Although I don’t entirely change my decor, I do like to add a few cute additions to acknowledge the holidays. However, I refuse to spend ungodly amounts of money of my holiday decor – no matter how much I want it.
I went through this exact scenario the day before yesterday as I was browsing the local mall with my daughter. As we were walking through Restoration Hardware (one of my favorite inspiration stores that I have never been able to afford), my daughter saw this Easter pillow in the catalog we picked up and was immediately charmed.
“Mom!” she cried. ”A bunny! Can we get it for Easter? Please?”
“Sure,” said I, ignorant and unaware of how expensive this darling, unassuming little pillow was. But when I searched the page and found the price, I couldn’t help myself – I started laughing.
It was $75 (not kidding). And that was before shipping. Haha, yeah – no. C’mon now… Do people actually pay that much? Maybe I’m just too
cheap chintzy frugal for my own good.
I knew I could make this pillow on the cheap, and boy was I right. This pillow cost me a whopping $0. Yep, it was FREE!! ^_^ If you have everything on hand (which I’m sure many of you do), then you can make one for free, too!
So much better than paying $80+. ^_^
This project ended up being a great stash buster. I used extra drop cloth for the pillow, an old dress of Maddy’s that no longer fit for the bottom strip, and a stained shirt that had seen one-to-many days at preschool for the bunny. I’ve been saving a nasty, old, stained pillow because I thought it was the perfect size for a holiday throw pillow. I decided to make this a removable pillow case so that I can reuse the insert for other holidays.
**NOTE: My brain wasn’t quite as engaged in this project as it should have been, and I didn’t stop to measure like I should have. For more correct and detailed instructions on making a removable pillowcase, see my Drop Cloth Pillow Case Knockoff tutorial. Steps 2 through 9, and steps 17 through 23 on that tutorial are exactly the same as what I’m showing you on this bunny pillow knockoff. You can also follow this knockoff, but (unlike me) be sure to slow down and measure like you’re supposed to. =}
step 1: Measure your pillow (the pillow I covered was 13.5 inches x 13.5 inches). We’re going to measure out the back panels first.
To get the correct measurements for your back panels, take the width of your pillow and divide it by two, then add three. This creates overlapping panels in the back that open enough to slip the pillow firmly inside the case.
For example (using my particular pillow measurements):
13.5” ÷ 2 = 6.75”
6.75” + 3 = 9.75″ (rounded up to 10 to account for hem & seam allowance)
So, using my measurements, both of the two panels should be 13.5” long by 10” wide. And please remember to ALWAYS measure. I eyeballed it and ended up being so wrong, lol. You’ll see what I mean later.
step 2: Now mark your front panel (13.5” x 13.5” in my case).
step 3: Divide your front panel measurement by 3. (13.5” ÷ 3 = 4.5″) Use that number to measure up from the bottom on both sides of your front panel, and draw a line across.
step 4: Cut out your side panels and your front panel.
step 5: Cut a strip of fabric for the bottom of your front panel. In my case, the strip should have been at least 5” x 14” (if not more), to account for hem and seam allowance. You can always trim off any excess. It’s better to have more fabric rather than less as I found out (I was a little short because I eyeballed instead of taking the time to measure. Shame on me.)
step 6: Iron your fabrics. I only ironed my drop cloth pieces, because the bottom strip for the front panel had a neat texture that I wanted to save. But normally I would have ironed that, as well.
step 7: It’s a little difficult to see in this picture, but the next step is to hem your back panels. You do this by folding one of the long edges over a half-inch, ironing it down, then folding it over another half-inch and ironing again.
step 8: Sew your hems. I like to backstitch to make sure the hems don’t come undone.
step 9: Freehand the shapes for your bunny and cut them out.
step 10: Cut pink shapes out for the bunny’s ears and tail. For the tail, I simply cut a long strip and wound it around into a rosette. Nothing fancy. =}
step 11: I put a few hand sewn stitches into the tail so it would keep it’s shape when I was sewing it down with the machine.
step 12: Iron a crease along the line you made on your front panel. We’re using it as a marker so it doesn’t have to crisp – just visible.
step 13: Pin your bunny onto the side of the front panel without any markings. Don’t bother pinning the tail just yet; that goes on after everything else as been sewn down.
**NOTE: I realized afterwards that I could have completed this step in a better way. For a neater look, place and sew the bunny’s body in this order:
1.) Pin down largest part of bunny’s body
2.) Pin down the head
3.) Pin down the ears, making sure the bottom edges are tucked underneath the head
4.) Take out the pins for and remove the head
5.) Sew down the body and the ears
6.) Replace the head and sew it down
7.) Pin down the tail and sew in place
step 14: These next few steps probably won’t apply to you. But just in case you’re having trouble with your zig-zag stitch, this is what I did to (temporarily) solve the problem. Here’s what’s going on:
My zig-zag stitch has reversed itself for some reason; the bottom now looks like the top used to. I have no idea how this happened or how to fix it. I’ve tried everything I can think of, but seeing as how I’m a self-taught seamstress (pfff… yeah ok), that probably isn’t much.
So anyway, if you’re not having this issue, skip to step 16. I’ll go back to step 14 to explain my quick fix…
step 14: Tape your panel down on a light table (or a sunny window) with the bunny pressed against the glass. The goal is to be able to see through the fabric to the bunny on the other side.
step 15: Again, it’s hard to make out in this picture (sorry about that), but trace the shapes of the bunny body onto the panel.
step 16: Sew the bunny into place.
**NOTE: If you’re having the same wonky issues as I am with your zig-zag stitch, you’re going to sew on the side with the traced bunny on it. If your zig-zag stitch works like it’s supposed to, you’re going to sew directly over the fabric pieces of the bunny’s body.
step 17: (Not shown in this picture in order to properly show you the crease line) Take your bottom strip of fabric and, with the right side facing up, lay it directly over the bottom third of the pillow, where it will eventually be sewn. Line up the top edge of the fabric strip with the ironed crease line.
step 18: Now, keeping the top edge of the fabric lined up with the crease line, flip the fabric strip over. The right sides of the bunny panel and the fabric strip should now be touching. Pin the strip in place.
step 19: Sew the strip directly on to the bunny panel.
step 20: Flip the strip over so the right side is facing up again. (By the way, see that 1/2 inch gap of uncovered drop cloth at the bottom? Yeah… that’s what happens when your brain says, “Duh” instead of saying, “Maybe you should measure this strip before cutting instead of just eyeballing it, stupid!”)
step 21: Keep the bunny panel laying face up (or right side up), and pin your back panels face down (or right side down) on top of it. (Unlike in my picture, the panels should overlap on the inside edges by 2 or 3 inches. I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but always always measure. lol.) Sew everything together, and remember to backstitch at the start and finish of each side.
step 22: Trim the excess fabric off all four corners.
step 23: Turn your pillow case rightside-out and use a pencil or chopstick to push the corners into a nice point.
step 24: Slide your pillow into the case, and you’re done!! (Can you see why I’m an idiot for not measuring? =P Oh well…)
For a savings of $80+, I’ll take it… mistakes and all! ^_^
Thanks for joining me, lovely readers. I hope you have fun making your own bunny knockoff pillows!! And you have my permission to brag about how your DIY skilzzzz saved you over $80!! lol. ^_^ Until next time.