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Monday, December 19, 2011

Poinsettia Pillow

I generally avoid projects that require me to sew a lot. This is primarily due to my mother’s crotchety old sewing machine, which we refer to as “the devil machine.” Every few inches the thread bunches and tangles and is a general pain in the butt. Every so often, though, I am willing to make an exception.
A few weeks ago my mom and I were doing some Christmas shopping and saw a Christmas pillow at Pottery Barn we both fell in love with:

Being artistic, resourceful individuals, we looked at the price tag and looked at how it was made and decided to make copycat slipcovers for the throw pillows we already have on our sofa. Not only is this less trouble than having to stuff and fluff and de-lump a scratch pillow, but slipcovers take up minimal storage space after the holidays.
In doing some pre-craft research, I discovered that we were not the only ones who had taken a fancy to that particular pillow. In fact, a number of websites and blogs offered ideas and instructions for making replicas of what is, apparently, the most popular pillow ever. Some were nicely done, others not so much. Many violated the (my) cardinal rule of fabric crafts: if you use cheap quality material, the end product will look cheap. And as much as I love a bargain, I don’t want my holiday decor to look like a kindergarden project.

This leads me to my first pointer for others who want to create replicas of this, or other, felt-based holiday pillows: pay a little extra to buy good quality felt, not the $1 craft sheets. In this application, it will make all the difference. In total it cost me about $18 to make three pillows...much cheaper than buying the pillows from Pottery Barn ($29 each) and the end result is less "homeroom craft."
My second pointer: don’t frustrate yourself by trying to imitate the original exactly. Make it your own. In our case, mum and I used burlap for the pillow instead of linen. We liked the contrast of color and texture it provided against the felt. In addition, we liked the idea of a more rustic looking pillow to contrast with the shiny, reflective finishes of the silver, gold and mercury glass decor we used in the rest of the living room. To tie them in with our other decor we chose a mixture of silver and gold bells for the center and silver/gold thread for the stitching on the petals. Have fun and make the project your own.

In the end here is what we created:

Simple and fun...that's the way we do things here at the Pink Milk Crate!

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