It’s beginning to look a lot like….Christmas? More like springtime! This week has certainly been a strange one in Wisconsin with close to 60 degree temperatures and rainy weather. I felt like bursting out into a chorus of “Snow” from White Christmas to try to help whip up some snowflakes in the air. Unfortunately that did not work. So, the next best thing was generating some fake snowflakes digitally for your enjoyment on my blog – as you may have already noticed these gently falling over your screen. *sigh* I guess these will have to suffice until some of the real white fluffy stuff decides to show up. Speaking of fluffy stuff, this leads me to what I have been up to this week…creating some custom Christmas throw pillows.
One of the ways I like to change out my decor seasonally is through the use of pillow slipcovers. I have a very large sofa sectional that sits in our family room and it screams for multiple throw pillows to help conceal its very large and very brown surface! Purchasing nice, new throw pillows every season can be expensive, however purchasing new slipcovers for your pillows is quite the opposite. I usually look for good deals at Ikea or H&M where the prices can be as low as $3-5 per pillow cover. For the cost of 1 store-bought new throw pillow, I can purchase 4-5 new “looks” with pillow slipcovers that can be easily interchanged and placed right over your existing pillow. Just be sure to pay attention to the size of your existing pillow before purchasing the appropriate sized cover.
I started with some festive slipcovers that I had found at H&M a few months ago. I knew I loved the candy cane striped covers immediately, for some fun Christmas cheer. And I purchased 2 plain pillow covers as well to create my own custom looks – one red and one black. The most expensive option here was $5.99.
I had been drooling over these chalkboard inspired Pottery Barn pillows for a while, but at almost $30 a pop, that just wasn’t happening. So, of course, my brain automatically went to, “how can I create this myself for a lot less money?”
I started with finding some free graphic images online that I knew I wanted as the “look” for each of these pillow covers. Once I had decided on which ones I liked, I blew them up in size using a free online website called Block Posters.
I read a tutorial online about how to transfer images onto fabric using a chalk rub method. I had previously used this method to transfer images onto wood, so I wondered if it would work as nicely on fabric. I was pleased by how well it did! I started by rubbing chalk all over the backside of the image I wanted to transfer onto the pillow cover.
Then I positioned the image in the center of the pillow cover and traced over the outline of the image using a ballpoint pen. For the black pillow cover, I used black pen and for the red cover I used a red pen. This prevented any pen from obviously showing through onto the fabric, which I was going to be covering up with white paint.
When I lifted the paper up, a faint chalk outline of the image was left on the pillow cover.
Then I used a white fabric paint pen to draw over the outline of the lettering and added some chalk swirls for a more defined & custom look.
Lastly this pillow just needed a little extra something special, so I sewed 4 small silver jingle bells into each of the corners.
For the large red pillow cover, I choose a beautiful snowflake pattern where the white paint would stand out against the red nicely.
Since this was a much larger surface to paint only with a paint pen, I went with a thin brush and some Snow White acrylic paint to fill in the snowflake image. It did take 2 coats of paint to get the look I was after.
The end result are two custom Christmas pillow covers that came in at less than $10 total! I know these will be fun to reuse in future years of Christmas decorating, and who knows…may even inspire an actual snowflake or two to fall in our neck of the woods!