DIY Circle Pillow Cover + Monogram Applique
I’ve had some fabric forever, like, since before the boys were born that I’ve wanted to use for something for them. I didn’t have a specific project in mind when I bought it, so it’s just been sitting with my extra fabric waiting for inspiration to strike. Well, redoing the boys’ room is the perfect kick in the bum for me to finally use it. And since I’ve wanted to make some things extra special for Jude and Wyatt, I made some little customized name pillows for them.
Super cute, right? And surprisingly easy. It takes a few steps and some careful attention, but nothing hard or advanced. Let’s dive in.
Firstly – you’re going to need...
- Upholstery Fabric for the Pillow Cover (about ½ a yard)
- Thin Fabric for the monogram (about a 12x12 piece of fabric will do. Even remnants can work, or scraps from different fabrics.
- Round Pillow Form (Mine is 14 inches)
- Pencil or disappearing fabric pen
- Sewing Machine
- Sewing Supplies: Tape Measure/Pins/Thread/Rotary Cutter or Sharp Scissors
- Silhouette, or other die-cutting machine that will cut fabric, equipped with the fabric blade. If you don’t have one of these, don’t lose hope! I’ve listed alternative ways to make the monogram below!
First step - Trace your pillow. I tried thinking of different, more technical ways to get a perfect circular cut, but this is by far the easiest and most fool proof way without needing special circle cutters.
Note: I like my pillows way overstuffed, so I typically use the pillow’s actual dimensions for my fabric and use a ¼” seam allowance. So, this fabric will be 14 inches in diameter, and the finished pillow will be 13.5 inches in diameter. It allows for the pillows to stay fluffy for longer, but they still fit.
Then, cut out the circle.
Next, use your circle you just just cut as a template for the back panels. Fold it in half and trace it on the fabric, but not down the straight edge. Once you get to the halfway point, you’re basically going to extend those lines and square it off. I want to make a sham-style pillow cover, so I will give it a 1.5” overlap allowance, plus a 1” seam allowance for the finished edge. So, I will extend the line 2.5” from where I left the circle, and draw a line down. I know it’s kind of confusing, but here’s what I mean:
Once you've cut out your half circle, plus the allowance, use that piece as a template to make another one so you have two back panels.Then you have all three of your pillow cover pieces.
But don’t go sewing it all together yet. First we need to cut out our monogram. I use my Silhouette Cameo to cut these out because it makes my life easier, but if you don’t have access to a die-cutter that will cut fabric, don’t fear. All craft stores sell letter stencils that you could trace and very carefully cut out with an X-acto knife. You could also skip the applique part, and just use the stencil and a high quality fabric marker for your monogram. Whatever works for you!
But, for me, and for this project, I’m using my Silhouette Cameo. So, I went into the Silhouette Design Studio and designed my lettering. The typeface I used is Arial (bold), and the letters are all 3 inches tall. But that will change depending on how long your word is. I wanted my letters to take up enough space to be obvious, but not compete with the pattern.
Then I cut my applique fabric into a 12x12 square, stuck it to the mat, and let the Silhouette do the work for me. Note: When I have my Silhouette cut fabric, I have it do each line twice so that I have fewer threads still attached.
Once it was done cutting, I carefully peeled the letters off and placed them on my pillow cover just to make sure everything looked good. Then, I pinned them all in place.
Using the applique stitch on my sewing machine and white thread, I carefully went along the edges of each letter, attaching it to the pillow cover.
Then it was time to put the pillow together! Finally, right?
To make the back panels of the sham pillow case, I first make a folded border along the exposed edge, and sew a straight line up edge. Remember, I allowed a 1” allowance for this edge, so to fold it twice and stitch, each fold should be ½” wide.
Then, I pinned the pillow together, inside out, and just sewed along the edges with a ¼” seam allowance.
Then all that was left was to turn it out and stuff the pillow form in.
I love how these turned out and I am so excited I was finally able to put this fabric to good use! And I love that they remove easily and can be washed – with littles, that’s always a must have on my list.
I don’t think they’ll stay in the cribs for long, but as soon as the boys found them for bedtime, they were both really excited for their new pillows and cuddled them during story time. Gah, my heart.
These would make an awesome baby shower gift if you know the name of the new baby. I made one recently for a friend's son to put in his new room in his new house. You could even make this with more "grown up" fabric and make a monogram or last name pillow for your sofa.