Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DIY mistletoe pillow.

I'm a little bit in love with my new Christmas pillow. We don't have a lot of holiday décor--despite my best intentions, I never get my holiday shopping started before Thanksgiving, which means there's just enough money to buy presents and not much for the fun decorations.
Plus, this year we have a toddler. And her favorite part of the holidays so far (besides the Bubble Guppies special "The Puppy and The Ring") seems to be undecorating the tree and any other surfaces that may seem festive.

I saw this pillow at and had to have it. I decided that I was going to break down and buy myself some holiday décor. Until I saw the price tag. $145. That's more than I spend on each child with their gifts and stockings combined. And it wasn't an amount I could shave off the budget by being thrifty somewhere else.

But I couldn't forget about the pillow--its adorable French holiday message, the fluffy mistletoe, its charming messiness.

One night as I was getting ready for bed, it popped into my head: I could make one.

I shook that notion right out and tried to sleep. I've never made a pillow. I am in the very, very early stages of learning to sew.

But I drifted off thinking of my canvas drop cloth, which I'd just used for a painting project. About one-third of the drop cloth remained clean during the project. That could be enough for a pillow. And I had some batting left over from a project two years earlier. I was planning to get rid of the batting. I also had an old green sweater, which I'd used to make stockings for homeless high-school students. And half of a piece of green felt. And some black fabric paint. I could make a pillow out of things I had lying around the house--it would be free, so if I screwed it up, I'd only have wasted some of my time.

I got started the next morning, when I should have been getting ready for work. I downloaded some templates for mistletoe and cut them out of the sweater and felt scraps. I created a stencil for the saying using my Silhouette (and one of my favorite fonts, Lavanderia).

Over the next few days, I worked in pieces--an hour here, 30 minutes there.

I created the mistletoe and sewed the first three sprigs onto the drop cloth fabric, then used fabric glue on the other sprigs, as it was getting a bit thick for my sewing machine. I used a scrap of red gingham fabric to create a bow, then sewed that on the fabric.

I created the pillow by folding the drop cloth fabric in half, then sewing the wrong sides together, leaving a hole to turn it right side out and then stuff. Then I top-stitched the front of the pillow. I'm sure there are better ways to create a pillow.

I still love the pillow from Wayfair. But for $0, I think my copycat isn't so bad. And it adds a sweet, festive touch to our home.

I already have plans to make another one sometime during the new year, when things have calmed down and I can spend some more time--and perhaps money--on some of the elements. I'd like to add a border to the pillow and experiment with other ways to create the mistletoe, perhaps sewing on a few pearls too.


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