There’s so much Cane love on the internet right now. Cane furniture, cane decoration, Cane everything! Far from complaining, I’m loving it. Since cane rolls can be a bit pricey, I’ve been looking at different materials to make it more accessible. Turns out that roll of leather I’ve had for years and moved to at least 4 different houses FINALLY has a purpose in life! Rummage through your infinite stash of fabric to make this DIY Leather Pillow!
I’ve simplified the cane weaving pattern because it’s quite tricky and wouldn’t work with thick leather strips. This pattern is more reminiscent of Shaker cheese baskets. Unlike weaving with rattan, you can pin the leather down to stop it from moving around which makes the weaving very easy.
This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and supplies I love and may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through my links.
Click on the categories below to find more DIY projects
For this DIY Leather Pillow, you’ll need…
Step 1: Prepare the fabric and leather
To begin, cut 1 inch (2.5cm) wide strips into the leather. I cut on the longest side of the roll and had to make 6 or 7 strips.
Next, cut a 16″ (40cm) square in the linen fabric with 1/2″ (1.5cm) allowance for the seam. This is a no-zipper pattern so I’m using 2 back flaps which will let in and secure the pillow inner. For the back flaps, cut 2 rectangles 16 x 10″ (40 x 25cm) with 1/2″ (1.5cm) allowance around the pattern.
Step 2: Weave the leather strips
First, lay down the linen square (which is the front of the cushion). Take a leather strip and cut it into pieces which you will place on the linen diagonally. Notice in the picture above that the slanting is not a true diagonal, a piece of leather doesn’t go from one corner to the opposite. The slanting is more upright than that.
Repeat with more strips of leather which you lay on top of the previous batch, in the opposite slanting direction. You will see a diamond pattern appear. See how the diamonds are elongated? That’s because the slanting is upright. If you had laid the pieces diagonally from one corner to another, the diamond would look squashed.
At this point, place some pins in the design, through the leather and the linen, to hold the leather strips in place.
Now, take a leather strip and weave it in horizontally. Horizontal strips should come below intersections of diagonal strips, like in the picture above. When you weave in the horizontal strip, alternate going above then below every diagonal strip.
When you’re done, the weaving might look a little out of control. Remove all the pins and arrange the leather strips to flatten and tighten the weave. Don’t worry, the leather won’t slip away if you’re gentle. I found lightly tapping and pulling helped get the weave in order. When you’re done, pin the design down again.
Step 3: Hem the back of the pillow
So now that the front is done, we need to prepare the back. We have to sew the seam on one long edge of the linen rectangle. Those edges will overlap and prevent the pillow inner from slipping out. Since the edges will be visible, we have to fold the fabric over and sew a seam to make the edges look neat. The other long edge and the 2 short sides will be taken in when you sew the cushion together so we don’t need to hem them. To begin, fold the fabric over and press the hem of the back flaps with your iron. This will help when sewing the seam.
Next, place the fabric under the sewing machine and sew a line along the edge with a straight stitch. Using thread matching the color of the fabric helps!
Step 4: Sew the front and back together
To assemble the cushion, place the linen square down, weaving side facing up. Lay down one back flap over it. Place the second back flap down, overlapping both the weaving and the other back flap. Pin the 3 pieces of fabric together on all 4 sides.
Before you start sewing, replace your needle with a thicker one. If you have leather needles, perfect! Otherwise, jeans needles or 100 needles will do. Those are all strong and thick enough to go through several layers of leather.
Sew a straight line all around the cushion. We can turn the cover inside out through the back flaps so there’s no need to leave an opening when sewing around the cushion.
Step 5: Turn the leather pillow cover inside out
Once you’re done sewing, cut the extra fabric near the seam. At the corner, cut the fabric diagonally. This will help achieve sharp corners by removing extra fabric which would otherwise create an inside bulge.
Turn the cushion cover inside out via the opening of the 2 back flaps. You can use a pen to push out the corners and make them pointy. When that’s done, you can press the cushion with your iron to make the edges and corners crisp. Mind the heat with the faux leather, you don’t want to melt your new cushion!!
And voila, your DIY Leather Pillow is ready. All you need is to stuff your pillow inner into the cover and fluff it up on the sofa.
WARNING: High risk of family members and friends claiming this cushion as their own!