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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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Growing up, I was always tasked with gift wrapping for the entire family – gifts to my mom from my dad, gifts from my sister to our brother, and even gifts from my siblings to me. Funny, I couldn’t stand it at the time, but I realize it was because I was the only one in the family crazy enough to get those crisp corners, fluff the bows, and hide the taped edges just so.

We all know by now that I’m a perfectionist. We get it; we can move on.

While I’m completely attracted to shiny and sparkly things, I’ve always been more of a brown-paper-packages kind of girl (we like that it can be used year round), but I still like to fun it up; see exhibit A, right here. This year, I spruced up my usual kraft paper with gold ink, so, you know, I guess I still added some shiny, sparkly goodness.

Yes, I’m still the gift-wrapper under this roof (Scott’s more of the put-it-in-a-bag and throw-some-tissue-in-there kind of guy), and oddly enough, I’m finally enjoying it. (It only took 30 years!) I’m thinking my Yay! stamp helps, because isn’t that what you’re really feeling when you’re giving those personal, thought out gifts?

I actually use this same stamp for all my outgoing Pet Shop orders (check out exhibit B, right here), and it makes just as much sense for holiday gift giving, right? I originally got the idea from Jack’s fuzzy friend, Ammo the Dachshund, and with his blessing, I made my own using text in Photoshop, saving my Yay! file as a .png and sending it off to Simon’s Stamps. (Although any text-making program could work, like Word.) Of course my favorite part is that they’re super affordable – we always get the traditional wood handle rubber stamps and use a separate ink pad. Because yes, we have a few Simon Stamps. (They’re just really addicting! And, they reverse the text for you. Easy.)

In our usual Christmas-y fashion, we’re a bit behind in sharing festive-y goodness around this virtual home (and we still have a project or two we’d like to tackle), but we think any pre-made stamps from hobby stores could spruce up packages in a pinch; you could even use brown paper bags!

Also, these paws.

And now that I’ve finally embraced my gift-wrapping place in the world, I wonder, how do you embellish your gifts? Can we see?

  • jackie jade - December 17, 2012 - 8:36 AM

    aww this is such a good, but easy, idea! i love playing with stamps, so i might have to try something like this soon!

    also wanted to say i love your pet paintings! i have 2 cute doggies and would love to get their portraits done sometime soon!ReplyCancel

  • Rebelwerewolf - December 17, 2012 - 8:53 AM

    I was always tasked with wrapping presents when I was growing up, too! It was because my family is very last-minute, so our relatives would be arriving at our house, and my parents would have to go greet them, leaving me to wrap all the presents.

    I’m actually kind of sad that there’s not really any reason for us to wrap presents this year – we’re staying home, and we’ve already spent our budget on a camera and new toys back in November. Maybe I’ll wrap those back up and stick them under the tree that we still haven’t put up yet?ReplyCancel

  • Molly - December 17, 2012 - 1:30 PM

    I actually wrapped presents like this on Saturday! My 3 year old was going to a birthday party, & I had him do the stamping so he was included in the gift giving. I wish I would have taken a picture. I made the stamps & a few pom poms to put on top. Craft paper is the best go to wrapping paper.

    ps- That is the cutest ribbon, & you tie an awesome bow!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - December 17, 2012 - 1:44 PM

    I can definitely relate to being the gift wrapper. I was always the one person in the house who just loved to wrap gifts. I even wrapped my own some years! Haha. I love this idea too! I am totally going to make my own wrapping paper now.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 17, 2012 - 2:05 PM

      I’m glad that all of you feel my gift-wrapping pain! I suppose I always sort of liked it, since I would wrap even the tiniest gifts – even just little $1 stocking stuffers. Makes it more fun that way.

      Jackie Jade, I hope I get to “meet” your pups sometime soon!

      Rebel, definitely wrap the camera and old gifts. It’ll make it more fun.

      Molly, thank you!

      Jennifer, dooo it!ReplyCancel

  • Kyley and Ammo the Dachshund - December 17, 2012 - 9:01 PM

    Thanks for the shout out! :)

    Ammo and I have been wrapping our gifts in brown paper for a few years now. I even carved a little Christmas bulb that I stamp in red or green on ours. Maybe this year I’ll have to mix it up and carve some snowflake stamps!

    P.S. Love the yay! in gold!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - December 18, 2012 - 5:20 PM

    I use brown paper too! Either from Michael’s, or sometimes you can find rolls at Home Depot. Usually I just leave it plain and spruce it up with ribbon or stamps (love your yay, sooo cute!) or glitter tape, but since I bought a shit-ton of Martha all surfaces paint for a gift project I think I might try painting simple designs like this: http://www.eatsleepcuddle.com/2011/12/homemade-holiday-gift-wrap.html We’ll see, stripes may be about all I can handle!ReplyCancel

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

      Those designs are SO cute! Perhaps if I’m adventurous enough, I’ll have to try that next year!ReplyCancel

  • Heather {ModernMealsforTwo} - December 21, 2012 - 8:35 AM

    I’m behind at everything right now, including blog reading. So, sorry for the tardy comment.

    Three things
    1. I’m also loving the kraft paper look. I like how you mimicked wrapping paper with stamp. It’s a nice, subtle touch.
    2. Custom stamps are so addictive! We have a few with our photography logo (different sizes for different applications). Love them.
    3. THOSE PAWS! SOO cute! They make me miss having daily kitty time in my life. (Hubster is allergic so no feline pets for me.)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 21, 2012 - 8:39 AM

      Heather, Scott’s allergic to kitties too, so he can’t cuddle them like I can, but we make it work. Perhaps a surprise kitty under the tree could be nice this Christmas…ReplyCancel

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First, a big thank you to everyone who has been in touch with us after the Renegade Fair. It’s been a busy couple of weeks since the fest, and while a few more paintings have sold to some of our readers since we closed up our booth that weekend (for real, thank you!), we still have a handful that’ve just been added to The Pet Shop!

And my sincere apologies to Kristen Bell – see here for that back story – but I’ve decided to list our sloth in the Shop (er, rather, sorry, Scott?). Our little guy got a handful of squeals at the Fair (so much so, that I was literally in tears laughing so hard with one elated customer!), but no takers.

So, if Kristen can’t have it, we’d love for one of you to!

If you were following us during the hectic Renegade prep on Instagram, you’ll know that we also made a handful of signed art prints for most of our new work. If your favorite sold, we’re thinking some of these will stuff a stocking or two pretty nicely. (Use promo DOUBLEDEAL for 2/$15 prints)

For the rest of our original paintings, you can find those right here, and it’s not too late to snag a gift certificate, either. Three cheers for custom art!

We cannot thank you enough for all your support (broken record, we know, but so true), and we wish you a festive, happy weekend!

  • Molly - December 14, 2012 - 9:00 AM

    Awesome deal! I just ordered some prints for my kids. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 14, 2012 - 1:15 PM

    Thanks, Molly! You picked a few of my favorites!ReplyCancel

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