I’ve channeling all the cozy winter feels for this holiday season (even if the California weather has other ideas!) To create a comfy atmosphere, my first project of the season was sewing these pillow covers from old sweaters. (More on … Continue reading
Whether you lean towards Scandinavian-inspired, Modern Farmhouse, or California Casual, everything light, white, and wood is in right now – and I love it!
While I’m always excited to incorporate new looks into my home, it takes some creativity to do this – we’ve had most of our major furniture pieces for a decade or more.
One strategy that’s easy on the budget and environment is to change out accessories like pillows. Here are some light and bright ideas that you can use to give your room a new look!
Admittedly, my “things I have in the house already” is rather extensive, but I’m still proud that I managed to make all these pillows with them.
Here are the links to a tutorial on making simple throw pillows and tutorials for the window seat pillows, including bolster and flanged pillows.
Starting with: Ribbon-embellished geometric pillows:
- I started by sewing lengths of ivory ribbon onto a linen-like fabric in diagonal stripes
- I then cut out panels to create a chevron or herringbone pattern for two bolster pillows to add a neutral accent to my teal armchairs
- With the leftover sections of ribbon-embellished fabric, I created one more throw pillow for our living room loveseat
Mudcloth-inspired contrast stitching:
Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring! I took some plain canvas fabric I had and, inspired by the oh-so-popular mudcloth trend, cut it into panels and sewed it together with contrasting navy thread:
There are a million more ideas for sewing simple pillows to change the look of your space – and when I try them all, you’ll see it here!
I love having a camera on my phone, so I can snap a picture of beautiful things that cross my path. Here ate some the sights and vignettes that caught my eye recently.
Ribbon-embellished throw pillow
Love this throw pillow. It reminds me of the ribbon-bordered curtains I made for our bathroom. I would love to try doing this on some pillows for the bedroom.
Beautifully accessorized bedroom
This is the window display at Plantation on Hayes St. in San Francisco. It is lucky that I usually walk by early in the morning, when they are closed, or we would be bankrupt by now! I love everything in this store, including the pillows and nightstand accessories on this bed. This will be my inspiration, as I work on my bedroom.
Elegant grey loveseat
I’m also on the lookout for some seating for our bedroom – a loveseat or a nice armchair and ottoman. On the list is this Chloe loveseat (also comes in a chair) from Macy’s. I like the elegant classic look that is still comfortable. That’s our baby J modeling for me on the chair. Yes, he insisted on taking his shoes off in Macy’s.
Urban garden patio
I frequently bemoan the lack of space and greenery in our back “yard.” I was lucky enough to go to an event recently at a lovely home in Laurel Heights, and I was inspired by the back patio, which is although small and paved over, still feels lush and inviting. I snapped some pictures for ideas when we get around to working on our patio!
Have you seen these fabulous pendant light drum shades at Room and Board? I’ve been drooling over them for years, with all the gorgeous prints and colors. They’re a splurge at several hundred dollars a shade, but they are really beautiful. Go check out all the beautiful and funky prints they have!
As always, I was wondering if I could make something like this myself, and in browsing ideas, I found some great examples, including this one from Laura at Some Kind of Lovely Ride. She did a beautiful job on her shade and had great instructions that helped me conquer my apprehension about this project!
I was so excited to get started, I rushed to the craft store to pick up my supplies and get to work! I stenciled the lampshade in my craft studio and while I was at it, I also stenciled a piece of fabric for a throw pillow. I used Laura’s basic instructions and discovered a few tips along the way, so here’s how it went:
- Stencils – I used Mini Peony and Mini Mums by The Crafter’s Workshop.
- Stencil brushes or sponges – These sponge “pouncers” are inexpensive, easy to use, and washable for reuse.
- Paint – I had a variety of acrylic craft paint around, and I did mix some to get the colors I wanted. It’s optional, but I also added some “textile medium” to my paint, which makes the paint more flexible when dried. This wouldn’t be an issue for the shade, but I thought it would help on the pillow. I mixed the paints in paper bowls.
- Tape – I used painter’s tape to hold the stencil in place and mask off any areas of the stencil I didn’t want to use.
- Tape the stencil securely in place
- Put a small amount of paint on your pouncer. If you load on too much paint, it will run under the stencil and smudge your pattern.
- Lightly dab through the stencil, moving only up and down. Don’t brush side to side, as this will also make paint run under the stencil.
- Carefully remove the stencil and blot the back on a clean piece of paper to remove any excess paint
Adding a color:
- Wait until the first color is completely dry.
- If you are going to overlap designs, like I did, think ahead about which color you want to be “on top” and start with the colors that are on the bottom.
Finishing the fabric:
- This is not necessary for a shade, but for a pillow or other fabric that will be touched and possibly washed, you’ll want to set the paint. When the paint is thoroughly dry, iron the stenciled fabric from the reverse side with a dry iron on medium-high for three to five minutes to set the colors. You can repeat this on the front, laying a thin cloth over the stenciled fabric, so the paint doesn’t stick to your iron.
Here is how the shade looked before:
And here’s the finished shade:
Here’s the finished fabric. I’ve got a lot of pillow projects lined up, so I should work on those soon!
Happy Mother’s Day! (Well, for many years, I didn’t find this day happy at all, because it made me feel my mother’s absence even more, but with three little ones of my own, it is happy again, and I celebrate the many wonderful memories of my own mom, whose creativity and talent are constant inspiration for me. So, if this is a hard day for you, hugs! And I hope it will get better.)
I’m making some throw or accent pillows for our home. Sewing straight lines is a doable project for me, and I like to make pillows using some of the same fabrics that are in other parts of a room (such as the upholstered chairs in our dining room and my craft room), to tie the space together.
With a beautiful fabric, a very simple pillow design will work well. There are also many ways to add interest and details to your pillows, and I’ve been collecting some of those ideas to try:
Embellish with Ribbon:
These ribbon details on simple pillows gives a classic and elegant feel. You could also do a simple square.
Use Contrasting Fabric on Back:
Embellish with Buttons:
3-D Felt Embellishments:
A stunning print like this would be beautiful on its own, but I love the piping detail. Here’s a tutorial on eHow for applying store-bought welting or piping. I’d love to learn how to do that!
These are some of my favorite ideas – what are some of yours?
Hope to post my new pillows soon!
P.S. Don’t forget that there’s a May Giveaway. Comment on any post by May 15, and I’ll select a winner to receive a custom wall initial.