Fourth of July Pillow

Fourth of July is just one of my favorite holidays.  Mid Summer hot, food out on the grill and fireworks – I love it all.  So I’ve been working on loads of 4th of July projects at my house and this is the latest.  I took one of my favorite patriotic quotes and used a freezer paper technique to apply it to a pillow.

To make this nifty pillow, I needed the following supplies:

  • Pillow form – the one I used is 18″ square
  • 2/3 of a yard of Fabric
  • Paint and Fabric Medium (or you could just use fabric paint)
  • Paint brush
  • Freezer paper
  • Stencil inspirations – the star and quote
  • Tape
  • Exacto knife
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron and Pressing Cloth
I printed the quote on my computer with a combination of Impact (130 pt) and Savoye (144pt) fonts.  I found the five point star and pieced together an image until I had a large enough version for the pillow, about 13″ tall.
Cut two 19″ squares from the pillow fabric then pin and sew one side of the pillow fabric.  I wanted the star to wrap around the back of the pillow so I needed to have a side seam finished to achieve that result.  Next, tape down the stencil and cover with freezer paper and tape that down too.  Use a ruler and the knife to cut out the star.
Gently peel up the freezer paper from your cutting surface and lay waxy side down on your pillow fabric, centering the star from top to bottom and wrapping two of the points around the back side of the pillow fabric.  Iron into place, making sure to seal all the edges of the stencil to the fabric.
Now it’s time to break out that paint brush and your paints.  Since I didn’t have fabric paint, I added fabric medium to my paint.  This will allow me to wash the pillow later without having the design fade.  Mix the paint 2:1 with the fabric medium.
The fabric medium will thin the paint a bit, so be sure to off load paint from your brush before you paint the stencil – many thin layers are much better than one big thick layer that could creep under the stencil edges.  Luckily I only needed one coat of paint for my pillow – I wanted to have a slightly faded, not so perfect look.  So being lazy and only putting on one coat worked wonderfully with this plan.
Oh the waiting.  Right after I took this picture, I ran to the bathroom to grab the hair dryer and assist my star in the drying process!
‘Cause you know you want to see what the star looks like!  Did it work?!?  Yes!
I love clean edges.  Inspirationalized, I was able to move on to the more tedious part of cutting out the quote.  Make sure you save all those voids in the letters so you can add them in later!
Press this stencil on to the pillow with the iron.  Add in the voids for the L, b, e, and r by placing the letter, pressing, then adding in the void and pressing again.  Remove the letter, making sure not to pick up the void and you’ll find the void is perfectly positioned!
Mix the paint colors with the fabric medium and stencil as before.
I wanted the red to be very intense so I did do three coats with hair drying in between coats to achieve a dark enough color.  When I picked up the stencil after the last coat dried, I was really impressed!  I really didn’t think the little tiny void in the r would turn out, but it looked great!
Repeat the process on the second line of the quote.
Once all the paint is dry, grab your iron one more time.  Cover the design with the pressing cloth and iron the whole thing – you need to heat set the fabric medium in the paint with a final heating before the effect becomes permanent.
Then pin the right sides of the fabric together and sew around the edges being sure to leave an opening at the bottom to stuff the pillow.  Back stitch at the opening to reinforce the seam.
Turn the pillow case, stuff the form in and hand stitch the opening closed.  Then step back and admire your instant holiday decorations.  Yeah!
The pillow graced this chair for about 2 seconds for this picture.  I picked it up to check something and yup, it’s covered in Zoe dog hair.  Oh well, it was neat and clean for a little bit at least.  Now it just blends with the rest of the stuff in this house!
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7 thoughts on “Fourth of July Pillow

  1. I love this! Saw you on TT&J and thought I’d pop in, and I’m so glad I did! Great idea! I just don’t know if I have the patience in me to hand cut all those letters! I think that takes a unique type of person. I think I could do it for the star, but I’d definitely wimp out and use iron ons for those letters!

  2. Melissa thanks! I will say, those straight line fonts are waaaay faster to cut out than the curvy Liberty font! But I love the result – thanks for stoping by!

    • Thanks Monica! I’m now addicted to the freezer paper stenciling, I’m sure if you don’t do a pillow there could be a really cute t-shirt in Reid’s future!

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