Delicate, heirloom holiday decorations are great, but there’s a special place in our hearts for functional decorations we can get a little use out of! Today our friend Emma Jeffery of the blog Hello Beautiful stops by to share a video tutorial taking you through the steps of how to create your own customized pillow design in Picmonkey to print onto fabric. Then, she’ll walk you through how to stitch up an easy zipper pillow with optional piping. Whether you’re making a thoughtful gift for a loved one or just trying to step up the festive decor in your own home, this tutorial is sure to teach you a thing or two!
If you liked this tutorial, subscribe to our Youtube channel where we’ve been adding lots of fun tutorials and tips.
Looking for more ways to personalize your holiday décor? Check out Emma’s tutorial for an easy embroidered holiday banner!
Remember these amazing map throw pillows from Emma Jeffery’s how-to? She created these gorgeous and personal cushions with Google satellite view images of the countryside near her home in England, and shared how to design your own one-of-a-kind treasure.
This January she’s created a new map cushion tutorial, using the Google map view instead. In this how-to Emma created for the Fiskars blog, she teaches you how to prepare and upload your file to print at Spoonflower, and even how to sew up a neatly finished cushion with piping and an invisible zipper!
Use either of Emma’s great step by step tutorials to create a pillow that celebrates your hometown, a great trip, or for a unique gift for a friend!
A few weeks ago, we posted a tutorial for sewing a warmable pillow — a small pillow filled with dried rice or corn that can be microwaved and used for snuggling. For this week's contest we asked each designer to create a cut & sew pattern to make a removable cover for one of these pillows using a favorite animal as a theme. The pattern had to fit on a fat quarter of fabric and include cut lines, seam allowances, etc., to allow someone who orders the pattern to understand how to create the pillow cover.
Our participants this week are:
1. GOT BRAINS! Sock Monkey by
2. A Foxy Warmable Snuggle Kit:
Bonus Handwarmers by vo_aka_virginiao
3. Alice P. Mouser the cat kit by
4. All those Pretty Horses by
5. apple and worm critter pillow DIY
6. BooBoo Buddy (cut + sew critter)
7. Bunny & Easter Egg (Warmable
Critter Pillow & Pillow Slip) by michellehumberart
8. Cat Sandwich Warmable Pillow by
9. Catnap Pillowcase by
10. Cat_Mit-_Myboho_home by
This week guest author Emma Jeffery from the blog Hello Beautiful shows us how she used satellite images of her neighborhood to make some very cool throw cushions.
Emma: I must be getting sentimental in my (not so) old age as I’m increasingly drawn to surrounding myself with meaningful and thoughtful items. Sure, I’m inspired by designs and trends I see in stores online and locally, but I’m often searching for ways to translate these ideas into something more than a passing fad. I love it when items or objects in my home have a story to tell or a memory to share. They seem to give a depth and richness to my environment that store-bought items cannot.
Ask my husband, and he’ll probably share with you his opinion that we have more than enough throw pillows in our house, but anyone who enjoys fashion, design and sewing as much as I do knows that cushions are a great and easy way to change the look and feel of a room.
Have you noticed the prolific array of map designs at the moment on all kinds of home decor items, stationery, wall coverings and clothing? I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to incorporate this design element into a fabric that actually portrayed a familiar and special part of the world — a favorite vacation spot, a childhood home, a mountain range once conquered…
I went to Google Maps and typed in the zipcode of the house that my husband and I own, where we were married and into which my eldest child was born. I actually ended up switching to the satellite view, but you could of course use the map view instead.
Next I zoomed in to get a view of our house and its surrounding area. I don’t recommend zooming in too closely as the image will become pixilated when you enlarge it. I did maximize the image on the screen by ‘hiding’ the large directions/places sidebar on the left and turned off all of the map annotation so only the satellite view remained.
I then took a screen capture of this image, saved it to my computer and opened it in Photoshop (you can also use Picmonkey), where I cropped it and brightened the colors to really make that lovely patchwork of fields pop.
Once I was happy with the image, I then needed to make it the right size – big enough to make three 16” x 16” cushions. To do this in Photoshop, just go to “Image” > “Image Size” then type in the dimensions you want. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can also open the saved image in MS Paint where you can easily increase or adjust the size of an image.
I had this printed onto Spoonflower’s linen-cotton canvas (15% off until Monday, Feb 6, 2017) which has a printable area of 54” wide. I wanted each of my cushions to be unique and to have a different part of the satellite image printed on them so that no two were alike, and I kept that in mind when resizing my image. Spoonflower prints a good quality image at 150 dpi, so to resize you need to do the following math:
Desired fabric width (in inches) x 150 = ___
Desired fabric length (in inches) x 150 = ___
In my case, I wanted the printed fabric image to measure 17” x 51”, to give me a enough fabric to sew the cushions with a ½” seam allowance.
17 x 150 = 2550 pixels
51 x 150 = 7650 pixels
I had my image centered and printed onto 2 yards so that I could use the excess white, unprinted fabric around the edge of the image, for the back of my cushions. Adjust the sizes according to your own preference and projects.
I then sewed them up in one afternoon, and suddenly my couch became not only a comfortable place to relax, but also a great talking point with our children and visitors.
Of course, these cushions will still get thrown around the room and end up on the floor as the kids makes camps and play games (that’s why we have so many cushions!), but it’s so nice to know that we have a few little reminders of a special place that is very dear to our hearts.
About Our Guest Blogger
I’m an obsessive sewer, often leaping into projects with more enthusiasm than talent, more bravado than skill and more good luck than anything else. This technique has worked well for me so far and more often than not, I make things I love, even if they’re not absolutely perfect. And though I’m no expert, I have a passion for fabric, color and design. I know what I like and what I like makes me smile.
This is the third in a series of posts describing the projects that are part of our 2012 Spoonflower Staff Challenge. Voting begins on Thursday, March 15, 2012.
We (Stephanie and Deron) decided to take on the task of transforming the couch in the Spoonflower conference room. The couch as it was was perfect for its use — plenty of seating for meetings — but lacking in Spoonflower fabric. If you’ve ever visited our offices, you may have noticed that we like to cover everything in fabric. Stephanie cried a little inside whenever she looked at it and would frequently try to convince others that they should recover it. This couch needed some Spoonflower life and color brought into it and the staff contest was a perfect excuse to fix it!
The start of the project was a little rocky because we work completely opposite shifts and are never at Spoonflower at the same time. We worked out this issue with a couple of planning meetings at random hours. (Fact: Our design was finalized at 10 PM on a Thursday evening.) We knew from the outset that we wanted a design that flowed and covered the entire couch. We considered using the couch like a canvas — printing a huge nature photograph, for instance. In the end, we decided we liked the idea of an evolving pattern instead. The design elements on one side of the couch would be heavy and congested, then the elements would break off and become more and more open as your eye moved across the couch.
We created the five designs for the couch in Photoshop starting with a basic chevron shape and choosing colors and textures. Once we had our basic elements, we went about conquering each design which needed to flow from lots of chevrons to fewer and fewer with each design. The hardest part was when we realized the center cushion needed to be curved to trick the eye into seeing that the pattern was flowing across the couch. After some digging through Photoshop and some expert advice (thanks, Beth!) we used the shear filter.
We’ve included a bonus design of the chevrons in repeat without white showing just for fun, but we didn’t use this design on the couch.
The sewing portion of this adventure went smoother than expected since part of the project included teaching Deron how to sew! He did a great job and knocked out all the pillows while Stephanie concentrated on the cushions. The biggest challenge was the large cushion that was in an “L” shape. It took some clever maneuvering and a ripped seam or two but, once that cushion was conquered, the rest was done assembly- line style, making sure that we grabbed the right fabric and checked the orientation with the couch before putting the finishing touches on each piece.
Country Living editor Sarah Gray Miller appeared on the Nate Berkus show this morning to show off some lovely throw pillows she made after scanning old postcards and printing the images on fabric using Spoonflower. This is a very cool and simple idea for making a handmade gift, and the good folks at the magazine have been good enough to post tutorials for both the pillows and the other projects Sarah talked about on the show on their site. We're excited to have been included!
Thanks to the keen eye of our friend Kim at the fabulous new fabric blog True Up, you can admire some stunning pillows made from digitally printed fabric (available through the French company Bonjour Mon Coussin) while planning your own future projects using Spoonflower. Kim at True Up points out that it is a mistake to get too hung up on learning how to create repeats & use special software to design patterns. There are an infinite number of cool, uncomplicated projects you can concoct without knowing the first thing about Photoshop & its ilk.
While we’re on the subject of creating repeats, be sure to check out a-print-a-day, a blog a by Yasmine, a San Francisco designer who has set herself the challenge of “creating a surface print every day.”
Last but not least I am happy to report that the behind-the-scenes work on the beta version of Spoonflower is going swimmingly. Look for the excitement to begin sometime in early May, although at least some beta testers will be hearing from me before then. Thanks to all of you for the support and excitement you’ve shown so far, including the lovely folks at (the much admired) Wee Wonderfuls, who are welcome to “stalk” us anytime.