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Pet Pillows (or This Is What Crazy Looks Like)

We admitted to our full on crazy after planning an entire media wall around the extra-large photos of our three kiddos. Which is probably why I thought it was perfectly normal to bring in additional pet-themed decor in the form of – quite literally – pillows.

It’s no secret I can’t sew, so I turned to my friend Penina, knowing she’d not only want one of her pup, Rider (above), but that she could help with Maddie, too. It was only after we were intently whip stitching the rear-ends of our stuffed animals (otherwise dubbed as the whip-stitch-n’-bitch) that we realized, hey, we’re kinda crazy.

I couldn’t wait to get home and show Scott (and on the opposite spectrum of my crafty day, I found him drinking beer and playing video games with the dudes), and I especially couldn’t wait to sit her in Grandma’s chair.

What we did: I took photos of Rider and Maddie, converted them to black and white (this was just a personal preference) and applied Photshop filters to get different looks. Once I had my files ready, I took them to a local printer along with a white canvas fabric, and they used a professional transfer technique, similar to an iron on transfer. We used leftover fabric from my no-sew pillow for the back and sewed the two pieces together, leaving a small opening for the poly-fil. Once they were nice and stuffed, we whip stitched the opening closed – and done!

To document this milestone in crazy, I thought a photo shoot would be appropriate to demonstrate how thrilled she’d be (you know, with a pillow in her honor and all). Instead, I imagine her thought process went a little more like this: What the?! followed by, uh, back to my cleaning regimine and finally, doubt she’ll go away until I pose all pretty.

Rider was only slightly more cooperative (at least allowing for a pillow balancing act – just for a moment!), but even she played the humiliation card in the end.

As for the lack of Jack and Libby pillows, you have to remember that they’ve already been immortalized in the form of portraits, and I’ve yet to do so with Maddie. Of course Maddie sees this as only fair, and as parents, well, we don’t choose favorites.

You would totally do this, too. Right?

PS: We’ve yet to wrap up the studio, but you can see the evolution from start to almost-finished on Restored Style!

PPS: I was recently phone interviewed by Katie of KTMade last week! Learn more about the Pet Shop in her Creative series right here. Thank you, Katie!

  • Jane @ The Borrowed Abode - May 1, 2012 - 7:06 AM

    Seriously, how did you think of such a thing? This is hilarious. I love the idea.ReplyCancel

  • Holly - May 1, 2012 - 7:46 AM

    These are awesome! What a creative idea. I’m saving this idea for down the line when I need some new pillows.

    I have a few of these pillows (http://www.designpublic.com/fauna-mini-animal-pillows-french-bulldog) and thought these were from that line when I first saw them.ReplyCancel

  • miranda bouck - May 1, 2012 - 7:49 AM

    Those are so cute, Kim! What a great idea!

    PS: You’re killing me with suspense with your hallway console redo. :OReplyCancel

  • Staci @ My Friend Staci - May 1, 2012 - 8:28 AM

    Eeee! I love them! I love them! Going to add personalized pet pillows to your store? ;)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 1, 2012 - 8:46 AM

      Thank you! We knew you’d understand the crazy!

      Jane, because I’m crazy.

      Miranda, the suspense is killing me too! We hope to finalize the color this weekend.

      Staci, it’s always a possibility…ReplyCancel

  • rachael - May 1, 2012 - 9:17 AM

    Holy cow, that’s cute! You’ve combined two of my favorite things- pillows and cats! You definitely should sell these- I would be your most loyal customer. :)ReplyCancel

  • Anita - May 1, 2012 - 9:26 AM

    omg you have to start selling these…I WAAAANT! Did you get another dog?ReplyCancel

  • Crystal - May 1, 2012 - 9:30 AM

    Apparently I am just as crazy, because the second I saw those, my first thought was, I need to make some!ReplyCancel

  • Clare - May 1, 2012 - 9:40 AM

    Hilarious! Love it!ReplyCancel

  • rachel - May 1, 2012 - 10:57 AM

    These are so funny! I love the filter you used with the subtle dots. These would sell like hot cakes in the Pet Shop!ReplyCancel

  • Emma - May 1, 2012 - 12:10 PM

    Score! You hand sewed both of them? Must have taken ages. Using a machine would have been easier and trust me, you CAN sew. I bought a used sewing machine and was too terrified to touch it for 2 years but I finally gave it a shot and now I can do pillows and curtains (which are dead easy and pretty hard to screw up). If I tried to hand sew a cat pillow it would come out like an octopus so great job! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashlyn@Pinecone - May 1, 2012 - 12:17 PM

    We love cats over here – so I think this idea is pretty great!!
    Just found you and can’t wait to look through some old posts!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 1, 2012 - 12:35 PM

      Thank you, everyone! The pillows are so silly, it makes us smile :)

      Emma, to clarify, we sewed the pillows on a machine (with Penina’s help!) and whip stitched the ends closed after they were stuffed. But I did freak out around Maddie’s pointy ears and had P finish mine!

      Oh, and Anita, that’s Rider, P’s dog!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - May 1, 2012 - 12:53 PM

    LOVE!!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - May 1, 2012 - 1:04 PM

    I know 4 corgis that need to be immortalized in the same way! Wait, make that 5…
    Time to search for a printer here in LA.
    Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 1, 2012 - 1:25 PM

      Alexis, Oh, my. I know a few people (me included) that would die from the cuteness of 5 Corgis!ReplyCancel

  • Molly - May 1, 2012 - 1:40 PM

    These are so fun! I would totally buy one or two… They’ed look great on my kids beds. :) Love them!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - May 1, 2012 - 4:46 PM

    So freaking CUTE!! No shame in this game sister! I’d do those in a heartbeat AND have pet pics/paintings all over!!ReplyCancel

  • Jacqui Bee - May 1, 2012 - 6:37 PM

    Very cool!ReplyCancel

  • Lili - May 5, 2012 - 8:01 PM

    Wow, these are so neat! I’d love to either have one of my five dogs, or one of each. However, I don’t have a sewing machine, and I don’t have the patience to sew by hand. But maybe, just maybe I’ll have to find a way to get the pack immortalized on pillows. They’d be great for kids, if I have any one day = )

    ~ L.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - May 9, 2012 - 8:01 PM

    w/ naomi & leo taking up all of my time, i’ll admit i’m in a hate relationship w/ boss all over again, but these pillows are effing SAWEET and hilarious! hahahahaha PJ is still cool in my book, not up in my grill during a diaper change/feeding like a needy needy HUGE fat hairy cat w/ dandruff…hahaReplyCancel

  • Hazel - August 29, 2012 - 8:38 AM

    I just love this!!! Will surely try. Thanks for sharing the idea.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - August 30, 2012 - 8:58 AM

    I have a friend who just lost an elderly feline friend. This would make a wonderful momento. Thanks for the idea and info.ReplyCancel

  • angie taylor - August 30, 2012 - 8:59 AM

    How much did the printer charge you? Love this!!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 30, 2012 - 11:23 AM

      Hi Angie, every printer will likely be different, but our printer charged around $25. There are different techniques that can cost more or less, which would all affect the outcome/price!ReplyCancel

  • how2home - August 30, 2012 - 1:01 PM

    This idea is AMAZING! thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am not a sewer as well so this project is perfect for us and book marked! We just did a diy pet silhouette project for under $2 (how2home.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/how-to-d-i-y-pet-silhouette/) hope you’ll love tis as much as we do !ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 30, 2012 - 1:18 PM

      how2home, that’s adorable! We love simple, DIY pet art!ReplyCancel

  • Pup Pillows « if it wags - September 12, 2012 - 9:01 PM

    [...] What are the chances? I think this means I’m supposed to make one. Read the full tutorial on Yellow Brick Home. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]ReplyCancel

  • Caren - September 14, 2012 - 8:25 PM

    This is definitely not crazy-making. I mean, isn’t it completely normal to want to put our pups & kitties into pillow-form so that we can hug & squeeze them whenever we want?
    Definitely not crazy. ;)
    I am so happy you shared this because my pup + cats need to be pillowized!
    Also, Rider looks an awful lot like my Grace – do you know if she is part Dachshund?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 14, 2012 - 10:50 PM

    Hi Caren, I know that Rider is a big mix of a lot of breeds, but I don’t think Dachshund is on that list!

    Thank you for legitimizing our crazy!ReplyCancel

  • [...] with your (real) dog and a stuffed pillow of your dog on the lounge at the same time! Check out the blog post for the full explanation from Kim on how she created these cuties. I am super keen to make one for [...]ReplyCancel

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  • Rhonda - October 6, 2012 - 10:13 AM

    Hello….I love these! I just recently lost two “elderly” cats…they had each been together for 16 years! They both died within months of each other….these were my babies. I would love to have a pillow of each of them on my bed! You should sell these….I would definitely purchase. If you decide to sell…..please let me know!! Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2012 - 10:49 AM

      Hi Rhonda, we do hope to add pillow to our Pet Shop at some point, so please keep checking in!ReplyCancel

  • [...] is a fantastic idea to create your own pet-themed decor for your house.  Kim from Yellow Brick Home has created a short tutorial on how to turn a photo of your best friend into  cushions for your [...]ReplyCancel

  • DIY round-up | PLUMETIS Magazine - October 14, 2012 - 5:54 PM

    [...] 1. DIY: SPICE UP THE PAPER LAMP SHADE – Scandinavian Deko2. Pet Pillows – Yellow Brick Home3. Zipper Embelished Purse [...]ReplyCancel

  • Clickity Click! | The Karina Chronicles - October 26, 2012 - 5:11 AM

    [...] how to make pillows of your pets (or anything else you can [...]ReplyCancel

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  • ms. biji-san | Fearsome 5 (& family!) - November 20, 2012 - 3:52 AM

    [...] to make some dog throw pillows, is that lame? Ummmm, NO! It isn’t! check out these ones! Hopefully I have more time for sewing, tomo is big time cleaning day! J’s parents are coming [...]ReplyCancel

  • Erin - December 6, 2012 - 3:54 AM

    Hi- when do you think pet pillows will be available for order/purchase?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 6, 2012 - 8:41 AM

      Hi Erin, we hope it’s something we’ll have the future, but our custom portraits really took off at the end of this year (as will happen around the holidays!). I’d still love to add these to our Shop, but I don’t have a definite answer in terms of when. We hope you’ll check back though!ReplyCancel

  • DIY Gift Guide: For the Pet-Lover - December 22, 2012 - 12:37 AM

    [...] pet portrait 6. Cat scratching post (and toy) 7. Paw-print ornament 8. Pet bed nightstand 9. Pet pillows 10. Corrugated cat [...]ReplyCancel

  • Heather - January 6, 2013 - 9:32 AM

    Any chance you could make these for us sad folk who can’t sew worth anything ?? I’d be VERY interested!!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 6, 2013 - 5:25 PM

    Hi Heather, we’d love to eventually add these to our Pet Shop, but things are always a bit hectic with custom orders… We hope you’ll check our Shop in the future to see if it’s been added! http://shop.yellowbrickhome.com/ReplyCancel

  • Ky - February 9, 2013 - 10:21 PM

    I’d luv to make one of these for my mom for Mother’s Day, can u tell me what size you had them printed to on the canvasReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 11, 2013 - 10:00 AM

    Hi Ky, our local t-shirt printer was able to use an image up to 11×17, so our pillows are approximately 10×16. What a fun gift that will be for Mother’s Day!ReplyCancel

  • kelllynm - February 23, 2013 - 10:57 AM

    I am going away to college in a few months, and have been thinking about how much I am going to miss my three poochies…I didn’t know this was possible! so easy! think I may personalize a cute picture of my three dogs, and make a giant pillow that I could use in my dorm…love this idea!!!ReplyCancel

  • [...] out, then appliqued it on. That was actually the easiest part. Next I think that I’ll make a life-size pillow replica of our cat [...]ReplyCancel

  • in the seam | w4terfalls - May 17, 2013 - 4:06 PM

    [...] Pillows from in the seam. Also, how to DIY. [...]ReplyCancel

  • [...] Do you have rented furniture, or does your venue have sofas in the waiting rooms? Why not spruce it up by having your pet lounge about in a pillow form? This is a great tutorial via the Yellow Brick Home blog. [...]ReplyCancel

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  • karen blalock - June 29, 2013 - 7:46 PM

    I would love to have pillows made of my cats. How do I get in touch with the maker?ReplyCancel

  • Rose - June 29, 2013 - 11:31 PM

    Were do i get oneReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 30, 2013 - 10:16 AM

      Hi Karen and Rose, we made these ourselves, but there are several sites online that have since popped up where you can buy ones, too! Or, you could give it a DIY try and have your favorite photo printed on fabric at a t-shirt shop, like we did above. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Vivian - July 29, 2013 - 4:03 AM

    Love these pillows! Could you tell us what filter you used on photoshop? Thank you~ReplyCancel

  • Kim - July 29, 2013 - 9:06 AM

    Thanks, Vivian! I used the filter “Halftone Pattern” (under the Sketch category) and just played with the adjustments until I liked what I saw.ReplyCancel

  • elizabeth morello - September 15, 2013 - 10:14 PM

    hi,

    i love these!! i wondered if you would mind elaborating on how you got the transfer?

    is this better than using an inkjet iron on?

    if you don’t mind, what was the charge for this at the printers?

    thank you so much for sharing!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 16, 2013 - 9:14 AM

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I haven’t had the best luck with inkjet transfers (maybe it’s the fabric I’m choosing), so I just went to a custom T-shirt shop here in Chicago (Strange Cargo). I believe it cost about $20 for 11×14.

    If you’d like to give the inkjet iron on a try, I’m sure it will also work just great! We’d love to see the finished product if you give it a go…ReplyCancel

  • [...] these DIY Pet Pillows from Yellow Brick Home are a cheap and easy way I can share my love of my kittens with anyone who [...]ReplyCancel

  • Reine - November 6, 2013 - 12:04 AM

    THAT IS FREAKING AWESOME!!!!! This is the ultimate crazy cat lady present and I know a few of them ;o)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 6, 2013 - 8:49 AM

    Reine, thank you! :)ReplyCancel

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    [...] Photo pillows [...]ReplyCancel

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    [...] I saw this post from Yellow Brick Home and had to make one of my [...]ReplyCancel

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  • Raevin - February 20, 2014 - 1:42 PM

    I love this idea and will be making it myself but I have a question. Since the canvas photos are meant to be hung instead of pillows, will the print flake off with use?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 20, 2014 - 2:24 PM

    Raevin, no flaking at all! The photo is very smooth, and the cloth transfer worked perfectly. It’s still holding up after almost 2 yearsReplyCancel

  • [...] up a pillow of your favorite furry friend, as done by Kim Vargo of Yellow Brick Home. While this project pushes into [...]ReplyCancel

  • […] Learn how at: YellowBrickHome.com […]ReplyCancel

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    […] […]ReplyCancel

  • - DIY Christmas Crafts - October 6, 2014 - 10:36 PM

    […] DIY Pet Pillows Tutorial from Yellow Brick Home here. She used a local printer who used a transfer technique for these pillows. That sounds kind of expensive to me and I’d use the tee shirt transfer paper I write about all the time here (ink jet, washable, wonderful detail etc…) and try and piece it together or make a smaller pillow. So cute and you could take a photo of a family or friend’s pet without them even knowing it. First seen at decor hacks here. […]ReplyCancel

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