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Hey hey, beautiful people! I hope you’re having a great week so far! The weather is starting to get kind of nice here, which means I’ve spent some of today sitting in the courtyard enjoying the sunshine while listening to the birds (and the sounds of construction over the fence, which is decidedly less tranquil).
Anyway, today I wanted to share a little throw pillow cover I finished yesterday. It’s nothing super fancy, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
I’ve had the vague idea for this pillow in the back of my mind for months, ever since I picked up a few little Edwardian-era books on wildflowers from a second-hand store in country Victoria. One of the books had some really pretty illustrations from a vintage seed catalogue that I thought would look nice on a throw pillow. But while the vague idea was there, I couldn’t really decide on the details, so I just kept putting off making it.
Anyway, last Wednesday I picked up some new wicker chairs from IKEA for our future front porch. After sitting in one of them for a few days, I felt like they needed something soft against the backrest to be properly comfortable. This got me thinking about the wildflower throw pillow again, so yesterday I forced myself to sit down and finally make the damn thing.
- A plain throw pillow cover.
- You can either make your own or buy a pre-made pillow cover.
- A cushion insert.
- I used a 20 x 20 insert for a 18 x 18 throw pillow cover. I tend to use inserts that are slightly bigger than the throw pillow cover because it makes the pillow look nice and full.
- Iron-on transfer paper for light fabric.
- Any brand will do. I use HP’s iron-on transfer paper.
- This design (click in your web browser to download), printed with an inkjet printer.
- An iron.
- Measuring tape.
- Air-erase fabric pen.
- This is for marking out where you want the design to be. I like these pens because you can draw on your fabric and the mark will fade within about 24 hours.
Preparing the design
With my printer set to print in black and white, I began by printing a mirror image of my design on to some iron-on transfer paper. I’ve had some bad experiences with black ink transferring as a gross blue or green colour when I’ve tried to print in colour in the past, so now I always print monochrome designs in black and white mode. Black and white mode forces the printer to use the black ink rather than create the black shade using a combination of magenta/cyan/yellow ink, which seems to fix the problem.
White space on transfer paper leaves a shiny, stiff residue on fabric, which honestly looks and feels pretty ick. To avoid this gross residue, I trimmed around the design to remove as much of the white space as possible.
Positioning the design
Next, I laid the trimmed pieces out on the throw pillow to get a rough idea of where I wanted to put them. There wasn’t really any precise method involved here. I just did what I thought looked nice.
I then used my air-erase fabric pen and a measuring tape to mark where I wanted to put each piece so I didn’t accidentally iron something on crooked (which I have done way too many times before).
Transferring the design
With my fabric all marked out, I started transferring the design bit-by-bit using my iron. All packets of iron-on transfer paper come with instructions, so if you’ve never used the stuff before, it’s a good idea to give the instructions a quick read (or don’t, live dangerously).
In my time using transfer paper, I’ve learnt that it’s best to:
- Work in small sections.
- Transfer paper ‘sets’ after a few seconds of being cool, which makes it hard to pull off the backing paper. If you work in small sections, you can peel off the backing paper while it’s still hot, which makes it easier to remove. I like to work in about 2″ x 2″ sections. I run the iron over the design, then gently peel the backing paper up and rip it off before moving on to the next bit.
- Use a hot iron (the highest heat setting is ideal), with the steam turned off.
- Press down firmly as you iron.
- I like to iron my transfers using solid wood table top that I can lean over. This allows me to use my body weight to press down on the iron. I need to do it this way because, uh, have you seen me? I’m scrawny.
Once the transfer was complete, I popped my cushion insert inside the cover.
And that was it!
You can pin this project for later here
Hover over the image (desktop)/tap the image (mobile) and a red “Save” button will appear in the top left corner. Click this button to save this project to your Pinterest account.