I love finding special ways of giving someone a message besides the usual letter, email or phone call. To me, a little time and thought put into the presentation of even the simplest greeting makes a huge impact. That's why these envelope pillows are a great project for a meaningful sentiment. Not only will they be a special gesture, but the recipient can also keep the pillow as a gift.
When selecting a throw pillow, look for one that will still look good when a fabric envelope covers the middle: solids, all-over patterns or pillows with border designs work well. I chose a yellow pillow with taped frame design from my Dena Home bedding collection, and paired it with a floral fabric from my Sunshine Linen collection.
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Materials needed: Throw pillow, coordinating fabric, coordinating felt, measuring tape, needle and thread, scissors, iron, embellishments like ric-rac, ribbon or millinery flowers, sewing machine (optional).
1. To sew a fabric envelope that is 7½ inches square (which fits nicely on a 14-inch square pillow), cut an 8½-by-20-inch rectangle from your main coordinating fabric. To create the pointed flap, measure and mark 3 inches down from the shorter edge of your fabric on both sides. Mark the center along the top edge at 4¼ inches. Draw angled lines from the 3-inch marks to the center mark, and cut along those lines so the rectangle now comes to a point. Press all the raw edges under ½ inch with the iron.
2. Trace this shape onto a piece of felt. You may have to sew pieces of felt together to be long enough. Cut the felt a scant 1⁄8 inch inside your traced line so that the felt is slightly smaller than the pressed fabric.
3. Either by hand or with a machine, sew the felt, wrong sides together, onto the main fabric 3⁄8 inch away from the pressed edge. Then, fold the straight end of the rectangle up 7 inches toward the pointed end, so that you are creating the pocket. Sew the sides of this pocket down and leave the top open. You can now embellish your fabric envelope!
4. Hand-stitch the envelope to the center of the throw pillow. You can measure and mark your placement first. Insert a lovely handwritten note on paper, or even write on plain fabric with a marker.
(Dena Fishbein is the designer and artist behind many home, gift and paper products found at your favorite stores. To ask her how to embellish anything, visit her blog at denadesigns.com.)
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, shns.com