Design / DIY

DIY Garden Pillow Project

03.14.10
Project Image

This is a project anyone can do!  Sandy from Mi So Happi has been kind enough to share her amazing talents with us, by walking us through the steps…thanks Sandy! Please visit her shop to see her wares, you will be glad you did!

If you aren’t an experienced seamstress, or sewing isn’t your thing, you can modify this project to be a no sew pillow with pretty applique.  Just use Fabri-Tac or another such fabric adhesive and simply glue along the lines where you would normally sew (you will probably have to skip the button though, if you go this route, but no worries, it will still be fabulous).

What you will need to complete this project:

1. 2 contrasting but complementary fabric choices. See exact measurements and layout below (cut measurements add up to 21″x63″ for main pillow fabric and 6.5″x6.5″ for contrasting applique portion).

2. Fabric paint that is appropriate for your choice of the ‘applique’ portion of your fabric.

3. Plant sprigs: rosemary would be nice, or any stem from a shrub with a few leaves. Just look around for something with enough of a surface to apply paint. Get creative here!

4. Embroidery floss and needle, for creating a contrasting stitch, around the outside of applique. Sandy has chosen a beautiful red which looks wonderful and stands out against the linen backdrop and misty green leaf sprig prints.

5. Sewing machine and thread in a similar color to your main pillow fabric or Fabri-Tac (or any other brand of no sew glue).

Here are the directions for the applique portion of this project:

1. Begin by finding leaf or stem plant cuttings you enjoy and that have a nice surface for printing.

2. Cut out the fabric for the applique portion of the pillow (see below for measurements).

3. Prepare your paint, either by readying the color you plan to use, or mixing colors to achieve your desired result. Sandy mixed royal blue, yellow and white to get to this beautiful Misty Green color. I just love it (and just realized it matches the color of my title perfectly, yay)! Remember to use fabric paint that is appropriate for the fabric you have chosen.

4. Coat one side of your leaf sprigs. Make sure you have adequate paint on your sprig to transfer the image onto your fabric. Don’t apply so much that it’s drippy or smears when you apply any pressure to your sprig (a little smearing is survivable, a lot will mar your image too much and not achieve the graphic result desired here). As you can see from the image below there is something quite charming about having the paint transfer be a bit spotty and imperfect, it gives it a weathered sort of feel. You might want to practice this step on a piece of paper a few times before going ahead with it on your fabric. Get the desired amount of paint and pressure determined beforehand.

5. Once you have your paint and pressure practiced and determined, go ahead and stamp your fabric. Using a few different sprigs in different lengths will give you a nice result.

6. Once you have finished these steps, you can move on to sewing (or gluing) the pillow while you allow the applique center to dry. The pattern for this pillow is below, click on the image to enlarge it.

This is what it should look like as you progress.

7. If you are choosing the no sew method of creating this pillow, use the Fabri-Tac to apply the center applique as well, then use your embroidery floss to create a running stitch either along the edge of your applique (to further attach it to your pillow) or just outside and adjacent to your applique (this is up to you, you can also skip this step altogether if you want a really quick finish). If you are using a machine for sewing your pillow, you will then run the embroidery floss along the outside of your applique by hand.

That’s it – so simple, anyone can do this regardless of your sewing experience. I hope you will all send me pictures of your version. I would love to see how you applied this to your own home decor.

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