Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Easy no-sew stenciled friendship pillows DIY

Greetings & Salutations! 

A friend is in from out of town so I am off to a sleepover or maybe an all-night conversation. 

Not only am I bringing my pillow (because there's nothing like your own pillow when it's not your bed) I am bringing pillows for two of my best girlfriends - one I don't get to see often because she lives up north - shhh! don't tell them! It'll be our secret for a little bit.

Project time: About 4 hours total

1. Gather:
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape or Ruler
  • Fabric
  • Batting
  • Stencils I used on pillow 1: Retro Comets by Mary Beth Shaw, Loose Woamn #1 and #2 (small) by Sue Pelletier, and words for The Dance of This Life.
  • Stencils I used on pillow 2: The small stencil for the January 2015 StencilClub Set, by Mary Beth Shaw and dancers and words from The Dance of This Life by Carolyn Dube
  • Acrylics
  • Paintbrush
  • Optional: Acrylics and Fabric Paint Medium or Fabric Paint (I decided not to use fabric paint in an attempt to keep it simple.)
2. Measure 2 pieces of previously washed fabric ( I used muslin I had on hand and it took the paint beautifully!) the size you want your pillow to be plus 3" all round for fringe.

3. Cut out the square, rectangle, or circles. Also, for a square or a rectangle, cut a 3" x 3" square out of each corner. You don't need to do this for the circle.

4. Stencil at least one side - you can do both if you want :) I stenciled the edges of the fringe in 2 different colors and am I ever glad I did because it made pairing the fringe up to tie so much easier.

4a. Sponge on 4 background colors in an uneven number of spots. 
4b. Place your stencils and use 2 new colors to paint the background designs.

4c. Stencil a greeting in black.
4d. Stencil figures in black or white. (Depending on the stencil you may need to fill in the blanks with a paintbrush.)

Pillow 1: 

Pillow 2: 

5. Place the two pieces of fabric together and cut fringe that is 3" long and about a 1/4 inch wide. I carefully measured the fringe on the first pillow. I eyeballed it on the second one. For larger pillows, you could pin them strategically together so they will not move. I planned to do this, but for the approx 10" x8" pillows I made it was not necessary. 


Tip: I have scissors I ONLY use for fabric and scissors I only use for paper. Friends who sew tell me this is a good practice. 

Time to be knotty!

6. Tie 3 edges on each pillow. 

Tip: I found this easier to do holding the pillow against the table top than just holding it in my hands.

7. Stuff pillows and tie off the remaining ends.

Adorable if I do say so myself!

8. Toss pillows in the dryer on low heat for about 10 minutes to set the paint.

9. Present each friend with her pillow :)

Here's a toast to Lynn and Diane! Spending time with them never fails to fill my heart with hope and laughter!

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. 
It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. 
We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”

– Albert Schweitzer

Take a look at a few more projects from your art friends on StencilGirl Talk - your maker muse is sure to be set alight!

Happy stenciling,
Carol Baxter


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