Still looking for a last minute DIY gift? We have a variety of ideas here.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we wanted to share this simple embroidered pillow as a bit of DIY inspiration. While this isn’t made from the softest of materials (more info below), it’s meant to add a punch of color and design rather than as a place to lay your head.
I made this pillow at least four years ago, and it’s still going strong! Through multiple moves and many moments being sat upon, it’s holding up well. And fortunately, it has remained an enjoyable bit of decor. Seeing that big red heart makes me smile.
The combination of materials for decorative pillow cover and the embroidering adds a textural element that can make a room feel richer and more creative than if all upholstery in a room uses the same fabrics.
As I mentioned, this is a DIY inspiration post. We aren’t giving you step-by-step photographs and instructions because I made this pillow with bits of material and reused items in my craft room.
- coffee sack* or burlap for the pillow front
- red yarn for the heart
- white narrow stripe corduroy for the back
- pillow insert
- large embroidery needle
- embroidery hoop
*The face of my pillow is made from an old burlap coffee sack with the heart embroidered using red acrylic roving. Those blue stripes that you see on the front were on the coffee sack. If you don’t have access to a coffee roaster (that’s where I get my sacks), then you can easily substitute a burlap; look for a tighter weave if you don’t want to see the pillow insert between the burlap fibers.
- Option – before you start the embroidery, cut your burlap to the size of your pillow (making sure to leave at least an extra inch of length in both directions for hemming), and if you’d like, you could sew along each edge to stop the burlap from fraying while you sew.
- Cross-stitch a heart onto the burlap material being used for your pillow face. You can follow the pattern below or customize a heart to the size you want. Cross stitching is as simple as sewing little x’s on your fabric to match the red squares in the heart below. A quick tip to make your cross-stitching look more pro is to always keep the over and under stitches of your x’s consistent. For example, if you sew the line that goes from the upper left to the lower right first (it’s on the bottom), and the other line of the x second (it’s on the top), then you should use that pattern for all of the other x’s in your design.
- Sew the front and back pieces together using the simple envelope pillow instructions from A Beautiful Mess. And you’re done!
If you don’t want to go through the effort of making a pillow. I think it would also be super cute to cross stitch a little red heart onto a piece of aida cloth (the typical cross-stitch fabric) using embroidery floss. Then you can hang it on the wall framed with the embroidery hoop. Super simple, but super cute.