Monday, July 30, 2012

Nursery DIY Week: My First Tutorial!!- DIY Personalized Throw Pillow

Welcome to Nursery DIY Week!! I am so excited to show some of the ways that I am personalizing Bennett's nursery, and give you the instructions on how you can do it too. There's a little something for everyone, sewing, painting, hot glue-ing, you name it. And some ideas are not just for baby rooms, you can incorporate them into any room of your house! If I can find a little bit of time to add some special touches to the baby's room, while trying to rest and take care of the girls in between, then YOU CAN TOO!!

So let's kick it off with my first tutorial! The DIY Personalized Throw Pillow!

Before Pinterest even came along, I was always finding craft tutorials through different blogs and magazines (remember those?!) that I read. I would print them off and three-hole-punch them into my "DIY" and "Home Ideas" binders. Now, of course, I simply pin them to my boards and keep it moving. So, here I am with my very first DIY tutorial of my own!!

I have seen several really cute personalized throw pillows on Etsy that I would LOOOOVE to have for Bennett's nursery. But since pillows can run $25 and up (and the ones I want are usually more like $50 and up, and it's just the covers!), and since pillows are very simple to sew, I have decided to make them myself with the fabric that I'm also using to make the crib sheets and crib skirt.

And I'm going to show you how to make one (or bunches!) of your own! As I said, this is my first tutorial, so bear with me. I hope I'm clear and everything makes sense!

Here's what you'll need:

Pillow Form or Poly-Fil Stuffing- I used two pillow forms, just beacuse they are more full and you don't have to guess how much stuffing you'll need for the pillow.

Fabric for Pillow Body- The yardage depends on the size of the pillow you're making. I made one 14"x20" and used a yard of fabric with PLENTY left over, and one 12"x12" with a half yard, also with plenty left over. Make sure you cut an extra inch for seam allowances. For instance, for my 12"x12" pillow, I cut a square 13"x13" to allow for an ample seam allowance.

Scraps of fabric for your applique- For the "B" pillow, I used 3 different coordinating fabrics. For the "Bennett" pillow, I used an old t-shirt of mine!

Heat and Bond Iron-On Adhesive- You can buy this in rolls or in sheets. I bought a roll at WalMart for about $7 and it will last me a LOOONG time. And I use it constantly!

Decorative Trim (if using)- I used a cute red pom-pom trim for the "Bennett" pillow and no trim at all for the "B" pillow. Personal preference of course. And again, the amount will depend on the size of the pillow you're using. Have enough to cover the perimeter of your pillow.

Iron/Ironing Board

Sewing Machine, thread, notions, pins, etc.

Okay, so here we go!!

1. Cut your main pillow body fabric. Like I said above, add an inch to each dimension and cut that amount. In this tutorial, you'll see pictures of the "Bennett" pillow, so I'll refer to what I did for that pillow. Since the insert that I used was 14"x20", I cut my main aqua chevron fabric 15"x21."

2. Make a template for the applique you plan to use. Since I was spelling out Bennett's name, I had to create a template for the letters. I blew up a cute font from my computer, traced the letters off my screen onto notebook paper, and cut them out.

3. Trace the applique onto the smooth side of the heat and bond adhesive, cut out AROUND your designs and iron to the WRONG side of your fabric. Follow the directions on the heat and bond packaging to know how long to apply your iron (with mine, I apply the iron for 2 seconds to the fabric). If you're using letters, make sure that you turn your letters around and trace them onto the heat and bond adhesive BACKWARDS. You're ironing it onto the fabric on the back side, so the pretty printed side will be on thr front. If you don't trace your letters backwards, they will end up backwards on the right side of the fabric (learned this the hard way :)). Not what you want.

4. Cut out your letters! They already look so cute! Once you have them cut out, remove the smooth backing on the heat and bond adhesive on the back of the letter, arrange them how you want them on one of the main pillow body pieces (which will be your front piece) and iron on. Again, refer to your heat and bond package to see how long to apply the iron (mine was 8 seconds).

5. Sew a topstitch on top of each of your ironed-on letters. You can completely skip this step if you don't want to secure the letters in place (or don't feel like it!). It takes some patience and practice (and as you can see, I need more of both!), but I think it ends up looking really cute. You can also use a zig zag or other decorative stitch, and/or you can use a matching thread if you want it to look more subtle. But I like the contrast in the white thread on the navy letter, and I think the straight stitch gives that kind-of "shabby chic" look that I like. Take your time.

A little wonky, but cute!

You have now completed the hardest part of the pillow, which wasn't even that hard!! And it's already adorable! Honestly, I thought about just framing it as it, and just skipping the pillow!

6. Add trim and sew pillow together. You want to place the trim along the edge of the front piece of fabric, and in my case, with the pom-poms facing down inside the pillow. Then place the back piece of the pillow on top of the front piece, right sides facing, and pin all three layers together along the edge. I left half of one of the long sides unpinned so I wouldn't stitch the pillow completely closed. You want to give yourself room to push the pillow or polyfil into the pillow once you turn it right-side out.

Once you start sewing, take a peek inside the pillow and make sure you're catching all three layers and you're getting the trim sandwiched in and sewn between the two pillow pieces.

7. Flip pillow right side out. Admire your handiwork! You're almost done!!

8. Stuff your pillow cover with the pillow insert or poly-fil. Pretty self explanitory. Put in as much poly-fil as you'd like to get the fullness that you want.

9. Close up your pillow. You can do this by machine or by hand. I am a glutton for punishment, so I did it with my machine. It's faster, but it's a little more cumbersome since you have so much to stick and fit under your machine. Whatever you feel more comfortable with. So I folded my two pillow piece edges over towards each other, and sandwiched the trim in between them, pinned them to hold them in place, and tried my best to sew it all shut (honestly, it took 3 tries to actually get it. I'm not perfect)!


You have a personalized pillow, perfect for your nursery, kid's room, sofa, or wherever! HOw cute would this be with just one initial or your monogram?!

How cute will it be with a couple of other pillows and a quilt to keep it company?!

And the smaller "B" pillow was made the same way, though much easier. It was only 3 appliqued pieces, two circles and a "B" cut out and sewn on. Then I skipped the trim, so sewing it up was a breeze, and you didn't have to make sure that the pesky trim was staying in place. I made it in about 1/3 of the time it took me to make the "Bennett" pillow.

I hope you'll give this DIY Personalized Throw Pillow a try! I'd love to see the color combinations and cuteness that you come up with!!

Please come back tomorrow during Nursery DIY Week for another tutorial...Striped Painted Curtains!


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