Friday, October 8, 2010

Trick or Treat (DIY)

It's finally Autumn, and although Autumn in Texas only means we've survived the days of 100+ heat; that doesn't stop me from loading my apartment up with pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows and other Autumn goodies. I don't generally decorate for Halloween.  Mostly because I'm not a huge fan of the holiday and because I don't like things like skulls and spiders.  However, I recently had an idea about some cute Halloween pillows and decided to introduce some Halloween flair into my otherwise Autumn Harvest apartment.

Pillows are one of my favorite decorating items.  They're the easiest way to change how a room looks, and if you make them yourself they're fairly cheap too.  Overall this project took about 1 1/2 hours (most of that was trying to decide what I wanted the faces to look like) and cost about $5. (I already head the pillow forms.)


  • Felt in various colors (I bought mine on the bolt because it's a higher quality of felt, but feel free to buy the craft squares for everything except the actual pillow case)
  • 3/4 yard of purple felt
  • 1/4 yard Wonder Under 
  • Glue gun
  • Sewing Machine
  • From the purple felt, cut out one 19"x19" square, one 19"x 15" square, and one 19"x12" square.  These measurements will fit a 18" pillow form, which the standard size from most throw pillows.
  • Cut out all the pumpkins and the pumpkin pieces.  There really aren't any rules this.  I play around with different shapes and pieces until I settled on three that I liked.  At this point you can also cut out stems and strips for the vine, but they won't be attached until the very end.

  • Use hot glue to attach the pieces to the pumpkin bases.  

  • This is most complicated part of the entire process.  Take the Wonder Under and lay it rough side down on the black felt.  (The paper backing will be face up.)  Since we're using felt it doesn't matter what side you lay it on, but if you were using normal fabric you'd place the rough side on the wrong side of the fabric.  Iron the two pieces together for about 5-8 seconds and let cool.

  • Once cool, trace the letters onto the paper backing.  TURN THEM FACE DOWN.  The paper side will actually become the back side of the letters, so if you fail to do this your letters will be backwards.  Cut the letters out. 

  • Repeat this process with the pumpkins.  Rough side on the back of the pumpkin.  Cut away the extra Wonder Under and discard.
  • Assembly time!  Peel the paper baking off the letters and the pumpkins and arrange on the 19"x19" square.  Remember that there's a 1/2 seam allowance so keep the shapes close to the middle of the square.  Add the pumpkin stems and vines now using hot glue.  Once happy with the placement, lay a damp tea towel over all of the shapes.  Iron firmly for approximately 20 seconds or until the shapes are securely adhered to the purple square.  Word of caution- Felt Melts! So when ironing felt always keep a tea towel or other medium between it and the iron and use a low heat setting.
  • On each of the two smaller squares, fold the 19" side over 1/2 inch iron flat (remember the ironing tips above), fold another 1/2 inch and iron flat again.  Sew the fold down, keep the left side of the presser foot flush with the fold.

  • Home Stretch- lay the large square front side up.  Place the 19"x15" square front side down on top of the large square.  Line up the left edges.  Place the 19"x12" square on top of both square, lining up the right edges.  Pin and sew all the way around.  When you reach a corner lower the needle, lift the presser foot, rotate the pillow, lower the presser foot and continue sewing.  When finished back stitch to secure.  Clip off the each of the corners.

  • Turn the pillow case right side to, push out the corners, and stuff with pillow form.  


I'm making a slight different pillow to pair with this one.  I'm hoping to finish by tomorrow!  Please let me know if you like any templates to make the pillow or if you have any questions!

Happy Autumn!

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