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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Outdoor Pillows with Hidden Zippers

Hello! Yes, I'm back after a week (or two- did you miss me?) It's been pretty crazy with getting ready for my daughters graduation party and then the following weekend we went camping. But, I've got a project to show that I've done recently that I hope you will enjoy!



I have a wooden bench and chair on my deck that need some decor to liven things up a bit. I had purchased some outdoor fabric a while back on clearance at Jo-Ann's and I've just been waiting for the right project to use it. I also had the idea in the back of my head about using plastic bags as stuffing for outdoor pillows or seat cushions. I don't plan on leaving them outside to get rained on but in reality, it will probably happen at some point so I'm hoping that having plastic inside will be better for getting wet and drying back out. I think it's a great idea to use those and I guess we will see if that's true or not.

I've made several pillow covers (envelope style) to put over pillow forms. Making covers is so darn addicting because they are soooo easy. And you can have a million of them for every season/holiday and it's easy to store them off season because they just fold up flat, instead of having to store the whole actual pillow! I made covers (with forms) as party favors for my daughters 17th birthday party. Yes, she likes the decor stuff instead of usual party favors and they seemed to be a big hit with the girls too! Sorry for the bad picture, it's from my phone and taken in the basement.


It's been a while since I've made some but the tutorials out there are all pretty similar. I don't recall which one I used (and I think it's bookmarked on my old laptop that is slowly dying) but this one  from the happy housie looks very similar to how I made mine.

So anyway, with stuffing the pillows with plastic bags, obviously this easy envelope style wasn't going to work for me so I needed to find something else easy that was totally enclosed. I'm not an expert in zippers, I have sewn items with zippers before but only a few times. So the fact that this tutorial from Design Sponge boasted a hidden zipper was super easy caught my attention - and guess what? It was!

My girls are big into the nautical anchor and chevron, so I chose a coordinating chevron print to do an anchor with and sew that to the front of the pillow. I used this anchor template from Craftaholics Anonymous.

I cut out my pillow pieces, 2 pieces that were 14"x14". I wanted it bigger, but the only reason I did this was because the tutorial said to use a zipper 4 inches shorter than your pillow size. The only size zipper that I had that was a bigger size was red and even though it's hidden, I didn't want to use that so I had to go with a 9" zipper in white, thus my pillow was 14"x14" (which included 1" for seam allowance.) In hind site, because I was stuffing it, it didn't matter what size zipper I used because I didn't need it to accommodate a pillow form, so really I could've made my pillow any size with my 9" zipper.When I make more, I may just wrap a regular pillow form in a plastic bag and tape it really well and use that as my form to sort of waterproof it.

OK, so I have my anchor sew on, my pillow pieces and my zipper so I started with the directions of putting my pillow pieces right sides together, and laying my zipper at the top, centered. I didn't take pictures of every step of this process because it was my first one so I wanted to make sure I could actually do it first. But her tutorial at Design Sponge is very easy to follow. The hardest part is remembering where you put your additional feet, getting out your manual to figure out which was the zipper foot, changing your machine to a zipper foot and back to the regular foot. But those of you that use the zipper foot frequently will have no problem, I promise. :)

Fast forward to the end, stuff the pillow case with my bags....

See how the zipper is hidden? (and it would be more if I tucked in the pull) Apparently something is going on with my bobbin thread that I need to adjust so excuse the poor stitching for now...


And there you have it, a super cute outdoor pillow!


So, if you need to spruce up your porch, deck or patio, or even anywhere inside using regular fabric, I suggest using either of the tutorials I mentioned as they're both very easy to follow. Go nuts.... have fun!


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