What is a Sham: 2023 Updated Style Guide

Before you ask, no, shams are not a sham. Rather, they’re the latest must-have in home decor. 


Hi, I’m Katie, the sewing nerd, and I’d like to introduce you to your new favorite thing, the pillow sham.


First things first, don’t be self-conscious. You’re not the first to ask ”What is a pillow sham??” I am here to end the confusion and let you in on a little secret, aka the sham. By the end of this, you will be a sham expert. In fact, your house, specifically every bed, and couch, will thank you for reading this. Let’s get into it without further ado: what is a sham, anyways?

What the Heck is a Pillow Sham?

Let’s start with the basics. What in the world is a pillow sham? Think of it as picture-worthy clothes for your pillows. You know what I mean. The outfits you get for your kids, specifically for pictures, because their stained play clothes just don’t cut it. So yeah, it’s like dressing up your pillows to look picture perfect. 


Now, you might wonder, “Why bother with pillow shams when regular pillowcases do the trick?” If this is you, I’m about to blow your mind when upping your pillow game. Pillow shams are the secret sauce that can take your bed from drab to fab, trust me. With their bold colors, patterns, and textures, you can mix and match to your heart’s desire. Whether you’re going for a chic, modern look or a cozy farmhouse feel, there’s a pillow sham waiting to be your style BFF. 


Can’t find the sham you’re wanting online? Let’s chat! I make custom shams in every size, shape and pattern. You name it, I can make it.

different sizes of shams

What is a Sham? Shape & Size

Pillow shams come in all shapes and sizes, like regular pillows.. You’ve got square, rectangular, and even euro-size shams to fit any pillow. Here are the most common sizes of shams:


Standard Sham = 20-by-26-inch


Queen Sham = 20-by-30-inch


King Sham = 20-by-36-inch


European/Continental Sham = 26-by-20-inch 


If you’re looking for a custom sham size, you’re in the right place! Let’s chat about making your sham dreams come to life. 

pillow shams

Why Pillow Shams are Mom’s Best Friend

Pillow shams are mom’s best friend for a thousand different reasons. I’ll give you three.

You can mix it up. 

Am I the only one who gets bored of my decor every other day? With pillow shams, I can mix it up without knocking down a wall, if you know what I mean. 

They’re easy to incorporate and change out. 

Let’s face it: we’re all too busy chasing kids to have time to change out throw pillows with every shift in trends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about keeping up with trends, so pillow shams are a lifesaver. 

You can clean them. 

Yep, you heard that right. No more nasty, germ-infested pillows. For reals, when was the last time you washed that throw pillow on your front room couch?? Never mind, I don’t want to know. You get the point.

They save you space. 

There’s only a little storage space around here between all the kids’ and my husband’s tools. This is where pillow shams enter the chat. You can still decorate for every holiday with festive pillows without storing a thousand throw pillows. Giving you more space for clothes and shoes… you’re welcome. 


How to Use Pillow Shams Like a Pro

Let’s get to the fun part – using pillow shams like a pro! 


First, fluff up your regular pillows (no need to do the famous pillow chop just yet). 


Then, slip those snug pillows into their picture-perfect clothes, aka shams! Smooth  any wrinkles, and make sure the shams frame the pillows nicely. 


Now, give it that pillow chop.


We’re not done yet! Arranging the pillows the right way can make or break it. This is where your inner style can shine. You can place them against the headboard for a clean, symmetrical look. Or why not prop them up in front of your sleeping pillows, like a picture-perfect cushiony wall. And yes, you can break the pillow rules! If you think of it, I can make it come to life… that’s the magic of custom pillows

Practical Perks of Pillow Shams

Let’s talk about convenience, shall we? As a mom, I know firsthand that spills and stains happen. But fear not, because cleaning pillow shams is easier than wrangling a toddler into shoes. Toss them—the pillow shams not the toddler—in the washing machine, and voilà, they come out looking as good as new! If only bath time with a toddler was that easy, am I right?


Pillow shams are practical, too. Think of a throw pillow that is probably on its last leg (or corner?) It’s all scratched and worn out. You’ve been waiting for the right time to throw it away, but you wanted to have something to replace it first. Yeah, we’ve all been there. Thankfully, with a pillow sham, you can protect your pillows and replace the sham when the time comes without throwing the whole pillow away. 


What is a Sham? Your Interior Design Secret Weapon 

Shams add flair, style, and a dash of practicality to your bedroom decor. With their easy cleaning, versatile designs, and magical transformation powers, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them! So go ahead, unleash your inner decor diva, and let those pillow shams work their magic in your home sweet home! 

what is a sham


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