Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Bolster Pillow

Can you believe Christmas is less than 2 weeks away?  This is a really busy time of year for me.  This is my busy season for my business, every one's wanting their window treatments or their bedding finished in time for their holiday party.  So this elf has been in the workroom sewing away!!  But, I wanted to take a moment to share this cute bolster pillow tutorial.

This is such a quick and easy pillow to make.  You could leave it plain, add trim, or stencil your favorite saying on the front....go wild, get creative!!
You'll need:  1 yd of 54" wide fabric ( best to use a cotton woven fabric), stencil, fabric paint, ribbon, and 3 yds of upholstery batting.

I decided to make this one 24" wide x 9" tall.  You could make yours any size you want.
First there's a little math involved....I know, math isn't fun, but this math is easy!  This is the formula you will use whenever you are making a bolster pillow because you have to know how big to cut your fabric.  Since mine is going to be 9" tall (diam)  you need to multiply 9" x 3.14(pi) and this gives you the circumference.  In this case 28.26 or 28 1/4".  The seam allowance is 1/4", so I cut my fabric the whole width (54") x 28 3/4".

Tape your stencil in the middle of your fabrics width and approx. 8" up from the bottom.
I use pins to mark the center of the width and 8" up from the bottom.
Using fabric paint, I stenciled the word JOY on the front of mine.  Let it dry completely...an hour or so should do it.

When dry, remove stencil and pin the 2 long edges right sides together.  Since I wanted to fray my edges I started and stopped stitching 1 1/2" from the beginning and ending edges.
I used my serger/over lock machine, but you can use your sewing machine and stitch 1/4" seam allowance.
After stitching this seam, turn right side out and you are ready to stuff.
In my business we stuff all pillows with down pillow inserts, but since this is a pillow I plan to use just for the holidays, it didn't need to be stuffed with anything fancy.  But feel free to purchase a polyfil or down feather insert for your pillow if you like.  I simply used upholstery batting rolled up for my pillow insert.
If you're not familiar with upholstery batting, it is batting that is used to wrap around foam for cushions.  It is thicker and coarser than quilt batting.  It can be purchased at any upholstery supplier...I think I pay $1.85 yd, so this fill cost me a whole $6.00.
Simply roll your batting until you get a diameter of 10" (you always want your fill to be 1" bigger than your cover.
When you get your batting to 10" diam., cut off the excess and staple the edge to your batting roll.  Yep, you read right, staple.  You could hand stitch it if you like, but I staple and it saves a lot of time and I have never had a problem with it.
 Slide your batting fill in through one side, inching it in.
Make sure you get your fill in there centered.  Then tie some ribbon around the each edge.

To finish off the raw edges on both ends, pull the fibers out to make a frayed edge, no hemming involved!
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  1. I have gotta learn to sew...I took home ec in highschool (okay so I'm old), but I forgot most of it. Stop by and enter to win my Heirloom ornament...only 1 day left to enter. I'm a new follower too..if I can't sew, I can at least watch you, LOL

  2. You are my kind of Christmas crafting genius. :)

    So glad I found your project via Centsational Girl.

    I would love for you to visit DTA as I am in the midst of a "Gifts You Can Make" series.

    Be merry and bright!