Valentine’s Pocket Pillow

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. With that in mind, I’ve got fun, simple, and inexpensive tutorial that you can customize for just about anyone.

I’ve made a set of heart pillows with pockets to hold cards, candy, or even jewelry for Justin and me. Of course, the great thing about this tutorial is that you can opt to make a wall hanging rather than a pillow for more of a family Valentine’s day pocket or for your child to take to school to collect valentines from classmates.

To make the pillow set here is what you will need:

  • 1/2 yard 54″ wide white felt
  • 1 yard 54″ wide red (or pink) felt
  • size 5 Perle cotton in white and red (you could also use embroidery floss!)
  • two 16″ pillow inserts
  • two 16″ red or white zippers
  • straight pins
  • rotary cutter and mat
  • ruler
  • sharp embroidery needle
  • pencil
  • zipper foot

Please don’t be intimidated by the installation of a zipper. This is a great project to familiarize yourself with zippers. I promise its very simple to do, so don’t give up!

If you are just wanting to make a wall hanging you will not need to buy the pillow inserts or zippers. Simply decide what size you want the wall hanging to be and purchase that amount of white felt and adjust the amount of red felt accordingly.

First you’ll need to cut out all of your pieces. From the white felt, cut two 15.5″ squares.

From the red felt, cut out two 15.5″ x 16.5″ pieces. Now cut them in half so that you have 4 pieces that measure 8.25″ x 15.5″. In addition, cut two 4″ x 15.5″ pieces (these will be the flaps that cover the zippers) and set aside.

Now you will need to cut out your heart pieces. I found it easiest to cut these on the fold of the fabric. Simply draw out half of a heart on the fold of the fabric and cut it out so that you have a whole heart. Use that heart as a template to cut your second heart. Do be sure to make your heart large enough that it will be able to hold what you want it to hold such as a card or small box of candy.

Fold down the upper curves of a heart and trace around it onto the red felt. Cut out two of these triangle shaped pieces. These will be the pockets for your hearts.

Draw out the first letter of your name and your Valentine’s name on pocket pieces and embroider with Perle cotton or emroidery floss. You can embroider whatever you like here. It would be cute to have one pillow that says “you” and the other that says “me”. This is where you can really be creative so don’t hesitate to go crazy! I chose to embroider an “m” and a “j” for Meredith and Justin, and I used a chain stitch because I thought being “linked together” went with Valentine’s Day.

Once you have embroidered the design of your choice onto the pocket piece align it with the heart piece. You may need to trim down one or the other. Now fold the white square in half and press it with your hands so that you make a crease in the felt. Line up the crease in the heart with the crease on the square and center that heart. You can pin it at this point if you want, but I found that felt is very easy to keep still and manuever under the needle, so I decided to forgo the pinning. Using a 1/4″ seam (preferably with a 1/4″ foot) sew around the heart being sure to overlap the beginning stitches by atleast 5 stitches.

Now get your embroidery needle back out and using your red Perle cotton or embroidery floss make a running stitch around the heart. It doesn’t have to be perfect, these stitches are just here to make that heart really pop. Again, feel free to be as creative as you want here. Once you have completed this step, set your pillow front aside.

Its time to assemble the back of your pillow. If you have never installed a zipper this will be a great first project for you. I promise it is extremely simple.

First I want you to get out your zipper. Fold your 4″ x 15.5″ piece in half lengthwise so that it is 2″ x 15.5″ when folded; this will be your flap fabric that hides the zipper. Align the raw edges to the 15.5″ egde of one of the 8.25″ x 15.5″ pieces. Now place your zipper on top of the flap fabric facedown. Do not worry if your zipper is longer than the felt; we’ll cut off the excess later. Pin in place.

Using your zipper foot, sew very close the zipper teeth.

Flatten out your zipper and cover it with the flap. Topstitch close the seam to keep it in place.

Now align the other side of your zipper face down onto the other piece of 8.25″ x 15.5″ felt. Pin in place.

Sew close to the the zipper teeth.

Now trim back the excess zipper in line with the felt.

Open the zipper a bit and place the front and back of the pillow right sides together. Pin in place. You may want to use additional pins to ensure that the flap stays down and the open part of the zipper will meet where it should.

You may find that once you have pinned your pillow that there is excess red felt on the bottom from where the zipper was installed. Just trim it down so its even with the white felt.

Sew a 1/4″ seam all the way around the pillow making sure that you overlap the beginning stitches by atleast 5 stitches. Trim the corners.

Carefully bring the pillow through the zipper so that it is right side out. Be sure to push out the corners carefully with your fingers. Remember that felt can stretch out, so you do need to go about this somewhat delicately.

Now its time to put in the pillow insert. Stuff the top in first being careful to stuff the pillow, not stretch the felt to accomodate the pillow. To insert the remainder of the pillow, push it toward the top so that the pillow is a little smaller and very carefully manuever the pillow into the bottom of the cover. Its really not a difficult task, just be sure to use caution so you don’t stretch out the fabric by forcing the pillow inside.

You now have a finished pillow! Make your second one the same way and have fun stuffing them with goodies!

-Meredith

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