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Pillow Shams

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Pillow shams are the most misunderstood soft furnishing. While designing bedding for clients, invariably, they have questions about pillow shams.

Sleeping pillow leaning against headboard

DIY Bedding and Pillow shams

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase from one of these links, I will make a small commission, but rest assured, you will not pay more for any products. 

What is a pillow sham:

The pillow sham is simply a decorative pillow. It is the largest pillow or pillows on the bed. They provide the backdrop for all the other decorative pillows. Usually, they are constructed from the same fabric as the bedding, such as a comforter or duvet cover. The sham has closure and some decorative details such as flanges, ties, buttons, embroidery, trims, tassels, pompoms, and more.


The sleeping pillow has a pillowcase that has an opening for easy removal for frequent laundering.

Arranging the pillows:

Sleeping pillow with pillowcase

The sleeping pillow looks lonely and boring leaning against the tall custom headboard.

Sleeping pillow with case

Sleeping pillow with pillowcase

Classic pillow sham arrangement

The monochromatic look in the photo below depicts the classic sleek and straightforward pillow sham arrangement. Please note the size of the pillow sham. Learn how to make this super easy DIY pillow sham at the end of this post.

Gorgeous pillow sham with DIY ties and tassels

Embellished DIY pillow sham

Layered pillows on bed

Classic layered pillows and pillow sham

Adding a touch of whimsy

Adding this super fun llama pillow to the bed changes the vibe from sleek classic to Bohemian. My daughter designed the llama pillow and cut it out with her Cricut Maker. See the complete instructions and free SVG file and pattern HERE.

Llama DIY pillow and gorgeous pillow sham

Llama pillow and pillow sham

The groovy side tables were made from a fallen tree in the yard. See the entire story and the easy DIY HERE.

Layering pillows

Tassel pillow, llama pillow and gorgeous pillow sham

Layering pillows

Layered pillows, gorgeous pillow sham on bed

Mixed layered pillows and pillow sham

These pretty button shams pictured below are another example of classic shams.

Button pillow sham, linen decorative sham

Button pillow sham

Flanges, and ties, on pillow shams add a custom detail.

Pillow shams DIY

This DIY pillow sham idea was born out of too many king-size pillowcases. I purchased two sets of excellent quality king-size sheet sets to make my daughter’s bedding, so I have four king-size pillowcases, and I needed a pillow sham for her new bedding, so I wanted to use one of those pillowcases. First, however, I had to embellish the plain pillowcase to make it a sham. In addition, I wanted some Boho tassels and ties for the closure. So let me show you how simple and free these were to make.

Planning the sham

Button holes marked

Buttonholes marked and ready for the sewing machine


I made the ties 15″ long, so I cut three ties at 2″ by 16″ from the leftover sheet fabric.

Then I folded it in half long sides together and stitched all but one short side so I could turn it.

Ties for sham, Boho sham

Ties for sham

After stitching the ties, I turned them right sides using a safety pin and pressed them.


They needed something more, so I decided to make some tassels with DMC embroidery floss to add to the ends of the ties. See how to make them HERE.

Tassels with the cardboard makeshift tool and floss

Tassels DIY

No sew Tassels DIY Guide

Tassels DIY Guide

My handmade guide for tassel making I cut from a piece of recycled cardboard. The tassel is formed by wrapping the embroidery floss around the cardboard guide until it is full enough to form a tassel.

Tassel almost finished

Easy tassel making

Cut a piece of floss to tie in the center of the wound together, floss and knot it, then cut another piece of floss to tie around the folded over floss and trim see photo below.

The last step in making a tassel

Embroidery floss tassels

Trim tassel to desired size

Trimming the tassel

Attaching the tassels

I placed the floss tie in the open back and hand-stitched it closed at the open end of the fabric ties. I pulled the floss tie into the fabric tie with a needle and stitched the floss end into the sham tie at the closed end. Next, I made buttonholes on the top of the sham then marked through the buttonholes’ center to sew the links. Next, I folded the ties in half and sewed them to the sham through the center, creating two ties from one.

Tassel ties on pillow sham

Tassels on the sham

Closure end of pillow shams

Handmade tassel ties for pillow shams

My Amazon picks:

Romantic Boho Chic Bedroom Decor

Romantic Boho Chic Bedroom Decor

  1. Pillow Sham With Tassel Ties
  2. Button Tufted Linen Headboard
  3. Boho Rug
  4. Llama Tassel Pillow
  5. Pink Ball Fringe Pillow
  6. Knit Throw
  7. Face Planter
  8. Pillow Sham With Flange
  9. Boho Pillow
  10. Yucca 
  11. Live Edge Table

Boho Romantic Chic Makeover

I have been working on my daughter’s bedroom makeover, and I would like to invite you to join us on this creative journey. You can jump on board for the full makeover HERE!!! Learn how to do an easy room makeover.

That was a lot of information, and I am so glad you hung in there with me. Do you use shams on your bed?

Happy decorating,


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Thursday 7th of December 2023

I love the graphics of the game a small world cup. The characters and stadiums are all beautifully designed and detailed. The sound is also great.


Thursday 10th of September 2020

interesting post,but these pillows are not good so i would recommend you to see Best Kind of Pillow for Side Sleepers


Saturday 29th of June 2019

Your Llama pillow is ADORABLE, Kippi, and I'm seeing it featured everywhere! Your white pillow shames are so pretty too, love the tassels! Pinned :)

Marilyn Lesniak

Thursday 27th of June 2019

Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared.


Wednesday 26th of June 2019

Your daughter’s llama pillow is adorable! Wonderful upcycle on the pillow cases!

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