Embellished Designer Christmas Pillows

I’m a big sucker for throw pillows to begin with but when you add embellishments on them and I get all out obsessed. Problem is that with most of the pillows I like, they cost a fortune and then you’re stuck with the same pillows forever. What I like to do instead, is look online for inspiration and then make the pillows myself. I’ve turned it into sort of a game, to see just how cheap I can make the pillows for. I am decorating our house in a “winter wonderland” theme this year using only silvers and whites all over. If I were to have bought all of the pillows shown in the inspiration photo it would have cost me $512 (not counting tax and shipping) but I was able to make almost identical pillows for just $46!!

Here is my designer inspiration:

Pillow Inspiration

All of the pillows starts with a basic removable cover, and you can find a tutorial on how to do that in one of my older posts.

The first pillow tutorial is the one  that is studded all over. The designer one (on the top right ) is covered in mirrors but looks like studs. Since I knew the pillow would be covered entirely I didn’t waste any money buying fabric for the cover, I just used muslin. Once you’ve made a cover, I found it was much easier to add the studding with the cover on the pillow. I bought 3 yards of 2 inch stud chain from Joann Fabrics (which happened to be on sale for 50% off when I bought it) and held it up against the pillow to see how long each strip would need to be. You’ll have quite a bit of extra chain at the end, thats normal.. we’re going to use it for the next pillow. Once you’ve determined the length, just use your scissors to trim the chain. I used a hot glue gun to glue each strip onto the pillow, but if you wanted to be able to reuse the chain you could always sew it in place. I am going to keep the pillow for the reading chair in my home office so I didn’t mind glueing it. 

The next pillow is still studded, but this time in much more subtle strips and instead of being made of muslin it’s a white vinyl fabric. I was lucky enough to find this in the remnant bin at joann’s so it was half off. The other bonus of using this vinyl is that I didn’t have to sew seams on the back of the pillow because once it was cut it had a finished looking edge. Take the piece of chain that is left over from the last pillow and cut it into single strips. You’ll have 6 strips now and you’ll want to space them evenly. I was doing a 14″x14″ pillow so I’ll give you the measurements I used for that. Start out by glueing one strip at 7″ in and one strip at 9″ in. Then, working outward on both sides, glue strips 2 inches apart until all of the strips are used.

The next pillow is a shimmery silver pillow with a strip of silver beading down the middle (bottom right in the designer inspiration). I found a silver silk at Joann Fabrics and used that to make the cover for the pillow. Then I took a wide strip of ribbon that I already had to serve as the base for the beading strip. I bought a bag of silver bugle beads (also from Joann’s and on sale for 30% off) and adhered them to the ribbon using hot glue. Since the glue dries so fast and you want to make sure the beads stick, do this a little at a time. Once the ribbon is covered with beads glue the ribbon to the middle of the cover.

The next pillow is the easiest of them all because it’s just a removable cover (top left in the inspiration photos). I found a great crocodile skin pleather at Joanns and used that to make the cover following the steps shown here.

The last pillow was a little tricky, it’s the snowflake pillow (bottom left in the inspiration photos). I had bought a beaded snowflake ornament at the American Cancer Society’s Holiday Wish Show, which is the bigger snowflake on the picture above. I removed the hook and the wire hanger from the ornament and used wire cutters to snip off the ring at the top. I had hoped to find smaller ones at the craft store ti use for this pillow but I couldn’t find any anywhere. After being stumped for quite a while, my husband came to the rescue and came up with a really great idea. He found a thin metal snowflake wreath at Joann’s that actually was made to hold Christmas cards. I used wire cutters to cut the swirls and snowflakes off of the wreath and used those to embellish the pillow. The cover for this pillow is a white linen that I found in the remnant bin at Joanns.

Overall, I am really happy with how my pillows turned out… and even more happy that it costs more than 10 times less than the designer ones that inspired them! The all over studded one is my favorite and I can’t wait to add it to my office reading chair after the holidays!

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