Over the past few months, I’ve started falling in love with the Euro sham all over again. We’ve had a love/hate relationship for many years, since the edges of the shams always looked so sloppy when I put them over a Euro insert.
But here’s the thing: I’ve been doing it wrong all along.
Do you notice the difference in the above picture of my daughter, Emma’s, bed? On the left, you have the big square pillow with crisp edges. On the right, you have the big square pillow with floppy edges and extra fabric at the bottom that I have to tuck underneath the pillow.
Let’s take a closer look. Right:
The secret, y’all, is two-fold. First, and most importantly, is insert pillow size. While the Euro sham traditionally measures 26 x 26 inches, a 26 x 26 pillow form won’t cut it. I don’t understand why the seemingly right size pillow doesn’t fit correctly into the sham, but it doesn’t. You need to find a Euro pillow form that is 28 x 28 inches to completely fill the sham.
Secondly, the fill of the pillow matters, too (although it’s not as important in having the correct size insert). I prefer a down or feather insert in my shams over a poly or cotton fiber fill. The down/feather pillows aren’t as stiff, which allows you to “karate chop” the top of them if you like. You can also fluff the pillows more easily and move the fill around so that it reaches the edges and fills out the sham.
Down alternative is an option if you have a down allergy, but make sure you can chop them! My mom has ordered forms from Reynoso Home Decor on Etsy and has been really happy with them – they are hypo-allergenic and chopable.
The result is a nicely fitted, non-loosey goosey sham. I use these on my bed, too. My general rule is 3 on a king, 2 on a full/queen and 1 on a twin.
But here’s the kicker: 28 x 28 inserts can be tough to find locally. They don’t sell them at your traditional places like Bed Bath and Beyond, Linens ‘n Things, Walmart or Target. You may be able to find them at retailers like TJMaxx, HomeGoods and Marshall’s, but you never really know what they will have in stock. I have been lucky to find mine at Tuesday Morning ($14.99 for a feather fill), but I don’t know if they always have them or if they have them at every location. You can follow Mandi’s lead and take ugly covers off of clearance pillows.
You obviously have more options online. Here is a set of two from Amazon (affiliate link) that don’t have too bad of a price. These are a good price at Macy’s through 2/21/2014. Check Etsy and Ebay for options, too.
So, what do you think? Do you have a frumpy Euro sham problem, too?