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Texty Pillow: Merry & Bright

Since first seeing this pillowin a catalog mailer over a month ago, I’ve been blabbing my mouth to Scott about the pillow I’ll make for us – it’ll be just like it! It’ll be Christmas-y and cheery, and it’ll hang in our living room all season long. This make believe pillow fit in with my idyllic holiday decor, and we’ll lounge our nights away surrounded by twinkling lights, wearing fluffy slippers and sipping on eggnog. Oh, my. So for reference, here’s the inspiration:

But forget buying that pillow. Ha! I’ll make the pillow! Sure, the real deal is less than $20, but DIY is more fun, more personal.

In any case, we’re not lounging away our evenings or drinking eggnog, but the pillow has been birthed. And it is Christmas-y and cheery. But all season long? Well, it was DIY-ed just yesterday:

For the last month, I’d been collecting the bits I’d need since first seeing my inspiration item, and if I’d just sat down and made it, it could’ve been done a long, long time ago. (Ah, well!) The good news is that it’s super easy, I didn’t sew a lick (we all know by now that is not something I do), and it only took an hour from start to finish – with the text taking the longest. It’s much more minimal than the source, but it’s much more Kim & Scott, too.

Supplies needed:
iron & ironing board
neutral fabric for the front
an old flannel shirt, preferably size XL and up
pillow form
alphabet stencil
Stitch Witchery / iron-on hem tape
fabric marker
scissors
ruler
pencil

After obnoxiously talking to Scott about my really simple idea (and believe me, he was thrilled to be discussing pillows for nights on end!), we agreed that a classic flannel/plaid fabric would look timeless, yet still feel cheery and holiday-like. And broken in, super soft flannel would be even better! So we picked up the comfiest, coziest XL shirt at our local thrift store for $1, and the buttons would act as our envelope enclosure. Less “sewing” for me, and it’s certainly more interesting.

For our front fabric, I used a 1/2 yard of a neutral, khaki linen I had on hand. Of course this led to the next never-ending round of conversation – what should it say? For simplicity’s sake, we agreed on “be merry & bright,” that is, after throwing around “all I want for Christmas is you” (too obvious, although ILU, Mariah!) or “I’ve got my love to keep me warm” (too long).

There are a dozen other phrases we would’ve been happy with, so that just means there’ll be more pillows down the road. Pillows for every room! (Oh, wait, we already do that.)

I Pinterest-ed and Googled around for ways to get our text on the pillow, and this tutorial was not only the easiest, but it was the cheapest. Win-win! Using a pencil, I traced my words carefully in the middle of my fabric, and I used an ironed-in crease for my line to keep things straight:

Then I filled it in, carefully, with a fabric marker. Afterwards, I measured out from the text on all sides to get the size of my pillow form. I used an 18″ form, and I kept my fabric the same size, which would keep the finished case nice and full once I hemmed all the sides. By measuring out from the text, I was able to keep it centered.

Next, I measured an 18″ square from the front of my thrifted shirt, since the buttons would act as the envelope enclosure.

To “stitch” it all together, I laid my two pieces of fabric face-to-face, so that the text side touched the button side. Using Stitch Witchery, I cut a strip for all 4 sides and laid it between my fabric, using a damp cloth between my hot iron and the fabric itself. (These instructions came straight from the hem tape package. No news here!)

After 15-30 seconds on each section of my hem tape, everything was secured, and I turned the case right side out and put my pillow form inside. Done! For those that worry the hem tape might come loose, well, almost everything that’s been hemmed in our home has been done so with Stitch Witchery. (Er, everything but my jeans; those go to my alterations pal across the street.)

Here’s how the back turned out, and while it’s not meant to sit this way, it could still be cute if we get a little lazy with Operation Holiday Pack-Up.

Naturally, everything looks better with a kitty next to it. (Hi, Maddie Baby!)

We love that you can see the cozy, flannel back from the front and sides (just a peek!) – and it even balances out our red floor lamp across the room. Happy accident!

And with that, we’re d-o-n-e with our holiday decorations. Our silver and gold tree, stockings for each fuzzy kiddo, and this easy pillow keeps things – wait for it! – merry and bright. Oh!

Any last minute decorating on your end?

  • Lindsey d. - December 18, 2012 - 8:23 AM

    Love this! I’m envisioning a fabulous Hawaiian print version for summer (with “Stay Cool” or similar)…ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 18, 2012 - 9:06 AM

    Lindsey, great idea! I should make a few to rotate out for the different seasons…ReplyCancel

  • Two PItties in the City - December 18, 2012 - 10:16 AM

    I love that it still has the pocket on it, and Lindsey’s idea for the Hawaiian shirt. E does a lot with Stitch Witchery (did you know he was the crafty one in our home?), but I never thought about making pillows. I think we could use some more for the pups this winter.ReplyCancel

  • Rebelwerewolf - December 18, 2012 - 2:55 PM

    I never knew about Stitch Witchery. Technology these days!

    And you can definitely leave that pillow out past the holidays, since it’s not too specific.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin @ Desert Domicile - December 18, 2012 - 4:50 PM

    Oh I love this! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t sew :)ReplyCancel

  • Trude - December 18, 2012 - 5:40 PM

    It turned out soooo cute! Love that you kept the pocket. :) Ditto what Caitlin said, it appeals to my non-sewer’s heart.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 18, 2012 - 5:49 PM

      Glad to know I’m in the company of other non-sewers :)ReplyCancel

  • Jimmy - December 18, 2012 - 7:56 PM

    Love it. Absolutely love it. We have to steal this for our farmhouse. My wife’s words: “shut.up.” We are pumped to try this.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 18, 2012 - 8:17 PM

    Jimmy, even better – Shut. Up. would make a pretty great text-y pillow!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - December 20, 2012 - 8:28 AM

    You!! So creative. I want to hug that pillow hard.ReplyCancel

  • kirsten - December 21, 2012 - 12:57 AM

    For real?!? DARLING! Putting this on my “to try” list!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Lepak @ Dandelion Patina - November 10, 2014 - 5:36 PM

    Hi there! Stopping by to say congratulations on being featured on Midwest Living, favorite holiday blogger projects! Have a great week! ~MichelleReplyCancel

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