Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pottery Barn knock off pillows

Posted by: Paulette

I am so excited to share a new technique that I've just learned. It's crayon tinting with embroidery.If you have an expensive sewing machine that does embroidery or if you love to spend a lot of time embroidering and using the satin stitch to fill in your images and all kinds of fancy schmancy stitches, this project is not for you. This is for lazy busy people like me, who want a beautiful product without much effort! 

I started off by doing a Google search for vintage flowers. You can also go to the The graphics fairy and get some great images from her website. 

Then I printed them at 3"x5" to get a picture to work from. I'm okay with drawing things on my own, but if you are uncomfortable doing that, you can print out your image larger and transferring it using graphite paper. I found linen napkins in a beautiful parchment color for my pillows, at a thrift store. They were already pre-washed, and I suggest that you pre-wash your fabrics before you start drawing.
draw design in pencil or transfer with graphite paper
You're also going to need these:
Embroidery thread & Crayons

 This was the hardest part. I had a brand new box of crayons in the house and the kids weren't allowed to use them until I was done with my project. they weren't very happy with me!

Color your design, as if you were coloring in a coloring book. I layered on lots of color, highlights and shadows and tried to make the design look as close to the print out as I could.

All colored in
 Next, I put the design side up with a piece of paper towel covering it and ironed it on the hottest setting. This melted the wax into the fabric. Have you ever tried to remove wax from fabric? It's close to impossible, right?

 I think that if you  need to wash these pillows, a hand wash wouldn't hurt them at all. I plan on just throwing them in the washer.

Iron on top of paper towel
Melted crayon on paper towel not your iron

You'll need to have embroidery floss in colors close to the ones you used to color in your design. For most of the design I used a simple back stitch in 2 strand floss. There were some places that I used a single strand were I wanted the line to be thinner, and for the bullion knots on the white flower, I used all six strands.
Embroider using back stitch

Sitting pretty
When you're finished, sew into a pillow and enjoy your cheap cost effective Pottery Barn look-a-like pillows!
I paid $.69 for each napkin, and bought 4, about $4 for the crayons and I bought a $3 pillow and already had another, so total for both pillows was about $10. the PB pillow are about $50 each before shipping. 

Here's pictures of my inspiration:


  1. What a cool project, I love it! Designer (and non-designer) pillows can be so expensive, I love your cheap, I mean cost effective alternative, lol.

  2. This is so pretty Paulette! I like your blog, way to go!