Ryan and I are no strangers to playing the “we can make that” game while out shopping. We are always spotting things that are tempting to buy but could easily be made at home (and for half the price). I have wanted to make a burlap pillow from the moment I watched this video of Sherry from Young House Love and Katie (an ATL DIY blogger) from Bower Power about finding things you could make rather than buy. I’d love to know where Katie buys her craft goods because there just aren’t many craft stores within the Atlanta perimeter. That’s why I was sure to visit Hobby Lobby during our last visit to Knoxville.
I bought a yard of blue burlap for $3.99 and burlap B’s for $3.99 and was as happy as a clam. It doesn’t take much you all… The 20″ x 20″ pillow form was purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond with a $5 off coupon bringing it from $14.99 to $10.71. For just under $20, I was able to create a pillow that I’m slowly becoming obsessed with and I estimate it would sell for closer to $40.
How to make a burlap pillow sporting a burlap monogram
Note: Make sure to buy enough burlap to cover your pillow twice. This double layer keeps it from being transparent and gives it a richer tone.
If you don’t know the dimensions of your pillow form, measure it first and add a ½ inch to each side. My pillow was a 20″ x 20″ so I cut my burlap 20 ½” x 20 ½”.
A good tip for cutting burlap is to pull the thread where you want to cut. With my burlap laid flat I used measuring tape to find my mark and pulled the thread at that mark completely out. This leaves a straight clean line where your cut is to be made. Plus, it helps prevent all that fraying like burlap likes to do.
Once four squares were cut from the burlap (two for the front of the pillow and two for the back), I pinned all the pieces together leaving one side open and unpinned for the pillow form to be inserted later.
I chose to wait until after I had sewn the case together before hand stitching the burlap monograms on because I wasn’t sure if they would end up off-center if I did them beforehand. Once I sewed up the three pinned sides, I turned the case right-side out and pulled it slightly flat so I could find the center most point to attach the burlap letter.
To double, triple… OCD quadruple check that the letter was centered I measured all sides of it before pinning it to the two layers closest to itself.
The whole time I was imagining what I wanted my pillow to look like I knew I wanted it simple and clean- despite the cute burlap flowers my mom thought I should add. That’s why when it came time to pick the color of thread to attach the monogram I didn’t know if I wanted to go with subtle tone to blend in or a contrasting color to add definition.
Ultimately, I went with the darker thread. Since the thread I was using was thinner, I double threaded my needle. This did not only helped the color stand out; it also helped reinforce the letter to the case.
Sewing the letter on was the most daunting part. It didn’t help that I kept pricking my finger in my eagerness to finish. Though I have to admit, it was nice to craft while winding down and indulging in watching The Leftovers all at the same time. (We just started watching this show and are completely addicted.) Below is the late night sewing shot I asked Ryan to get of the stitching process. Excuse the PJ pants, this picture is real, real life.
Once I attached my monogram to the pillow, it was time to close that baby up and admire it in various spaces of the house. I chose the closest color of thread I had to match the color of the burlap pillow case, folded in the open top of the case pinching it together and pinned it in place to be hand sewn closed.
I have a serious addiction to the color blue. Hence the blue burlap pillow. I have been painting everything blue lately: a couple mirrors, dining room chairs, patio furniture, and more. It all works out because my new burlap pillow with a burlap monogram fits perfect in several locations.
Obviously, I’m going to need to make more pillows to complement this one and fill out the big chair it will be occupying. Thanks to Pinterest, I think I know exactly what I am going to do with the next pillow.