How To Accessorize Your Bedroom With Pillow Shams

What is a pillow sham?

Defined as a decorative cover laid upon pillows, pillow shams come in handy when you want to decorate your bedding and give them a new look.

Pillow shams are designed to make ordinary pillows look attractive and make your room look cool.

Origin of the pillow sham

Pillow shams gets the name from the word sham which means something that doesn’t look the way it really is. This disguise is not in terms of quality or meant to deceive in purpose but in the look.

And this is the whole idea of Pillow shams. To create an impressive bedroom look.

Benefits of adding pillow shams

Pillow shams are:

  • Removable; Pillow shams are made in a way they can easily be removed for those who would like to wash or change them.
  • Decorative; Pillow shams are always decorative; some are made from soft fabrics while others are made from upholstery grade fabric. Those made from soft washable fabrics can be slept on while those made from upholstery grade fabric may not be comfortable to sleep on.
  • Most pillow shams contain a hidden opening that can be zipped or buttoned.
  • Easily washable; pillow shams made from soft fabrics can be washed even in a laundry machine. They are good to use especially for those who have babies and pets.
  • Most of the pillow shams have a coding or flange finishing.

Available sizes of pillow shams

Pillow shams come in four common different sizes which correspond to conventional pillow sizes namely;

  • Standard size

This measures 20 inches by 26 inches.

  • Queen size

This measures 20 inches by 30 inches.

  • King size

This measures 20 inches by 36 inches.

  • Continental/ European size

This measures 26 inches by 26 inches. Apart from the standard sham sizes listed above, there are other customized sizes like the boudoir type that come in the size of 12 inches by 16 inches.

Ideal size for traveling. Other sizes can be made to fit the use as required.

How to stuff pillows shams to make them look perfect

Pillow shams are easy to use, and they come in an envelope form.

  1. Simply slide the pillow into the sham

Pillow shams have an opening at the back with a flange inside. Open the flange then insert the pillow into the sham making sure it is completely covered.

  1. Fill up the pillow sham case

Try to make sure your pillow sham is filled up. Pillow shams that are not filled up don’t look great they actually appear sad and may not achieve the desired look.

Make sure the top of the pillow is flush with the top edge of the sham by turning your filled-up sham from the bottom.

To achieve this:

  • Turn your filled-up sham upside down.
  • Shake it up vigorously, then gently shake it back and forth to ensure the top which is now at the bottom is completely filled up.
  • Do not pick up your filled-up pillow sham from the top before placing it on your bed. This creates a space between the inserted pillow and the sham and will cause the flange to flip over once you have placed it in its position.
  • Pick up your filled-up sham from the bottom using just one hand, flip it over in the correct positioning on your bed.
  • Pull up the corners of the sham to set the flanges

How to arrange pillow shams on the bed

There is no particular way of arranging pillows on your bed except for some basic concepts that help achieve a great look.

Apart from the bed pillows and shams, you may consider to also add floor pillows or have a beautifully designed pouf next to your bed. The basics to consider while stacking up your pillows include:

  • Arranging shams on bed with headboard

Beds with headboards of or over 2 feet provide a good background to stack up your pillow shams.

Beds with no headboard will look good with basic arrangement of stacked up pillows.

Beds with open frames have decorative finishing, they would require small or less pillows to allow the decorated finish to be visible.

  • Arrange shams according to room color scheme

Have a color theme to work with for your bedroom. This helps and guides all your purchases and decorating achievements.

Look for complementing colors. To ensure harmony in your bedroom, pay keen attention to the color, type of fabric and shapes of pillow shams to use.

Decorating using pillow shams according to bed size

Type of bed determines the size of the bed and this automatically determines the type of pillows to be used and the arrangement to be employed.

King size bed

A king size bed has plenty of space. The space allows good arrangement of pillow shams.

King size pillow shams are the best to use on a king size bed because standard ones will look tiny. Sometimes a combination of king size and other sizes would still work.

How to arrange pillow shams on a king size bed.

Sample 1

Items needed:

  1. 4 pieces of King size pillows.
  2. 3 pieces of Euro size pillows.
  3. 1 piece of large bolster.

Begin with two king size pillows resting against the headboard. Place the euro size pillows next to the king size pillows.

Place the remaining two king size pillows next to the euros. Place the bolster at the center of the arrangement and your arrangement will look great.

Sample 2

Items needed:

  1. 2 pieces of King size pillows
  2. 3 pieces of Euro size pillows
  3. 3 pieces of Accent size pillows

Start by placing king size pillows against the headboard. Place the three-euro size pillows next to the king size pillows.

Choose the best way of placing the accent pillows last, either next to each other, in a triangular shape or any other format. The above two samples can be tweaked around to achieve different decorative finishes.

In another sample, start with euro pillows, followed by king size pillows then end with an accent pillow or a bolster.

Queen size bed

The queen size bed is common among couples, it has a big space therefore pillow arrangement is welcome.


To get more space between pillows, you can change the type of pillows from queen size to other sizes.

Samples for pillow arrangements on a queen size bed.

Sample 1

Items needed:

  1. 2 pieces of euro pillows
  2. 4 pieces of standard pillows
  3. 2 accent pillows.

Place two standard pillows against the headboard. Follow up with the two-euro size pillows at the center.

Place the two remaining standard pillows next to euro size pillows. Finish up with the two accent pillows at the center.

In sample 2: you can use two standard size pillows, two-euro pillows and a bolster.

In sample 3 you can use four standard size pillows with a bolster or 2 accent pillows.

Twin size bed

This bed has limited space, therefore, use a minimum number of pillows to decorate it.

Below are sample arrangements for a twin-size bed.

Sample 1

Items needed.

  1. 1 piece of standard pillow
  2. 1 piece of euro pillow
  3. 1 accent pillow.

Place the standard pillow at the center against the headboard. Place the euro pillow next to it. Finish with the accent pillow. They should be aligned and at the center.

In sample 2 you can replace the accent pillow with the bolster pillow. The arrangements can be interchanged to give a variety of decorative outcomes.

Now make you bed cozy with pillow shams

As you can see you can turn your bedroom into a cozy setting with this simple but effective pillow decorative ideas.

On top of the shams, remember to also buy a stylish bed, quality mattress and designer bed sheets.

And for supper night sleep use a quality bed topper. Now that is what you call a complete, comfortable and lavish bedroom to lay your head after a long days work.