Published on May 30th, 2014 | by Kristen Swain0
So lately, I am all about home decor. I think we should have a serious discussion about pillows. Can you pull up a chair and here ya go, here’s a coaster for your cuppa.
Pillows? You say. Really? I mean, they just kind of sit there. Men have a serious dislike of them. Have you ever seen a man in his own home, sit down and pull a pillow up to cuddle with, or make himself comfy? OK, maybe you have, but in our little kingdom, it doesn’t happen. Even the girly minions usually toss them on the floor. Until…. they need them for propping up while laying on the floor, or as a holder for the laptop, or snuggles. Yeah. Then they are all about those cuddly things. Myself. ADORE. Yes, I adore pillows!
I mean, they are so comfy. I like to have several around when I sleep at night, helps my back. And as I sit and chill on the couch, well, I love to be surrounded by cushy softness. Maybe one behind my lower back, a couple on the sides for that soft cuddle and even maybe tucked behind my neck. Also they are great for putting under my feet if I prop them on the coffee table. Those are all great uses for the pillows. BUT…. we haven’t even talked yet about the color impact, the decor pop, the wow factor that they have in adding to your room- colors, pattern, theme….
Here in our crazy world, I have been redecorating. We changed some rooms around in our house, and I moved my office to a smaller part of our office space. I took the furniture and moved it into our den, then bought new in neutral colors, a blocky sofa and two chairs, in oatmeal and softest sage colors. I bought a new rug, stained the floor and created that beautiful jute/paper twist lamp that I shared with you last week. Hubby and I painted last week, and we’re getting it slowly finished with decor. So you know, it’s time to talk about pillows. There see, we got around to it.
Here is what I want to share with you today. You can make pillows. There is no need to buy them if you have a sewing machine, can sew a straight line and can do a minimum of hand stitching.
Let me tell you something. Pillows do not HAVE to cost as much as they do at stores. You can make your own for SO MUCH less. I mean, $20 plus for a pillow? TOO MUCH! Each of the pillows on this couch was less then $5!!
Note sure if they look designer? Check out some at Pottery Barn that are only pillow covers, you’d still have to buy your pillow forms.
Let’s talk fabric. I love Duck/Cotton. it’s durable and tough enough to stand up to being squished for a good long time, couple years. Canvas is another good cloth. Cotton/Duck is smoother and softer if you ever want your pillows to touch skin etc.. But canvas is ok. a little rough.
Where to buy. Let me tell you my secrets. you may come up with your own, but MY top places to get pillow fabric are….. drapes/curtains – where else can you get 3-4 yards of good quality fabric for less then $20. Of course, if you are planning on using it for pillows, you could go higher in price because dividing it up the cost is less per piece. From a 44×80″ish panel, I can get about 4 pillows. Do not have a panic attack about cutting up a perfectly good curtain, because, essentially you cannot buy decorator fabric for much less then $25 a yard. Yours just happens to be hemmed.
Canvas- always cost effective. But I buy drop cloths. I bought a 6×9 ft drop cloth for $10. You can use it for curtains, couch covers, and pillows. These come in a variety of neutrals, mine is a little on the oatmeal color side, but they come in lots of natural colors. I also ventured into Amazon.com territory and bought a yard each of fabric. The chevron is gorgeous, and I love the pop they give. The light blue/coral pillow-well- came in a super bright teal, that did not match the room, so I reversed it and love the subtle color of them now.
How about the crab and anchor pillows. We are going to get to those. I very simply cut a square of two pieces of the canvas drop cloth, keeping them about 16 inches. After that, I sewed both squares using straight lines in a square pattern. Only in one seam, I stopped halfway, left an unsewn patch about 5 inches, then began again, sewing to the last corner. After trimming my thread. I turned the pillow inside out, and used that hole to stuff my stuffing inside. Once stuffed, use a needle and thread to bring the open hole sides together and a simple stitch to close them.
There you go, one easy stuffed pillow. You can now commence with leaving it totally alone or decorating it.
Since we are in the middle of creating a beachy feeling room, without being over the top all seashells and driftwood, I am adding in touches to create that feeling. I decided that I wanted a crab and went with an anchor and rope for my other pillow. Our colors in the room are a lot of brown, tan, black, dark grey and neutrals. Adding in a teal blue and a deep terra cotta were the perfect color accents to me.
Here is a pic of the room, when it was done, before adding details. I’m not Martha Stewart, but I am happy with the comfy but airy feeling of the room. I am still working out details. As you can see, the pillows were plain before I decorated them.
To create a shaped piece like the crab and anchor, I took the shortcut and used my Cricut machine, vinyl and acrylic paint.
I use old paper plates- leftovers from a memorial day cookout we had- and mixed my orange and brown paints to get a color I wanted. You can buy the correct color and use it straight from the bottle. Acylic is mostly washable, but if you wash these a lot, I would recommend a fabric paint instead. Acrylic is in many more colors then fabric paint.
I used Cricut Craft Room- the San Fransisco Cart, to bring up my crab image, then I sized it to fill the 12×12 size.
Once it is cut out of your vinyl sheet, pull the crab shape off and this is the vinyl you will use.
When I apply the vinyl to the pillow, I pull the backing off the top, and place the vinyl onto the cushion and roll the backing off the vinyl so that it doesn’t stick to itself.
Yes, you can see this is not super sticky, but we’ll deal with that.
First, put out a dollop of paint. Barely stick your brush into the paint and then tap on another part of the plate. You will be doing a technique called dry brushing, putting very little paint onto the surface.
Decide where you will begin, rub down all parts that seem to be sticking up. Begin by coming in towards the open parts of the stencil from the outside. brush brush brush inward from the outside of the stencil. This keeps you from getting paint bleeding under the stencil. And creates a distressed look. On the small parts, like the stencil between the crab legs, brush into the design, overtop the stencil gently.
I cannot stress enough to make sure you dab off excess paint, better to have to do a little more work then get too much paint.
You can immediately remove the stencil if you want, or let it dry and remove. I am always anxious to see my work.
and we’ll do much the same for the anchor. Use Wild Card 2 for the anchor cut.
Any color of vinyl will do. This time, since there are inside cuts- little pieces, use the cut image to help you place them correctly.
For this paint, I used wall color. I always save leftover wall paint, a big jar is great to keep for this. You can easily do touch ups and extra projects without having to lug the paint can around the house.
For this painting technique I used more of a dabbing motion, I dabbed the paint off the brush, then pushed down and lifted up on the areas that had the smaller pieces and where it was a little lifted up. Again, priority is to brush in from the outside of the stencil to keep the paint from bleeding under the vinyl.
Again, when you are finished, you can allow the paint to dry, or peel off immediately. You risk smearing when you do not let the paint dry. Just a disclaimer there. I used a needle and pulled off the small parts as well.
Here is the pillow finished. You can see it’s still wet. Let it dry overnight before allowing it on your furniture.
Add your pillows and enjoy!