How to Make a Snowflake Christmas Pillow
Decorating for the holidays can be magical. Christmas trees and twinkly lights make everything so special. However, many home furnishings don’t go well with holiday decorations.
There is a way to make your everyday furnishings blend with all of the festive decorations in less than an hour. And it will make your furnishings have that holiday feel that you desire.
By sewing up a few envelope pillow covers you can make all of your furnishings blend with your holiday decor. And it is easy and inexpensive. If you can sew a straight stitch then you can sew these pillow covers.
- 12″ Snowflake design (options below)
- 1 yard buffalo check or other holiday fabric
- (1) 12″ x 12″ piece of Felt (white or cream) – I used felted wool for my project, but craft felt works, too.
- Heat’n Bond Lite (or other fusible adhesive)
- Superior Threads Mono-Poly Thread
- Aurifil 50 wt. Cotton Thread
- 18″ x 18″ Pillow Insert
- Sewing Machine
- 1/4″ Foot for your sewing machine
- Water-Erasable Pen
- Wonder Clips or Straight Pins
- Walking Foot
- Rotary Cutter with sharp blade
- Acrylic Ruler
- Self-Healing Rotary Cutting Mat
- Iron & Ironing Board
- Cricut Maker
- Cricut EasyPress 2
- Cricut Rotary Blade (included with Cricut Maker)
- Pink FabricGrip Mat
- Cricut Brayer
- Cricut EasyPress Mat
- Cricut Basic Tool Set
How to Make a Snowflake Christmas Pillow
Step 1: Prepare the Design
For this tutorial I’ve used my Cricut Maker to create the snowflake applique, but it isn’t essential for making this project.
Note: For hand cutting the design, skip Step 1 – Step 4 and go to Hand Cutting Method.
- Choose a snowflake design that is available in Cricut Design Space. I chose Snowflake #M101F4A5F. Note: Simple designs are best.
- Load the snowflake design into the Design Space Editor.
- Resize the design to be about 11″ x 11″ or a size that will fit on a 12″ x 12″ Pink FabricGrip Mat.
Step 2: Prepare the Fabric for Applique
- Cut out a 12″ x 12″ piece of felt
- Fuse the Heat’n Bond Lite to the back of the felt. Be sure to place the textured side to the back of your fabric with the paper side facing up.
- If using the EasyPress 2 with the EasyPress Mat, set the temperature to 305º F. and the timer for 15 seconds.
- If using a regular iron, set iron on highest setting without steam. Press for 15 seconds.
- Once cooled, remove the paper backing. The back of the fabric will now be shiny.
Step 3: Preparing to Cut the Design Out
- Place the Felt with the Heat’n Bond side down on the Pink FabricGrip Mat.
- It is important for the fabric to be securely attached to the mat. Use a brayer to flatten the fabric to the mat. This will keep the fabric from stretching and secure it to the mat. It’s also important for you not touch the mat because it will make it lose it stickiness. Remember, when the machine is cutting, it’s going pretty fast over the fabric. Any place where fabric isn’t adhered to the mat could ruin the cut.
Step 4: Cut Out the Designs
At this point, it’s time to cut the design. Follow the directions in Design Space. Since you will want to use the Rotary Blade for cutting, choose “Cotton” or “Fleece” as your Material and not “Felt.” Note: Cotton and Fleece use the Rotary Blade, but Felt uses the Deep Cut Blade.
The software will instruct you when to load and unload the mat.
Once the design is cut out, carefully peel back the fabric at the corner and use a Cricut Spatula and Tweezers to slowly pull away the excess fabric. The cut design will remain on the mat. Carefully remove the design and set aside.
Hand Cutting Method:
- Print and cut out a snowflake design. Note: Since there are so many free snowflake designs available on the internet, I’m not including one in this tutorial. The best place to find free designs is Pinterest. Or check out this set of snowflake designs on Etsy.
- Trace the snowflake design onto the paper side of a piece of Heat’n Bond Lite.
- Rough cut around the design leaving a small margin.
- Apply the design to the back of the felt. Be sure to place the textured side to the back of the felt with the paper side facing up. Set iron on highest setting without steam. Press for 15 seconds.
- Carefully cut out the design.
Note: If you need help learning how to applique, I have a blog post with more details. There is even a short demonstration video in the post. If the applique technique is still not clear, I recommend my applique eBook that has more details.
Making the Pillow Top
For the Pillow Top, cut a square from your fabric for your Pillow Front that is 1″ greater in length and 1″ greater in width than the pillow form. This tutorial uses an 18″ x 18″ pillow form, therefore you need to cut a 19″ square piece of fabric.
- Cut a 19″ x 19″ piece of fabric for pillow top.
- Find the center of the pillow front and mark with a water erasable pen or straight pins.
- Place the snowflake applique design to the center of the pillow front.
- Follow the Heat’n Bond Lite directions and fuse the design to the pillow top using an iron or the EasyPress 2.
Stitch Down the Design
Invisible thread is nothing to be afraid of – the key is changing the tension setting on your sewing machine and using a ZigZag Foot or Open Toe Foot.
Here’s the secret to using the Mono-Poly thread. You may have to lower your sewing machine tension. Do a quick test, if all is well, no adjustment needed.
However, if your stitches are loose or pulling from the top you may have to adjust the tension. This will take a little fiddling around. For me I found that lowering my tension to 1.5 worked perfectly with Aurifil 50 wt. thread in the bobbin.
Next, you’ll want to use a very narrow zigzag stitch. Lower your zigzag stitch length and stitch width to 1.5 – 2.0mm.
Before stitching down, I recommend you do a practice piece to make sure your tension is set correctly.
Of course, you could use a straight stitch, regular zigzag, or even a satin stitch. It’s up to you.
Making the Pillow Back
Since this is an Envelope Pillow, you are going to need a piece of fabric that is a little bit wider for your Pillow Back.
To make the envelope part, follow this simple formula: Take your pillow form dimensions and add 1″ to the length and 5″ to the width.
- Cut out a piece of fabric that is 19″ x 23″ (because the pillow form is 18″ x 18″ and 18 + 5 = 23).
- Cut the 19″ x 23″ Pillow Back in half so there are two pieces that are 19” x 11.5”.
- On each of the Pillow Back pieces double-fold under the long edge (19”) of both pieces. Press and top stitch. Pro Tip: Use a Walking Foot to keep the checks lined up.
- Place these two pieces rights sides up and overlap them until they are 19″ x 19″. Use pins to hold this shape. Pro Tip: Stitch together at the top and bottom to keep the checks lined up.
Finishing the Pillow
In this tutorial I’m using a buffalo check fabric which doesn’t have a right or wrong side. The snowflake applique makes the front the right side, but you will need to mark the back so you don’t get confused.
- Place pillow front and pillow back right sides together.
- Line up the checks and pin or clip to hold.
- Stitch around the pillow perimeter using a 3/8″ seam allowance.
- Clip the corners
- Turn right side out and press seams.
Pro Tip: Use a Walking Foot when sewing the Buffalo Check fabric. Your seams will line up nicely!
Insert your pillow form and enjoy your pillow!