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4 Ways to a Cheaper Throw Pillow

4 Ways to a Cheaper Throw Pillow

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, throw pillows are an amazing way to transform a space with minimal effort or fuss.

BUT, as you probably know, high-quality throw pillows using designer fabric can easily run $300 each.   So, how do we reap the benefits of throw pillows without putting ourselves in the poor house?

Here are a few quick ideas:

1) Go with embroidery.

As you’re trolling the aisles at Pier 1 or surfing Overstock.com or Amazon (just a few awesome places to find pillows), keep an eye out for pillows that boast some great embroidery.

The texture and the “interest” makes the pillow look more expensive and the materials richer.



morrocan 22 inch embroidered

Via Overstock


Look closely at this blue & white Pier 1 pillow, BTW, and you’ll see some fabulous embroidery.  If only I had just one more room in my house …!

blue suzani

 Via Pier 1


2) Go with a polyester fill.

Look for pillows that have polyester inserts –  they don’t necessarily look as fluffy or “designer” as a feather down-filled pillow, but they do the job and they are MUCH cheaper.

When I’m looking for pillow inserts for my clients, by the way, I often suggest a polyester-down blend, like this reasonably priced one on Crate & Barrel (one of my go-to places for pillow inserts!).   They are fluffy and beautiful but not 100% feather down so they are cheaper!


3) Go one high, go one low.

Oh I feel so deliciously sneaky when I use this one.  Say you REALLY love a designer fabric like one of my favorites, Schumacher’s Chiang Mai Dragon:

chiang mai


And say you need to pair it with another patterned pillow on your sofa.  I suggest going CHEAP for the “secondary” pattern, like this gray chevron for under $20:


gray chevron

Via Etsy


Hide the cheaper one behind the expensive one, and no one will ever know, like this:

chiang mai 2


4)  Go Etsy  

Oh shoot, you already knew about amazing throw pillows on Etsy?  Okay okay, who doesn’t at this point?!  BUT!  You may not know some of my sneaky Etsy tricks!

Etsy Trick #1) Sort by price

Let’s say you love Schumacher’s Hot House Flowers and you’re ready to get some pillows made for your sofa.

hot house

Via Pop O Color

Simply key word search “Hot House Flowers pillow” on Etsy and then SORT by PRICE.  I know, this seems really straight forward! But I wasn’t doing that for the longest time – I was simply sorting by “relevancy”.

Once I started sorting by price, I learned that the Etsy market isn’t necessarily efficient.  This means, one lady in New Hampshire is selling the exact same pillow for $20 cheaper than another lady in say North Carolina.  The exact same pillow!

Etsy Trick #2) Just have one side made of designer fabric

Many vendors on Etsy do this anyway, but it cuts the price in half (duh!) when you have the fabulous  fabric on one side, and a nice, cheaper ivory  linen on the other side.



self weltingVia Etsy

 Etsy Trick #3) Opt for a Knife-Edged Pillow

A Knife-Edged pillow is the one of the most basic pillows you can buy – no trim and no fuss:

trina turk non self welting


 They are also much cheaper than a self-welt pillow which is this one:


trina turk self weltingVia

See the trim around the edge?  That’s the self-welt.  It really does make a pillow look so refined and fabulous.  But if budget is the name of the game, you really don’t need a self-welt to reap the benefits of a designer fabric.


So there you have it!  Any additional tips  you’d like to share?  For more inspiration and “Pillow Love”, see my (Pillow) Talk is Cheap Pin Board here.  


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