Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Bit the Burlap Bullet

So, everyone in the online crafting world has been going nuts over burlap. I've refrained from doing so for quite some time...but alas, Christmas got the better of me. My mom gave me a huge pile of pillow forms last time I was home. I also acquired some really cute felt shapes from various places like the Dollar Tree and Target. The fabric that brought all these things together nicely was (you guessed it!) burlap. These were super simple to make, and I have to admit, they turned out great!
Some (mis) guidance:

For each pillow, I just measured one side of the pillow form (from side seam to side seam) and added 1/2 inch total (for 1/4 seam allowance on each side) all the way around. Then I cut one square for the front using that measurement. (Ex. the pillow form measures 15 inches, so I cut a square 15 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches.)

For the back, I did an envelope style so I could change out the cover if I wanted. For these pieces, I kinda eyeballed it, but it basically ended up being the same measurements as the front plus two inches or so on one side only. (in our example, this would be 15 1/2 inches tall by 17 1/2 inches wide.) Then I cut this rectangle in half, starting on one of the wider sides (17 1/2 inches) Then I folded under a 1/4 inch on each half (where you just cut the two apart) and sewed a seam to finish the edges.

Next, I pinned the front piece and the back pieces right sides together and sewed them together on all sides. (Note: when you pin the back pieces on, they will overlap each other in the middle of the pillow. This is how you stuff in your pillow form and hide it.)

Once sewn, turn the pillow case right side out. Make sure to get in those corners good! Stuff in your pillow form. Finally, I used fabric glue to attach the felt embellishments. I thought about hand sewing them, but I didn't want any stitches to show (plus I'm lazy!). I put the glue directly on the felt, positioned it on my pillow and pushed the felt down really hard. Then I pinned it and left the pins in for a couple of hours.

Did I confuse you with this pictureless tutorial yet? If I did, please let me know. I am planning on doing some more of these soon, so if need be I can take pics to stick in here as I go. But for now, you'll have to settle for pics of more completed pillows:

The one below is my favorite. I used red burlap (you should also note I did fringed edges on this one by not turning it inside out and unraveling the edges up to the seam). *squee!* I think I'm addicted!

Here's a picture of the back of one so you can see what I mean when I'm describing it:

I managed to get all three pillows done in a relatively short amount of time-probably about 2 1/2 hours or so, not including glue drying time. Also, I think this is the first sewing project ever where I didn't have to break out the seam ripper (knock on wood!). Which is good, considering I'm not sure the burlap wouldn't have started to unravel. These would make great gifts and are inexpensive, since I used recycled pillow forms and burlap is cheap. All the felt appliques were 2 for $1 at the Dollar Tree.

What have you done with burlap? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Crafting!

*Sharing this at:

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  1. Very nice! They look adorable!

  2. I have a bunch of pillow forms laying around- I plan on copying you. Love how yours turned out.
    Thanks for the ideas.
    Merry Christmas

  3. Super cute! I like them all, but the red one really pops!
    Thanks for joining my party :)

  4. These are fabulous!! My favorite is the red too. I didn't even know they made red burlap. Awesome!

  5. I love these pillows. And I was just thinking that you could actually add the embellishments with a decorative pin and some ribbon so that you could change them out and use the same pillows for summer (flower) fall (leaf, etc.) or holiday.

    I think I'm going to try this project. I may even have some spare burlap around! Imagine! :)

  6. Great idea over-caffeinated! I'll have to try that for the next batch!



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