DIY Starfish Stamped Pillows with Piping

I have a great project to share with you today! I was in need of new throw pillows in my living room. Usually my go-to place is Home Goods/ TJ Maxx, but I was striking out there and honestly, I don’t have the time or the energy to drag my little one from place to place looking.  So, I decided to make my own:

How to make a pilow with piping and a fun DIY fabric idea!

What do you think about the fabric? I made it using a pencil starfish as a stamp! And that coordinating piping is fun, huh?  Adding it is easier than you think!

Come on, I’ll show you how…

Starfish Stamping 101

I started with my fabric, I think it’s the Home Decorator’s Collection found at Joanne Fabrics. It’s not very pricey, regularly $9.99/yd on sale for $5.99/yd :

DIY Starfish Stenciled Pillows 1

I bought the black for the pillow and the zebra for the piping. For each pillow, I used about a half a yard of black and less than that for the piping.

*Wash your fabric prior to making any cuts…or live dangerously like me and promise yourself you’ll wash it in cold water and hang it to dry!

I started by cutting the pillow fabric for the front to 20″ X 20″:

How to Make a Pillow with Piping

Then I cut two back pieces 14″ X 20″:

How to Make a Pillow with Piping

I set the back pieces aside and gathered my supplies to make my pattern:

How to Make a Pillow with Piping

I started by painting the underside of my starfish with acrylic paint:

How to Make a Pillow with Piping

Your hands will get pretty messy, so use caution when handling your fabric!

How to Make a Pillow with Piping

I placed my hand beneath the fabric to help apply gentle pressure to the underside of the starfish, since it wasn’t quite flat:

How to Make a Pillow with Piping

I continued in a random pattern until I was satisfied with it. My 11-year-old was my photographer since he was home for a snow day. He made me hold it up for a picture. Don’t I look like a proud grade-schooler holding up my artwork? (I was really proud 🙂 )

How to Make a Pillow with Piping

Now make sure you leave it somewhere to dry where your three-year old can’t reach it to use it for a cape. 🙂

Pillows with Piping Made Easy! It's easier than you think to add piping to your pillows. This tutorial shows you how!

Adding Piping to Pillows

Don’t run away, get back here!! This is not hard!

First we’re going to make the piping. It’s super easy and way cheaper than buying it! I used cotton clothesline I found at Walmart in the hardware section.

To start, cut your piping fabric into two-inch strips:

How to Make a Pillow with Piping

Sew all the short ends together to make one long piece (about 6 1/2 – 7′ long per pillow).  Next, fold the two-inch strip lengthwise over the cording, with wrong sides together (pattern facing out):

How to Make a Pillow with Piping

Once your piping is made, lay your pillow front face up and grab your straight pins. Start pinning the piping all the way around the edge of your fabric as seen below:

DIY Starfish Stenciled Pillows

To round the corners, snip the around the curved edge:

DIY Starfish Stenciled Pillows 5

Sew piping in place, following the original piping stitches.

How to add piping to pillows

For the back, sew a neat finished edge on one long side of each back piece. Lay them on the front (front facing up), with raw edges aligned on all remaining sides. The finished edges should overlap, creating the opening for your pillow insert:

How to add piping to pillows

Pin in place and flip over so the backside of the front is face up.

Sew, using the original stitching as a guide. This will ensure your piping does not get caught in the seam!

How to add piping to pillows

Be sure to seal your edges. I use a zig zag stitch to prevent my raw edges from unraveling.

How to add piping to pillows

That’s it! Turn your new pillow cover right-side-out and add an insert. I prefer down inserts because they hold their shape so much better. These came from pillows I already had from Home Goods.

How to add piping to pillows

There are so many possibilities with custom piping!

How to add piping to pillows


How to add piping to pillows

I made a couple for my sectional also. They coordinate perfectly with my new table and my mantel:

DIY Starfish Stamped Pillow with Piping 2

No more need to feel intimidated by piping! If you can sew a straight line, you can do this!

DIY Starfish Stamped Pillow with Piping

This is definitely a simple decor project I am loving! Fits right into our Get Your DIY on theme for February:

Get Your DIY on February

Let’s see what my talented co-hosts came up with for this challenge…

Get Your DIY on February Collage

 DIY Wood Plank Headboard   The Hankful House

LOVE Scrabble Tiles  House by Hoff

 Valentine’s Mantel with a DIY Ombre Pallet  Sign The Happy Housie

Simple Painted Glass Jars  Just a Girl and Her Blog

Wow, we’ve been busy! The fun starts this Sunday, February 2nd at 7:00pm EST. Come link up your favorite simple decor projects or just come by to get inspired!  I can’t wait to see what everyone brings to the party!


Here’s another EASY piping tutorial (SEW and NO SEW methods!):

How to add piping to dining room chairs, SEW and NO SEW methods!






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  1. Wow. That was scary. It was like you were speaking to ME! I have been afraid to try my hand at piping, but I love how simple you make it look! I am definitely going to try this. I love that you used a star fish to stamp. That is so my style. Whatever is nearby, whatever I have to use I will use it! And I also live dangerously and don’t wash fabric. I know I probably should because I will forget to wash in cold water and air dry.

  2. I love this tutorial Christy- it’s one of my goals this year to learn more about sewing!! Not to mention this is an adorable pillow!

  3. They look absolutely amazing Christy (as does your stunning long wavy hair!). I need to give piping a try- you make it look easy. Previous attempts of mine have ended up in a heap on my craft room floor. Maybe I should give it a go again. Pinned the tutorial. Happy weekend!

    • Thanks, Krista! You are so sweet! I hope you try this. Your pillows are gorgeous already…imagine what a little piping will do! This really is a simple way to do it, too 🙂

  4. those look like designer pillows.. great job

  5. Oh my gosh! SO creative and cute! I never would’ve guessed that you DIY’d the fabric. Love!

  6. Hi Christy, I love, love the starfish pillows. I will definitely make these. Thank you for kindly showing how you made them. Your home is beautiful…..Rebecca

  7. You are amazing! I got a little nervous just looking at the pictures of your sewing machine, lol! Your pillow turned out beautifully, and I especially love how it coordinates with the striped mirror in the background. Also, your hair is gorgeous! So, so pretty! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

    ~Abby =)

    • Aww, you are always so sweet! This was a rare day that my hair wasn’t in a bun, a braid, or a ponytail! There’s no need to fear THE machine… if you can sew a straight line, you can make these pillows. 🙂

  8. Christy, Your pillow is awesome! I love it! I was planning on using a transfer for my pillows with starfish and such for my coastal living room theme, but after seeing this I want to try it! I never even thought about using the starfish! What an awesome idea! The color and everything is what I want in my living room! Hopefully they turn out as good as yours! Thanks for the inspiration! x

  9. This is a fantastic tutorial. I love it. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  10. Can I have your hair?


  11. This is super duper cute, so thanks for sharing it at my party. If I ever get some extra time, I’m going to try one for myself. Gotta go share it facebook.


  12. Great tutorial and I love the pillow. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  13. This is great! My latest craze is painting fabric and I love this. The zebra piping is so perfect cause it is just a hint of zebra. Would love it if you’d come share it at The Makers going on right now at

  14. That’s a great idea, using the starfish as stamps. The pillows are beautiful!

  15. Brilliant idea !

  16. Love this!!! With 40+ inches of snow so far and more to come, I’m ready for the beach!!!! Pinning:)

    • Thanks, Michele! I feel so bad for you guys with all that snow! We got about eight inches last week and I loved to see it coming, but seeing it go was even better!


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