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Christmas Tree Pillow Tutorial

November 21, 2012 in Projects

Over the summer, I was lucky enough to receive a ton of sewing stuff (books, trims, patterns, etc.) from my great aunt and a tackle box full of vintage buttons that once belonged to my great grandmother. The excitement of receiving this stuff was two fold: I got a ton of notions for my stash AND they have a sentimental value. I have been wanting to start using my goodies, but I hadn’t found a project worthy of them yet. BUT, then I came across the Trim the Tree Pillow tutorial from Jamie of Three Scoops of Love, and I knew that this was the perfect opportunity

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My Grandma and Grandpa’s Christmas decor uses turquoise, white, and silver, so I put on my thinking cap and brainstormed my own version of the “Trim the Tree Pillow.” (Side Note: the trims, books, etc. came from my Grandma’s sister and the buttons were my Grandpa’s mother’s, so this project is special to both Grandma and Grandpa)

I mainly used the tutorial found on Three Scoops of Love for inspiration, so I am going to show you how I made mine. Let’s get started!

  • 16″x16″ pillow form
  • 1/4 yd felt or fleece (I used felt because Hobby Lobby didn’t have the color I wanted in fleece.)
  • Eyelet trim
  • Hook and loop tape
  • Handful of buttons for the “ornaments”
  • Paint (if the buttons you have aren’t the color you want them to be)
  • Some sort of button or piece of fabric for the star (I happened to find the orangish-yellow button in my stash of buttons, so that’s what I used)
  • Basic sewing supplies

1. Prepare Supplies

Once all of the supplies are gathered, some prep work needs to be done before the sewing starts.

 

  • Iron your felt, so you have nice, pressed fabric to work with.
  • Cut one 17×17″ square and a 17×22″ rectangle from your felt yardage.
  • On the long sides of your 17×22″ piece, make a mark at 17″ and cut a 45 degree angle from the 17″ mark to the top of fabric. This creates the allowance for a top flap where we will insert the pillow form, then velcro the cover closed.
  • Lay out your trim how you want it, creating a tree shape. I started at the bottom with the longest piece, then when up from there, cutting each piece a little shorter.
  • If you need to paint your buttons, lay them out on top of a piece of newspaper or craft paper. Using a tooth pick to keep them in place, paint the first layer on each button. In the end, I used 3 coats of the silver paint for a solid, streak-free cover.

2. Sewing

  •  Pin the trim in place, making sure to tuck under the ends, so the raw edges aren’t showing. (I originally sewed the layers of trim down too far apart, so I added the second trim in between each layer to make a fuller-looking tree. It’s just a matter of preference.) 
  • Thread your machine with the color of your choice. Since my trim was white, I used white thread.
  • Using a zigzag stitch, sew each piece of trim to the piece of felt with the top flap. Make sure to sew near the top edge of the trim, so that the ruffly part of the trim isn’t tacked down. Don’t forget to back stitch at the beginning and end!
  • Once each layer of trim is sewn down, thread a hand needle in preparation for sewing on the buttons. Place your “star” above the tree and hand-sew it on.
  • Take your dry buttons (if you painted them) and place them randomly on the tree so that they look like ornaments. When you have the buttons arranged where you want them, pin them down by putting the pin through one of the holes in the button and into the fabric. Starting at the bottom right of the tree, hand-sew each “ornament” to your tree.
  • Place your two pieces of felt wrong-sides together, line up the left, bottom and right edges and pin. The top should be left open and the flap should extend past the 17×17″ square. Starting at the 17″ mark on one side, sew with 1/2″ seam allowance along the left, bottom and right sides, leaving the top open.
  • Clip your corners, and trim the seam allowance. Doing these two things will ensure that the seams and corners lay flat when turned right-side-out.

  • Turn the pillow cover right-side-out and press.
  • Take one side of your hook and loop tape and pin it on the inside of your top flap, trimming the length if necessary. Sew around the edge of your hook and loop tape, securing it to the flap. Don’t forget to back stitch at the beginning and end!
  • Fold the flap down so that the raw edge of 17×17″ is covered. This is how you determine where the other side of the hook and loop tape needs to be attached. See the photo below for clarification.

 

  • Once you determine where the other side of the hook and loop tape needs to be attached, pin it in place and sew around the edge. Don’t forget to back stitch at the beginning and end!

3. Finishing Up

  • Did you notice that we didn’t need to do anything to the raw edges at the top of our pillow cover? That’s the nice thing about felt and fleece: it won’t fray!
  • Insert your pillow form into the pillow cover, making sure that the side seams match up (this helps the cover to lay evenly over the pillow).
  • Velcro that baby up and you’re done!

 

 

 

What do you think!? I am so happy with how it turned out, and my grandparents loved their early Christmas present, too!

 

 

 

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