Granny Square Shams DIY

September 28, 2012Allison Murray


You may remember a couple weeks ago I did a whole post about shabby chic projects I love. The main picture for that post had the cutest lavender shabby bedroom with a granny square pillow sham. It was gorgeous and I thought about that silly pillow sham forever. Since I couldn’t find a how to, I figured that was just what I needed to do!

I have to say that this type of project is a labor of love. I knocked it out in a week but that is with every free moment crocheting. While I was watching television, I crocheted. While I was waiting on my computer to boot up, I crocheted. When I was at the doctor, I crocheted (even while I was being asked questions – but I wasn’t rude enough to continue during my examination!)

In the long run, I am so, so happy that I made this sham. It is adorable and it fits into the shabby chic room I am working on beautifully. In fact, I rather think that it makes the room.

So, want to make your own? If you’re not sure how to granny square, check out yesterday’s post here

For this project you will need:

  • Yarn in several complimentary colors (mine was weight 4)
  • Crochet hook (I used an H)
  • Lots of time


First things first, you’ll need to pick out yarn that you love and a lot of it. For the interior of my squares I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in the colors: pink, olive, white, and dusty blue. I only needed one of each. Next pick the color that you want to surround each square – I chose Vanna’s Choice in Dusty Rose. I made the squares for the backside of the sham solid in this main color and I wound up buying 4 skeins total.

Next, find the pillow that you are going to sham up and measure the size. With the pillow I was using and the size of my first finished granny square, I knew that I needed 12 squares for the front and another 12 for the back.

I also decided that I didn’t want any two squares to be exactly the same. So since I had four colors for the inside of the squares and needed twelve I made three starting with the same color and continuing my rounds in a color that I hadn’t used on that round yet. It’s not that difficult, just make your first, lay it out and make your second without repeating the color pattern. Lay out your first and second and repeat for your third. I really hope this is making sense :)

So, you’ve got all of your squares made up and you’re ready to attach everything. Take a look at your squares. The “front” or “right” side of the squares will try to curl up. This is the pretty side you want facing out when your sham is complete.

Take all of your squares pretty side down and lay them out in front of you in the pattern you want to attach them. You’re going to start working the squares from right to left, from bottom to top.

Take your furthest right squares from your last and next to last rows and push them together so that their pretty sides are touching.

Use your fingers to align the holes and corners.

Take the yarn that is the same color as the last round for each of the squares and get it ready to go on your hook. Push your hook through the first corner and single crochet. Single crochet again.

Next push your hook through the loops for the first set of chains on both of the squares and single crochet. (You will have four loops on your hook before you single crochet). Continue to single crochet through the loops for the other two pairs of chains.

Now you’ll reach a “hole”. Single crochet through this space twice.

Continue the pattern through the chains and holes until you reach the end of the square.

Now it’s time to continue your single crochets through the next two granny squares you have laid out in your pattern. Keep your yarn going from when you attached the first two squares together. Sandwich together the next two squares you have laid out and match up the holes and corners.

Place these two sandwiched squares to the left of the squares you have already attached. Push your hook through the first corner holes and continue to single crochet the same way you did for the first pair.

Continue attaching all of the squares from left to right. They will be attached horizontally, but will remain detached vertically like in the image above.

Repeat the same steps as above until you have all of your rows joined together along the horizontal line.

Turn your piece to where your unattached lines are horizontal to you. Start from the right and single crochet all the way down for each row until all are attached.


When you’ve finished the front, this is what the back or “wrong” side looks like… see the ridges from the single crochet between each piece?


This is what the front or “right” side looks like.

Toss the front side to the side and repeat the process for all of the backside granny squares.


With both your front and back complete, place the pieces wrong side together. If laid correctly, the ridges will be facing one another and your pretty side will be facing you.

Starting at the upper right corner, single crochet exactly as you did to piece the front and back together. Go continuously around to the bottom right corner. Leave the last, right side open to so that you can easily insert your pillow.


Marla is the photogenic, not to mention best behaved kitty around here, but Max decided in wanted in on the photo shoot, too. He’s blurry because he just kind of appeared out of nowhere. :)

Toss in your pillow and this project is finito! Happy Friday, folks! Hope your weekend is tops!

Comments (12)

  • Amy

    October 20, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    What a great outcome! I've been meaning to start on a granny square project and this would be perfect :-) Lovely colour scheme and your cats are so cute <3

  • Allison Murray

    October 24, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Thanks Amy. You'll have to share your completed project. I'd LOVE to see it!

  • Vickie

    February 19, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Love the pillow sham! Think I'll try making one – if I ever find time! LOL
    Love your kitties, too! They're so precious! :)

    1. Allison

      August 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      Thanks on all accounts, Vickie! Make a square whenever you have a free few moments and they will add up a lot more quickly than you would think!!

  • Kristin

    March 13, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    working on making my own pillow sham right now, i have the front done as of last night. thanks so much for posting the pattern! :)

    1. Allison

      August 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      You are so welcome and the halfway point is a good feeling, isn’t it? Send me a pic if you get the chance. I’d love to see your results :)

  • Kristin

    March 13, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    it is a good feeling and i'll be sure to send you a pic :) i actually started out making one but now it's turned into two pillows. can't wait until they're done, i made them for my bed in my room.

    1. Allison

      August 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      It always turns into more! I made one for my guest room and now I want two for my own bed, just haven’t gotten around to them, yet :)

  • Erica

    March 28, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Oh, I'm so excited you love crochet too! The sham is beautiful. I like how each square is different, but shares the same color scheme. :)

    1. Allison

      August 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      I am so glad you like it, Erica. I think that I wound up having two exactly the same which I only noticed weeks later! :)

  • Carol

    May 1, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    I made an afghan for my bed and would like to make pillow shams to match, thanks for the info……My question is instead of leaving the one side open so you can stick the pillow in, can you leave it open in the middle in the back like a cloth sham you would buy in the store, this way you could take it off to wash?

    1. Allison

      August 8, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      You absolutely can, Carol. Just make the back in two halves and attach along the outer edges. If the fit is a bit too tight you can add ribbons or crochet chains to use to tie up the back for a nice fit.

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