Plethora of Pillows – Bolster Pillow Cover and Insert

Plethora of Pillows

During my son’s high school years, we had a ping pong table in our living/dining room. The room was admittedly used more often by my family for playing ping pong than it ever was for dining or entertaining company. Now that DS is off to college in the fall, I am slowly reclaiming the space on a very limited budget. The dining room is now furnished with a lovely used dining room set I found online. The living room is starting to come together with some DIY creativity.



For my contribution to the series of Plethora of Pillows blog posts, I decided to make a bolster using Sue Terpin’s 991521 Boudoir Bolster pattern. I chose 6632 Elegant Bouquet Latte and 6653 Glitz Lt Curry from the Golden Age collection for my fabrics.


The bolster cover was finished in less than an hour – it was so easy! Here are some photos:

The first step is to cut a 23-1/4″ x WOF piece for the bolster. After trimming off the selvages, I folded and pressed the ends in 1/2″ on each end. The Hot Hemmer tool was useful for folding and pressing the correct measurements.


Next, I folded the ends in another 4″ on each end …


…and sewed 1/8″ in from the folded edge. It helped to move my Sew Steady table away and use the arm on my sewing machine.


After that, I folded the ends in 7-3/4″ on each end and sewed 1/2″ in all around to form the flange.


Finally, I turned the bolster cover right side out. I chose to make the ties with a contrasting fabric instead of the same fabric as suggested in the bolster pattern.


This free download bolster pattern calls for stuffing the pillow cover with polyester fiberfill. Since we now carry 21278 Hobbs Polyester Fiberfill, I wrote a pattern called 991552 Pillow Insert – Bolster. Now the bolster cover can easily be removed and washed or replaced. The bolster pillow insert pattern is 7″ x 19″ to fit the Boudoir Bolster pattern, but instructions are provided to change the insert size to match other bolster covers as needed.

Hint: Avoid packing in the fiberfill in the bolster insert too much or the bolster will end up like a overstuffed sausage.


To be honest, I gathered the ends securely with a rubber band before adding the tie. That allowed me to easily tie the bows and adjust the gathers. Since the rubber bands showed a bit, I removed them afterwards.


Another thought I had was that 991552 Pillow Insert – Bolster pattern could be used to make the pillow cover as well. Contrasting piping could be added to the end seams, a decorative button used for the center of the fussy cut flowers on the end and pulled in a bit, and a zipper closure inserted.


What do you think?

This bolster pillow cover and insert was a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to add some new color!

Next week I will show you a coordinating round pillow idea.

There will be many more pillow ideas coming from the CT staff  in future blogs. Stay tuned and check back often!




  1. JENNI - August 6, 2014

    Love it Ann!!!

    • Ann - August 6, 2014

      Thanks Jenni. Golden Age and Elegant Bouquet Latte is one of my all-time favorite fabrics and colorations. I am redoing my living room around it! Miss you!

  2. Lori - August 6, 2014

    How do I sign up to follow this blog? To get it sent to my inbox when a new post is made?

  3. paulie - August 6, 2014

    loved the pillows

  4. PhyllisVee - August 6, 2014

    Great idea!!! will be watching for more.

  5. Ann - August 6, 2014

    Thanks for your replies. It is going to be a fun series of blog postings…I have seen some of the pillows and they are great. Keep checking back each week!

  6. Katrina - August 6, 2014

    Beautiful! I love that fabric so much!!

    • Ann - August 7, 2014

      I love it too! We miss you!

  7. kathy stewart - August 7, 2014

    Thank you for the instructions for the bolster pillow. I want to make one to give as a gift.

  8. Ann - August 7, 2014

    You are welcome Kathy! It is a quick and easy project but would make a lovely gift. Fortunately, both patterns are free so that helps too. Enjoy!

  9. lynda kacicz - August 21, 2014

    I really love the easiness shown in making the bolster. Your choice of fabric and design is perfect and I definitely am going to make one. What the heck, maybe I’ll make several! Thank you. Lynda Kacicz

    • Ann - August 21, 2014

      Lynda – Glad you like it! Enjoy!

  10. Bolster Covers - March 14, 2016

    So beautiful & creative! Love the fabric and the small floral prints of this bolster cover. Thanks for inspiring Ann!

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