DIY Flamingo Pillow

7:30 AM

Today I'm going to show you how to make one of my favorite DIYs ever. The idea came from a post by Francois et Moi that was featured on the blog Sugar and Cloth. Lately, I've kind of been obsessed with flamingos, so this craft was right up my alley! And I think it turned out really nice.

I bought the lumbar pillow from a thrift store. Though the case was not my favorite, it was the perfect size and shape for this craft.



By the way, I realize the instructions may be intimidating, but it's worth it! Alternatively, if you want to skip steps 1-6, you can just buy a pillowcase for your pillow instead of sewing it yourself.

Ready to make one yourself?

Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • iron-on transfer paper for light fabrics--I got a set of ten at Michael's, but for this DIY you only need 3 sheets (though its nice to have extra just in case you make a mistake).
  • ink jet printer--Your home printer is mostly likely an ink jet printer. But just to make sure, try googling your printer's make and model to double-check.
  • scissors
  • iron
  • this cute printable from Francois et Moi
  • lumbar pillow--or I suppose you could adapt this DIY to fit any pillow!
  • anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 yard of white fabric--enough to wrap around the pillow
  • three white buttons
  • needle and thread
  • a sewing machine

Let's get started! Trust me, you're going to love the result!

1.) First, let me get you familiar with how the pillowcase will fit onto the pillow. Here's the finished back:


This pillow case is sort of like a burrito. The fabric is like the tortilla and the pillow is the beans and chicken and what have you. The fabric simply wraps around the pillow and is secured by buttons and stitching. Get it? Got it? Good.

2.) Now that you've found your bearings, sew a hem on the two edges that are meeting in the back side of the pillow (the ones that will have the buttons). This makes the edges that will show look clean and nice. Keep in mind which side of the fabric will be facing out and which side will be facing in. That way, you can figure out which way to fold the hem over.


3.) Now wrap your pillow in the fabric and pin the left and right sides together. This gives you an idea for how much space your pillow will need. Keep in mind that your pillowcase is currently inside out. Take the pillow out and sew along the two edges that you've pinned. After, turn your pillowcase right-side out.


4.) Now we're going to do some hand sewing. Don't panic! It's really not that hard. I taught myself! Take a button. Take a needle. Cut some thread. Thread the needle. Pull the two ends of the thread so they are of equal length (this is called double threading) and tie a knot at the end using the two ends.

Position your button where you want it on the pillowcase. Start by poking the needle up through the fabric and through one hole in the button. Then go down the next hole in the button and the fabric underneath it. Go back up the previous hole (if your button has two holes) or up a new hole (if your button has more than two holes). Keep doing this until your button is secure.

5.) Repeat this process for the other two buttons.

6.) Now, a word on buttonholes. You can stitch around the slit in order to reinforce it and keep it from tearing. But I didn't. I know, it sounds sloppy and lazy of me, but I don't own a special buttonhole foot and it's too tedious for me to do it with a regular foot. If you have a buttonhole foot or are really skilled at sewing buttonholes for whatever reason, go for it. As for me, I cut a slit in the fabric where I wanted my button to come up and left it at that.



7.) Yay! You survived the sewing portion of this DIY! Congrats! Now take out your handy-dandy iron-on transfer sheets. Download this flamingo printable, then re-size it in a PowerPoint or Word document. I prefer pasting it into PowerPoint because its very easy to move the image around and re-size it as needed.

I changed the color of the flamingo to a very light gray so I could do a test print on normal printer paper without wasting ink. Then, I held the test print up to the pillowcase to determine whether or not I needed to adjust the size. Once you've re-sized it, print out one flamingo onto an iron-on transfer sheet. Keep in mind that the image you print will be mirrored when you iron it onto the pillowcase.


8.) Cut out a thin border around the flamingo.


9.) Lay it face down in your desired spot on the pillowcase (I started by ironing on the middle flamingo first). Follow the instructions on your package of iron-on transfer sheets for specific directions about printing and ironing.



It looks so professional!


10.) Repeat this process for two more flamingos. Important: When ironing on the other flamingos, be very very very careful not to let the hot iron touch any of the finished flamingos! It will ruin the image.





I hope you enjoyed this DIY. It's definitely one of my favorites so far. Plus, you can't go wrong with flamingos (I'm determined to have a flamingo-themed 18th birthday party...it's so happening).

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