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Sep 3 2009

Tutorial: Ring Bearer Pillows

Ring Bearer Pillows

Our wedding party includes two adorable ring bearers, the young sons of my bridesmaid Lea Ann and her husband, Kyle, who will be escorting me down the aisle. Rather than spending $20-$30 a pop on ring bearer pillows, I decided to try my hand at making them.


1 yd chocolate brown satin (I had a yard on hand; could probably get by with 1/2 to 3/4 yd)
1/2 yd ivory satin
1 roll of skinny chocolate brown ribbon
ivory thread
lots of plastic grocery bags (for realz! of course, you can use polyfill or an 8″ x 8″ pillow form)
sewing machine and needles for lightweight fabrics
shears, etc


Seam allowances:

1/8″ for edgestitching the ivory piece
1″ for constructing the pillow

Finished dimensions: 8″ x 8″

Needles: Be sure to use needles for lightweight fabrics. Even using them, I did notice some pinching of the fibers, but it’s not noticeable unless you look really close.

Making the pillows

The fabric is a satiny chantung in chocolate brown and ivory. I started by cutting out four 10″ x 10″ squares of the brown and two 5″ x 10″ rectangles in ivory.

fabric pieces

I wanted to use the ivory piece as an embellishment like I had seen on some of the for-purchase pillows (my idea was to have the pillow look like the one from this set). So I played around with scrunching it into a bow shape.

crunching the bow shape

Once I had the idea fixed in my mind, I un-scrunched it and hemmed the long edges; I didn’t bother with the short edges, because I planned to sew them into the seams of the pillow.

Hemmed bow piece

After hemming the long edges, I folded them under and ironed them so the stitching wouldn’t show.

hems ironed under

Then I hand-sewed some gathers into the middle of the piece. I tried to keep the size of the stitches varied so it wouldn’t look like an accordion.

sewing the gathers

Next I marked the center of the top pillow piece by folding it into quarters and marking the corner. The invisible ink soaked through the fabric and left a good, easy-to-see spot.

marking the center

I unfolded the pillow piece and with the right (shiny) side up, I sewed the center of the bow to the marked center just like I would sew a button.

securing the bow in the center of the top pillow piece

Once the center was secured, I pinned the edges  as close to the edge of the pillow pieces as possible. Since the center is sewn, the outer edges will make a curve; I fanned the edges as much as possible to give it a good bow shape, and then topstitched the curve as close to the edge as possible. The plan was to sew this seam into the seam allowance of the seams I would sew to construct the pillow.

pinning the edges

Once the top pillow piece was constructed, I flipped it over and aligned it with the bottom piece, right sides together. I sewed a seam all the way around, leaving a few inches to stuff the pillow. You can see here how I sewed the seam so that the topstitching from the previous step would be “hidden” when I turned the pillow right side out.

Pillow seam

Before I turned it right side out,I trimmed the seam allowance with pinking shears and ironed the open section to make it easier to hand-stitch closed.

seam allowance trimmed

Now the pillow is right side out!

Unstuffed, right-side-out pillow

I stuffed the pillow with plastic grocery bags (they crinkle!) and hand-stitched the seam closed.

Almost done!

Next, I cut three long pieces of narrow chocolate brown ribbon, slide the pieces under the bow as close to the sewn center as possible, and tied a bow.

All done!

For the Big Day, I’ll untie the bow, secure the rings, and re-tie the bow so that the rings won’t get lost, but they’ll be easy to untie during the ceremony.

The two pillows took roughly six hours over two evenings and cost less than $10. They’re not as polished as a purchased pillow, but I’m pretty pleased at how they turned out.

Next project: 20 table runners for the reception tables. Wheee!

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2 Responses to “Tutorial: Ring Bearer Pillows”

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  1. StarryGift | Wedding gifts and collectibles of Chinese and Western styles…

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing….

  2. […] Tutorial: Ring Bearer Pillows | Happenstance […]