I used to have a throw pillow addiction. I was always making new pillows or eyeing them at the store until I finally realized I could’t fit any more pillows into my closets, much less on my sofa! But then I saw this funny little throw pillow, and it got the wheels turning. The wheels wouldn’t stop turning. I wanted a cheeky pillow so much, but maybe not that exact one. It might give my friends the wrong idea. So I decided to make my own pillow with a saying I can really relate to: Makers Gonna Make.
So that’s exactly what I did— I made the pillow. And you can too! Check out how simple it is. I even included a template!
-fabric (1/2 yard for the base and additional fabric scraps in contrasting colors for the words)
-fusible webbing (just the size of copy paper)
–Makers Gonna Make template (click to download)
-batting/pillow stuffing (not shown)
-embroidery floss (not shown)
Step Two: Iron the fusible webbing onto the contrasting fabric according to the manufacturer’s directions. Be sure to leave a tiny corner unfused so step four will be manageable.
Step Four: Peel off the plastic backing of the letters, making sure the webbing is adhered to the fabric and not coming off onto the plastic. If you left one tiny corner unfused, this is where you can get started. That part of the webbing will not stick to the fabric, but that’s okay, because we will be stitching on top of the letters later.
Step Six: Carefully arrange the letters onto the pillow backing fabric. I left a 4″ border at the top and bottom of the words, and a 5″ border on the left and right side of the words. Lay a damp press cloth onto the fabric, making sure the letters aren’t curled up or moved as you do this. Then press the letters, adhering them to the pillow backing fabric according to the fusible webbing’s instructions.
Step Seven: Slip the fabric into an embroidery hoop and stitch around the border of each letter. This is where you’ll want to have a mini Netflix marathon because the embroidering process will take a bit of time. This step is necessary—if you don’t stitch the letters on, they will certainly peel off in time.
Step Eight: While your elves are embroidering for you, you can pin the piping onto the border of the other pillow backing fabric piece, as shown in the above right image with the piping on the inside, and the scrap of the piping facing the outside. Keep the piping at least 1″ from the edge of the fabric. Use a special zipper foot to stitch it into place, but don’t get too close or your thread might show after the next step. You can get closer when sewing the pillow together in step 9.
Tip: Use a contrasting thread in the bobbin to stitch the piping onto the pillow, and use that stitch as a guide for step nine.
Step Nine: Stack the two fabric pieces with their good sides (piping side and word side) together. Pin them and use a zipper foot to stitch them together. This is where you will want to get closer to the piping. Use the contrasting stitching of step eight as your guide—you want to make sure you are closer to the piping than that contrasting stitch.
Be sure to leave an opening large enough to reach your hand in to fill the pillow with batting.
Step Ten: Fill the pillow with batting and close ‘er up with a needle and thread.
This pillow would make a great gift for a crafty pal—or hey, if I can make room on my sofa for a new pillow, I think you can too! –Mandi
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.