May Arts Ribbon Blog

Throw Pillow with Geometric Ribbon Appliqué

Throw pillows may not be on everyone’s “Thrifty Things,” list, but I find that changing a room’s pillowscape can make everything else appear new and fresh.  It’s not necessary to discard the current decorative pillows, just give them a vacation.  Remove the covers, if possible, clean and pack them in a clearly labeled container for their re-entry a few seasons from now.

Throw pillows with ribbon

The photo above features an easy and versatile pillow that uses a textured solid color ribbon appliquéd onto a neutral linen-weave cotton fabric.  The Greek geometric design is at home in any room with any decorating style. Customize the color combination, style of ribbon and pillow fabric for a fine looking accent pillow.


  • 14” pillow form or 12 oz bag of polyester fiber-fil
  • 1/2yd fabric (I used 100% cotton- Oasis, color R79, by Marcus Brothers Fabrics.)
  • 5 yards ribbon (I used May Arts Ribbon: 3/4” black corduroy #357-34-10)
  • Glue stick
  • Basic sewing supplies


Throw pillows with ribbon



  • Iron fabric and cut 2 pieces, 14” square* ( This will result in a 13 ½” square pillow which will fit snugly, eliminating wrinkles and “rabbit ears” corners.)
  • Lay one fabric square face up on a flat surface.
  • Cut ribbon into 2 pieces – each 2 1/2 yards long.

Illustration 1 - throw pllows

  • Consulting ILLUSTRATION #1, draw a 9” square on a piece of paper.  The 4 sides of this square make up the perimeter of the design.  Within this square, copy the remaining lines of the design, including the BOLD DOTS.
  • On your drawn design, make a small hole at each DOT.
  • Center the 9” square paper pattern onto one face-up square of fabric.  Pin in place.
  • Through each hole in the pattern, make a discrete mark on the fabric, using pencil, chalk or wash-out marker.  Remove paper pattern.
  • Using the first piece of ribbon, follow the placement path indicated by arrows in ILLUSTRATION#1, and the corner-folding technique shown in ILLUSTRATIONS #2, #3, and #4.

illustration 2-4 throw pillow

  • Use small dabs of glue stick & pins to keep the ribbon in place.
  • NOTE: By beginning and ending at the *, you have concealed both raw ends of the ribbon. 
  • Trim away any excess from the ribbon’s end. Under the crossing ribbon, secure the 2 raw ends of ribbon, end to end.   **I find it helpful to baste the ribbon in place at this point by hand or machine.**
  • Machine stitch the ribbon in place, following both edges carefully around the entire design.
  • To position the second piece of ribbon as the border decoration, draw a thin guideline ¾” from the fabric square’s entire outer edge and follow the same procedure for placing, basting and stitching this ribbon.  The ribbon’s end will overlap the beginning.  Trim, turn under and stitch.
  • Place the second 14” fabric square, face to face, onto the appliquéd square and pin together around 3 sides.  Pin the 4th side 2” from both corners, leaving a 10” opening in the center.
  • Stitch all pinned seams – using a ¼” seam allowance.
  • Trim excess fabric at corners and turn right side out.
  • Insert the 14” pillow form or loose poly-fil through the opening.
  • Close the opening by folding the 2 raw edges under and stitching closed, by hand or machine.


The following photos are examples of several more ribbon-updated and ribbon-embellished pillows.
Stay tuned to the May Arts blog for better views and instructions for all of these thrifty temptations.

Throw pillows with ribbon

Blog Posted By: Ellen Highsmith

  1. Teri

    I can just hear you describing this! Sounds like a fun & easy way to dress up a pillow.

  2. Leah

    Wonderful pillows…I love your diagrams, thanks for the tutorial!


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