Layover Pillow Shams

As you are searching on the Internet for a pillow sham, you come across a listing or auction that states, "LayOver Pillow Sham", and you wonder, "what is that?" No, it is NOT a pillow to use in an airport between flights. It is a pillow sham without a back. You just lay the sham over the pillows. Layover pillow shams were and still are a clever way to hide everyday sleeping pillows.

Brief History of Layover Pillow Shams

  • Layover shams were usually decorative, and done with the finest of needlework.
  • Usually they are European, from the early part of the 20th century.
  • They consist of either one large pillow sham to cover both pillows, or two separate shams, one for each pillow.
  • They were probably part of a brides wedding trousseau.

Recycling Your Layover Pillow Shams

If you come across a set of layover pillow shams or just one, don't pass them by, even if you don't want to use them as pillow shams there are many clever ways to re-purpose or recycle them. Many antique and vintage pillow shams have intricate handwork and make beautiful decorative accents for today's home. Several idea's for re-purposing are: use one as a table topper or two sewn together as a luncheon cloth, or using a few basic sewing techniques make them into valences for your windows or decorative pillows. You can mix and match the designs together or add vintage fabric in colors that complement the handwork for charming home accessories. If you are limited for space and who isn't, layover pillow shams can be folded and stored when not in use and will take up hardly any room in your linen closet. Another plus is there are no bulky pillow forms to store. You may choose to use the shams as is, or craft them for another purpose, they make a charming addition to your home.

by Karen Nappo
For a lovely selection of vintage and antique linens and collectibles visit Karens shop:

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