Fall Burlap Applique Pillow Cases

I really enjoy decorating for fall. Last fall I made some envelope pillow cases which were still on the pillows in my living room. Even though I made them for fall they are pretty neutral colors so they work for all year round.

When fall came around this year I could have just continued to use what I had but I really wanted something different and even a little more fall looking.

So I went to the fabric store and picked our some cotton fabrics and some burlap.

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To start with I cut out pieces of burlap to cover the four largest pillows I have which are about 20″ and 16″ square.

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To give them a more fall look I wanted to add leaves and pumpkin shapes to the pillowcases. To test out sizes and shapes I used my silhouette portrait to cut paper samples.

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Once I decided which shapes I wanted to used and how big to make them I I figured out which fabrics I wanted to use. Since I was using my silhouette I had to prep the fabrics before I could cut them.  To prep the fabric I ironed on a square of double sides fusible interfacing to the wrong side.

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Then I peeled off the paper backing and stuck the fabric onto the cutting mat. With the interfacing on the fabric it holds really well onto the sticky mat.

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I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to cut out the curvy shapes with the silhouette.

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After I cut out all the shapes I placed them on the burlap and moved them around until I liked their placement.

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Since the fabrics already had fusible interfacing all I had to do was iron the shapes to the burlap.

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Before I started I knew I wasn’t intending to wash these cases very often. I understand that burlap doesn’t really wash well or easily.  Although I didn’t need to finish the edges since they were glued down the just looked a little unfinished.  At first I attempted a satin stitch on a sample cut out but it didn’t work well with all the curves and corners. Instead I just went with a straight stitch in a matching color close to the edges.

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After the fronts of the burlap pillows were done I just assembled them like any other envelope pillow. I did use my serger in an attempt to keep the seams and edges from raveling.

With the burlap cases complete I cut out fabric for the rest of the pillow cases.

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For some of the fabrics that had a pattern I just cut out following the lines of the pattern.

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Here’s the rest of pillow cases all piled up and inside out.

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After all the cases were done I put them on the pillows and set them all out in the living room.

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I’ve even brought out my fall decor and flowers as well.

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I really love how the pillowcases turned out and how they look on the couches.

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Here’s some more close ups of all the burlap pillow cases.

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I enjoyed doing something to change up this room a bit and make it a little more fall looking.

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Is anyone else changing up some pillow cases for fall?

Bring on the Fall (Envelope Pillowcase Edition)

I got another thing on my Git ‘R Done list!

I switched out the summer pillows for something a little more fall-like. I bought the fabric weeks ago but I just couldn’t seem to find the time to sit down and create the pillow cases. If you remember the summer pillowcases you could probably tell that they took a while to create. Well at first I thought these would go much faster, but it didn’t quite work out that way.

For the summer set of pillowcases I went with the solid colors because I knew I could go crazy with the patterns and it wouldn’t be overwhelming  This time around I picked out some fun patterned fabric in blues and greens. One matches the pillow on the telephone table and the rest coordinate together. At first I was going to just do a simple plain envelope back pillowcase. In the end I was afraid that they would look cheap and plain so I decided to add a little something extra, a piping edge.

So onto how I made my pillowcases.

First I spread out my fabrics and decided which fabric I wanted to put on each size of pillow. Since I had five fabrics and ten pillows I chose to do two pillows in each fabric.

Once I knew which size pillow I wanted in each fabric I got to cutting out the fabrics. Of course this was after ironed and folded all the fabrics first. Here they are below folded neatly and even with the 3/32″ cording I picked up to use for the piping.

To figure out the size of fabric I needed was really simple. First I measured the size of my pillow, for example I have one that is 20″ x 20″. Then I just added a 1/2″ per side and cut out a piece of fabric 20.5″ x 20.5″. This would be the front. For the two halves of the back I cut the width in half, in this case it was 10″ then I added 2.5″ to that to create a large enough overlap on the back of the pillow. So for the back I just cut two pieces of 20.5″ (height) x 12.5″ (width). (As a hint here; the first time I made some envelope pillows I only had about an 1″ overlap total and the pillow cases were so tight the backs gaped open and you could see the form. No cool.)

After I had all the pieces cut I decided to serge all the edges to finish them since I knew I didn’t really want to serge the pillowcases after the piping was attached.

Once all the raw edges were serged I  finished one side of each of the back fabrics by doing a 1/4″ double turned hem. It’s pretty simple. Just turn the fabric in a 1/4″ of an inch. Sew. Turn another 1/4″ and sew again. You may need to pay attention to the direction of the pattern on your fabric so that you end up with a left side back and a right side back, not just two left sides.

Once all those edges were finished for the back pieces I started working on the piping. I used this tutorial on how to cut my bias tape from Made using a 1/2 yard of fabric.

Here’s the overview of what I did as another reference. First I folded one end of the fabric along the salvage edge at a 45 degree angle.

Then I cut along the folded line and flipped it over so that the salvage edge was on the bottom. Then I pinned those edges together right sides facing in.

Then I just flipped the fabric around and did the same thing on the other side. You may notice here that the cut edges (or bias edges) are parallel to one another.

Then I just sewed the pinned edges together.

Once the fabric was sewn then I unfolded everything and pressed the seams.

Then you just fold,



And fold again,

Then all that had to be done was to cut the bias strips 1-1/2″ strips.

Once it’s cut into strips then I just sewed the lengths together so that I had a strip that was long enough to go around the whole pillow.

Once the bias tape is sewn together then the cording can be sewn into the piping.

I did this the same way as I did in the car seat tent.

Then I attached the piping to the front of the pillowcase using a basting stitch, while trying to get as close to the cording as possible.

Once the piping was attached then I sewed on the two back pieces keeping close to the piping as much as I could. The great thing about an envelope pillowcase is that it is easy sew since you don’t have to worry about leaving a gap to turn it with, the envelope back already does that.

Then all I had to do was turn the pillow cases right side out and give them a good pressing. Ta Da!

Since I went with the piping it took a lot longer than just the normal envelope backed pillowcase but, I think it was well worth the extra time. It really makes the simple pillows look a little classier.

Here’s one of the pillowcases all finished and stuffed with the form.

I’ll tell you one thing I noticed as I made more of the pillowcases. At first I tried to turn the corner with the piping as tightly as I could. After I made a few I started to take a wider corner. I found that this actually made the pillowcase look better and it didn’t cause any tucking in the corner of the piping. You can see that the blue one below has a bigger radius and I think looks a little better than the green ones. Although, once they are stuffed it’s hard to notice the difference. So moral of the story; don’t stress too much it’s only pillows.

Well enough of that talk. Here’s what the pile of pillows looked like after they were finished.

I must say I am really pleased with the way the way all the fabrics look together.

With all the dark weather outside the pillows seem to match the mood a little better than the bright ones.

My only wish was that there was a little more color in this room now . Even though it is looking good for fall.

Now I feel like that last little bit of the room is all decorated for fall (just in time for fall to be over). Just like the summer ones they will be easy to swap out when I want and I can just put them away for next year. Don’t you just love the patterns on the fabrics? Because I do. 🙂

Anyone else switching out some throw pillows? Have you created any envelope back pillow cases? Maybe even jazzed them up a bit?

Dressing Up Some Windows

Since we’ve moved in both of these rather large windows in the living and dining have been bare.

They didn’t look bad, in fact they are huge windows with overall great views but they felt just a little unfinished.

Well, we’ve been working on a project late this summer. Spoiler Alert: we built a shed! Unfortunately the shed ended up blocking the view out of the dining room a bit. It didn’t go exactly as we had originally planned. So now we have a less than stellar view which was just the push I needed to consider some curtains.

On our last trip to Ikea (our second home) I picked up two sets of curtain rods and curtains. I think it ended up costing around $100 and that’s the main reason for choosing Ikea, I couldn’t find anything else much cheaper.

In the past when I was thinking about the curtains I knew that I wanted something light and airy. I didn’t want to completely cover the windows or block the views entirely, I just wanted to soften the edges a bit. I also wanted to go with a layered look.

After searching the Ikea website I found that the vivan curtains not only came in both grey and white but they seemed to look sheer. The $10 a set price tag was also a a big selling point. So I went off to the store an gathered all the things I needed, including double rods to layer the curtains with.

So enough with the talk on with it! Here’s the dining room with the shades open:

Then on to the dining room with the shades closed. That shed roof is completely out of view now. The curtains didn’t end up being the silky sheer that I originally expected but they are a light-weight more linen look, which for the price was just fine with me.

In the dining room I went with the grey in the front and the white layered in back. I love that they run independently so that I can open and close them differently.

One thing I learned in this is that at Ikea you need to buy one set of the curtain rings per panel not per set of curtains. With only five rings on a curtain they don’t lay very well and they gap awkwardly. I’m looking to remedy that one my next trip to Ikea.

Now onto the living room. Here are the curtains up and open. Actually the window is pretty wide in here and as such if we were to fully close the curtains they would end up almost flat. I’m not too concerned about that since I’m not planning to close them very often, mostly they are just for show here.

I also switched the order of the curtains up in the living room because I didn’t want a large amount of grey showing because of the already large grey couches.

Something you may notice below is that the curtains have a bit of a high water pants issue. Have I ever mentioned that it’s hard to find curtains that are more than 98″ long, especially cost effective ones? Because it is.

For now it was worth the price and I have some plans for lengthening the curtains in the future.

Anyone else have some ideas for lengthening some curtains? Have you made any alterations to basic curtains to jazz them up a bit?

Summertime Pillows (Just A Little Late)

Yeah I know this post is a little late. It’s not really summer anymore but I wanted to show off the fun pillow cases that I made this summer before I switch them out for something new. I’ve already got the fabric so once I find the time I’m getting right on it and making fall pillows. 

After we put together the furniture in the living room I wanted to add a little something extra. Even though I still don’t have a coffee table and I’m using stools as end tables, I wanted to add a little color to the room.  I thought adding some fun pillows would be a quick and inexpensive update.

When I was looking at fabric one day I came across a pattern that I loved but didn’t have a use for. I took this as a great opportunity to snatch up this fabric. Since the solid cotton fabrics were also on sale I grabbed some of those to match. I gathered a few pillow forms that I already had and added a few that I picked up from Ikea for a few dollars a piece.  I’ve got 2 – 20″ x 20″, 2-16″ x 16″ and the rest are 14″ x 14″ sized pillows.

I came up with a few ideas of patterns that I wanted to do and put that together with some ideas that I found on Pintrest. So here’s the pile of pillows:

I mixed up the patterns with the solids and I created some with ruffles and even one with a cute bow.

The pillow that took the most time was the chevron pattern made from half square triangles but it’s also one of my favorite.

All of the pillows were made doing a regular overlapping back with about 2 inches of overlap on each side.

After I had all the pillows done I stuck two of the smaller ones on the chairs . . .

then I spread the rest out on each ends of both couches.

I loved the way they turned out. They really break up the large solid furniture and add a fun pop of color.

Well now that they’re up it’s about time to switch to something more fitting for the fall. Good thing they were pretty simple to make and inexpensive. I look forward to creating many sets of pillow cases that I can switch out when the mood strikes. It’s a great way to easily change the look of the room with out making a big expensive change.

Anyone else creating some pillows of your own?

Picture Ledges

If you have never seen Ana White’s blog you should go check it out. It’s pretty much amazing. She has a lot of great woodworking patterns that are easy to follow and for all levels of skill.

If you have ever checked out her blog you will probably notice that the $10 picture ledges are one of the most popular projects. It’s not hard to understand why, with some inexpensive materials and a few tools you can make some great looking and simple to make shelves.

Since Chris and I had just inherited a Kreg Jig I had been dying to test it out. This seemed like a great project to start with.

As you may have already seen, our living and dining rooms are open and have high, vaulted ceilings.

After we starting filling the room with furniture I knew I wanted to our something on the big long wall. These ledges seemed like a great fit. They would keep everything neatly in line and I could swap things around whenever I felt like it and not have to worry about making or leaving holes in the wall. I also liked the idea of using ledges because I could display more than just pictures on the wall.

If you haven’t seen the photo here’s what the room looked like after we assembled all of out new Ikea furniture.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of how I made the shelves but they are pretty simple and you can check out the picture ledge plan on Ana’s site for a lot more info and tips.

I pretty much followed the video that she has posted there. I went with the 1×4 on the back, a 1×2 for the front and a 1×6 for the bottom. I chose the larger board on the bottom because I wanted to be able to put larger items other than just pictures on the shelves.

Chris helped m hang them on the wall. We marked out were the studs were and screwed in two screws on each stud for each shelf.

Here they are all finished up. Each shelf is 4′ long. When I put them together I filled the kreg holes on the bottom with wood filler, gave them a good sanding and then painted them white. I actually went with Alabaster from Sherwin Williams, which is just a little off-white so they wouldn’t be so bright and sharp.

They are working out great. I like the way they filled the wall but don’t make it look to cluttered. So far I mostly have pictures up on them with a fell other items. I am looking to changing things out as the weather changes.

I would really recommend trying out this project, they are such a quick and simple project. A great way to try your hand at some woodworking.

Anyone else attempting to make things with wood? Has anyone else tried any more of Ana White’s patterns?