In my humble opinion- the more pillows, the better. My only beef with pillows is that they can be expensive! Where can a girl find cheap decorative pillows around here?? My other dilemma is that sometimes I’ll get this idea of what I want only to find out that it doesn’t exist. So I had a thought (a thought that occurs quite frequently in my craft-a-holic brain)- I’ll make it myself! That’s when I made the rainbow pillow in the nursery! Now I’m back at it, this time with a tutorial for my fellow pillow-loving cheapskates!
And guys, I promise you, I’m not good at sewing. I don’t have a machine. No one’s ever really taught me how to do it. I just watch a lot of YouTube videos and make things up as I go along (the same can be said for a lot of the things I do, haha!). In fact, if you sew, you’ll probably read this and be like, “Girl, what are you doing??” All of this to say- if I can do this, so can you!
| S U P P L I E S |
- Enough fabric for both sides of the pillow cover (if you’re using an pillow insert, you’ll be cutting squares to their exact size)
- Needle and thread (or a sewing machine)
- Pillow insert or stuffing (I used Poly-fil for this one)
- Zipper the length of your pillow cover (optional- but convenient for high traffic area pillow covers that need washing!)
- Acrylic paint (any kind, any color)
- Textile medium
| P R E P |
I picked up a yard of white canvas material from JOANN for $6/yard (the same type of canvas I used for the yellow nursery ottoman). This is the fun part! You can use virtually any type of fabric, any color, any pattern…
First, you’ll want to measure and cut the fabric to the size you want your pillow to be. Cut two identical pieces- one for each side. If using an insert, cut to the exact pillow size so you don’t end up with a saggy cover!
| P A I N T |
Once you have your design idea in mind and your acrylic colors picked out, mix in your textile medium. For this FolkArt brand, it calls for 1 part medium to 2 parts acrylic paint. I like using textile medium as opposed to fabric paint because I don’t paint fabric all that often. The medium makes the acrylic permanent on fabric without leaving it all “crunchy” feeling when it dries. You can mix it into whatever acrylic paint you have on hand!
I would suggest painting on top of cardboard or newspaper because the paint will soak through the fabric. So please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t paint on top of your other piece of fabric because it will ruin it. Speaking from experience…
Here I am recklessly painting without anything under the fabric.
I decided to make a reversible pillow and painted a different pattern on each fabric piece. Let the fabric dry before you try to tackle this next step.
| P I N & S E W |
Lay your two pieces of fabric down as flat as possible, front sides facing each other, and pin them together around the edges.
As for the sewing, I’ll leave it to the professionals of YouTube. I used a back stitch around the edges, trying to keep the stitch as straight as possible. This doesn’t take that long and is actually pretty fun to do while watching some Netflix after bedtime! Let Mary teach you a back stitch here…
Now here’s the important part! On your last side, either sew in a zipper (if you’re using a pillow insert) with the same back stitch, just on either size of the zipper edge. OR leave a hand-sized opening on one side of your pillow to flip it right side out and fill it with stuffing.
If using the stuffing hole method (that’s the proper terminology, for sure), after you flip the pillow inside out, it will look like this. Notice the open area on the far right side.
| F L U F F |
Fill your pillow with stuffing and pin the hole closed so that the edges of the fabric fold inward to match your other stitching. You don’t have to use pins, but I found it made stitching easier for a beginner like me.
Now you’re going to learn a ladder stitch (or invisible stitch) to close up the hole. Watch this video here.
If you used a zipper and pillow insert, you’re already done!
| B R A G |
Now that your pillow is done, you can set it out in your house and make sure to mention to anyone and everyone (especially if you they don’t ask) that you made it yourself. They don’t have to know how many times you stabbed yourself with the needle.
I highly recommend a reversible pillow if you like to mix things up like I do!
I also hear this pillow make a great booty cushion!
Now get out there and fill your house with pillows!! And as always, thanks for stopping by!