How to Make a Heart-Felt Pillow for Valentine’s Day
Before I dive head first into sharing all the glittery goodness that was Miss Ellie Belle’s second birthday party last week, I can’t resist sneaking in a “heart-felt” Valentine craft, since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!
My son loves arts and crafts, and whenever he sees me working on a project with lots of fun supplies, he always asks me what I’m making, what it’s for, and can he help. The other afternoon, he woke up from nap and found me cutting giant hearts out of felt. I love when I am able to tell him that I am not making something he is. We made heart pillows out of felt for Valentines Day!
Let’s face it, as moms we get busy. We have a lot on our plates, and if you are like me, you are not always able to pull out exciting new activities to do with your kids every
day month, so when I am able to put something together that we can sit down and work on, one on one, it means a lot, to both of us. This craft was perfect for that 1. because the supplies were pretty easy to pull together and 2. it felt like a “big kid” craft. He was really impressed with himself that he was able to SEW his own pillow!
I love working with felt. It’s cheap, it comes in a bunch of different colors and it doesn’t fray when you cut it. I have a bit of an obsession with it, so I am sure you will see many more projects to come using felt. I had a few yards lying around of red felt, and I found a pre-packaged yard of hot pink felt on the clearance rack at Michael’s for $2. You can use the 9×12 sheets that are sold in craft stores, but your pillow will be slightly smaller. The XO ribbon that I used was also from Michael’s for $1.99. I had the rest of the supplies on hand, so our pillows only ended up costing us $4 and their finished size is approximately 13″ x 11″. Since I have plenty of supplies leftover, I may try to make an even bigger one next time!
The supplies that you need for this project are:
Felt- about 1/4 yard, plus another piece in a contrasting color for your “message”
- Ribbon- 1/4″- 1″ wide
- Cardboard – at least as big as the size of your desired pillow
- Pillow Batting or something to fill the pillow with
- Freezer Paper (optional)
I started this project by making a template for my pillow with cardboard (I used a gift box). I folded the cardboard in half, drew half of a heart on the side with the fold, and then cut it out. I was then left with a symmetrical heart template for my pillow (if you question your abilities to draw a heart, you could always print one to cut out, but it really doesn’t have to be perfect).
I then traced my cardboard heart TWICE right onto my felt with a ball point pen and cut each of them out. You now have both sides of your pillow.
Once you have two felt hearts, place them on top of each other and make sure they match. If they don’t, you may have to do a little trimming.
The next step is the one that I found most tedious. Cut small slits, about 3/4″ apart and about 3/4″ from the edge, all the way around your felt hearts. I wish a hole puncher would have worked for this, but it did not. I placed both of my hearts together, pinched little sections and snipped. Sometimes I had to double-check to make sure the scissors caught the second layer. Please be very careful not to snip your fingers!
The size of the cuts should not be any bigger than the width of your ribbon and make sure that they are not too far apart. Unfortunately, we made my son’s pillow first, and had to learn our lesson about making the holes too big and too far apart. You could see the stuffing through all the gaps, womp womp. He didn’t seem to notice, but I went back and glued his all the way around with a hot glue gun to keep his stuffing where it belonged. If you make the holes closer together, you should not have that problem.
Once you have your slits cut all the way around your pillow, you can sew it up! If you have a big needle that you can thread your ribbon into, great, use that! Otherwise make your own needle out of a piece of the leftover cardboard and a hole puncher! Cut a thin strip, with a point on one end and a hole on the other. Surprisingly this DIY needle worked really great, and I didn’t have to worry about my son pricking his fingers.
Starting at any place on the heart of your choosing, tie a loose knot of ribbon onto one of the holes in the felt, leaving about an 6″ tail, or you can just leave the spool of ribbon attached to make sure you don’t run out. Thread the other end of your ribbon into your homemade needle and start sewing both layers of your heart together. You can use any type of stitch you want here. I had planned on using a basic in and out, running stitch, but my son immediately started sewing his back to front, back to front, wrapping the ribbon around the edge, so I totally copied and love the way that it came out!
Keep stitching all the way around your pillow until you are about five inches from where you started. At this point you want to stop and fill your pillow with your batting through the opening that you left.
Fill your pillow to your desired fullness and then finish stitching it up. When you get to the end, untie your knot or cut your ribbon off the spool leaving yourself at least 6 inches of ribbon. You can tie the two ends of the ribbon together into a tight not and trim the edges, or you can tie the ends together into a decorative bow.
Once you have your pillow, you can add a message or name to the front with felt. I used my computer to type up what I wanted my pillow to say. I played with different sizes and fonts, so that it would be a good size for my pillow, and not too tricky to cut out. I then printed my message to use as my template.
You can cut out the letters and trace them right onto your 3rd piece of felt, or you can use this trick for making a freezer paper template:
1)Take printed letters. 2)Lay a piece of freezer paper, shiny side down, onto your printed letters. 3)Trace the letters onto the freezer paper. 4)Lay the freezer paper onto your piece of felt. 5)Press with an iron until it sticks. 6)Cut out your letters. 7/8)Carefully peel off the freezer paper. 9)Glue the letters to the front of your pillow and viola, you just made yourself a felt applique!
This was the first time that I ever tried this method for cutting felt, and I was very impressed with how easy it was, especially since I was using black felt and would have had difficulty tracing the letters onto it . If you are only writing a simple message, this technique may not be necessary, but it could definitely be helpful if you were cutting out a more intricate design where you didn’t want your template sliding around on you. I can’t wait to try this method out for future felt projects!
We had a really good time making our pillows. It is a fun craft for kids or adults. It makes a great Valentine’s decoration to use for years to come and would make an adorable “heart-felt” gift. Sorry, I can’t stop with that one. For another Valentine gift idea, check out the chocolate dipped peppermint sticks that we made when we were snowed in!
Happy Valentine’s Day, and remember, heart-shaped calories don’t count!!!