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Gold Leaf Pillows

No, not that kind of gold leaf.  I mean leaf pillows where the leaf happens to be gold.  My apologies if you were hoping for pillows covered in thinly hammered gold.

When we moved into this house a couple years ago, I made the decision, after prompting from my color-genius mom to paint our living room orange.  Actually, two shades of orange.  There’s a white chair rail and a light shade of orange above and a darker shade below.  And it’s bold and loud.  And it looks fantastic, I just love the whole effect.  This means that the room is pretty much permanently decorated for late summer and autumn, so I’ve never really done anything in the way of decor, but I decided this year to add a few things to do something new.  Like perhaps a couple leaf pillows.

leaf pillows

That said, I’m not going to post a picture of my new fall living room (and/or mantle).  I have a confession to make: I really don’t decorate much for holidays or seasons.  What’s more, I feel somewhat lacking over that.  I read a lot of other fantastic home- and decor-related blogs and there are a lot of people out there revealing fancy new wreaths/porches/mantles/centerpieces on a seasonal and holiday-by-holiday basis and I have spent a lot of time reminding myself that I don’t have to do that to be a good mom/wife/blogger.  It’s okay to decorate and it’s okay not to decorate and I think I’m really feeling okay about that.  Confession over.

Anyway, a couch can always use more fluffy pillows (especially when it’s the coach of choice for sitting with a laptop and blogging), so I got some fabric and mounted my first attempt at stenciling and painting fabric.  Which is really not hard at all.

What you’re going to need:
gold craft paint
craft paint fabric medium
paint brush
fabric (1/3 yard of contrast fabric, 1 yard main fabric)
20-inch pillow form

1.  Preshrink, press, then cut the fabric. In main fabric, cut one piece 21 inches by 21 inches, two pieces 21 inches by 14 inches.  In contrast fabric, cut one piece 11 inches by 11 inches.

2.   Prepare the stencil.  If you have a Silhouette machine, this is easy and you probably know what to do.  Otherwise, find an image you like, size it, print it, cut it out, trace it onto craft vinyl, and then cut that out (make sure to keep the outside edge intact.


3.  Attach the stencil to the fabric using blue tape to protect the fabric in spots where the edge of the stencil is thin.  Mix the paint with the fabric medium and paint it on the fabric–it’s better to paint two thin layers than one thick layer.  Let it dry an hour between coats and peel off the stencil an hour after the final coat.  Let it dry for twenty-four hours, then heat set the paint by covering with a piece of parchment and a pillowcase and press with a dry iron on “cotton” setting for 10 seconds all over the painted area.

4.  Start the pillowcase.  Fold over (wrong side to wrong side) and press 1/4 inch of one long edge of each of the two narrow pieces of the main fabric.  Fold over again and press, then stitch in place.  On the painted piece, fold 1/4 inch (wrong side to wrong side) on each edge and press in place.  Center the painted panel on the large piece of the main fabric (right sides up), pin in place, and top stitch to attach.


5.  With the right side of the front of the pillow case facing up, place the two back panels (right sides facing down) in place, lining up the outer corners.  Make sure the seamed edges are in the center.  Pin in place and stitch a seam around all edges.

6.  Now turn the pillow case right side out and press the edge seams flat.  Now sew another seam around the edge of the pillow case as close to the edge as you can get.  Next, measure in one inch from each edge and sew a seam around again.  Trim threads, you’re all done. Voila, leaf pillows!


leaf pillows

What are your thoughts on pillows?  Should they be matchy?  Should they make a statement?  Should there be mounds?  Should there only be a few?



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