Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Love never fails" pillow tutorial

Yesterday I showed you the pillow I made for my porch. Originally I wanted to make this as a Valentine's Day decoration, but now I think I'll keep it out long after February 14.



The pillow cost me no money and just a little time, so I want to share with you the technique for making it. Believe me, if I can make it, you can make it. I have a tiny amount of artistic ability and a great amount of desire to make pretty things for my home. If you share that desire, you can make things, too! Here's how.

  • Choose a pillow size. I used a pillow form that I had on hand; for it I needed a 17" square case.
  • Choose your fabric. I used a piece of dropcloth which I'd washed, dried, and pressed. Here's a confession: I've only ever purchased one canvas dropcloth and just cut pieces as I needed them. There's a lot of fabric in a dropcloth! You could use muslin, cotton duck, tight-weave linen, poplin--just about anything. I recommend using inexpensive fabric so that you won't worry about messing up.
  • Cut your fabric. To minimize sewing, I cut one piece of fabric and folded it over. For a 17" finished size, I cut my fabric 19" wide (17" plus 1" seam allowance on both sides) x 36" long (17" long finished size plus 1" seam allowance for the bottom.
  • Select a sentiment. Mine is a direct quotation from I Corinthians 13. (By the way, if you're like me and love the King James Version of the Bible, you might enjoy the New King James Version. It's pretty much the 1611 version with some updates (especially pronouns and verb forms). It retains the beautiful, comforting "feel" of the KJV but is a bit easier to read and understand--and to inscribe upon a pillow.)
  • Decide upon spacing. After seeing my final product, I wish I'd placed the verse a little higher on the pillow. Oh, well.
  • Use a ruler or straightedge to draw guidelines. You can use a special pen with disappearing ink that's made specifically for this purpose, or do as I did and simply make lines with a pencil and later erase them. Use whatever you have, but don't skip the lines.
  • Now use a black Sharpie or other marker and start writing. I'm not an artist (obviously), but I have pretty good handwriting, I can print well, and I can do very basic calligraphy. I know nothing about graphic design, but I like the look of combined typefaces, so I tried to achieve that look. Here's the secret: don't try to paint the words. Just use a Sharpie and write on the fabric as if you were writing on paper. It's a good idea to write your sentiment on paper first, then write on your fabric. If you like, you can type out your sentiment, change the font styles and sizes, print them out, trace the outlines onto fabric using carbon paper, and then color in the letters with your Sharpie. Use whatever method works best for you, but do remember Nester's admonition: It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. I did my writing freehand, knowing that if I messed up I could quickly and easily just cut out another panel of dropcloth and start over. Oh, the freedom of using inexpensive materials!
  • Once you have your lettering in place, step back and take a look at your canvas. If you like, you can snap a quick photo and then look at the photo on your computer--that will help you see if you need to add a little ink here or there. When you're satisfied with the writing, erase your pencil marks or wash away your ink marks.
  • Now sew or glue your pillowcase. Since I'd cut one long piece, I folded the fabric over right sides together, stitched the side seams, then stitched the bottom partially closed. If you don't sew, you could use Stitch Witchery, fabric glue, or even a glue gun to create your seams.
  • Turn your pillowcase inside out and use a long, skinny tool to make sure the corners are turned out neatly. I used a chopstick for this; you could use a knitting needle, a pair of scissors, a skewer, etc. Just be sure not to poke a hole in your fabric. Press pillowcase if necessary.
  • Stuff pillow with your pillow form or with loose pillow filling (down, polyfil, fabric scraps, etc.).
Here's my pillow on my screened porch, where it'll stay for awhile. If it gets dirty, I'll just throw it in the washer. Because the lettering is done with a Sharpie, it'll be easy to touch up if need be.

It's certainly not perfect, but I'm happy with it. And I can always use the reminder that God's love never, ever fails.

I'm sharing this post at these parties:

16 comments:

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Richella, this is such a cute pillow! You make everything look so easy; and it looks wonderful in this setting!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Lovely! And I really like it paired with that other pillow on that black bench. I've been on the hunt for a Colonial-style bench for my kitchen that I can paint black or white.

Great tutorial!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

It is beautiful! I'm kind of jealous of your pretty handwriting! My handwriting stinks, so anytime I make something with writing it has to be printed, copied, or traced...or my hubby {who has perfect handwriting} has to do it for me:)

Linda said...

Richella...thanks for the drop cloth idea. Pillows are so expensive these days...so, it is fun to have this little idea of ways to save some money.

Your pillow turned out great!

Babs said...

Your pillow is so pretty and I love the verse. Thanks for the tutorial.

Paula said...

It looks wonderful on your porch and you definitely should leave it out after Valentine's Day.

Chatty Chics said...

Richella, you are adorable. I love your About Me section. Girl, I could give you a big ole hug as you're my sister! :) Great job on the pillow! I'm going to try it on some fabric I've been wanting to test out!
Melody
ChattyChics.com
PS If you want to show this off at my place, I'd love it!
http://chattychics.com/2012/02/07/need-inspiration-wild-wednesday-2/

Deserae said...

Very cute.... love it on your bench!!!!
~Des

PS. I am now following you on Google...hope you will follow me back :o)

Southern Lady said...

Love it, Richella! Carla

Kristin said...

Thanks for the tutorial Richella! Your pillow came out beautifully. I wish I had the confidence to write on fabric - but maybe if I tried an inexpensive piece like you suggested, it wouldn't be so stressful for me! Hope your week has been a good one...

At The Picket Fence said...

It really is so wonderful Richella! And I wanted you to know that I read your last post too. Your friends have been on my heart and mind so much lately...I have been praying for all of you as you grieve. Thank you so much for sharing this at Inspiration Friday and for reminding us of the truest love of all! :-)
Vanessa

Heathahlee said...

I love it. And I'm so impressed you freehanded the letters! :)

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

This is adorable!!! I so love your screened in porch, too.

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Hi Richella, I enjoyed my visit to your blog! Great project! And yes, it doesn't have to be perfect for us to enjoy it! Patsy from
HeARTworks

Chandy said...

Wow, I am totally a new follower! Saw your roman shade on Pinterest and I want to try making it!

Cindy Woodward said...

I love it...and love that it is not centered on the pillow. I am started to love things that are not "the usual"...this is great...and inspirational. I may try it.

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