Sunday, December 15, 2013

DIY Watercolor Pillow

A very good friend of mine has a pillow obsession. So for this holiday season I've decided to take it to the next level. She sends me photos of beautiful pillows from time to time and I often think, there's no reason I couldn't make those.

Fast forward a few months and it was time to test it out. After some research online I've discovered there are plenty of websites with instructions on various pillows. I found this site and adore the instructions [very thorough] and decided to take it for a spin. [website: brit and co! check them out for more DIY ideas this holiday season!]

A watercolor pillow seemed ideal - no standards of perfection, as they are meant to be creative and whimsy. After collecting my sharpie collection [Yes, I agree I do have a problem. I can't help it, all the colors need love and I'm willing]. I ran to the local fabric store to pick up a few other supplies. You can also just purchase a plain white cotton pillow, but I decided to hand make mine for multiple reasons. Mainly my enjoyment of sewing and making sure it is well constructed and fluffy. 

The supplies you'll need:
Sharpies. I always say stick with brand name when trying something new - it's far less stressful and you know other people have tried them.

White Cotton - You can decide on the size pillow you want. I purchased a ton of extra to make gifts for others as well. 

White Thread - I always buy coat thread now, it's my favorite for it's durability. 

Rubbing Alcohol. 

Now here's where I've modified. They say use a Q-Tip, which I suppose would work for detail designs but I've made a large print and purchased a super cheap paint brush to just brush on the rubbing alcohol and let it soak through to create a stronger effect.

Step Two: You've got your supplies all collected and you're ready to start! My first step was to do some experimenting. I wanted to see how the colors blended with Sharpie and pick a scheme. Plus it's just fun to practice and see where your talents lie. 

I cut little strips out and grouped my colors [yes I'm a bit obsessive about them being grouped]

For the small strips I used Q-Tips for practicing, the scale was smaller so the brush wasn't necessary. 

*** RECOMMENDATION: Put paper underneath your working surface. The sharpie WILL BLEED when you draw and especially when you add the rubbing alcohol. ***

 Step Three: PLAY!

Step Four: Once you have your design selected, cut your material to the size pillow you would like plus 1" for sewing - I always prefer to leave more fabric then less - you can always take away.

Step Five: I got a little ahead of myself and started playing with the rubbing alcohol to be sure I liked the outcome, but go ahead and fill in your pillow and then brush on the rubbing alcohol. 

Step Six: I chose to add more structure to the pillow so I put a layer of muslin behind the cotton and iron on interfacing. Then sewed together the two sides of the pillows. I wanted the pattern to only be on the front side instead of both sides. 

Step Seven: Stuff it! 

Step Eight: Play some more! You know you want to! 

Here's my final product. I'm quite pleased with it! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spreading the Cheer!

Hello all! 

I wanted to post a few of my favorite style worthy design sites for Holiday gifts!

For a little bit of everything: 

For your creative counterparts:
Blick Art Materials, which recently teamed up with Utrecht for those of you who missed the news!
Factory43 offers amazing prints at affordable prices

For Detroiters! Noel night Saturday offers art at affordable prices, pieces made by students and alumini are for sale each year at the college for creative studies!

The staples:
Macy's is great for friends who are moving into their first new homes
BHLDN for the engaged couple you know! 

If you are still lost on your holiday gift needs feel free to send me a message! Gift giving is a specialty of mine!