12 Step DIY Bird Silhouette Pillow Tutorial


Hello! So I've been working on decorating an apartment in the beautifully quaint and artsy fartsy town of Nyack, which is nestled in the west side hills of Hudson Valley, NY. And while the project is underway, I decided to make my client a set of custom bird pillows for her living room which I recently completed and thought I'd share with you. So here is a tutorial for your viewing or doing pleasure in case you ever get the bug to make yourself or someone else a few bird pillows. Although I do believe they are a timeless design element for any style of home, birds are apparently really popular this season and EVERYWHERE. I hope they make a lovely addition to her new home, and I'm excited to share this newly decorated apartment with you soon.

So without revealing too much, and to give you a taste of our inspiration...we have chosen this color scheme:

This Elton Settee Velvet sofa (in Dandelion, not yellow- even though Dandelions are yellow) was purchased at West Elm.

...and this gorgeous rug from Joss and Main.

Step 1- Make yourself a stencil. I used standard copy paper to cut out the shape of the bird I sewed onto my pillow fabric. The bird silhouette design was inspired by this diy art tutorial in the thinking closet
Step 2- Outline the stencil onto the underside of your fabric so you can mark it up with reckless abandon (just keep in mind you're trying to draw a pretty bird:) Also, keep in mind the direction you want the bird to face once turned on it's right side.

We'll worry about the feet later, and the branch I painted on with this neat DecoColor Paint Pen because it is too detailed to cut out of fabric...

Step 3- Cut out and pin down the bird silhouette where you want it on your pillow fabric. Consider the area where the branch will be painted while placing it.

Step 4- I chose to outline the fabric in Metallic Gold thread to jazz it up. But before that I surged the edges so the fabric wouldn't fray.

Step 5- Now it's time to paint the branch. Place the stencil over the bird and get your paint on! Slow and steady wins the race.

Look Mom, no feet!

Step 6- Ok fine, give him some feet. I chose the gold thread again to sew in his feet.

Step 7- Switch fabric and repeat. I went with a coral chenille fabric for the second bird. All high-end designer fabric;)

Step 8- Once the front of your pillow is done, you can prep the back. This pillow is 14x14" wide. I made it an envelope backing, had the pieces overlap by 4" and added 3 more inches for 1/2" seam allowance and the 1" for folding of envelope opening on each side. SO in total I cut a 20" piece of fabric for the back and cut it again at 12" for the overlapping side which left me with 8" for the shorter underside piece for a 4" difference.

Step 9-Sew the nicely folded finished edges for the back opening and if you have any personal or business labels sew em in there!

Step 10- Get the 2 envelope pieces of fabric overlapped and facing right side up on the table with the 4" of overlapping side on top. Then place your front piece with bird facing down so that once you sew it up and turn it inside out, all will be well in the world.

Step 11- Pin down and sew your measured 14x14 lines around the entire pillow.

Step 12- Cut the excess fabric if any and turn the pillow cover inside out. Voila!

The apartment design will be revealed soon! T-minus................

Update** Ok it's done! Here it is.... A Charming Loft in Nyack gets decorated!

Treat each other well!