Do you remember the tree pillow that I made back in December? I’ve been meaning to share a tutorial on how I did it because it was really easy and fun. I’m sure you have seen this tree pillow on Pinterest in dozens of different ways. I’m not sure who the original idea belongs to, but I was inspired by the version by Cluck Cluck Sew. This makes a removable pillow cover with an envelope back.
This project is a great stash buster, so if you sew frequently and have lots of scraps, you may already have everything you need. If you are not a fabric-hoarder, look at your favorite craft store in the quilting section for fat quarters. Fat quarters usually come with a dozen pieces in coordinating colors or patterns that measure 18″ by 22″. They are usually used for quilting, but the possibilities are really endless.
How to make a tree pillow
- a square pillow (I found 18″ blank ones on clearance at Target for $5)
- fabric to cover the front and back
- fabric scraps for the trunk and leaves
- coordinating threads
Start by measuring your pillow. Mine was 18″ square. I cut one piece of fabric to cover the whole thing that measures 19″ by 44″. This avoids a few seams, but you could also cut a separate front and back. Iron the piece if it is wrinkled, then iron the creases so that you have a defined front. My creases divided the pillow into 11″, 18″ and 15″.
Next, cut out your tree trunk and as many leaves as you want. I made the trunk brown and the leaves match the colors in my living room. The theme is Van Gogh so I focused on the navy, yellow and green. I cut a total of 18 by laying them out as I went until it looked the way I wanted. If you want to use my pattern, download this tree and leaf template.
Lay out your tree parts in the middle section and sew them in place. I used my machine, but you could also do it by hand. The pieces really don’t have to be in a particular place, which is what makes this project so easy.
Once you have the tree finished, it’s time to turn it into a pillow case. Hem the short ends with a half-inch seam allowance. Fold the pillow into the three sections, inside-out. Sew along the top and bottom edges with a half-inch seam allowance. Trim off the excess fabric in the points of the corners so that they will lay smoothly when you turn it right-side-out.
Turn the case right-side-out. You can iron the whole thing again if necessary. Put the pillow inside the case.
The raw edges of the tree and leaves will fray slightly over time. This doesn’t bother me, but if you are concerned you can use a fray-check liquid to keep it at a minimum. This can be washed by removing the pillow and turning it inside-out.
You could create all kinds of designs using this method. I also made a matching owl pillow using the same scraps.