If you have what seems like a million plastic bags lurking underneath your sink in an ugly tangle, don’t fret. With a pillowcase, a handful of buttons, and a little creative flair, you can make yourself a chic throw pillow that your friends and family will adore.
•30 to 40 plastic shopping bags (make sure they’re clean and dry)
•15 to 30 buttons for decoration (or use just a few large ones)
•Organic cotton batting (or use batting you already have on hand)
•Needle and thread
1 Iron your pillowcase and lay it on a flat surface, keeping the open, hemmed end on our right.
2 Take the bottom left corner of your pillowcase and fold it diagonally toward the top until it forms a triangle.
3 Fold the open, hemmed end of the pillowcase to the left, overlapping the triangle you created in Step 2. Iron this folded edge to create a crease, then unfold it.
4 Use your scissors to cut off the hemmed edge of the pillowcase. Make sure to cut through both layers of fabric at once, leaving the resulting sash of fabric intact. Set this sash aside—
you will use it later.
5 Unroll your batting and cut out two square pieces that are slightly smaller than the size of your pillowcase (about a half-inch smaller on each side). Slide the two pieces of batting into your pillowcase.
6 Cut the plastic bags into 1-inch-wide strips. (Save one plastic bag to store the strips as you work.) When finished, stuff them inside the pillowcase, between the pieces of batting, until the pillow is plump and firm.
7 Using the ironed crease from Step 3 as a guide, tuck in the unfinished edge of the open end of your pillow, until the creased edge becomes the new seam (Figure 5). Sew this seam closed with your needle and thread.
8 Take the fabric sash you created in Step 4, and place it on a flat surface, with the seam side on the bottom. Using your fabric glue, glue your buttons in any pattern you like on the sash. Let the glue dry.
9 Slide your decorated sash around your finished pillow. And, voila! Your gorgeous throw pillow looks like a million bucks, but cost next to nothing.
This article originally appeared in Plenty in July 2007.