4th of July Pillows

Where has the summer gone? I looked at my calendar today and realized it's almost July, so I decided to make a few pillows for the porch. A quick trip for supplies and I was ready to start. I used the pillow forms that I already had and some light burlap that I spray painted to make a Texas flag and a US flag. I think it all looks really cute. Here's what I used: 

  • 2 16" x 24" pillow inserts
  • light (off-white) burlap
  • red and blue spray paint
  • painter's tape
  • star decals

The first thing I did wash wash my burlap. This is not something you have to do, but I hate the smell of new burlap and I also like to soften it up a bit. Nothing tricky here, just throw it in the wash and use your regular detergent and run it through a wash cycle. Don't wash anything else with the burlap because it will end up covered in tiny fibers. Don't ask me how I know this... I actually ran this burlap through the wash twice then dried it in the dryer. Again, make sure it's the only thing you are drying and be certain to clean out your filter afterwards. Then take it outside and shake it for a while. You'll never get all the loose fibers off, but you will notice that you can get a lot of them.   

The next thing I did was even out my fabric. Burlap is such a loosely woven fabric that even when you try to cut it straight across, you rarely can. To do this, look at the cut end of the fabric for the first thread that runs completely from one side to the other. What you will notice is that there will be lots of varying lengths of threads, depending on how crooked the fabric has been cut. Once you find the full length thread, gently pull it until it comes completely out of the fabric. This will leave a space that is now your cutting guide. Now cut off the fabric below that space and you'll have a straight cut going with the grain of the fabric. I did this part outside on my deck to make cleanup a little easier. Repeat with the other end. Now you're ready to sew. 

Now it's time to cut the fabric for the pillows. I added 1 inch to each side of my fabric so that I had plenty of room for seams. The next step is to tape off the design you want. I first tapes my seam allowance off so that I would be able to easily see where I would be sewing. Then I added stripes and the star decals. Obviously the flags I painted are symbolic rather than accurate, but you can use your imagination and design your flag however you choose.  

After the paint dries, peel off the tape to reveal your design. This is the fun part! I had a little bit of overspray that bummed me out at first, but then i decided that it actually made it a little more charming. Isn't that great that I can believe something like that? 

Now you have the front halves of your pillows and it's time to sew. I decided to go ahead and put zippers in mine so that I can change them out easily. 

That's it!! Two cute pillows to celebrate the 4th of July. It's not too late for you to make yourself some. Good luck!

I'll keep you posted...