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Pottery Barn Inspired Pillows Tutorial

09 November 2010

Pottery Barn Inspired Pillows Tutorial
Party Highlight by Michele @ The Scrap Shoppe

I'm just going to tell you up front that this is my 1st knock-off project.

And now I'm thinking I may need to do more of them! I can see why they are so addicting!
Back in the spring I found the most amazing ginormous pillow at Rugged Wearhousefor only $5. It was a blank canvas just waiting to be transformed. But it sat around my house for months and months until... Crafting with the Stars inspired me to finally do something with it! I scoured Pottery Barn for inspiration pillows and stumbled across two that would look great in my living room: the poppy pillow and the lavendar monogram pillow.

Both of these pillows are embroidered and, if you've been hanging around my blog long enough, you know that I DO NOT sew nor own a sewing machine. But that's okay. I had other plans to get these looks!

I used colors that would match my living room (red, olive, and gold) for each side of the pillow.
(Yes, in case you didn't realize, I put both of these designs on the same pillow. You know how I love reversible projects!)

Let's start off with the pillow itself. Like I said, its ginormous! 2 ft x 2 ft. Seriously!

Next up, let's talk about the poppy side of the pillow.

I remember (way back in the day) in high school doing a very fun project in my Spanish class involving Huichol yarn art. Its a technique of creating a design using yarn and moving the yarn in such a fashion as to give your artwork movement. I loved it! And thought it would be perfect for this project.

I scoured several stores looking for the "right" yarn. I tried to find some that looked crocheted to match the Pottery Barn pillow better, but ended up finding this fun ribbed yarn in all of the right colors.

I printed off a full 8.5" x 11" image of the pillow to use as a guide, found a starting point on my pillow, and proceeded to draw out my first poppy.

I drew one poppy at a time, filling each in with yarn befor moving on to the next because adding the yarn actually made the image slightly larger than the original drawing. I didn't want to mess up my spacing and wind up overlapping my images!

Also, I only drew the outline of the red part of the poppy because I knew it would eventually be completely covered with yarn in the end and the marker would never be seen.

I adhered all of my yarn with my favorite fabric adhesive, Fabri-Tac from Beacon.
(This stuff is seriously amazing. Better than a glue gun!! I swear!)

The turquoise line in the above photo represents the outline of the flower (where I drew it with the marker). I always did the outline of the flower first with the yarn then went back and filled it in the rest.

The orange line with arrows represents how I filled in my yarn. There was no specific technique. I just wanted to create movement by keeping the yarn in what would look like a swirly manner.

After finishing a flower with the red yarn, I went back and outlined it with the green yarn. I saved the stems and leaves until the end so I would not overlap them with any of the flowers I had yet to create.

I stopped periodically to compare my version to the Pottery Barn printout and update my star partner, Beckie, of my progress. I was really starting to see it come together!

After finishing with the red and green yarn, I went back to fill in the centers of the fabric with the gold yarn. I tied a knot in the yarn then, to thicken it, tied two more knots on top of the original knot. I trimmed off the knots and layered them in the centers of some of the flowers.

I love the texture the yarn adds to the pillow.

I ended up leaving off the little flowers that Pottery Barn scattered around the pillow. I really like the extra white space and the asymmetric look.

For the monogram side of the pillow, I took some liberties from the Pottery Barn version and instead of using a lavendar plant, I used a poppy floral design to help tie it into the reverse side of the pillow.

I created the design on my computer then separated the images into two so I could cut them out using my Silhouette.

 I cut my images out on freezer paper to iron on and use as a stencil (this is also my first freezer paper stencil project!). I ironed down the floral design first. The little detail images in the poppies were so tiny that I just left them off. I did, however, keep the detail images in the smaller flowers.

I still had all of my acrylic paint from my Custom Wall Art project from last year which is also in my living room so I already had on hand the paint colors I would need. I mixed the paint with some acrylic paint fabric medium and went to work.

Once the floral design was dry, I went back and ironed on the M and painted it also.

This side of the pillow literally only took a couple of hours to complete, including drying time. Whereas the poppy side of the pillow took a good 6 hours or so!

Can you see that I traced around the M with a fabric pen?

Since my pillow was prestuffed with no way of getting the stuffing out without ripping out threads and resewing, I just painted on a stuffed pillow. Probably not the greatest for freezer paper stenciling, but it worked okay. I just used the fabric pen to tidy up the edges of my monogram.

So let's do a tally, shall we?  :)

Pottery Barn Poppy Pillow: $49
Pottery Barn Lavendar Pillow: $29

Total: $78

Pillow: $5
Yarn: ~$4 each so $12
Glue: $5
Paint and Medium: $4
Freezer Paper: $5
Fabric Pen: $4

Total: $35

I had the paint, freezer paper, and fabric pen on hand already so really my total could be ~$22!
Not bad, especially considering it is completely customized to match my living room


Connie November 9, 2010 at 7:46 AM  

These are absolutely stunning! You did an excellent job and you used my colors and favorite flower. LOL Thanks for sharing the "how to" with all of us too. Did you ever think of selling these?


pk @ Room Remix November 9, 2010 at 8:10 AM  

I like her version better than the Pottery Barn pillows! Fabulous and very creative!

mmbcreations November 9, 2010 at 8:24 AM  

Your pillow is FANTASTIC! For someone who doesn't sew, you did a great job.

Alison November 9, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

Yay, Michele!! This is a fabulous project, and definitely better than Pottery Barn! Brilliant tutorial!

Stephanie November 9, 2010 at 1:01 PM  

This is amazing, truly. I'd say you are one talented Lady. It looks like it was fun to create too. Good job!

The Wheelers November 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM  

WOw I so want to make this!! Thank you! I found your blog today I am super excited. :0)

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