Personalized Ring Bearer Pillow

My cousin is getting married this weekend and she asked me to make a ring bearer pillow for her.  To start, we brainstormed a few ideas.  Since she lives so far away, it was a flurry of emails – sending a few pictures back and forth.  I was thinking bigger, she was thinking smaller.  But we narrowed in on a few ideas that we liked including this pillow with the personalized calendar detail: 

But I also like the use of burlap in this pillow – her wedding is on a farm and I think burlap has a nice rustic quality to it. 

So taking that all into account, we settled on a pillow made of burlap that is somewhere between 4″ to 6″ decorated with a calendar that has an embroidered heart on her wedding day.

This plan involves getting a calendar on the pillow.  The sample looks like it is handwritten, but I’ve seen several tutorials like this one out in blogland that show you how to print on fabric using freezer paper.  And you know how I love for freezer paper!  I had to give it a try.

For this project, I started with a 1/3 of a yard of burlap, a remnant of muslin, some fiber fill, embroidery thread, ribbon and the freezer paper. 

I might as well dive in and get started on the part that is concerning me the most – the fabric calendar.  I cut out a sheet of freezer paper 8 1/2″ x 11″ and then fused a piece of muslin to it.  I then realized that I probably should have fused first and cut second as I had to then cut the fabric to exactly match my sheet of paper.  But there she is in all her glory:  

That’s right – it’s a piece of fabric paper.  Now all I needed was a calendar.  I made a quick one in Excel and played around with different fonts and sizes to get the look and feel that I wanted with the right size.  I was shooting for a finished calendar block of about 4″ x 3″ once I’d stitched it to the pillow so I needed my actual calendar to be slightly smaller than those dimensions to allow for a border and seam allowance.  I ended up with Cooperplate font in 16 point, with an extra space between each of the letters in the month to give it a bit more gravitas.  In minutes I had a calendar on my fabric!  I know, I couldn’t believe it either. 

A couple of pointers here, go ahead and center your calendar on the page or at least increase your margins so you’ve got enough border room and seam allowance – I just barely made it with my calendar (shoved all the way in the upper left hand corner!).  Print multiple calendars – because my calendar was offset, I could print a few samples to dial in exactly the printer settings that worked best.

Let’s cut out some pillow fabrics!  I thought I’d make a 6″ x 6″ pillow with 1/4″ seam allowance so I cut my burlap into 6 1/2″ squares.  The burlap was a bit too open weave for my tastes so I stacked two layers on top of each other and zig zag stitched them to a 6 1/2″ square of muslin – I didn’t want any fill to come poking out of that burlap!

I picked the square that I thought looked “best” of the two and cut out the calendar from my printed fabric .  I peeled off the freezer paper backing which left the fabric a bit curled.  That was fine as I was just going to press under the edges anyway.  I smoothed it out, pressed the edges and pinned it to the pillow square. 

I then zig sag stitched around the edge twice.  I was only going to do it once, but going around again covers a lot of little minor imperfections. 

I picked out an embroidery color that coordinated with the wedding colors and free hand stitched a little heart around their wedding date on the calendar. 

Now I was ready to assemble the pillow.  I pinned the two sides together and stitched a 1/4″ seam around the edge, leaving a reinforced opening at the bottom for stuffing.  I then turned the pillow and was ready to stuff.

I think weddings are all about details and shouldn’t my ring bearer pillow have a little detail too?  So I thought I’d put a little heart in there with the bride and groom’s initials.  I grabbed a scrap of red fabric and quickly stitched in a CS + LG.  After that was done, I picked up one of my heart cookie cutters and traced the shape with a bit of a seam allowance.  

I cut out two hearts and stitched them together leaving an opening for stuffing.  I sealed up the heart and tucked it into the pillow. 

I then finished stuffing the pillow and stitched it closed too.  A quick ribbon detail to hold on to the rings and I’m done!

OK, well maybe I’m not done.  The finished pillow didn’t quite turn out as big as I thought it would be – it’s about 5″ x 5″.  The burlap, especially two layers of it plus a layer of muslin, was pretty bulky and a bit difficult to turn so I think that plus the stuffing ate a bit of my pillow size.  The calendar looked great, but overall I wasn’t wowed.

I don’t want you to think that I’ve abandoned my OCD ways.  I had just enough burlap to cut two 8″ x” 8″ squares and plenty of muslin.  Oh, and one of my extra calendars that I had printed… it just called for me to make another pillow! 

I followed the same process as above, just with one layer of burlap on each side rather than two.  I even made a second little heart to tuck into the pillow….It’s much faster to make something a second time 🙂 

This time, I love the size – I think the proportion is right.  Now the only problem is that the bride has to choose which one she likes better!

Congrats to Laurie & Chad!!


Linking up here:



5 thoughts on “Personalized Ring Bearer Pillow

  1. Thank you for such an awesome tutorial! I was wondering, did you have any problems with the ink smudging? Is there some kind of spray that will seal it? My kids are going to be holding these and I am sure they won’t remember not to touch the lettering. Thanks!

  2. I was pretty leery of trying the calendar-on-muslin when making ring pillow of my son’s wedding, and I didn’t have any fabric paper on hand. But following your details, it worked perfectly! Plus now I realize I can do this with all other kinds of designs as well. Thank you very, very much. I also followed your other steps, since I too was using burlap for pillow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s