In July of last year I took a Shibori Dyeing class (for those of you that don’t know Shibori is a process of dyeing fabric using natural plant dyes and oxidization). I really wanted to make something out of the big piece of canvas I dyed but I wasn’t sure what. With all the changes we’ve made in our living room recently, I was dying to get some new pillows on our couch. I wanted something that would be casual and cozy, because let’s face it… 99% of the time my kids have all the pillows thrown on the floor anyway, so nothing frilly or fancy was going to work in here. Solution…my hand dyed fabric backed with some left over drop cloth I had from my curtains (we will talk about those later).
Those canvas drop cloths you find at the hardware store for painting are PERFECT for creating neutral, casual pillows, and they are so darn cheap, you could afford to make hundreds of pillows if you wanted. They come in different sizes, but the one I bought was 9’x12′ and cost me barely $15. That’s a lot of fabric to work with! I definitely recommend running the drop cloth through the washer and dryer once before you do anything with it. This will soften up the canvas and get rid of any wrinkles or stiffness.
Measure the pillow form you’ll be using. (Mine was 17″ x 17″)
Add 1″ for a seam allowance. (18″ x 18″)
Cut a piece of fabric to that measurement. (18″ x 18″) This will be the front of your pillow.
Cut another piece of fabric the same width as your front, but add 4″ to the height. (18″ x 22″)
Now cut it in half widthwise. (Each piece is now 18″ x 11″) These are the back pieces of your pillow.
Make a fold on one long edge of each back piece towards the back of the fabric, press with an iron, then stitch the hem.
Lay your front piece of fabric face up. Then place both back pieces on top, facing down, with the hemmed edges overlapping in the center. Pin the fabric pieces together along the edges and sew all four sides of the pillow cover.
Open up the back pieces and turn the pillow cover right side out.
Add a pillow form!
I am SUPER pleased with how these turned out. But the thing I love most about these pillows is that I hand dyed the fabric, the backs are scrap I had left over from our curtains. Very bohemian, very farmhouse, very US!