Ikea €6 Tanum Rug Hack, DIY Garden Pillow

If you are short on space in your garden, why not try making a temporary set-up and use rugs and pillows to create a cosy outdoor space. In this post, I will share how I took a €6 Ikea Tanum rug and turned it into a DIY outdoor pillow.

When I was in Dubai I got really inspired by their decor. What really inspired me was their use of texture and print.

One of the evenings at the beach a car pulled up, out popped these gorgeous girls and they set up a cosy spot on the beach to watch the sunset. They had a gorgeous patterned rug and loads of pillows. They created a cute picnic style set up and the red patterns popped against the bright sand. I wanted to create something similar for my garden for Summer.

So! Today I am starting with the big cushions. I wanted big pillow-style cushions that would be comfy to sit on but would be thick and durable in the garden.

When I was on the hunt for a rug I stumbled across the Ikea Tanum rugs, I decided to use them in today’s DIY and the best part is these rugs are €6 each. I also used one of the Signe rugs and these are only €2.50, even better.  I also made a Youtube video sharing how I made these and I will link it at the end of the post. 

** Updated May 2021

What you will need to turn your Ikea Tanum rugs into pillows

  • Lightweight Ikea Tanum rugs. You can also use the Ikea Signe rugs which are only €2.50. 
  • Fabric for the back of the pillow, and you can use cotton or poly-cotton or even recycle an old pillowcase. 
  • Pillows for the filler.
  • Sewing machine and thread. 
  • Sewing pins.

You could also sew these by hand with a large needle and thick thread.

How to turn your Ikea Tanum into a rug

Gather your materials, and iron your backing fabric so that it is smooth and crease-free.

Cut the backing fabric the same sized width and length as the rug. Place the material together, with the two right sides facing together. The wrong sides will be facing you. You can add pins to keep the fabric in place when you are sewing.

Straight stitch down the two sides of your material. Make sure to do a reverse stitch at the start and end of your stitch, as this will make the stitch secure and stop it from unravelling.

As the fabric is heavier, you may need to use a thicker thread to avoid snapping. You can also adjust the length of your stitch to make it easier. Always use a sharp needle on your machine when sewing.

Reverse your cushion inside out. The right side of the fabric will now face you. You can iron your seams flat too. Stitch one of the openings closed. Fold the cotton backing fabric over to create a seam, and straight stitch it down to close the bottom of the pillow.

Now you can insert your pillows. I inserted two pillows as my filler. One pillow wasn’t making it as full as I wanted it to be, so I added a second cushion.

I have a Youtube video linked at the bottom of this post for you to have a better look at how I made this video. 

Ikea Tanum Rug turned into a DIY garden pillow.

Closing your cushions

Once my two cushions were in, I then closed the opening. I folded over the backing fabric like the other seam, and I straight stitched down the fabric to close the cushion.

Another option would be to stitch velcro to the opening of the pillows, as that will mean you can open them to remove the inserts and pop the cover into the washing machine.

You might find the final stitch a little fiddly. Just take your time and slowly feed the fabric through your machine. Once you are finished you can trim off any excess threads and tidy it up. You can now have fun styling your new pillows and admire them! 

Ikea Tanum Rug turned into a DIY garden pillow.
Ikea Tanum Rug turned into a DIY garden pillow.
Ikea Tanum Rug turned into a DIY garden pillow.
Ikea Tanum Rug turned into a DIY garden pillow.
Ikea Tanum Rug turned into a DIY garden pillow.


Once you are happy with your pillows it is not time to enjoy them! Throw the rugs out onto the grass, layer your newly made pillows and get cosy.

I love to pop a tray in the middle of the rug for snacks and share the garden experience with my friends (or the cats). Let me know if you have any other uses for the Ikea Tanum rugs or if you have any other clever Ikea hacks!

Please pin the image below to your Pinterest board

Ikea Tanum Rug hack
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8 Comments

  1. Stephanie
    May 10, 2018 / 9:21 pm

    These are so beautiful! Are the pillow inserts twin size?

    • Catherine Carton
      May 11, 2018 / 11:22 am

      Thanks Stephanie! So glad you like them! No the pillows are standard size and I have used tow inside x

  2. Lostvestige
    May 11, 2018 / 12:06 am

    These are so cute, and look really comfy!

    • Catherine Carton
      May 11, 2018 / 11:23 am

      Aw thank you!

  3. Angela Squire
    May 11, 2018 / 4:45 pm

    Once again you hit the mark with pretty and practical. Thanks for so many inspiring ideas!!

    • Catherine Carton
      May 11, 2018 / 5:44 pm

      Thanks so much for reading Angela, I am so glad you enjoyed it! Let me know if you make them x x x

  4. anne charriere vintage
    August 17, 2018 / 10:39 am

    You have amazing ideas, I love your blog soooooo much!Anne.

  5. June 6, 2021 / 9:14 am

    It’s great to see this one. The pillow make over is also great. You inspire me with a lot of innovative ideas.

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