Tufted Pillow Tutorial

Friday, May 20, 2011

Since Food Week is next week, you're getting a tutorial instead of a Food Friday today!

I had some fabric left over from the glider makeover, so I decided to make some matching pillows for our couch. Since I "tufted" (this word is new to me, hence the quotes) the back cushion on the glider, I figured I could do that with the pillows to dress them up a bit. And I love the result! They are so easy to make, here's a little tutorial. :)

Here's what you'll need:

2 squares of fabric, 15x15 inches
2 squares of fusible fleece, 15x15 inches (optional)
2 self cover buttons
fabric scraps to cover buttons
Polyester filling
embroidery thread
large upholstery needle (at least the length of your little finger)
needle & thread
white chalk
(and the usual iron, scissors, sewing machine, etc.)

Here's how to do it:

Cover your buttons according to the instructions on the package and set aside.

Fuse your fleece to the wrong side of your fabric according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Note: I put the fusible fleece as optional because it isn't necessary, I just like how it gives the pillow a smooth appearance.

Next, mark the centre point on the right side of each square with a small dot of chalk. You can find this by folding the fabric in half twice and then opening the fabric. The fold marks will meet in the centre, this is where you put your mark.
Put the squares right side together and sew around all the edges, leaving a 5 inch opening for turning and stuffing. (I use a half inch seam allowance)
Trim the corners and seam allowance, except where the opening is.
Turn your pillow the right way. Make sure you turn the corners fully, and iron both sides.

Stuff your pillow. I would suggest making it pretty full, but not bursting-at-the-seams full as this would make it difficult to tuft.

Slipstitch the pillow shut by hand.

Ta-da! Now you have a nice, simple throw pillow. You could totally stop here, but we're going to take it to the next step...

Thread your embroidery floss through your large needle and tie the ends together. Jab your needle through the centre dot on one side of the pillow. (You're going to want your thimble on for this)

Now you're going to have to squash the pillow while pushing the needle through to get it all the way to the other side (which I obviously couldn't take a picture of myself doing). It will take some fiddling, so don't get to aggressive with it. You don't want to stab a bunch of holes with your big needle. So take your time and make sure your needle comes through the centre dot you marked.

Pull your thread through the pillow, but leave a little extra on the first side. Like this:

A millimetre or two away from where the needle came out, put it back through the pillow so your needle is back on the same side as the knot. Slide the needle between the two threads, below the knot on the embroidery thread.
Now pull! (This is why we used embroidery thread, not normal thread) You'll have to pull pretty hard to tuft the pillow well. Keep pulling until it is nice and tight.

String one button onto the thread and stick the needle through to the second side. Make sure it is tight.

There's one button!

Now flip the pillow over and repeat. You will have to stick the needle through the fabric behind the first button, so do this carefully and make sure you tighten everything up before tying your thread off. After my second button is on, I bring the needle to the first side, tie a knot at the base of the thread (it will be hidden by the button). Then I stick the needle back to the second side and tie another knot under the second button. Cut the thread close to the button, being careful not to snip anything else.

And that's it! Toss the cushion on your couch and if you're like me, make another! :)

4 wonderful comments:

Jayna Rae said...

Covered buttons are so fun to work with, and they just added that coordinating touch.

Erica @ Acire Adventures said...

It's so true, Jayna Rae. I've been trying to think of other things to use them for now!

Ashley said...

great tutorial..love the way it turned out:)

Anonymous said...

Just googled 'how to tuft a pillow', great and simple- THANKS.