A Little Claire-ification

bright ideas for the busy & budget minded…

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 15 – Hand Painted “12 Days of Christmas” Pillow

This week is flying by and I can’t believe there are now only 7 days until Thanksgiving.  What??  I feel like we were just starting Summer a minute ago and now that’s long gone and here we are barreling towards year end.  Somebody stop this train!

Today I am thankful for my Mom and Dad and all of their support over the years.  You have a lot of time to think when you are hand painting little details for an hour or so.  My parents are always there when I need them and I love them dearly.

Speaking of painting… I just finished a rather fun (and definitely gratifying) little project.  If you are anything like me then you have most likely seen an item in a store at some point and maybe looked at the price tag and thought “I could make that myself”.  The creative wheels start turning and maybe you ventured as far as to actually do it!  Well a couple of weeks ago I saw a Christmas pillow that I thought was sooo darn sweet at Target (Raise your hand if you follow my blog. Keep it up if you are surprised I was at Target.  If your hand is still up you need to go back and read all of my posts!). 🙂

Considering the detail (and the cuteness) the price tag wasn’t really too bad at $19.99 but, in this case, I actually thought “It would be fun to try and make that myself.”  And so I did!  I’ll show you a side by side at the end.

I started with some dark red duck cloth that I already had purchased for another project.  I had 1 & 1/4 yard  ($6.50 after a 60% coupon at JoAnn Fabric) and I didn’t even use half of the material!  I decided to make this pillow cover as an “envelope” or sham style cover, rather than a zipper.  Frankly, I need to go back and practice my zipper sewing skills and I also didn’t want to spend any more than I had to anyway.

My materials:

Duck cloth   $3.00 (approx).

One 20″ pillow (repurposed one I already had)

Metallic Gold Fabric Paint ($1.52 after another coupon)

(2) White Fabric Paint Pens ($1.49 each after more coupons = $3)

Fabric paintbrushes and white fabric marking pencil (already owned)

I started by cutting (1) 21″ x 21″ square from the cloth, and then (2) 13″ x 21″ rectangles for the back of the pillow cover.

Then I got to work on my number stencils.   Now I do not own a fancy CriCut or anything like that (but it’s on my list annnnd they are 40% off at JoAnn right now, so maybe The Husband will read this and I will get an early Christmas present!).  If you do own a machine that will cut adhesive vinyl numbers and lettering, you will spend about two hours less than I did on this project (you lucky dog!).

So I printed numbers in varying sizes:

My Mother taught elementary school for 44 years.   She will be proud to know that my cutting, tracing and “staying in the lines” skills are finally paying off.   I cut the numbers out (yes, by hand using scissors – so stone age, I know!) and laid them out onto the 21″ square of cloth.

Once I had them where I wanted them, I traced them lightly using the white marking pencil:

Then I got to painting all of the numbers gold:

The fabric paint dried pretty quickly, albeit maybe a bit tacky for a while, so I didn’t have to wait too, too long before I could go in and start writing the script with my white fabric marker.  I was just careful not to rest my arms on the fabric.  I freehanded the script in pencil first by looking at the example of the one I had seen in the store.

Oh I know it’s not perfect.   But it’s also not printed on a machine by the thousands somewhere across the world so it’s just perfectly personal and handmade.  As an aside, I told my Husband I wasn’t happy with the way one of the words turned out and he looked at me like I had three heads and said “Are you kidding? It looks perfect!”  Ok, that’s good enough for me.  (And then he wandered off muttering something that might have been about me being a perfectionist.  Or crazy.  Or maybe he was going to search “CriCut” on Amazon.  God love him.)

Anyway I let that dry overnight (not because I am really that patient, but because I had to go to sleep).  The next day I used my sewing machine to do a zigzag stitch on all of the edges of all three pieces of the fabric EXCEPT one long side of each rectangle, as those will end up showing on the back of the pillow and will be finished off.  The zigzag edge will prevent fraying so it’s an important step, especially with duck cloth.  I am NOT a seamstress y’all, but I make it work.   Hey, I’m just glad I remember how to thread a bobbin since I only get to really sew every 3-4 months.  If I can make this, “sew” can you!  This project has re-inspired me.  🙂

I then did a traditional (twice folded, one-stitch) hem on the two unfinished sides of the rectangle pieces.

PS – do try and remove the pins before the needle passes over to prevent your needle from breaking.  I missed a couple and got lucky.   Some machines can definitely handle it (ie: Viking) but it’s just easier to take ’em out and save yourself the hassle.   Once that was completed, I laid the painted square face up, and then lined up the first rectangle (finished side down towards the paint) with the top of the square and pinned it.  I then lined up the second rectangle (again, finished side down) with the bottom of the square and pinned that.  The rectangles will overlap by several inches.

I then sewed the entire perimeter of the three now-attached pieces and turned it inside out, using my finger to really get into the corners because I can’t find my little tool that does that  (FYI – I would not recommend using scissors to poke the corners out.  I have seen bad things happen.  I’m just here to protect you and your projects).  😉

Insert your pillow just like you would a pillow into a sham cover.  Shimmy it, fluff it, love it…  and Voila!  One very merry and festive holiday pillow!

And here’s the side by side.  On the left – a picture of the “inspiration” taken on my iPhone.  On the right – my “made-right-here-in-the-US of A-in-my-very-own-home “masterpiece”.   Pretty fun, huh?  Theirs is really cute and I still adore it (and I will definitely beef up my #5 on the one I am making for my son’s teacher – it seemed so much bigger when I was working on it!!!) but hey, not bad for hand painted and freehand cursive and $7.50 out-of-pocket!

I just hope you are all inspired to get out there and create something this week!   As always, I love to read your comments or hear about any fun projects you are working on!



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Linking up to some fabulous parties!!


Christmas Inspiration Party @ Top This, Top That

Sundae Scoop @ I Heart NapTime

Clever Chicks Blog Hop @ The Chicken Chick

Flaunt It Friday @ Chic On A Shoestring

Saturday Show & Tell @ Cheerios & Lattes

Tutorial Tips & Tidbits @ Stone Gable

Countdown To Christmas @ Dixie & Dottie

Whatcha Work Up Wednesday  @ DIY Crafty Projects

Shabbilicious Friday Link Party @ Shabby Art Boutique

Busy Monday @ A Pinch Of Joy

Holiday Highlights Party @ DIY Showoff

The Inspiration Board @ Homework

Thankful Thursday @ My Crowded Kitchen

Upcycled, Repurposed {Newbie w/ a Twist} Party @ DebbieDoos

Make The Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill

Mop It Up Mondays @ I Should Be Mopping The Floor

Power Of Pinterest Pinning Party @ Fox Hollow Cottage

Shine On Fridays @ One Artsy Mama

Once Upon A Weekend @ Family Ever After

Party #80 @ Redoux Interiors

Anything Goes @ Bacon Time

Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage

Lovely Crafty Weekend @ Lovely Crafty Home

Friday Flair @ WhipperBerry

One Creative Weekend @ One Creative Mommy

I Freakin Did It Friday @ Miss Information

Home Sweet Home @ The Charm Of Home

Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence

Fantabulous Friday @ Little Becky Homecky

Friday Happy Hour @ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy

Time To Shine Party @ A Diamond In The Stuff

Catch a Glimpse Party @ A Glimpse Inside

Grace At Home @ Imparting Grace

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm

Transformation Thursdays @ The Shabby Creek Cottage

Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style



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