How to Repair, Make or Personalize Pillows

kilim pillow on brown sofa

I love the earthy colors and graphic motifs of traditional kilim rugs. Made since ancient times in Greece, Turkey and Eastern Europe, kilim weavers use a tapestry technique, which is characterized in part by a lack of pile (the tufts or loops that make some carpets soft and plush).

While I don’t yet have an antique kilim rug of my own (they can demand a pretty penny), I did pick up several kilim pillow covers at Tsitalia, a fantastic Greek and Turkish import shop in Birmingham, Alabama. I’m not sure whether the pillow covers were made from pieces of antique rugs or woven new, but they’ve given my living room that cool, vintage, global kilim look for a few years now. I’ve seen similar pillow covers at Pottery Barn and also am currently lusting after a few kilim pillows and rugs at One Kings Lane. There are also tons of enviable kilim finds on Etsy.

Recently, though, I started noticing that my pillow covers were fraying at the edges where the front (made of kilim) and the back (cotton canvas) come together. At a few seams, the large threads of the tapestry weave have simply worn and broken apart.

tear in kilim pillow cover

Rather than live with the ever-expanding holes, I fixed them with some super-simple sewing. See how I fixed these pillow covers in my post “How to Fix a Pillow Cover That’s Coming Apart at the Seams.”

Pillow covers really are an easy sewing project that can be personalized a million ways. I dug up this clever how-to project from our video archives. Check it out—you could totally make these pillow covers in under an hour.

We also have a couple great pillow personalization projects (say that three times fast!) on If you’re not into making your own, you can remake store-bought ones with these great ideas:

Monogram Pillows With Buttons
Add Cut Fabric Circles for Fun Style

One Response

  1. virginiasmoon says:

    I love these pillows! I have some kilim shoes I'm going to try to repair with some of these tips.


About Kelly Smith Trimble 


I grow vegetables wherever I can find enough sunlight and forage roadsides and hiking trails for plants that can be used to make natural dyes. You can find both vintage ...

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