DIY Wedding

DIY Wedding

How to Make a Something Old, Something New Ring Pillow

comments (3) May 7th, 2009     

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kaytet kayte terry, contributor
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This ring pillow is made of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
If you have a color story for the wedding, choose those colors for the ring pillow (plus blue of course!).
This ring pillow is made of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

This ring pillow is made of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

Photo: Kayte Terry

I have never understood tradition for the sake of tradition. When I got married three years ago, one of the few traditions (and I mean few; our reception was a late-night party in a friend's garage featuring a dj and karaoke) I incorporated was from the old Scottish adage: "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." I liked the idea of two people from different families and traditions coming together (something old) to create their own lives together (something new). 

The something old, borrowed, and new parts are pretty self-explanatory, but in case you're wondering, the something blue part of the adage is supposed to symbolize the couple's fidelity. In the old days, the bride often wore a blue ribbon and later, after the Virgin Mary was shown wearing blue, the bride wore a blue dress. Today, the concept of fidelity isn't just the focus of the woman, so I like to think of it more as a commitment to each other as a couple. 

This ring pillow is a handmade symbol of the something old, something new tradition. For something old, use a square of your grandmother's dress, an old hankie, or a hand-embroidered linen. For something new, maybe a cool Japanese print or a favorite textile designer's print. For something borrowed, well, this gets tricky: The concept of borrowing means you have to give it back! How about borrowing a vintage ribbon or button from a crafty friend or family member? You can use this ribbon to tie your rings together or the button as an accent on your pillow. And for something blue, well, I don't think that needs a lot of explanation!

What you'll need:

  • Small scraps of fabric
  • One 20-inch piece of ribbon
  • A few buttons and embellishments (optional)
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Quilting ruler
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Cotton batting
  • Needle and thread

If you have a color story for the wedding, choose those colors for the ring pillow (plus blue of course!).

1. For the front of the pillow, you will need four 4-inch x 4-inch squares. You can either just cut four pieces of fabric to the size or sew some pieces together to make 4-inch squares. Use your cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter to cut your fabric pieces.

If you choose to piece together fabric with a sewing machine, make sure to press your seams toward the darker-colored fabric with an iron.


A quilting ruler is perfect for cutting perfect squares. Just use the grids as a guide.

2. Use your rotary cutter and ruler to trim fabric so that you have four 4-inch squares of fabric.


Lay out all your squares and play around with the order until you are happy with it.

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posted in: ribbon, sewing machine, cotton batting, cutting mat, rotary cutter, quilting ruler

Comments (3)

AlyssaM writes: I love this project. It is so cute. I am definitely going to try it out! Thanks!
Posted: 6:57 pm on May 8th
kaytet writes: hi wannasew-
i don't think you need quilting experience for this just some quilting tools. if you want to make this super simple, you can just cut four equal 4" squares and sew them together.
the most important parts of this project are ironing (make sure to press the seams in the direction of the darker fabric) and cutting (the rotary cuter and quilting ruler make for very easy perfect squares).
i think that just jumping in to a small project like this is a good way to start learning patchwork. it really only takes an hour or two and if you screw it up, then you can easily try try again!
Posted: 1:30 am on May 8th
wannasew2 writes: I'm kinda new here and noticed that some of the postings don't mention the sewing level that one should have (beginning--meaning total novice, intermediate, advanced, etc). I get the impression that one has to have some quilting knowledge on this (I don't).

I'm at the novice level. Please share if you can. Thanks.
Posted: 5:09 pm on May 7th
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