Burlap Coffee Bag Pillow Tutorial

I’m so excited to post about these outdoor pillows!

It was seriously the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

And I’m going to break it down into steps for you.

Here we go!

1. Buy a couple burlap coffee bags.
I got mine at Texas Coffee Traders in downtown Austin. $2 a piece for these huge bags!

2. Soak in fabric softener.
Soak your bags in the tub in a whole jug of any fabric softener to make them a little less rough. I used Randalls brand, and added a couple inches of water to the tub, because I had 6 big bags, and one jug wouldn’t submerge my bags. Let them sit for a few hours, or until you get a headache from the strong fresh laundry smell. The longer they sit the better. Ring them out, toss them in the dryer for a bit, then hang outside to dry the rest of the time. You will have a few coffee beans in your dryer, along with a lot of burlap lint. It didn’t hurt my dryer though.. I just wiped it out. My house and porch smelled strong of fabric softener for days.

3. Turn your bags inside out & sew a square.
Once completely dry, and you’re ready to sew, grab your bags and turn them inside out. Get a good idea of what size you need your burlap case to be to fit your pillow form. Mine happened to be small square pillows, so I sewed squares on my burlap bags. I eyed-balled the size of the square I needed, and sewed it just a hair bigger than my pillow. You want it to fit snug in the case.. but not so snug you’re pillow ends up being too firm. Sew both sides of the bag together, and leave 9 inches open(or however much you need to fit your pillow inside) on one of the sides of your sqaure. I turned the corners on the end I was planning on leaving open, and sewed a few inches in on either side so I had nice corners and less to sew closed once my pillow was inside.

I used a zig-zag stitch to help it stay together better.

I sewed as straight as I could, following the lines in the burlap, or eyeballing the distance from the edge to my stitch to keep it straight. My square wasnt perfect in the least, but this chunky burlap is forgiving, so if you’re rusty at sewing like me, or just cant sew a straight line to save your life, chances are you wont even notice once your pillow is done. And I didn’t!

4. Cut it out.
Once your partial square is sewn, cut out your square, leaving an inch of burlap from the stitched edge to where you want to cut.

5. Turn it right side out & stuff your pillow inside!
After you cut out your sloppily sewn square, turn it right side out, and poke the corners out good too. Now it will look like a pillow case! Take your pillow, and carefully stuff it through the end you left open, making sure you get your pillow positioned the way you want in the case. All the pillow corners in the corners.. evenly placed in the case, etc.

6. Sew up the opening.
Now that you have your pillow in the case, fold in the extra burlap at the opening, pinning it as you go. My first pillow, I had enough pillow case to sew it with my machine, but my second pillow case was a little tighter, and I had to hand sew it shut, which ended up being prettier looking than using the machine.

You can barely see the hand sewn part compared to the other pillow I sewed shut with the machine (which I wont be picturing). I went over it twice to reinforce it.

7. Admire your work & put them to use!
These turned out so cute. The bags were printed on both sides. I didn’t even have to try and line up the graphics, and that made it so easy. It was random, but graphic.


I put them at my front door, on the bench my dad made. They look so cute!

I only had time to sew two of them, so I’m itching to get started on the other two. Speaking of itching.. cutting the burlap sends shreds of it flying and it can get itchy. Just an fyi. But it’s totally worth it, and is fine once it’s finished.

The best part of this was, for these two pillows it only cost $7 for everything. I found the outdoor pillows, like new, at a garage sale for $1.50 EACH! And then $2 per coffee bag. Totally affordable, and looks way more expensive than $7!