Decorative art pillow

Categories: Gifts, Pillow

During the last week living in our North Carolina residence our kids were feeling sentimental. To give them one last taste of living in the city we spent an afternoon checking off our things “to do one last time” list. We chose to kayak down the intercoastal, dine at our favorite waterside side restaurant, walk on the beach and go to our favorite ice cream shop. We took plenty of photographs to remember our 6 years in North Carolina, but the children wanted a little something more. Over the years and many walks we collected shells of every shape and size, sea glass, fish nets, drift wood and shark teeth. We went through our collected finds from the sandy shoreline and we decided to save the shark teeth and small shells for jewelry and make a memory pillow from the things we had collected. My sons favorite find was a chunk of netting found after a storm. We had to incorporate it into the pillow and that was when we decided to make molds of the seashells and starfish. We were not sure how the shells would hold up to a 700 mile move. So our pillow creation began and it developed as we went along. The very last touches were the stamped images that my daughter thought resembled seaweeds. Little by little the pillow came together.

What you need to make this project

Nature-Fil™ Corn Fiberfill
Cotton Napkin
Basic sewing supplies
Americana SoSoft Fabric Acrylics - Indian Turquoise, White, Grey Sky, Black Starfish in two sizes
Starfish in two sizes
Original Sculpey® - white Polyform™ Sculpey® Mold Maker, 8 oz
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

Quick Shop

To create the worn looking background on the fabric layers of fabric paint were used. We chose a wide bristle brush that would leave paint strokes. Layer the Indian Turquoise, White and Sky Grey in layers to create depth and allow the paint to dry. Stamp the images on using black paint where desired. Allow the paint to dry before sewing.
To create the pillow fold the painted tea towel right sides in and pin. Sew three out of four sides together. Sew the fourth side in 3” inches on side and on the opposite side. Use a reverse stitch to lock in the stitches and prevent unraveling when stuffing. Trim off any excess fabric and clip the corners. Turn the pillow right side out and carefully use the tip of the wooden spoon to push the corners of the pillow out. Stuff the pillow with the corn based fiberfill. To avoid lumps in the pillow use this method; start with a generous handful of filling. Gently pull the filling loose. The idea is to remove any clumps, while fluffing the fill at the same time. From the worked fill, take a portion equal to the area where you want to stuff. Stuff in one of the corners farthest from the seam opening. It is best to work your way out. gently, but firmly, push the fill into the corner. Pay attention to the outside as you go. From the outside that you can see any lumps or indents forming. Add filling to the immediate area to smooth out the surface or remove some filling and “work it” some more to remove a stubborn clump. Once the corners are filled, insert small amounts of additional fill. Work your way toward the opening and complete the stuffing process. Hand-sew the opening closed. Thread the needle with coordinating thread. Keep your stitches as small as possible, slip stitch the opening closed. The tiny stitches help insure no stuffing will poke out of the hand-sewn seam.
Clay embellishments
Make molds of the Starfish using the mold maker and follow the manufacturers directions for baking. Once the molds are made and cooled you can condition the clay and press the clay into the mold. Remove the starfish from the mold and bake according to manufacturer’s directions. Repeat this step for the number of starfish you need. Allow the polymer clay starfish to cool. Paint the starfish with a mixture of white and a tiny drop of grey and wipe off any excess and remove paint from the raised texture of the starfish while wet. Paint one starfish Turquoise. Allow the paint to dry. Hand sew on the fish netting. Use the hot glue gun to adhere the sea shells to the pillow and to the netting.