Saturday, April 2, 2011

Old Pillows, New Look

On Saturday I showed you my lanai furniture cushion makeover, and I told you I was on a bit of a sewing kick. Well, that current sewing obsession kind of took over my Saturday, and I spent the whole day making "new" pillows for my couch.  Well, technically I was re-covering my old pillows, but they are new to me now!

When Kent and I first married and moved to Hawaii just about 2 years ago, I had all these handy dandy wedding gift cards, so I went to Pier 1 to shop the sales.  Since we had just purchased our big new super awesome sectional sofa (on sale for 30% off, plus another 20% off for buying the showroom example... great deal at $500), I needed some cute pillows to bring some color into our lives.  I found 7 that I loved, all on sale, so I bought them.  All together I think they cost about $100 or so.

Fast forward to just the other day, and I noticed that those bright and beautiful pillows were no longer so bright and beautiful.  They were looking grungy, drab, and dreary,  so I decided while I was sewing cushion covers, I could sew some pillow covers as well.  For a very brief instant, I thought about just buying new pillows, but when I thought about spending $100+ on pillows, I decided that was a no-go.  Instead I went to the fabric store, spent about $35 on fabric and cording, and came home to get to work.  Here's what I came up with.  (Lots of before and after pics... Yay!  You know I looove before and after shots.)

This one used to be nice and bright, and I liked how the texture contrasted with the texture of the other fabrics when I first bought it, but a couple years later, and it wasn't looking so hot anymore...
  I really like the result.  I used some leftover heavy duty upholstery fabric from my lanai cushions for the front and a micro-suede type material for the backs.  

The sun in our old apartment plus wear and tear from a dirty dude made this once rich brown pillow a faded, boring, blah color.  I recovered it in a very rich brown satin-y type material with a little more visual interest.  Plus I added a blue and brown cording as yet another little something extra.

The same thing had happened to this blue pillow.  It was looking pretty sad.  Now it has a much more vibrant and happy color that I'm really loving.

Here's the detail of the cording.

This next pillow used to be one of my favorites because it was a really cool lime green.  With a little wear and tear, though, it wasn't so happy looking anymore.  I fixed it by recovering it with a similar bright shiny green fabric that had gold flower embroidery.

The final pillow I'm showing you is probably my favorite... and that's because it literally took some blood and sweat (thankfully no tears) to make it.

One of my favorite and most visually interesting pillows was a paisley embroidered pillow that inspired the painting currently hanging above my couch.  As with the others, it was faded and looking tired.  It was time for a change.  However, I still wanted one that looked high end and interesting.  I took scraps from the other pillows I had made and started experimenting, and this is what I came up with.
 Each one of those little appliques is made and attached by hand.  Plus I did the embroidery part by hand.  It was definitely the most labor intensive of all (taking probably 6 hours), but I really really love it.

Here are some details.

And finally, here are some shots of my "new" pillows in their old homes.

I think it's a great change for a grand total of 35 bucks.  What do you guys think?

P.S.  I was thinking of doing a tutorial on how to do the applique pillow if anyone is interested.  Let me know if it's something you'd like to see.  :)

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