Let’s Talk About Pillows

When was the last time you bought yourself a new pillow for your bed? I asked this question of some friends recently, and their responses were much the same as mine – years.  We all know about dust mites, and keeping our bedding clean, vacuuming the mattress from time to time, but I’ll bet most of you, like me, don’t think about the pillows much.  Change the pillow cases, wash the covers, and wash the pillows if you can.  I have foam pillows which are next to impossible to wash, but I can put them in the dryer now on high heat for 15 minutes to kill the mites.  Problem is I forget to do that every three to six months as recommended.   Down pillows are the worst for growing mites, and it seems that the newer latex and memory foam is the best for keeping those colonies down.  There was a great sale at a local department store over the July 4th weekend, and I am sure that there will be good ones coming up for the next holiday. So think about getting yourself some new pillows.  Now, decide which of the old ones can go between your bed and the guest bed.  But, don’t throw them away, make these really super fast dog beds.  I cleaned the pillows as best I could in the mud sink with a brush and soapy water (they won’t do in my low water washer), dried them in the dryer to get them as fresh as possible.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

Then, I purchased some pillowcases at the thrift store for $1 each. I brought them home and washed them. Inserting a pillow, I simply topstitched the opening closed. Assembly time less than five minutes.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

Then, there was this fabric in the stash. I got it because of the light pink part, never opened it up to see the border print. Now it is in the ‘what was I thinking?’ pile.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

I put the pillow on the fabric and cut a piece large enough to cover it, folded it right sides together, then serged the sides. Sewing would work just as well, but I need to use the serger to keep it working well.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

The pillow was inserted, and the end was sewn shut by turning under the raw edge and topstitching.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

This took 15 minutes total. I don’t think the shelter dogs will care about the color.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

One of the pillowcases was a king size pillowcase in flannel with a large, thicker piece on the end. So, I cut that off to make the case a better size for the pillow.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

I turned the raw edge under….

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

and topstitched it just like the others. The flannel slid around a bit, so I pinned this edge.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

Donated to an outlying shelter that has little support, five dog beds made quick and easy.  Making all these beds took about an hour total sewing time.  Add a bit for the cleaning and drying, but all in all a very fast project.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

So, now you can have some fresh pillows for your bed, and the dogs get new beds too.  Nothing goes to the landfill.  How long has it been since you got a new pillow?

26 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Pillows

  1. I recently purchased 2 new pillows for my bed and could not believe the difference in comfort. I do wash my pillows regularly since I live in the land of high humidity (Florida) and I also use my old pillows for Sami, the Wonder Dog. I leave the pillowcases open so I can wash them often. As sweet as Sami is she is also stinky. 🙂 Thanks for the great post. I always learn good stuff from your blog.

  2. I change my pillows often! I can never seem to find one that suits me, ever!!! I’ve even tried the My Pillow and that doesn’t work for me either. I’m always folding them in half during the night. So, yes, I have a cupboard full of pillows and this would be a great idea for getting rid of them. Most are practically new.

    I save all my leftover batting and little scraps that can’t be used for anything and when I get enough, which is pretty often, I use an old comforter or one of those cheap throws, you can buy at dollar store or even the thrift store, and I make bedding for the animals out of those too!

    I, agree with you, the less in the landfills the better, especially when you can help the little fur babies!

    Great idea, Carole!!

  3. Linda B

    Our cat gets our unfluffy feather pillow castoffs. I like to leave a pillowcase open too to wash separately and try controlling the hair. Sheet/pillowcase material next to the cat hair seems to be the easiest to clean. Another fun use of worn feather pillows is to cut one sort of in half and make a little pillow for the car. I even took one on a trip overseas to help me sleep on the plane/train/bus. Just sew right through the pillow before cutting away excess/feathers. It will be a bit of a mess regardless!

  4. Carol

    What a GREAT idea!!!!!! Some lucky little doggies will be very happy & comfy thanks to people like you!!🐶

  5. Shirley

    I am on a never ending search for the perfect pillow. Nothing can compare to the down pillows that my grandma used to make!

  6. Kyle

    What a great idea for those old pillows. I think shopping for a new pillow is a never ending challenge. I can never get it right.

  7. i use hypoallergenic pillowcase covers that can be washed and/or replaced as needed. 🙂 good idea for dog beds…I made one for my son’s large dog and used upholestry fabric from the thrift store…the dog likes to scratch it up and the upholestry fabric is still holding up, lol.

  8. lois92346

    I recently bought new pillows for my bed as well. I’ve been waiting to take the old ones (along with a couple taking up space in the guest room closet) to the animal shelter when I’m next out that way. I like the idea of picking up some cheap pillow cases to cover them first though.

  9. Melanie

    I did that very thing about 2 months ago, bought new bed pillows, washed the old ones, recovered in some doggy-theme fabrics I had in my stash, and donated them to our humane society for the dogs. It was great to unload both the old pillows (and some mats from batting scraps I sewed together for the little dogs) and scraps of fabric that were taking up space. This will be an ongoing project in the future, always needed at the shelters and helps our furry friends.

  10. catsandroses

    I have chronic neck pain and have tried every single pillow under the sun — foam, down, temperpedic, etc. FINALLY have found the perfect pillow for me, the ‘My Pillow’. Cannot believe how well this performs in supporting my head (which feels like a 20 lb. ball on top of my sore neck; I could NEVER get comfortable on any of my old pillows). It must be fluffed (pushed in from the sides) every night, then it does its magic. AND it washes and dries SO easily, comes out fully dried and fluffed up after coming out of the dryer. LOVE it!! Great idea for putting all those excess/unwanted pillows to use; I sure have a lot of them around!

  11. Our older pillows go to the OP shop, nearby. They ladies who run it are so appreciative. and recently I did see one family leaving with about 4 duvets, covers, and a whole lot of pillows. The ones that cannot be given there, doggie pillows are a wonderful idea.

  12. Hi Carole,
    This is a fabulous idea! I have eight ‘old’ pillows on my extra bed. Mostly because I have trouble finding a pillow that is ‘just right.’ Like Goldilocks or something. Anyhoo, this would be a great way to use them up. I have to make cozies for the animal shelter’s big sale at the beginning of December – I will throw some of these in too. Love the idea of picking up the pillowcases at the thrift store, too. ~smile~ Roseanne

  13. I echo the My Pillow pro comment. I tried every pillow on the market and the My Pillow works for my neck. I have a big pile of rejects. I even pack it and scrunch it in my suitcase when I travel so I can sleep without pain. I don’t know if any the shelters around me take the old pillows recycled.

  14. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole; What a brilliant idea and your pillow donations are fabulous! I usually do not like pink, but that brilliant blue flower pulled me right in and I fell for it. But, it will make a puppy dog just as comfy and cozy as can be. I just bought myself a couple of new pillows, but the old ones went to Dodger and one to the guest bedroom. I appreciate the advice about being able to dry the foam pillows, my Parents just bought a new bed with foam pillows, so I will make sure and tell my Mom about drying them. Although, she probably already knows, she is a perfect house keeper and tends to get items that can be washed and such. So, I am just taking a break from cleaning up the house myself today and am playing on the computer before I am going to lay out the blocks for the Two Step Mystery Quilt and start sewing them together. I am pretty excited about this quilt being finished just like every other Mystery Quilt I have done with you! They are always so much fun and they are always so beautiful in the end, plus, of course excellent Scrap Busters! Plus, Dads health is kind of at a stand still at this moment (please forgive me for not sending you any emails) so with the help of Deanna and my Hubby we have almost got all of the Half Square Triangles made for the two (boy and girl) quilts Scrap Dance Tango that my Dad fell in love with the one I made for him while doing the Mystery Quilt Along. See my whole family loves your quilt patterns and the quilts that I make with them! They all know who you are when I am talking about you. Alright I had best get myself in gear or no quilting stuff will get accomplished today. Thank you for sharing this great idea and tutorial on how you made them. Have a great day and I will try and write to you this evening!

  15. Bobbie Woodruff

    I winter in Mesa, Az we have a sewing room with a lot of lady’s working on different things. We take our bits and pieces of fabric and batting and all the park donates pillow cases when they buy a unit sometimes the sheets too and we make over 100 dog beds and donate them each year. It’s doesn’t take much to help and they greatly appreciate all we give them.

  16. Rosemaryflower

    This is great news and so timely, we need new pillows. I have seen some really expensive ones, and even took one home to try it out. It smelled terrible and so HARD. I used to love a firm pillow, but now since my very own olden age is setting in, I prefer sleeping on a gentle cloud, and not too high, or my rickety back hurts.
    I saw a pillow for $70 at Bed Bath and Beyond but ….. really?
    Anyway, washing pilllows is a very good idea and I can wash them well in my stupid “He” washer, I add a tablespoon of Lysol cleaner to that silly low water amount and go in and rearrange frequently.
    The clean pillows are great for stuffing toys, making beds for kitties and doggies, and I have plenty around that I keep in large zip bags when I know they are adequately clean and dry.
    Great idea Carole. I think I will make a few this week

  17. Rosemaryflower

    OH!! My husband just came up with the most incredible idea….. make a padded jacket, so that cat owners can pick up their kitty and check their teeth. Pierro was such a sweet kitty and always trusted me. Miles, our only kitty now, does not like any examinations …. wrap in a towel, you suggest? no. good luck with that.
    Just wrap yourself head to waist in pillows 😀🎈💕

  18. What a timely blog post. I’ve been researching pillows as I need to replace ours. I hadn’t realised there is so much choice these days and some of them are so expensive.

  19. I have dust mite zipper covers for my pillows and still change them every few years. Depends on how they feel. I loveeeee thrift store pillow cases too.

  20. Sandy

    How timely a post! I just bought two of the My Pillows from our Costco. The fellow had a really good demo and speech. We have been sleeping better. It was funny reading the other My Pillow posts too. I was so tired of hearing their commercials, but still bought 😀

    I would think leaving the pillow case open on the end so it could be washed would be a good idea. I know my doggies get their bedding dirty and needs washing all the time. But then they have a made by mommy doggie quilt which has been longarmed. No too spoiled huh!! Thanks for the post.

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