So after posting about these awesome pillows from Ballard Designs and their ridiculous price tag of $59/each, I got several comments and e-mails about how fun this would be as a DIY project. And you know what? You were right!
Here is my version – only $32! They aren’t the exact replica, but I like the lighter color of the burlap and the simplicity of them. This was a very easy project and did not take long at all.
I purchased the burlap ($3.99/yd!), a set of 4″ letter stencils, brown fabric paint and two 18″ pillow inserts all from Hobby Lobby. I love a one-stop shop! These pillows were $59 each with the insert included. Since you have to have the Mr. AND the Mrs., I would have spent $118 before tax or shipping! For my version, I spent $32 and had fabric, paint and the stencils to use on another project. Unbelievable!
I followed the instructions I found online at Suite101 for an 18″ pillow. I started the project and my mom finished it for me when it came to the sewing part. I guess one of these days I need to buy a sewing machine and take some lessons!
Fabric Dimensions for Popular Pillow Sizes
•14” x 14” pillow: Front 16” x 16”. Back, 2 pieces, 16” x 10½” each
•18” x 18”pillow: Front 20” x 20”. Back, 2 pieces, 20” x 12½” each
•24” x 24” pillow: Front 26” x 26”. Back, 2 pieces, 26” x 15½” each
1.Cut the fabric for front and back to the size that fits your pillow form. (18” x 18”pillow: Front 20” x 20”. Back, 2 pieces, 20” x 12½” each)
2.(Optional) Quilt the front panel, add appliqué, or add buttons, ribbons, or other embellishments. It’s much easier to do this before you assemble the pillow than afterwards.
****Laura’s Note: I measured the center point of the pillow and spaced out the stencils. Once they were placed where I wanted, I used Scotch tape to hold them in place.
I didn’t have a stencil brush, so I used one of my regular crafting paint brushes. I alternated between brushing and dabbing the paint on. I held down the inside parts of the letters with my fingers so that there wasn’t any paint bleeding underneath the stencil.
And after I removed the stencils….I realized I placed them too far apart and didn’t like the way they looked. Time to start over! (repeat all steps above and place stencils right next to each other…whoopsies…)
3.Finish the top edge of each back panel piece by folding over ½” to the wrong side, pressing, then folding again to completely hide the top raw edge. Stitch along the folded edge. An alternate way to finish the edges is to bind each top edge like a quilt, using an extra piece of double-fold binding.
4.Lay the front panel right side up on a flat surface. Lay the two back panel pieces right side down on top of the front panel, aligning them all around the outside edges. The back pieces should overlap in the middle. Pin all around the outside edges.
5.Sew around the outside edge of the pillow, using a ½” seam for strength. Remove the pins as you sew to avoid hitting a pin with your needle.
6.Clip the seam allowance in the corners to make turning easier. (Optional: stitch around all the raw edges with a zigzag stitch to neaten the seams and prevent raveling.)
7.Turn the pillow cover right side out, using a chopstick or the eraser end of a pencil to poke out the corners.
8.Insert the pillow form into the opening on the back side.
And here is another shot of my final version. A little more whimsical, because of the stencil type, but pretty similar! I love it and am now playing with where to place them. I tried to layer it in front of this pillow I had from Pottery Barn, but maybe too much? So many options and possibilities!!
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