DIY: Pillow talk

Ever since I brought my Grandma’s sewing desk up to VA and got a folding craft table, I’ve finally felt like I can do a bit more crafting without getting in anyone’s way around the apartment. I just don’t have the time or energy to finish a project in 1 sitting, so I like to do it over the course of a few days. I started my new project last week and finally finished it up today!

I first found the idea of a chalkboard pillow on Etsy, and I figured it would be a great gift to give to my roommate who is an elementary school counselor. I thought that a pillow young kids could write on would be handy as a way to express their feelings.

With no pattern in hand, I set out on a new DIY adventure and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.

First, I laid out all my materials:

Next, I worked on placement and started to sew the basics together:

Next, I cut out my speech bubble from oilcloth materials. I laid out a pattern I printed from Word:

But, I knew I didn’t want to pin the pattern to the oilcloth, so flipped it all over and drew on the wrong side of the oilcloth. Make sure you flip your pattern too if you want it to sit a certain direction.

Here’s my cut out. You may notice a few creases in my oilcloth, but just set it in a warm room and the creases will work out on their own. There’s really no other option.

Next, I pieced it all together and pinned everything in place. You’ll notice, I’ve also created a small pocket to hold the chalk (just whip stitch the top so you don’t have any raw edges & sew the rest into place). I only pinned my oilcloth at the edges as I wasn’t sure how the oilcloth would react to pins and I didn’t want to mess it up with pin holes:

If you’re like me and new to sewing, then you’ll probably find that you don’t know a thing about sewing oilcloth. So I googled a few tips first. The 2 I found most helpful was to put tape on the bottom of your presser foot so the cloth moves under it and to make sure your stitch length is wide. Both of these tips worked like a charm. Below you’ll find my speech bubble, chalk pocket, and back of the pillow sewn together. This is everything flipped right side out with a hole to stuff it with pillow fluff.

If I had to do over again, I would have picked a different place to stuff pillow fluff. Why? Because my intention was to just run the hole through the machine and not fuss too much that you’d maybe see some stitches in the gingham. However, I left my hole at the yellow bit and no matter what color thread I used, it would be too obvious on either side. So I had to blind stitch the hole together, which is probably better anyways.

*Note: it’s probably a good idea to include a zipper and only use this as a covering; however, I consciously chose to not include a zipper to make the project easier for me.I knew my roommate wouldn’t care.

And voila…a chalkboard pillow for kids to write on. Sorry, I didn’t have any chalk to experiment with, but I tested with a chalking tool and it wiped off clean!

Not bad, eh? 🙂



  Emily Nelson wrote @

Super cute pillow!

  zigzagmags wrote @

thanks! 🙂

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