DIY Hand Stitched Saying Pillow

DIY Hand Stitched Saying Pillow | www.revamperate.comHey there, friends! I shared a new DIY project over on CraftPaperScissors recently! Head over to the website to see my tutorial for this DIY hand stitched saying pillow and let me know if you give it a try. 

I loved making this because I find stitching pretty relaxing, and you can customize it with your favorite quote or saying, which makes it a thoughtful gift idea. You can do this with just about any pillow cover in any size or color and customize it to fit your needs completely. Have fun with it!

Head over to CraftPaperScissors to see the full tutorial!

DIY How to Sew a Lumbar Pillow from a Placemat (or Anything Else!)

DIY Placemat Lumbar Pillow | RevamperatePillows are my favorite. Every time I go shopping somewhere, I find myself gravitating toward pillows and wishing that I had ten couches and three beds in my house to fill with pillows. BUT since I don’t, I end up being so critical and picky that I don’t buy the beautiful pillows that I lust after and only have a couple on my couch. Plus, it’s kind of crazy how expensive pillows are…or maybe I’m just that cheap? Luckily, it’s Christmastime now, so I can make pillows that are just for Christmas! It’s a perfect excuse to have MORE PILLOWS and then store them away for the rest of the year. 

So today I’m sharing how to make a lumbar pillow from a placemat (or pretty much anything else). The great thing about a pillow is you can recycle any fabric to make it, so grab a placemat, scarf, table runner, table cloth, old t-shirt, etc. and get to sewing! This is a super easy sewing project for anyone, and I like making pillows this way because you can stuff the pillows yourself and make them as full as you want. I find that pillow forms are just never as lusciously full as I would like them to be, and the cost of a giant bag of fiberfill is still cheaper than one pillow form. 

DIY Placemat Lumbar Pillow | RevamperateTime: 30 minutes 

Supplies:

  • One standard sized placemat (can also use a scarf, table runner, etc.)
  • 1/2 yard matching fabric (for backside)
  • Fiberfill pillow stuffing
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Cutting board (if you have one)
  • Needle 

I laid my eyes on this cute, simple placemat with “Merry & Bright” embroidered on it at Target and instantly knew that I could use it for something and it was only, like, $3 and I just had to have it. So that’s how I decided to turn a placemat into a Christmas pillow…because I don’t actually use placemats as placemats but I love pillows.

You can follow this tutorial to make a lumbar pillow out of pretty much anything (a scarf, table runner, recycled fabric, etc.). Your pillow can vary sizes, but I based mine on the length of the placemat, so I ended up with a pillow about 12 in x 4 in when I allowed room for seams. Plus, because I have an embroidered pattern, I wanted to make sure that portion showed up in the middle of the pillow. Whatever size you choose, just be sure to add at least 1/2 inch to your desired size to allow for seams, but know that I’m writing as if we’re all making a 12 in x 4 in pillow.

Because this placemat was double sided, I didn’t actually end up using a different fabric for the backside, but I added it in the supplies list because I had fully intended on using it at first, and it’s likely that you’ll need more fabric for the back of the pillow.

First, cut the placemat to be about 12.5 in x 4.5 in, taking into account the direction you want the pattern (or in this case, embroidery) to be in, making sure that pattern is centered. Because a placemat has a fairly thick seam around the edge, I cut that off first before cutting the rest of my measurements. 

Then cut the same size from your matching fabric for the backing. You can either use a color that stands out against your front side or that blends well with it – whatever you want! Place the two right sides (or patterned sides) together, line up the edges and pin all the way around. 

DIY Placemat Lumbar Pillow | Revamperate
Beginning at a corner along one of the long sides of the fabric, back stitch and then sew all the way around the pillow with at least a 1/4-inch seam, leaving a 3-inch hole before you reach the end of the pillow and back stitching again. Trim the threads and cut your corners. Then turn the pillowcase right side out and iron down the seams (not entirely necessary but recommended). 

Grab your pillow stuffing and push it into the corners from the opening left in the side of the pillowcase (I use a little chopstick-looking tool). Fill the pillow until you reach your desired fluffiness. 

Lastly, use a ladder stitch to close the opening with an invisible seam. Then you’re left with a cute lumbar pillow and even though you’ll know that it’s made from a placemat, no one else will ever guess it. It looks great on my chair for the season. Definitely a worthwhile Target purchase!

DIY Crate Cat Bed

IMG_4854IMG_4723Can we all agree that pet projects are the best projects? As soon as we knew we’d be adopting Oliver, I immediately knew he needed a bed (even though he’d probably prefer a cardboard box). I also took this as a great opportunity to try my hand at sewing with my new sewing machine!

My grandma passed her old sewing machine on to me a while back, but until recently I never had room for it. Now that I have an actual office space, I have room to sew – something I haven’t done since I was a kid. That’s how you know this is an easy project. Sewing the pillow for Oliver’s bed was the first time I’ve used a sewing machine since I was probably ten years old, so I promise anyone can do this.

I painted a crate, adding his name and sewed an envelop pillow case to add the pillow inside of his bed. Overall, this project can take as little as an hour.

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To make this crate cat bed (or small dog bed), you’ll need:

  • A crate (mine is x x x from Michael’s)
  • At least two different colors of paint
  • Small chipboard letters
  • Clear acrylic spray paint
  • Fabric
  • Pillow insert (mine is 16 x 20 in from IKEA)

Other supplies:

  • A sewing machine
  • Thread that matches your fabric
  • Fabric measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Paint brushes
  • Pencil

First, stand your crate right side up, with handles on each side. Using your hands, a crowbar or a hammer, pry off the top two slats of the crate. This lowers the front of the crate so your pet can step inside easier.

Then paint the entire crate one color – I chose grey for a mellow but still “manly” look that will blend in well with the apartment. A second coat made a huge difference because the first coat left it a bit streaky.

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Once dry, lay down chipboard letters on the front, top slate of the crate, spelling out your pet’s name. You could glue down chipboard letters instead of painting them, but I preferred the look of paint and decided to forgo the glittery letters because I was concerned they’d fall off too quickly and wouldn’t suit the boyish look I was going for. Use a pencil to trace the letters, and fill them in with your second paint color – I chose light blue. Then take it outside to spray it with a light coat of clear acrylic spray paint to give it a nice, finished shine.

Then go into that pile of scrap fabric we all have and dig out a large pieces of fabric to match your bed – I chose light yellow. For my 16 x 20 inch pillow insert, which I pulled out of one of my old IKEA pillows, I cut one piece that was 17 x 21 inches, leaving an extra inch around for the seam. Then, cut two more pieces that will create the envelope. Mine were 17 x 11 inches and 17 x 13 inches, allowing for a few inches of overlap. If using a different size pillow, make sure to allow for at least 2-4 inches of overlap, and one of your pieces will be smaller than the other.

Then iron them out as best you can. Take the edges of your envelop pieces that will be the envelop and fold over about 1/4 inch, then fold another 1/4 of an inch. Iron in place to hold the fold together.

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Place the full piece on the bottom, outside facing up. Place your smallest piece, outside facing down, on top of the larger pieces. Then place your medium-sized piece, outside facing down, on top of the other.

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First, sew across the folded area of your envelop pieces, reversing along the ends to hold your stitch. Lay them back down and pin around your pieces to hold them in place. Sew a 1/2 inch seam around the length of the pillow, reversing your seam at each end to hold. As you go around, turn your fabric, so you have a consistent seam going all the way around, pulling the pins out as your go. Once done, cut the corners off and trim your extra strings.

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Then pull the pillow outisde-out and iron down the edges. Put your pillow insert inside and ta-da! Then squeeze it inside the crate. It should be a somewhat tight fit.

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Now you have a comfy little bed for your little sidekick!