No Sew Velvet Bolster Pillow and DIY Insert

Making your own bolster pillow is easier than you might think, and velvet fabric gives it a luxurious, high-quality look and feel! You won't find a bolster anywhere for this low price!

velvet bolster pillow

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Good morning beautiful people! I hope you're ready for a good DIY because I am super excited to share this money saving bolster pillow project with you!

But first things's Week 5 of the One Room Challenge...that means that next week is the big reveal of our European farmhouse Master Bedroom refresh! πŸ˜πŸ˜ŠπŸ™Œ If you want to catch up on the other weeks, you can click on the below links.

Week 1 //  Week 2 // Week 3 // Week 4 // Week 5 (you're here) // Week 6

There have been a few challenges and bumps along the way during this makeover, but my oh my, it is finally all coming together!!! I am working on the decor and accessories and next week I'll be sharing the whole gorgeous space with you!

Let's Talk Bolster Pillows

When I was looking for bedding and accessories for our bed, I had my mind made up that a long bolster pillow, wrapped in luxurious velvet, was a MUST-have for our bedroom refresh! I'm decorating with a European farmhouse theme, and to me that means rustic, cozy and elegant!

So I spent a few days searching and finally found a velvet bolster pillow with that loose European elegance I was can see it here.  If you scroll sideways, you can see the blue bolster that inspired me. BUT...did you catch the price tag on this beauty? It's over $330!!! For a pillow! That is well out of my budget-friendly-decorating price tag, but it also put a thought into my head that maybe, just maybe I could make my own.

As I was searching for bolster pillow inserts, I was shocked at how expensive even the bolsters are! Even for a little one. And I was wanting something about 3 feet long.

So I did a little more searching, and the internet didn't fail me! I found several articles that showed how to make your own bolster insert using towels and an old, flat pillow!

DIY Bolster Insert for FREE!

I don't think there's a home in America that doesn't have a linen closet with at least one old, flat pillow and some worn towels!

That is all that you need to make your own bolster pillow insert and save yourself a ton of money!

Steps to make a bolster pillow insert

Easy steps for a DIY bolster pillow insert

- First, decide how wide you want your pillow to be, fold a beach towel or two to that size and roll up tightly. Secure beach towels with several rubber bands. Note: in the first picture above, you can see that I have 2 towels. I ended up having to remove one because it was too wide to wrap my pillow around it.

- The flat king size pillow I found in the depths of my linen closet wasn't smelling so fresh, so I ran it through my washer and dryer before continuing with my DIY bolster pillow insert. Note: a fluffy pillow will not work for this project; you want a flat, worn out know, the kind you hang onto just in case!

- Once the pillow was freshly washed and dried, I literally sandwiched the towel between the pillow and secured it again with several rubber bands. 

- The directions I found online ended here. However, I wanted to be sure my pillow wasn't going to come apart...rubber bands are notorious for drying out and snapping. So I took a large needle and thick quilting thread and hand-stitched the pillow closed. This is totally optional, but I highly recommend it!

Once I finished making my bolster pillow insert, I had my doubts as to whether it was going to work to give me that luxurious velvet pillow I had in my mind. There were quite a few lumps and bumps, it was not smooth and it just looked kind of wonky! I actually stuck it in the corner of the room and went back to searching for inserts online.

In the meantime, I purchased a yard of Ballard Designs blue velvet that I found on Etsy. It was only $13.99 plus shipping brought me to $25 total for this DIY bolster pillow.

When the fabric came, the color was perfect! The velvet isn't as soft as I was hoping, it's more of an upholstery fabric, but it has a nice drape and I was fairly confident it would all work out. Am I glad I saved my DIY bolster insert!

How to Wrap a Bolster Pillow in Velvet

Here is my no-sew method for covering the bolster pillow.

First, I laid the fabric out on my bed, and centered the insert. I had enough overlap on each side that I folded each side over and then wrapped the pillow up tightly like a sausage.

lay insert on fabric

In the end, I didn't care for the folded ends so I unwrapped it, unfolded the edges and wrapped it back up. In the image below, the edges are still folded in.

tightly roll up pillow

Next, I secured the ends with a couple of rubber bands. Think French bonbon 🍬...this is a European-inspired room makeover after all πŸ˜‰

secure ends with rubber bands

Here is what the pillow looked like at this point.

DIY 36" bolster pillow

I went back with scissors and very lightly trimmed the edges that were overlapping (I probably should have done this before wrapping the pillow!!). I also very very carefully used a lighter to melt the edges of the cut fabric like I did for these satin flowers. You want to keep the flame moving quickly so you don't burn the fabric; you're just wanting to melt the fibers so they won't fray!

To cover the rubber bands, I tied some white ribbon around the ends.

wrap rubber bands with ribbon

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the lumps in the pillow are no longer noticeable! I had enough velvet fabric to wrap around the pillow several times and it completely disguises that the insert is not perfect!!

luxurious DIY velvet bolster pillow

I told Mr DIY that I saved him $300 by making my own velvet bolster pillow and insert...he was quite happy about that! πŸ˜πŸ˜ƒ

This easy bolster pillow turned out SO much better than I expected! It looks just perfect with the other decorative elements in our master bedroom refresh. I'm sharing just a peek here, but next week you'll get to see the whole room transformation and all the little details!

European elegance velvet blue bolster and ruffled chenille throw

European elegance DIY bolster pillow
This DIY pillow project gave me the luxurious velvet bolster pillow of my dreams, and for a price that is almost unbelievable! I would love to know what you think of this project, and if it's something you think you'll try!

Be sure to check out the other guest participants and their One Room Challenge projects (HERE). You don't want to miss the 20 featured bloggers (HERE).

I'll meet you back here next Thursday for the reveal! Next week is also Thrifty Style Team and I'm sharing some budget-friendly updates to my office!

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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  1. Can’t wait for next Thursday. Love your bolster pillow.

  2. Love the bolster pillow idea! But even better are your images that take us throuh the step by step process with a ton of visuals. This is exactly why you made our list of best sites to follow in 2019!

    Keep up the great work! Cheers!



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