Custom Pillows

I'm sure you all know the saying "You can never be too rich or too skinny". Well for me, the saying goes a little more like this, "You can never be too rich or too skinny...or have too many throw pillows". When I started writing this post I decided I would actually take a tally of how many throw pillows we have in our home. I stopped counting once I hit 40, and I wasn't done. Yeah. It's bad. However, in my defense, throw pillows are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to change up the decor in your home. When decorating, my general rule of thumb is stick with more neutral colors and classic designs when buying larger, more expensive pieces of furniture that you'll have for a long time. You can then update your room by changing out smaller accessories such as pillows, wall decor, etc. 

I am currently in the middle of updating one of our guest bedrooms. So naturally, when I took on this task, one of the first things I set out to do was switch out the pillows. However, this time around I decided I'd try and get a little creative. As much as I'd love to sit here and talk about how my crafty little self sewed all new pillows, I can't. When it comes to sewing, I have the skill set of a five year old. No joke, I still make Kyle take his shirts to the dry cleaners when he loses a button. So, this next project was a big step for me. REAL BIG.   

I've had several doilies tucked away in the closet that my grandmother made awhile back. I wanted to find some creative ways to display them and decided I could make them work with the new style I was going for in the bedroom. Since I wasn't making my own pillows, I headed over to my trusty ole' Home Goods and found several pillows that were the style I wanted. I then popped into Jo-Ann Fabrics to get all the sewing essentials I needed.

Check it out...my first ever sewing starter kit! I'm just envisioning all the fabulous things I can do with this kit. And NOW the creative part begins. 

I carefully laid out the doily on top of the pillow making sure it was slightly stretched to ensure a tight fit. I pinned it in place to secure it. 

It was now time to begin the sewing. My hands were shaking, my heart was pounding, but I was set out to do this. I'll skip over talking about the 10 minutes it took me to thread the needle, and the multiple times the thread came out just adding to my frustration, and the fact that this project took me so long I had to stop in the middle for a snack. A glass of wine is considered a snack, right?

Let's just jump to the end. I settled on a simple back stitch technique to secure the doily to the pillow. Despite the effort that went into making this one pillow, the end result proved to be worth it. 

I love finding ways to repurpose old items into modern day decor. It's even more rewarding when the items have a special meaning to you and there is history behind them.

With my sewing projects for 2015 now complete, I was ready to move onto something a bit more up my alley. Awhile back I had purchased several stencils online (artisticstencildesigns.com). I intended to use them on pieces of furniture but haven't gotten around to it yet. I decided to try out one of the stencils on a pillow.

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After removing the pillow insert I taped the stencil to the pillow cover. Be sure to insert tissue paper into the pillow to prevent the paint from soaking through to the other side. The key to keeping the paint from bleeding over is to do a light application with high reps. You only want a small amount of paint on your brush so when you apply pressure it doesn't goop out everywhere. It is also important to use and up and down technique with the brush opposed to brush strokes. Once the entire area is covered let it dry thoroughly before removing the stencil.

I was really excited with the way this pillow turned out. It was the exact look I was going for.

Overall, I'd say these pillows were a success. Does this mean I'm going to start sewing buttons back onto Kyle's shirts? Don't count on it. But, it was fun to try something new and expand my pillow collection even more.

When buying pillows, there are a couple things to keep in mind:

  • Choose down or synthetic down inserts over polyester. They hold their shape better and are fuller. Give the pillow the "karate chop" test. If it holds the indent in the center where you "chopped" it, it's a keeper.
  • Buy inserts that are two inches larger than the pillow cover. This will give you plush looking pillows that don't sag.

I can say with a bit of relief that I'm now one step closer to finishing this bedroom makeover.