Valentine’s Day Decor Ideas

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I love painting pillows and this is my favorite Valentine’s Day pillow ever. I love pink heart pillows! If you’re like me, you’re probably looking for Valentine’s Day decor ideas. Well, look no further!

Today, I’m going to show you how to make a super easy and adorable Valentine’s heart pillow. All you need is a few basic supplies and a few hours of your time. So grab your supplies and let’s get started!

Valentine's Day Decor Ideas
You Made that?

A Valentine’s Day Heart Pillow

You probably aren’t surprised that I decided to share another pillow for my Valentine’s Day Decor.

And is this not the cutest pillow ever?

Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas

I love painting pillows and adding free stitch embroidery. I have shared free stitch embroidery projects for a few years now on my blog.

Can I assume that some of you have been intimidated to try this?

I have good news. This time I added an option to make it even easier to do!

Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas

Every year I make a heart pillow for Valentine’s Day Decor. Usually, that includes a free-motion stitch embroidery pillow. After all, it is my favorite and best technique to use during this time of year.

It has long been my tradition to spend the month before Valentine’s Day crafting different projects that represent love in some way or another. This one was especially fun because I got to paint it!

It really is quite easy to make. I painted hearts on a pillow cover and then stitched a heart on top of the painted hearts. Easy peasy.

The “stitching part” is called Free Motion Embroidery. But don’t let that scare you! All it means is that you pull out your sewing machine, (dust it off first), lower the pressure feed, and add a darning foot.

When you start sewing, the fabric doesn’t move until you move it. So you just pull and push it in the direction you want it to go. In this case, the motion would be heart shape.

Guess what the best part is? It looks better if you sew outside the lines.

I promise!

So … what if you don’t know how to sew. Or what if you don’t have a sewing machine? Keep reading.

Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas

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Some of My Free Stitch Embroidery Projects

In the past few years, I have made quite a few Free Stitch Embroidery projects. I have made pillows, placemats, and coasters.

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How to Make a Valentine’s Day Heart Pillow

Difficulty Rating: Easy/Medium

Estimated cost: $15

What You Need to Make This Machine Stitch Embroidery Thread Painted Pillow

(Links to products I used are included)

You will need a free motion foot for your machine. This foot may vary based on your 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. Most people (including me!) recommend that you lower the feed dogs for free-motion embroidery.

If your machine doesn’t let you lower the feed dogs (my lever is near the bobbin) then you just need a feed plate for your machine to cover up the feeds.

Here are the paint colors I used. You can use any similar colors or completely change them It is up to you.

I like to use acrylic paints. I iron them to set them so they are ok to wash. If you really want to be safe then use fabric paint.

Paint Colors for Pillow

I decided it would be so much easier to make this pillow if I showed you how to start with a heart pattern for you to use as a guide for the machine embroidery.

Before you get started, place a piece of parchment paper or cardboard inside the pillow cover. This prevents the paint from seeping through to the backside of the pillow cover.

I used a cookie cutter, dipped it in paint, and started placing heart outlines on the pillow. I didn’t measure anything, I just eyeballed it.

Valentine's Day Decor Ideas

Here are the paint colors I mixed. Any shades of pink (and orange if you want) look good.

Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas

In hindsight, you could just use one color for the heart stamps. Use a darker color as you will be using the outline as a guide to paint and stitch your hearts.

Let the paint dry.

Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas Stencil

Paint each heart with a small brush. I thinned out the paint a bit so it wasn’t quite so opaque. Don’t let it get too runny or else it will bleed. Don’t worry about painting within the lines. I think it looks better if you don’t.

I used two different paint colors on some of the hearts just to add some variation.

Painted Hearts

Let the paint dry. I usually iron the pillow cover to get the wrinkles out before I start sewing.

Now it is time to start the free-motion embroidery.

Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas

Attach the darning foot to your machine, and lower the feed dogs. (The feed dog is what moves your fabric forward. If you lower it then you can move the fabric in any direction you want.)

Sew three times around each heart and DO NOT try to sew perfectly. Just follow the line of the cookie cutter. It’s so easy. I actually think that messy is good … within reason. Haha.

Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas

Diy Video

Watch this video to see exactly how to make this pillow.

Here is a close-up of the free stitch embroidery on the hearts on my pillow.

Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas

How to Make This Valentine’s Day Heart Pillow Without Sewing

I promised I would offer an option to make this pillow if you didn’t have a sewing machine. Or just wanted an easy version. Instead of sewing, use a fine-point permanent marker. It works, looks good, and will save you a lot of time!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is free motion stitch 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 foot.

How do you do free-motion embroidery?

Use a medium-heavy fabric for free-motion embroidery. Attach the darning foot to your machine, and lower the feed dogs. (The feed dog is what moves your fabric forward. If you lower it then you can move the fabric in any direction you want.)
Sew your design two times so the stitching is more predominant. DO NOT try to sew perfectly. It’s so easy and don’t worry if you make a mistake here and there. It looks better that way.

Can you do free-motion embroidery on any machine?

Yes, you can do free-motion embroidery using a regular sewing machine. You will want to use a darning foot and lower the feed dogs to allow you to move the fabric in any direction you want.

How can I decorate for Valentine’s Day?

I like to add Valentine’s decor to my home that is more pink, red, and hearts than specifically Valentine’s Day. I add flowers (fresh and faux), pillows, throws, and lots of other decor items to give our home a very romantic feel to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

When should you start decorating for Valentine’s Day?

It’s up to you! I like adding pink to our home every year. With subtle changes, I have eased into Valentine’s Day very easily. My decor is more based on colors than actual “Happy Valentine’s Day” decor. I usually save that decor for a few days before.

I think this pillow would not only look great in your home, but it would make a great Valentine’s Day gift too.

Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas

Shop all my favorite Valentine’s Day pillow covers!


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heart painted pillow on a white wood chair in a living room

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  1. Leslie, I think I remember you doing watercolor valentines cards once maybe last year? I can’t find them on your web site and was hoping to make some for a few special people this year. They had hearts on them. Any help is appreciated.

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