Thursday, March 10, 2011

tutorial - pom pom trim pillow

Hey friends!  Today I'm sharing with you how to add pom pom trim (aka ball trim) to your pillows.  I adore this stuff.  It adds a fun, happy touch to one of my favorite things to make - pillows!

To get started, you need:
- a squared up pillow top that has already been layered with batting and quilted
- enough pom pom trim to frame your pillow
- scissors
- pins

To determine the amount of trim needed, measure the length of each side and add them all together.  Be sure to give yourself a few extra inches to spare.

Begin by pinning your trim on the upper left corner or your pillowtop.  Be sure to leave a half inch overhang, and start working your way across the top in a clockwise direction.  Warning - This trim is very stretchy, so carefully lay it flat with out pulling.  If you stretch it, your pillow will pucker.

Cut off any pom poms that are in the half inch overhang.  I pin every couple inches with my pins pointing in a counter clockwise.  This makes them easy to remove later.

When you reach the end of the top, leave a half inch overhang and then cut your trim off.

Layer your trim over the previously pinned piece leaving a half inch overhang.  Trim off any pom poms in the overhang trim. Continue pinning down the right side of your pillow top. 

Keep going!  Pin the trim all the way around the pillow, and do each corner the same way.  Don't forget to keep your pins pointing in a counter clockwise direction.  And don't stretch that trim! :)

Now it is time to sew your trim onto your pillow top!  I use a 2.5 length stitch approximately 1/8" away from the edging.


Pull out your pins as you approach them, and remember to backstitch a couple times at each corner, in both directions.  This is what your corners should look like:

Cut the extra trim back so they are flush with the edges of the pillow top.

Time to layer up your pillow!  I used an envelope enclosure for this pillow. 

I have 4 layers to sew together.  Starting at the bottom of the pile:

1- the pillow liner cut to the same size as the pillow top
2- the pillow top right side UP
3- the hemmed outside envelope piece (the part you want to see on the back of the pillow) right side DOWN
4- hemmed inside evelope piece right side DOWN

Carefully pin your layers together with your pins once again pointing in a counter clockwise direction.  This step can be confusing.  Your top 2 layers (the backing pieces) will not lay flat due to the pom poms.  Try your best to keep the edges and corners flat.  It helps to use a lot of pins!  Another tip - pin as far away from the edges as you comfortably can.  This helps push back the pom poms and keeps them out of the way while sewing.

Time to sew the layers together!  You have two options here: use either a walking foot or a zipper foot.  I've used both, and they worked equally well for me.  The walking foot is the perfect width, and you will be sewing right over those little strings that attach the balls to the trim.  If you use it, this part is a little tricky because you may have to push the pom poms (which are hidden at this point) away from the walking foot while you sew.  If you use the zipper foot, use a 3/8 in allowance, and sew right up close to the pom poms.  Be sure to pull out those pins as you get to them.

Almost finished!  Trim off the corners, sew a quick zig zag stitch around the edges of the pillows.... and that is it!  Turn your pillow inside out, and there you go!  A beautifully trimmed pillow.

When your pillow cover is right-side out, make sure you check your trim.  You should only see the pom poms and a little bit of the string.  If you see the rest of the trim, no biggie!  Just turn it inside out again, and sew farther away from the edge of the pillow.

The inside looks so pretty too!  I love lining this my pillows this way

Good luck!  Feel free to email if you have any questions.  xo Angela :)


  1. thanks for sharing this. SO cute.

  2. beautiful Angela! i am really excited to try it out!

  3. Thank you so much for posting this! I love making pillows, but have never used a decorative trim. Now I know how!

  4. I would use a zipper foot, so that you can sew as close to the pom poms as you want.

  5. Great tip thanks! I too would have used a zipper foot, I learnt how to do piping recently and this seems similar. Zipper foot's allow you to get super close to those pom-poms :-)

  6. Hi! Great tutorial and thanks for sharing! I was so hoping you would touch base on how you add binding to your pillows. Do you just complete the whole pillow and then bind the outside like a quilt? Really adds to the pillow!:)

  7. Awesome job on the make it look so easy! And that pillow is fabulous!!

  8. know this means I'll be sewing pompoms on everything! :) Thanks for the fabulous tutorial! And I've never made a quilted pillow, so I'm really glad to see how you layered it, too!

  9. Hey Angela,
    I wish I'd seen this before I did my pom pom pillow... I guess my problem is that I'm so lazy I never pin, but I see... I must pin! I also didn't cut the trim off at each corner. live and learn. Thanks for posting this tutorial, I'll remember it for next time!
    xo amy

  10. Thanks! This tutorial saved my bacon! I had just sewn and resewn my pillow three times when it occurred to me to do a search - so glad I found your tutorial!

  11. Thank you so much for this tutorial - I am about to trim a pillow with mini pom poms but I thought I would see if there was anything online first. This really helps! Thanks x

  12. wow..its a great tips..thanks for sharing this tutorial...will try this on my next project..

  13. Just about to do my first one and came across this - it all seems much clearer now. Thank you x Jane

  14. Thanks so much for the comprehensive tutorial, Angela. I had a great outcome with my small cross-stitched pillow, and couldn't have done it without your instructions!

  15. This is one of the best tutorials I've seen! Thanks so much!

  16. Thank you for this tutorial. I love the attention to detail! It was very helpful!

  17. Thank you for this tutorial. I love the attention to detail! It was very helpful!

  18. Thank you for this great tutorial! Pics are so helpful and my pom pom pillow is now beautiful!