My childhood summers smelled like freshly cut grass and marigolds, and every time I get a whiff of them while walking through the garden center of my favorite hardware store, it takes me right back. I’ve got a few marigolds planted on my back porch, but I wanted to find a way to enjoy them even after their blooms faded. So I decided a floral flat lay pillow was exactly what I needed to add a fun reminder of those carefree, childhood summer afternoons to our space.
To ensure a beautifully printed pillow, we partnered with our friends at Canon USA to show how detailed and vibrant these fabric printed photos can be. I knew my marigolds would offer a beautiful texture when grouped tightly together as well as a saturated hue. I also wanted to experiment with daisies and a succulent for a variety of patterns, and I love how well the details showed up. My PIXMA iP8720 printer always prints rich color on photo paper, so I wasn’t too surprised that it handled fabric like a pro.
-1 roll of cotton twill photo fabric
–Canon PIXMA iP8720 photo printer
-1/4 yard of canvas fabric per pillow
-1/4 yard of white cotton fabric if your other fabric isn’t very thick (optional)
–12 0z. bag of Poly-fil
-iron and ironing board
Decide what kind of flowers or other pattern you want to photograph, and then arrange them on a white or colored surface in even, natural light. You can use a white foam board to bounce light off from a dark angle to help diminish shadows, but I had a white wall behind me and a white bedspread on another side, so I didn’t use one in this photo. If you want a small pattern, shoot from further away and if you want a larger, detailed pattern, go for a close up. I took a close up of my succulent, and then cropped it tightly before using Photoshop to edit it. The black and white effect really lets the pattern steal the show.
I cut off an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of fabric from my roll and printed one succulent print, one daisy print, and three marigold prints. I turned the first two into small, decorative pillows, but I wanted to make more of a bolster pillow with the marigolds.
The fabric has a paper backing so it fits into the printer just like standard computer paper. Once it has printed, peel the paper backing off evenly so you don’t stretch out your fabric.
I laid one marigold print on top of the other with the printed sides facing each other and pinned along one of the long edges, making sure my photos were even. Then I stitched down that line about 1/4″ from the edge.
I then repeated that step by placing the third marigold photo on top of one of the prints, lining up my edges, and pinning down the long side. I made another stitch with 1/4″ seam from the edge. Then I folded it back and used my iron to press both of the seams flat.
The next step from the fabric paper manufacturer asks to rinse the fabric for 30 seconds or until the water runs clear. Don’t make the mistake of rinsing it longer than that or it’ll really fade. You could also use 3M Scotchguard Fabric Protector to ensure you don’t have to rinse your ink off too much and that it won’t rub off on your clothing or bedding.
I then laid my white cotton fabric down, placed my canvas fabric on top of it so that it was right side up, and laid my marigold fabric on top of the canvas so that it was right side down. Then I pinned the perimeter of the three fabrics together to make a sandwich. If your canvas or fabric for the back is thick, you don’t need the extra white fabric, but I did need it to help with the daisy pillow because the fabrics I used were a little see through.
Stitch almost all the way around your perimeter but leave an opening large enough to fit your fist through. This is where you’ll add your stuffing later. Trim off your edges and clip corners just above the stitch line.
Mix and match a trio for a housewarming gift or a graduate heading off to college. Maybe try out other floral patterns or even favorite snacks. A flat lay of your favorite donuts? Yeah, that could be dangerous if it’s the first thing you see each morning. A kale pillow? Ummm… –Rachel