Saturday, June 23, 2012

Easy Patriotic Pillows - A Tutorial

I made this really cool Stars and Stripes Bunting the other day out of burlap:

(You can find the tutorial for it here)

After I made it, the wheels in my head started turning and an idea began to form. The pillow covers I made for the pillows that hang out on our gliders outside had gotten all faded from the sun, so it was time to make new ones. I wanted to replicate the Stars and Stripes look, and I wanted to keep the project on the cheap. The answer was ...........  canvas drop cloths!

Here is what the finished pillows look like:

I am so happy with how they turned out!  Let's get to the tutorial.

You only need a few things to make this project. You will need some pillow inserts, whatever size you like (mine were 14 X 14.) You will need some canvas drop cloths:

I got mine at Lowes, and they were on sale for around $4 each for the 4 X 5 size. I think I got four pillows out of two of these. They come in all different sizes, so you could buy a bigger size if unsure (and trust me, after making these, you will want to make more in different designs, so buy extra!!)

Then you will need spray paint. Here is what I used:

I got mine at Wal-mart for around $3.47 a can. The colors are True Blue and Banner Red. While I was at Wal-mart, I picked up some Con-tact Paper for $5.48 a roll:

It is in the kitchen area with all the other shelf liners. I don't have any of that vinyl stuff you can order on-line, but if you have that you could use it instead. This roll of contact paper will last me a long time.

You need to wash your canvas drop cloths and then give them a good ironing. I read somewhere that you should bleach the drop cloths, so I did.

Start by cutting out your canvas drop cloth to the size you will need. I make my pillows envelope- back style, so I cut my front piece 1 inch larger than my pillow form, and the back piece 1 inch wider and 4 inches longer than my pillow form. So for my 14 x 14 pillow, my front piece was 15 x 15 and my back piece was 15 x 18. You then cut the back piece into two equal pieces along the width (each piece is now 15 x 9). At the spot where I cut it, I folded the edge over 1/4 of an inch, ironed it well, and then stitched it. Set aside the back pieces for now.

Now it's time to paint! First, either free hand draw a star on the white side of the contact paper or do like I did and Google "star stencil" and print out a star shape and trace it onto the contact paper, then cut it out. I used one big star and 3 little stars, but you can do yours however you like.

* Here's a neat tip for you - to easily get the paper piece off the back side of the contact paper, GENTLY score it with your seam ripper. Ask me how I know to do it gently so that you don't make holes in your stars and have to cut out some more!!!

Apply the stars to your front piece and spray paint away. The spray paint I used said it dries in 10 minutes or less and they weren't kidding!

For the stripes, I just cut out two pieces of contact paper. No, they're not perfectly straight, but that's okay with me!

Then spray this piece with your red paint and let it dry. Once your front pieces are dry, peel off your stars and stripes.

Now it's time to sew the pillow. Put the front piece down with the pretty side facing you. Then put your two back pieces on top of that, pretty sides down. Make sure the hemmed pieces are in the middle of the pillow.

 Pin it, and sew all the way around with 1/4 inch seam. Trim the excess from the corners and then turn it right side out through the opening and you are done!

Our gliders have a matching table and chairs, and I noticed that the chair cushions are faded, so I'm thinking I will use the canvas drop cloth I have left and re-cover those cushions too!

The possibilites truly are endless for this project. Here are just a few other ideas:

  • Use other designs to make "every day" pillow covers (flowers, your initials, your house number)
  • Make different seasonal pillow covers that you can display all through the year (Valentines, Christmas, Easter etc.)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you make some pillows, please send me a link, I would love to see them!

Linking up to:


glor said...

Sandy, love the bunting and the pillows! They are great. So happy, so patriotic. Makes you just want to salute and dance. Nicely done! Thanks for the links too.

Paula said...

What an adorable project. I love all things patriotic and know that this would look great on my porch.