Like many creatives, I often find myself daydreaming about my next big sewing project even before my current project is complete. Whether in the car, walking my dog or even brushing my teeth, custom fabric projects are always on the brain. While on a trail run, I dreamt up my race bib running top. Most recently, while getting the mail, the lightbulb went off for custom pillows inspired by vintage envelopes.
These pillows look great on Linen Cotton Canvas and Recycled Canvas but I was excited to try Spoonflower’s newest fabric, Lightweight Cotton Twill. This lightweight fabric is both soft and durable, is easy to work with, and is a perfect addition to your couch when made into a pillow.
Want to bypass the graphic design portion of this tutorial and get right to personalizing, ordering and sewing? To make a pillow just like ours, you can download our design template to add your custom details to here.
Step 1. Create Your Design Canvas
To get started, set-up a Photoshop canvas at the size you’d like your finished pillow to be, making sure to include any seam allowance. My pillows will be 15” x 15” with a ½” seam allowance so my canvas will be 16” x 16” or 2400 x 2400 pixels.
Once you’ve created your canvas, add a textured background to mimic paper. I created my background in Photoshop but you can also find great pre-made digital paper backgrounds on Etsy or www.textures.com To add your background, select File > Place Embedded and choose the background texture.
If you plan to use this background for the back of your pillow, save your file as a Photoshop file and JPG before moving to step 3. To save a file, select File > Save As and choose the JPG or Photoshop option. I recommend saving this file under the name Wedding Pillow _ Back.
The part that really makes this gift one of a kind is the addition of the couple’s wedding details. Select the text tool and add the church or venue address where the couple is getting married.
Step 4. Add Postage Stamps
To create a mailed letter effect on your pillow, add images of postage stamps to your canvas. Etsy is a great resource for digital downloads and I used this set from KGAKreationsLLC. Once you have your images, add each stamp to your canvas by selecting File > Place Embedded and select your stamp.
To add a final element of personalization to your pillow, create a custom time stamp. I used this helpful tutorial but if this feels too advanced, you can leave this off the pillow. I like to use the wedding date information in the stamp, so knowing the time of the ceremony, date and city of the wedding will be helpful.
Once you’ve created the stamp, save the file as a JPG and add it to the canvas following the embedding directions in step 4.
Once complete, save the file as a PSD (Photoshop document) and JPG, making sure to RENAME your file to ensure you don’t override the background file you saved in step 2.
At this point, you can order the front and back of your pillows as fat quarters. Once logged into your Spoonflower account, select Design > Upload and choose the JPG version for the front of the pillow. Select the Lightweight Cotton Twill and fat quarter options in the drop down menus. When ordering a 16″ x 16″ design on a fat quarter, be sure to select the center repeat option to ensure you get one complete image! Add the design to your cart.
Repeat step 7 for the backside of your pillow.
If you’re like me and find yourself attending more weddings than you can count, this pillow design can come in handy! In Photoshop, I was able to fit six 16” x 16” panels on one yard of Lightweight Cotton Twill (58″ x 36″). Just save one big file with all 6 pillow pieces as a JPG and upload it to Spoonflower. With enough panels to make 3 pillows, one pillow was just $7.80!
Not attending a wedding in the near future? This project could work as a house warming gift for new home owners using their new address and move-in date! Inspired to make your own custom envelope pillow? Be sure to share your project with us by tagging #spoonflower.