Search This Blog


Joy, Peace, Love Holiday Pillow Tutorial

I saw these Sentiment Pillows at Pottery Barn the other day and really liked them. I wasn't too excited about the $29 tag though -- especially as you can really only use them a month or so out of the year. They were also teensy-tiny. Sooo . . . even though I have about a zillion other things I really should be doing, the next thing I know, I'm making knock-off PB pillows . . .

And you can too.

Materials Needed:

  • Pillow form(s)
  • Linen fabric
  • Thread
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Turning tool
Wash and Iron Your Fabric
I know, totally tedious, but it must be done!

Cut Your Front Piece
The amount of fabric you'll need is dependent on the size of your pillow form. To determine the size of the front piece, measure your pillow form and add 1/2" on all sides. My pillow form was 18" square, so my front piece was 18.5 x 18.5.

Cut Your Back Pieces
Cut two identical pieces for the back. Each piece will be the same height and half the width, plus 4 extra inches as your front piece. So . . .

H = Height of front piece = 18.5
W = (Width of front piece / 2) + 4
     = (18.5 / 2) + 4
     = 13.25

Cut Your Patch Piece
Now this size is totally up to you. My finished square measured about 5 x 5, but my initial cut measured 6 x 8 as this is the minimum size I can use with my embroidery hoop. Whichever size you choose, just be sure to add an inch all around to allow for finishing off the edges. We'll get to that later . . .

Monogram or Stencil the Patch Piece
Ok - I'll admit it. I'm lazy and let my machine do my monogramming for me. Don't despair though - you don't need to monogram one stitch to make these cute pillows. You can employ the uber-cool freezer paper stencil technique. Click here to see an awesome tutorial. The cool thing about this technique is you're not constrained to just a few fonts or sizes, as I am when monogramming by machine. To make your phrase stencil, just design it in any word processing software. So Easy!

Here's a few pics of monogramming with the machine.

Mark center of piece.

Using mark you made and centering insert, center in hoop.

Attach hoop and let the machine do its thing!


Moving On . . .
Ok. So at this point you should have your three cut pieces, plus your patch piece. Let's keep working on the patch.

Trim and Finish Patch Edges
It's now time to tighten up that patch piece! First, use a ruler to center your phrase horizontally and vertically. Then, trim your piece to 1" bigger than you want the finished size. I was shooting for a finished size of 5 x 5 so I trimmed my patch to 6 x 6.

Now get out your iron and fold and press 1/2 inch in towards the wrong side of the fabric on each of the four sides.

Pin Patch to Pillow Front
So this is probably the only time I'm glad that linen is so wrinkly. Get the front pillow piece and fold it in half. Now fold it in half again. Finger press the folds. Open and viola - you have the middle. Align the center of the phrase patch with the center of the pillow and pin in place.

Select Stitch and Sew On Patch
Woot-woot - I can finally use one of the decorative stitches that came with my machine! After trying out a few on a piece of scrap, I opted for the snowflake-y one, of course.

Sew on patch, using 1/4" seam allowance.

Hem Back Pieces
We are so almost done! Get out your two back pieces and your iron. Make a double hem on the back of each. How? Easy - fold and press one of the long sides in 1/2". Repeat.

Now sew in place along the folded edge with the WS facing up. I used red thread throughout this project because its a Christmas project - just kidding - again lazy!

Attach Back Pieces to Front Piece
Lay the pillow front RS up. Place one of the back pieces on top RS down. So RS's are together and the folded hem is facing up. Align raw edges and pin in place. Ok? Cool.

Place the other back piece RS down (folded hem up) on top. Align edges and pin in place. Sew around the whole pillow using an 1/2" seam allowance.

Trim Corners and Turn Out!

Finishing Touches
At this point, you could call it a day and sleep with a clear conscience. Or . . . you could take it to the next level and add some embellishments. I stared at the pillow a day or so and finally decided that it really could use some snowflakes. I whipped up the following basic designs below. Feel free to print them out and use them!
Trace Design onto Pillows
Get out some transfer paper and a pen. Place the transfer paper face down onto the pillow front. Arrange the snowflake stencils as you like on top. Take a pencil and - pressing firmly - trace the design on the snowflake stencil, being careful not to move the snowflake around too much. Remove the transfer paper and admire your handiwork.

Embroider Snowflakes on Pillow
Hand embroidery - my thoughts? Time-consuming, yet really rewarding. It's this kind of work that makes a project a passer-downer. I'm not going to go into the intricacies of hand embroidery in this tutorial, but if you're interested in taking a stab at it yourself, then please check out this incredible embroidery primer at the Purl Bee. They rock!

You're done! Put your pillows somewhere nice and enjoy them until its time to pack up all the Christmas goodies for the year . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting! Come back soon!