Home Decor

DIY Budget Decorating with Pillows

Easy ideas and inspiration for DIY budget decorating with pillows. Includes mix and match advice, sources for inserts, and more.

navy pillow covers on sofa

*Author’s Note: this post was originally published in 2015. It’s been edited (February 2021) with current information and updated images.

Today we are talking about one of my favorite things: DIY budget decorating with pillows. Other than paint, there is nothing that can change the look of a room as easily as new pillows. You can change them seasonally or just for fun. It’s also a great way to experiment with color and texture. They are budget-friendly, so even if you make a design mistake you aren’t out a fortune…and I’ve made plenty of mistakes!

neutral pillows on sofa in living room

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

Pillow Inserts

The first thing I want to mention is the importance of investing in good pillow inserts. I am a down/feather pillow lover, so that’s what I have in my home. I have sets in three sizes. 20 x 20, 18 x 18 and 12 x 16. The 20 x 20 size insert can be found at IKEA for $10.00. Another excellent place to buy affordable down and feather inserts is Amazon. I will list some links at the end of the post. 

living room decorated for christmas

Christmas Living Room 2020

DIY Budget Decorating with Pillows

I went back through the past year, and gathered together the different pillow combinations I used around our house. I have a neutral sofa but even if you don’t, you can still play around. The look above was just this past Christmas. The striped pillows on the sofa were from H& M, and the neutral Christmas tree pillows were from Pottery Barn. (I’m sorry, but both are no longer available.)

fall flower arrangement in living room

For fall, I was able to pull from my core collection of neutral pillow covers. Almost always, my pillow arrangements are symmetrical. For me, it’s calming and easy on the eye. Once in a while I do get brave and throw the symmetry out the window! Definitely do whatever makes you happy when you walk into a room. (Both pillow covers pictured below are from Amazon!)

simple fall decor ideas pumpkin patch pillow

Fall Living Room 2020

Tip: when you are shopping for fabric or pillows, think outside the box. If you have mostly neutral colors in your home, the sky is the limit. Last spring, I went completely out of my comfort zone, and decorated with shades of green. It felt very organic, and was such a welcome change. (The green pillow covers pictured below were from Pier 1, and are no longer available.)

spring pillows on white sofa

Spring Living Room 2020

I literally have pillows in every room of my house…except the kitchen. I treat my outdoor spaces just like indoor rooms. I have pillows on our front porch all year round. Craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s now carry a great selection of pillow covers that are downright affordable. Another amazing pillow cover source is H & M online

holiday porch decor ideas mini trees

Christmas Porch 2020

Normally when I update a room or switch to seasonal decor, I mix pillow covers I made with purchased ones. I don’t worry about the colors matching exactly. As long as they are in the same color family, I’m OK with going darker, lighter or a different shade. 

front porch sitting area for summer

Summer Porch 2020

By keeping your pillow collection to just a few colors, it’s easy to move them around your house. The colors on my first floor revolve around varying shades of blue with many different neutrals. I can take pillows from one room and put them in another. A whole new look for no money.

diy budget decorating blue pillows on sofa

A favorite trick of mine, well…really it’s Sarah Richardson’s trick, is to make reversible pillow covers. DIY budget decorating at its best. Two looks for the price of one. Rarely do I make a pillow cover for my own home with two matching sides. Getting a new and different look is as easy as flipping over a pillow.

The most important thing to remember, in my humble opinion, is to be brave. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Mix a plaid with a floral or a stripe with a check. If you don’t have any pillows at all, start small. Just get a couple and put them on your sofa. I bet you will fall in love.

Pillow Sources

Feather Inserts: All Sizes | H & M pillows | Pottery Barn pillows | Farmhouse Pillow Sources

subscribe box graphic blue leaves inspire me button