diy wednesdays: appliqué pillows

we’re big fans of typography. whether it’s on signs, in art, or in design, we can’t get enough of it. since we just got a new sofa, we thought we’d spruce it up with a little typographic pillow treatment. we love that every font has a distinct personality, so we chose a playful circus font for derek and an elegant script for lauren, which we cut out of felt and stitched onto two simple linen pillows. just click here or click “read more” below for the full instructions and more photos.

have fun!
derek and lauren


Here’s what you’ll need:

1 1/2 yards linen
Four 8″ x 10″ pieces of different colored wool felt (ultrasuede or vinyl would also work- any material that doesn’t fray when you cut it)
Two 18″ square pillow inserts
Sewing machine

1. Cut out linen pieces:
One 19″ square and two 19″ x 15″ pieces per pillow.
2. Find a font you like and print out templates from any design or word processing program on your computer. We printed two versions of each letter; one slightly larger than the other. Cut out paper templates with scissors.
3. Pin letters to felt and carefully cut out with scissors.
4. Line up one of your larger letters in the center of a 19″ square pillow front and pin. Machine or hand stitch letter in place.
5. Pin smaller letter on top of larger letter and stitch.
6. For pillow back, fold over one long (19″) edge on each of the two 19″ x 15″ pieces 1/2″, and press with a hot iron. Fold over again 1″ and press, then stitch along the edge with your sewing machine.
7. Pin back pieces to front piece with right sides together. Make sure to line up edges so the smaller back pieces overlap by about 6″.
8. Stitch around all four sides of pillow cover, and trim off excess material at corners before flipping it right-side out.
9. Insert pillow into cover, overlapping two back flaps.

  1. I love these pillows!
    I would say that I am going to make some for myself…but I would only kidding myself.

  2. beth maher says:

    Wow! If there’s one thing I love it’s typographic throw pillows! Anything that combines my loves of graphic and interior design, I am all over. I even had a little post about it on my blog, not to long ago.
    This project is so getting crafted up by me in the very near future!

  3. aLi. says:

    this is a great project guys! wonderful for a weekend diy — my friend and i were going to do some floral etching on mirrors over the weekend, maybe we’ll add this to our list. :D

  4. These Typography pillows kick butt! I want to make a few using Mrs. Eaves Ligatures

    Thanks for the tip.. these will make great gifts for my designy friends for the Holidays!

  5. elisabeth says:

    These would make for a brilliant wedding or engagement gift — I think I just might do it for some friends.
    Thank you for the idea!

  6. Becce Apple says:

    I love the fonts used in the photo. Where can I get those?

  7. jinnie says:

    These look great! I think I know what to get for my sister this Christmas.. Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  8. lauren says:

    The “L” is in a script font called Sweden, and the “D” is Hasler Circus. I wish I could remember where we got them… they’ve just been in our computer forever. Let me know if you need help finding them!

  9. Bacchus2530 says:

    These are gorgeous!!!! They will be perfect in our family room. Of course being partnered to a Designer it will take him twice as long to chose the font as it will take for me to make them.

    Thanks for a great DIY project.

  10. zee says:

    Oh my goodness! Love love love your new sofa’s upholstery fabric!

  11. Ziva says:

    Has anyone seen a tutorial for sewing these type of letters onto children’s clothes or accessories? I guess that would entail smaller lettering, different fonts, etc. Love the pillows so much, I want my daughter to wear them ;)

  12. Becce Apple says:

    Lauren, I do need help finding these particular fonts. I’ve googled away with no luck.

  13. Casey says:

    Oh thank you for this!! I wish I had known about doing something akin to this a couple years ago; it would have been the perfect gift for my Typography class professor. lol!

  14. laura says:

    becce – head to a michaels of joann fabrics – they’ll have everything there!!!

  15. lauren says:

    Hey Becce: If you want to get in touch with me off-line (you can get my info from our blog) I’d be happy to help you out with the fonts. Cheers!

  16. Leah says:

    Fantastic! I especially love the circus font, though I probably wouldn’t use it in my living room.

  17. Sabine says:

    Great pillows ! I ma more than happy to see that I am not the only one with Gutenberg syndrom ! LOL !

  18. Nina says:

    This is a great idea! Its great to see sophisticated design made from a simple process.

  19. Emily says:

    this is such a crap site

  20. Meredith says:

    I love these! I can’t wait to get my craft on, haha. thanks for giving us the template and just keeping this little treasure to yourself!

    And Emily, why again is this a crap site? usually when you make an insult, you have something to back it up with.

    I love this site, and I think it’s inspiring.

  21. Mary Page says:

    Hi Lauren,
    I can size the font in Microsoft Word to make it quite large, but I need to flip it so I can applique it…..I can only do that in WordArt which limits me to smaller sizes. Help!

  22. Hannah says:

    I love these pillows!
    Going to make some for my newly organised room asap.
    Would make briiliant holiday gefts too, ikea sell inserts for 99p!

  23. Claire Selby says:

    Awesome pillows! I love the fonts used for those!

  24. Alex Z says:

    I made these recently for my apartment at school and they turned out sooo cool!! Thank you so much for the idea!!

  25. Really cool pillows! These would make a great gift, they are cool and unique and could make a pair for the gift receivers initials. It would also be cool to spell something out with all the letters. These are surprisingly very easy to make.

  26. bailey says:

    i love the pillow


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