August 9, 2014

Making Drop Cloth Pillows

The Results of my efforts ...

I have created a super simple and easily adaptable pillow cover for you to try. 

Drop Cloth canvas fabric is trending right now for rustic/shabby curtains, drapes,  pillows, shower curtains, etc. I wanted to try my hand at making some pillows so I picked up a 9 x 12 painters canvas drop cloth at Lowes. 

Before working with the fabric I gave it a good hot wash in in the machine, and added fabric softner to the rinse cycle. I wanted this sturdy canvas to be soft  for use as pillows. 

As for sizing the amount of fabric to cut, here is what I did. My pillow form is 18 inches square. I cut 19 inches for the width.  For the longer length, I took my 18 inches and multiplied by 3. This gives you enough fabric to wrap two sides and then let the third piece tuck into the back of the pillow. Measure the size that what you want to cut off of the dropcloth. (I actually tore my fabric sides. That is how I have a frayed edge. If you are worried about doing this...just cut your piece of fabric.)

My pillow making process gives you a pillow slipcover so to speak. I wanted to create a pillow with NO zippers, NO buttons, NO velcro, etc. I wanted to be able to wash the outer covering of my pillow in the washing machine. Also...this frees up the pillow form for another covering. You can switch your covers whenever you 
want to.

After you have cut, 
or torn, your fabric piece it is time to sew. 

  1. Lay your fabric piece out and mark off into thirds.
  2. Working with the insides together...
  3. Bring the bottom third of your piece up to match the middle third. (See the picture above.)
  4. Sew these side seams.
  5. Turn the cover right side out so that you have the frayed edges inside.
  6. See photo below...Topstich from the bottom  corner of the pillow all the way to the top of the flap that will be tucked in. This will secure the edges of the flap seam.
  7. Optional frayed edge. Skip step seven if you like a frayed rustic edge.
  8. Steam iron your pillow cover. Insert pillow form.
  9. Decorate your pillow any way you wish. I opted to add a monogram "E" to one of the smaller pillows that I made by tracing around a wooden letter with a fabric paint marker. Later I filled in the outline.
  10. If you want to leave your edges frayed...I suggest that you run a line or two of stitching to secure the edge threads. My dropcloth raveled easily. Just saying be careful if you want the look of unfinished edges. 

Here is the basic pocket that I made. I left some edges frayed by choice. You may double hem your edges or use seam tape if you prefer a neater appearance. Slip your pillow form into the pocket you see above.

Take the loose piece of fabric (on the bottom in the above picture) and tuck it into the pocket...behind the pillow form (see below.)

By tucking the loose flap of fabric into the pocket/pouch you have wrapped the pillow and tucked it in.

Here you go. A finished pillow slipcover. I top stitched this pillow on the outside. I made others that have no stitching along the outside seams.

When I set the pillows on a chair...I put the open part down. If you prefer you may add snaps, buttons, ties, etc. at the bottom opening.  I was wanting an easy to make pillow with a minimum of fuss. This method works for me, but you might like a more tailored pillow. Feel free to expand on my pattern. 

(If you wish to share my pillow pattern with anyone, please give me credit, please use only one picture, and please include a link back to My Kentucky Living.)

The small pillow is an example where I did not top stitch the side seams of the pillow pocket. Feel free to decorate to your pillow any way you wish after making it...I am thinking of making a Christmas cover next.

I want to paint a tree onto the canvas. Then I want to add red berries/balls using red yarn and a french knot. Of course there will be pictures when I finish. 

I can also see wrapping ribbon around the pillow to create a package. The options are endless on how to personalize your pillow cover. Please send me pics when you make one. I want to share with other readers. 

I tied a torn/frayed sash around this pillow 
for embellishment.

I traced a wooden  letter "E" for a  monogram pattern, using a fabric paint marker.

I did it...I made pillows with no hardware!
You too can do this!

I plan on creating some touches to dress up my pillows
...while still leaving them soft enough for someone to lean on. 

For the monogram I outlined a wooden letter "E" with a fine point black fabric marker. I filled in the letter with a fat tipped fabric marker. I could still see white fabric even after two coats. I purchased some black fabric paint at this point...and brushed on two coats of paint. (you can see my smudge where the paint brush flipped out of my hand. oops!)  The fabric paint completely covered the fabric...but made the letter stiffer to the touch. The next time I will just outline the letter with the fabric marker, then fill in with the fabric paint. 

After painting the fabric you must wait several hours before washing. The paint was as good as before putting it in the washing machine.

I am in the process of putting away all of my summer décor items and gradually pulling in some fall colors. I picked up the silk floral above at TJMx while in Somerset. I can't stop the I might as well go with it. Actually I love is just that the cold that follows is not my favorite thing.

Happy Pillow Making...
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My Kentucky Living
My Kentucky Living

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.

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