Easiest Pillow Project Ever – What to do with Newborn Backdrops

I have so many baby/newborn “backdrops” that I have used over the years.  Now that I have done an overhaul, I have a lot of blankets/throws (that were used as backdrops) that I just don’t need anymore.  I could sell them, but we all know, the newborn photography market is so oversaturated with photographers selling to other photographers, I may as well see if I can make some use out of the old throws – by upcycling.
These big pillows that sat on either side of my family room fireplace were annoying me for a long time.  They are old.  The faux leather (or whatever it is) on the front of them were getting worn and old looking.

I love to add warm textures to rooms (or the “unexpected” – will share what that means in future posts), so I had this idea while sipping coffee Saturday morning to grab a throw from my pile of “no longer used for newborns” and make two big pillows.


I did not want to deal with cutting the throw as it is a sweater material.  Once you open an unfinished end of a knitted material like that, well, things could go bad very quickly.  I looked for ways of avoiding that.

I started by folding the throw in half longways, leaving the fringe at each long end – I wasn’t going to leave the fringe originally but as I started, I realized that would add more texture.  I quickly sewed the long side, essentially making one large tube.

Next, I folded the throw again exactly in half, putting the two fringe ends together.  I sewed the folded end.  I could have cut here to make two halves out of that long tube, but I didn’t want to deal with the ends.  I could have also ran two hems down the middle, but I was too lazy to get measuring tape and mark where the half mark was – it was easier for me just to run a hem on the folded part.

I opened the “tube” up again and sewed one line on each side of that folded part, then cut that “folded hem” out of the center.  Now I have two pockets with fringe at the opening of both pockets.

Realize here is where I had to take this pillow back from Penny who was watching every move I made… I felt so bad taking it from her, she looked way too cozy.

I stuffed the pillows down inside of the ‘sweater pocket’ and left the fringe to fold over on its own at the top.  I could have run a seam at the base of the fringe, but these pillows aren’t used much, they just kind of soften the areas on either side of the fireplace.  I really like how they turned out.

Cost:  $0.00.  You can’t beat that!

While I was in the family room, I thought I would share how the family portrait (from this post) looks above the fireplace mantle.  I absolutely LOVE IT!  It matches the room perfectly and is exactly what we needed.



About Jodie Otte

Maryland Newborn Photographer and Child Portrait Artist, Jodie Holstein-Otte, specializes in unique photography of newborn babies, kids, and families. She works on location in Harford, Howard, Cecil, Anne Arundel, Baltimore and other areas throughout Maryland. She uses both both natural lighting and soft studio lighting techniques.

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