I am so excited to share a favorite Christmas craft DIY, my Christmas Tree Pillow. It’s easy to make and looks store-bought. But it is not. It is handmade.
There is no doubt that I love to craft. Now that the Christmas holiday is about a month away, I am having so much fun creating crafts! Some of my favorite crafts I made last year are a tree skirt, a wooden centerpiece with hanging mason jar candles, mercury glass ornaments, gift tags, a ribbon wreath, a cookie wreath, wrapping paper, silver and gold leaf pears, and clay tags.
However, I think my favorite Christmas craft from last season is this Painted and Free Stitch Embroidery Christmas Pillow.
Christmas Pillow DIY
Isn’t this just the cutest Christmas pillow ever? It is very easy to make and I absolutely love how it came out. Please know that if you are not a sewer, you can use a permanent marker and just draw in the same detail I created with my sewing machine.
I want to make a few more of these which shouldn’t be a problem. I shared a live demo of how to make this pillow on my Facebook account and I had a limited amount of time and I created three different “stages” of the pillow. All I need to do is finish them and I will have three more Christmas pillows!
What You Need to Make a Christmas Craft Tree pillow
One pillow cover, 18″ x 18″ or 20″ x 20″ (or fabric if you want to make your own pillow)
Acrylic craft paint (2 oz. bottles) two reds, two greens, and one brown (such as Folk Art Hunter green, Bright Green, Lipstick Red, Barnyard Red, and Real Brown)
Paint brushes, 1/2 and 1″
Darning (Free Motion Embroidery) Foot – Just make sure you confirm this fits your machine.
How to Make the Christmas Craft Pillow
Start out by finding inspiration for your pillow. I googled “doodle Christmas trees” and came up with this!
You can also google any other Christmas items. As long as you use “doodle” in your description you will find lots of hand-drawn and inspiring designs.
Next, you need to draw a pattern for painting.
This is the one I drew for my pillow. I used a washable fabric marker.
I drew this pattern for my demo, so I included the stitching lines. You don’t need to include those. All you need to do is outline any areas that will need to be painted in different colors.
Next, I used acrylic paint and painted the trees. It doesn’t have to be exact. If you paint outside of the lines, it doesn’t matter. That is because the embroidery will define the lines. So just have fun painting.
You can see below that I didn’t paint any colors on top of others. Take care to outline the colors so that you won’t have to do that.
I did a bit of shading in my painting and used a lighter/warmer color on the right side of the trees to depict some light. (That’s the artist in me. You do not need to do this!)
When you are painting, be careful not to drip paint on the fabric. If it happens, don’t panic. You can try to wipe it up but you can also add some white paint, as I did below. I dripped paint in two places and ended up adding white paint around all of the trees to balance it out.
What is free motion embroidery?
Free motion machine embroidery is a type of sewing that you do on a regular sewing machine but you can move the material in any direction while sewing it on your machine. Normally when you sew, the machine automatically moves the fabric forward. When you sew free motion embroidery, you get to move the fabric so you determine exactly where you want to sew. You can move sideways, forward, backward, and create any shape you want. All you need is a quilting or darning foot.
The free-motion quilting foot, sometimes called a darning foot, is designed so that the sewing machine needle passes through a small ring on the foot. Instead of hopping, these feet float over the fabric without providing pressure. The Foot releases the fabric when the needle is in the up position, allowing you to move the fabric freely.
All you need is the free motion foot for your machine. This foot may vary based on tour type of machine but I linked a “universal” one.
I read a lot about lowering the “feed dogs” on your machine when stitching free motion embroidery. Feed dogs are the little teeth on your sewing machine that feed your fabric evenly through the machine. These teeth are extremely important because they help us produce perfectly spaced, even stitches whenever we sew garments, piece quilts, or applique shapes on our machine. You should lower the feed dogs for free-motion embroidery.
For this pillow, I lowered the feed dogs using a lever on my machine. If your machine doesn’t have that option, you can use a Supreme Slider instead.
How to Sew Free Motion Embroidery
The best thing about free embroidery is that it doesn’t need to be perfect. I love how it looks when the two layers of stitches don’t match. And I love being able to push the fabric wherever I want it to go.
I loved making this tree. I had no pattern and all I did was sew a lot of “loops’. It was “free-handed” and not perfect. That is why I like it so much. As you can see, I roughly stitched over the painted shape, not worrying if the shape was covered or if I stitched out of the lines.
Watch My DIY Video
You can watch my tutorial on my Facebook to see how to do this.
If you look closely you can see how “free and loose” my stitching is and that I try to go stitch everything about two to three times.
My stars are pretty funny looking, but as long as you know what they are, I do not care!
Be sure and watch the video so you can see start to finish exactly how to make this pillow. I am going to make a few more and I can’t wait to share them with you.
So what if you don’t sew?
You can use a permanent fabric marker instead of sewing. Just use a very thin tip and outline the design exactly as if you were sewing it.
It’s that simple. And easy.
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