Lurking in the back of your wardrobe, scrunched up in a drawer, or even languishing at the bottom of the bargain bin at a charity shop, vintage scarves come in a fantastic array of different colours and designs, and can be used for a whole lot more than just head adornments. Joanna Thornhill is here to tell you how with her brilliant make do and mend, transforming a simple vintage scarf into a classy cushion cover.

Always in plentiful supply in charity shops, this corker of a headscarf cost a mere 25p, and features such a fabulously kitsch design that it was crying out to be repurposed into a more permanent home fixture. Feeling that my sofa could benefit from a little retired-Miami-granny chic (and quite frankly, whose sofa couldn’t?), I responded by whipping up this cushion cover in under an hour.

Along with a vintage headscarf of your choice, you’ll also need a cushion pad, some fabric for the cushion back, thread and a sewing machine (or a needle and several spare hours if you’re doing it by hand).

Find out how to get started over the page.


Firstly, check the size of your cushion pad in relation to your scarf. Ideally, you want the completed cover to be around the same size as the pad to ensure a snug fit. Luckily, I already had a cushion pad the perfect size, though you could always cut your scarf down to fit if the pattern allows.

Rather than complicate things with zip or button fastenings, create a simple envelope opening by cutting the back fabric around one-third wider than the cushion front, then overlapping them to create an envelope to insert the cushion pad into when finished. Neaten the two opening edges with a single hem, though don’t worry about any other edges as they will be hidden.

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4 Responses

  1. Karl Stedman

    Have done the same thing with the cotton kitch tea towels you see on holiday. So easy, so cheep, so fab, so easy to change when you fancy a change, and a real talking point with friends, I love them.