My fingers took one for creativity with this project. There were moments I am sure they were screaming at me to stop and be kind, but I kept telling them this project was worth it. I do believe it was!
I had this old pillow that I no longer really cared for. In our continual task of looking for things to purge rather than pack, I decided to makeover this pillow rather than part with it. I love the small rectangle size.
I’ve been on a yarn kick with my Adventure Awaits wall art, so I had this idea of using yarn in like an embroidery type way to decorate a pillow cover. I started with a big piece of burlap that I folded in half, so I had a thicker more dense burlap layer for my cover. I then sewed both layers of burlap to an old creme pillow case and cut the newly sewn (all four layer) pillow cover slightly bigger than my pillow. I just eye balled it an inch or two bigger on every side.
This was a thick dense cover and my fingers felt it as I pulled yarn through it. I learned the hard way, and I have a few ideas that can help you take this idea and make it easier for your fingers.
But first, you need a design. I decided to do something basic and a silhouette or shape to keep it easier to complete. Burlap was the perfect choice of fabric because it gave me a grid of lines to help make my design symmetrical and straight.
I drew an arrow on my burlap and then picked one color of yarn to sew around the border. I sewed the arrow like I would embroider a hoop. The difference was a thick, strong, sharp needle rather than a smaller needle with embroidery floss.
After my arrow was outlined, it was time for the fun part. I looked at my huge basket of colorful yarn and started sewing stripes one color at a time.
A few tips to help you:
- Choose one color at a time and do all the stripes with that color at one time.
- Change up the thickness of the stripes and order, so it is not in a pattern or equal strip widths (any slight difference of widths would be very obvious if trying to make them the same). The randomness is easier to pull off and I think the look would be the same.
- Once I thought I had a wide enough strip, I cut the yarn and knotted the back.
- The length of stitches can vary. I tried to offset each stitch to have the middle of one stitch hit the end of stitch in the row before it. This created a weave type look and prevented the yarn to look like it was in rows.
- Use an embroidery hoop to help tighten the area you are currently working on and move the hoop as you progress.
- Use a thimble (or kiss as Wendy said to Peter Pan) to help pull your yarn through. If you can see how dense my yarn arrow is filled in, the back is that thick as well, but also has the knots, so it is a lot of layers to continually pull your needle through
- Ice your fingers 🙂 I worked on this an hour or two every night for a few days. It was fun and mindless, but I did ice my fingers a little afterwards and that prevented them from blistering or being sore the next day. I know, I know this is extreme… but hey, a crafter’s gotta do what a crafter’s gotta do, right!?
- MAKE an EASIER design. I love this arrow and am so glad I went with my gut and filled it in as I saw pictured in my head. If I was to do another though, I would outline the arrow and maybe sew a word in it or just a few stripes. It would be a slightly different look, but use the same technique and be equally cool.
After I finished sewing my arrow, I made an envelope back like I did on my pillow shams. I decided to use my Waverly fabric I received from Online Fabric Store as part of my swag from Haven. I loved the black and white contrast with all the color on the front. I added a little pom-pom fringe on the envelope opening, so the back is just as fun as the front.
I absolutely love all the color and different pops of textures! It is such a fun element that can brighten up any space. I also love how this project didn’t cost me a thing. I had everything on hand. Recycling an old object can give new life and lengthen the enjoyment of something. That old pillow has never looked better.
Right now I am carrying this pillow with me around the house and playing with it in different rooms. I like it in every single one. I might need to make some more yarn embellished pillows.
What do you think!? Do you recycle your old pillows too!? Would you add yarn embellishments to a pillow like me?
This world would be a much boring place without color. I love it. I hope you are able to add some color to your life and use your imagination this week!