass needle between doubled threads, below knot. Loop around twice; pass needle under loops. Pull tight; tie off. Repeat with each dot.

  4. Step 4

    Turn case right side out. Use a pillow insert that's one or two sizes smaller than the original case.

Martha Stewart Living, September 2008