Anthropologie Inspired Pillow Shams – A Tutorial

Browsing the Anthropologie website is one of my favorite past times. I adore the style of the curated website and I could get lost in the store for hours. Most of the time their pieces are well out of my budget, however, and I end up just filling my online cart with beautiful things I will never actually buy. Chew and I are in the process of looking for new bedding and I so wish that I could convince him to purchase one of the beautiful, colorful duvets and quilts that Anthropologie carries but I am sure that will never happen given the prices. So I came up with the idea of recreating a classic anthropology sham on a college-apartment budget. I have loved the look of the Walter-G-Ireba Shams that have been on the Anthro, website for a while now and when I looked closer at them I started to think just how easy they would be to recreate for much less than the $100 price tag.anthro-shams

The ones I created are not an exact match but they have the same general look and feel and they fit much better into our overall decor. I documented the journey and the process of making these Anthropologie-Inspired shams below!

As always, a printable version of this tutorial will be available for free in my Craftsy shop!


I yard patterned quilting cottonweight fabric

½ yard solid quilting weight fabric (white)

21” x 27” piece of medium loft quilt batting

One package embroidery thread

Hand embroidery needle

Basting spray (optional)



Cut List

Patterned Fabric

4 – 3” x 32” strips

4 – 3” x 26” strips

2 – 21” x 19” rectangles

White Fabric

2 – 21” x 27” Rectangles


Use a ½” seam allowance throughout


Preparing the Front – the front of the pillow is basically a little, and sewn quilt

  1. Begin by laundering all fabrics before cutting them to the sizes above. This will keep the pillowcase from shrinking and puckering when washed later.
  2. Press all fabrics well
  3. Baste the quilt batting in between the two large solid pieces of fabric (spray baste works well but a generous use of pins works too!)
  4. Using a washable marker, mark off 5.4 inches across the long sides of one solid fabric piece. You should make three marks across the top and three across the bottom
  5. Using a washable marker, mark off 7 inches across the short sides of one solid fabric piece. You should make two marks across each side
  6. Use the embroidery thread and the hand needle to straight stitch across the piece, matching up marks on the long sides and marks on the short sides. It should make a grid pattern like below. Be sure to tie off each piece of embroidery thread on each end.img_0355
  7. Trim off any excess batting, press well and set aside


Preparing the Back

  1. Pick up one piece of the large rectangles of patterned fabric. Down one 21” edge, fold the raw edge over ½”, wrong sides together, and press
  2. Fold the same edge over again, encasing the raw edge, and press well. Pin in place
  3. Top stitch down the fold, 1/8” from the inside foldimg_0361
  1. Repeat on the other large, patterned fabric piece
  2. Lay the two pieces down, both right sides up, and with the finished edges you made in steps ten and eleven towards the center, so that they measure 21” x 27”. They will overlap significantly. Baste over the overlap on the top and bottom to keep the pieces in place during the next steps. Set aside


Adding the Border

  1. With the right side of the white front piece facing up, lay a 3” x 32” strip, wrong side up, along the top, long edge, centering the overage. Sew across the edge. Repeat with a second 3” X 32” strip and the other long edge of the white front piece
  2. With the right side of the white front piece facing up, lay a 3” x 26” strip wrong side up along one short edge, centering the overage. Sew across the edge. Repeat with a second 3” x 26” strip and the other short edge of the white front piece. Do not sew over the border piece that was attached in the previous step
  3. Press all seams towards the border strips
  4. Miter the overlap in each of the four corners. Trim excess.mitered-corners
  5. Repeat steps thirteen through sixteen with the other four 3” strips and the basted back, patterned pieceimg_0393
  6. Remove the basting stitches

Assembling the pillow sham

  1. Place the finished back piece on top of the finished front piece with right sides toegether, sew around all four edges of the sham.img_0399
  2. Trim off excess on each corner before turning right side out and pressing well
  3. Use a small pointed object (a knitting needle works well, or something similar) to make sure the points in each corner are thoroughly turned out
  4. Stitch-in-the-ditch around the entire border. This seals in the raw edges of the border seams and keeps the border sharp and distinct from the pillow casestitch-in-the-ditch
  5. Press well one last time


Questions? Email


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