Ready for more red, white, and pink? More hearts and glitter? More candy? Well, I’m not exactly ready to break out the Valentine’s Day decor yet (I’m enjoying our clutter-free, decorations-free house at the moment), but you could say I’m easing into thinking about Valentine’s Day.
Or maybe this project was inspired more by the fact that I couldn’t bear to put my old ragged pillow covers back on once the Christmas covers came off. My naked pillows needed covers, and I ran into just the inspiration … Anthropologie!
Check out these awesome ‘Sentimentalist Pillows‘ from Anthro:
I love that they’re neutral. I love that they’re simple. I love that, if you use your imagination just a little, they’re just a touch Valentine-y (without the red, pink, glitter, and hearts).
I DON’T love that they’re $148 each. What?!?! Seriously, for this set above it would cost me nearly $300. Are ya kiddin’ me? That’s almost half a new sofa that we need in that room!
So … the fact that they’re relatively simple, the fact that I have newly discovered fabric that I didn’t know I had (from my recent craft closet organizing project), and the fact that my naked pillows were screaming, ‘dress me’ from the couch, made me decide to DIY some similar pillows. For a fraction of the cost.
I changed the colors a bit because I’m a big fan of grey at the moment, but here’s how they turned out:
Trying them out in our office (still undergoing an update):
And a close up …
And one last shot hanging out with the beginnings of my soon-to be pom-pom DIY pillow (more details on that to come … hopefully):
I am just loving the gray / robbin’s egg blue / coral color combo right now, so I thought I’d see how these pillows looked together. If the pom-pom pillow turns out, I think it will be great for the rest of winter (and possibly spring??).
Anyway, want to make one (or four)? It’s super easy. These pillow covers have zipper closures on the bottom (and I’ll show you how to do this … it’s easy, I promise), but you could also make the ‘envelope’ back pillows requiring no zippers (see Christmas Pillow post for the how-to).
I made four pillows total. The two ‘X’ pillows are 20″ x 20″ and the two “O” pillows are 18″ x 18″ (because those happen to be the sizes I had on hand). Here’s what I used for all four:
- 2.5 yards of the grey fabric. I used Grey ‘bottom weight’ fabric from JoAnn. It was on sale for $5.99/yard, and I think it is a lighterweight denim.
- 1/2 yard of the off-white fabric. This was also a denim, but it was much heavier weight. It, too, was on sale for $5.99 yard.
- 16-18″ ‘invisible’ zipper in a similar grey color ($3.50 each from JoAnn).
If you do the math … that’s $25 for all four pillows. If I had purchased four ‘Sentimentalist’ pillows from Anthro, it would have been nearly $600!! Yes, the anthro pillows come with the inserts, but you could easily buy these for about $5 a piece with a coupon from JoAnn. Yes, the Anthro pillows are linen, but they’re also ‘hand wash’. I don’t know about you, put the combo of ‘hand wash’ and the light color on the Anthro pillows does not bode well for my two boys (three if you count my hubby), and dog who loves to curl up with our throw pillows. I’d say it’s worth the couple hours to make your own!
Step 1: Cut your fabric pieces. I usually cut the pieces for the front and back the same size as the insert (thus, 20″sq and 18″sq). With the seams, this will make the resulting cover a bit smaller than the pillow insert which allows the pillow to better ‘fill out’ the cover (preventing it from looking sloppy). For all four pillows, I needed a total of:
- Four 20″ square pieces
- Four 18″ square pieces
Step 2: Cut your letters out of the lighter color fabric. I simply drew an ‘X’ on a piece of paper (measuring roughly 16″ tall x 15″ wide with 3.5″ thick ‘lines’). Once I was happy with the letter on paper, I simply traced it onto the backside of the lighter color fabric, and cut out.
Step 3: Center letter on front pieces of fabric and pin in place.
Step 4: Sew all around letter, leaving about 3/8″ – 1/2″ allowance between seam and edge of letter (you will ‘fray’ the exposed edges the next step to create the worn look of the inspiration pillows).
Step 5: Fray edges of letter and trim if necessary. I used my seam ripper to assist in fraying the edges. The ‘X’ frayed pretty evenly (less trimming needed). The ‘O’ however, definitively needed trimming after fraying.
Step 5: Sew in zipper. This is the trickiest part of the whole project.
- Lay front piece of fabric (the one you just sewed the letter onto) right side UP. Set back piece of fabric on top of the front, right side DOWN. Make sure bottom edge of each fabric pieces are both at the bottom (if your fabric has a pattern that matters). Pin bottom edge.
- Double check … the right sides of your fabric squares should be facing each other. The only part visible now should be the wrong sides of either piece. You have pinned the bottom edge of both fabrics together (the place you want the zipper).
- Okay, after you’re sure your fabrics are correctly aligned (I’ve messed this up waaay too many times, can you tell??), you’re ready to sew the bottom edge with the zipper.
- Set zipper in place along bottom edge. Your zipper should be centered along that edge with about 1″ gap on either side. If your zipper is too big, cut it to the right size, then sew back and forth along end (actually about 1/4″ from the end you just cut) to create a ‘stop’ at the correct length.
- Mark on either side where your zipper starts and stops (again, this should be about an inch in from each edge) and about 1/2″ from the bottom edge.
- Sew your bottom edge. Start on one end. Begin sewing (backstitching at the beginning) and sew to first mark. Backstitch here. Now, without having to move your needle or thread or fabric (keep your needle in the fabric where you just stopped), change to a basting stitch (loosest, widest length stitch your machine will do … a 5 on my last two machines). You will now stitch across where the zipper will be using a basting stitch to hold the fabric temporarily. We will be removing these basting stitches in a bit. Okay, go ahead and baste across bottom edge until you reach your mark on the other end. Backstitch here. Again, you can leave your needle in the fabric and just change back to a regular width stitch for the remaining 1″ – 1.5″ or so. Finish stitching the final inch, backstitching again as you reach the edge.
- Iron your seam open.
- Set zipper in place, face down, centered on seam. Pin in place.
- Put on zipper foot, and stitch either size of zipper to bottom edge.
- Get out your stitch ripper, and remove basting stitches (this is the fun part!).
- Test out your zipper. Hooray!
Step 6: Okay, now finish sewing the rest of your pillow together.
- Open zipper at least 1/3 of the way so you can flip pillow right side out in just a bit.
- Again, right sides of front and back should be facing. Pin pillow around remaining three edges.
- Sew around all three sides (using approximately 1/2″ seam allowance).
- Trim corners to allow sharper corners when you flip the pillow right-side-out
Step 7: Flip pillow (I lied … this is the fun part)
Step 8: Insert pillow … zip her up … finished!!
Easy, right??? Now repeat three more times. You’ll be a pro by the end!
My naked pillows are now all dressed up! I’m working on the accompanying pom-pom pillow, and I’ll share the details in a couple days or so.
Thanks for stopping by, and have a fabulous week!