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.


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


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!

Becce Apple

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


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


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!


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.


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 ;)

Becce Apple

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


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!


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!


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


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


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.

Mary Page

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!


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!

Alex Z

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

San Francisco Signs

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.