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Free Step By Step Directions to Add a Ruffle to a Pillow

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Cut the Ruffle Fabric
Join Strips to Create a Continuous Strip

Join Strips to Create a Continuous Strip

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
These measurements are a guide. Your fabric choice will be the final word in the amount of fabric you need for a ruffle.

A heavy fabric may only allow 1 1/2 times the cutter edge of the pillow, a lighter weight fabric may need two times the outer edge of the pillow to have enough fullness.

To make your own decision:


  • For the length of the Ruffle Strip -- Add all the edges of the pillow, multiply that measurement times 1.5 or 2 to find the total length of the ruffle fabric. (For a round pillow, set a tape measure on its edge and measure the entire edge of the pillow and follow the same formula using the edge measurement.}
  • For the width -- Decide the finished width of the pillow ruffle, double the finished width and add 1" for the seam allowances (using a 1/2" seam allowance.

Guide for a 3" Wide Ruffle: Join strips of fabric (right sides together) to make a continuous strip the following measurements. (Cutting from the crosswise grain of the fabric)

  • 10" Pillow - 7" by 80" (approximately 1/2 yard of 45" wide fabric -- cut 2 - 40" strips)
  • 12" Pillow - 7" by 96" (approximately 3/4 yard of 45" wide fabric -- cut 3 - 32" strips)
  • 14" Pillow - 7" by 112" (approximately 3/4 yard of 45" wide fabric -- cut 3 - 37 1/3" strips)
  • 16" Pillow - 7" by 128" (approximately 3/4 yard of 45" wide fabric -- cut 3 - 42 2/3" strips)
  • 18" Pillow - 7" by 144" (approximately 1 yard of 45" wide fabric - -- cut 4 - 36" strips)
  • 20" Pillow - 7" by 160" (approximately 1 yard of 45" wide fabric - -- cut 4 - 40" strips)
*Note - The above fabric requirements will also allow for a 9" strip or 4" finished ruffle if the fabric has been cut straight and do NOT include the body of the pillow
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