Monday, January 30, 2012

DIY | Love Notes Photo Pillow

I'm still quite enamored with the whole printing on regular fabric with a freezer paper backing thing. If you missed the how to you can get up to speed with this tutorial.

With Valentine's day approaching I decided to make a "love notes" pillow.

I recently put all of my "Christmas money" into purchasing an iPad 2. We LOVE it.  One of the apps I purchased was Notability. It is a great note taking app where you can actually hand write notes, add pictures, make diagrams, etc. I pretty much just let my kids scribble on pages :)

One day though I wondered if there was a way to send the "notes" to my computer and thus print them... onto fabric... see where I'm going with this?

Of course there is a way. You just hit email.

I sent it as a pdf. Excuse the messy-ish handwriting, I wanted it to look like scribbled love notes and it's hard to hand write with your finger :)

I printed the "note" onto the freezer paper backed fabric. My initial thought was to cover the majority of the pillow in a patchwork of notes but then I decided to make a bigger pillow and ended up choosing a picture for the pillow as well.

The English one took this pic of the tall one and I shortly after we had the girl one. It was a mini date for us. Fun times :)

 With both printed out I cut them into patches (rather than using just one 8.5 x 11 piece of fabric as the cover.)

Using the same material that I printed on I cut another 16 x 16" piece and started arranging the notes, the picture, a doily and other pieces of coordinating fabric on top of it.

 Once I was happy with the arrangement I started sewing the "bottom most" layers on which in this case was the yellow polka dot fabric. To sew the picture and note patches on I used a zig zag stitch right on the edges to prevent fraying and because I liked the look of it.

The doilies are tricky to sew at times because they bunch and stretch. It did pucker my pillow a bit but helped when I sewed an "x" though it. The floral is a print from a vintage sheet that I cut out and zig zagged on.

With everything sewn on the front I cut a piece of 16 x 16 grey corduroy, placed right sides together and sewed the pillow leaving an opening at the bottom for turning and stuffing.

After it was stuffed I used a hidden stitch to close the opening and chucked it on my ever growing collection of bed pillows.

The "sunshine" quote has special meaning for us. I started "liking" the tall one when I was in grade 9 and he in grade 11. We'd flirt at youth group and in the hallways at school and though I only lived 3 blocks from school he'd rumble up to me half way through my journey in his 434 blue Chevy and offer me a ride home. I of course always accepted. My friends gave him the code name "Sunshine" and would write notes asking "How is the sun shining today?" or leave voicemails wishing me a "very sunny Sunday." When he rumbled up in the truck they'd start singing, "I've got sunshine... on a cloudy day!"

We started dating in my grade 10 year and here we are 15 years later, ridiculously happily married with two children we adore. My whole life has been pretty sunny :)

 Though this really wasn't my initial vision for the pillow at all, it does make me happy and I think it looks pretty "sunny". I'll still likely try out a version that is just "notes".

I'm thinking that the tall one wouldn't be overly thrilled to receive a frilly pillow for Valentine's day but it's a cute romantic piece of nostalgia for the bedroom. The possibilities for variations are literally endless when you don't restrict yourself to the 8.5 x 11 format and work with pieces.

If you've made or make a pillow of your own using the freezer paper technique please share, we'd love to see them!

~ Monique


  1. oh I love this idea for the pillow and I love love love all the embellishments on have my creative juices flowing..thanks for the wonderful idea.;)

  2. I love it, I printed for the first time using this method to create fabric with text for a pocket for a pair of trousers for my 2 yr old. I also used the iPad Adobe ideas does the same thing - it has endless possibilities!

    1. Cool! Did you treat the fabric in anyway so that it's washable? Would love to see a pic!

  3. Can you explain the part of transfer the note to the fabric? Did you keep the freezer paper attached to the fabric or did you transfer it? I am not connecting the dots ... maybe I need coffee! LOL

    1. Lol - no worries! It was not a transfer, I simply ironed the freezer paper to the blank fabric to make it stiff, then cut it to be the size of a normal piece of paper and then fed it through my printer and printed the image directly to the fabric. Does that make sense?

    2. So do you leave the paper and the fabric together when you feed it through the printer or just the fabric?

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Yes, Christina,LOl the fabric is too flimsy to go thru without the paper behind it, hence the reason you iron the paper to the fabric, do not iron it on where you want to print and make sure the fabric is so it will not print on the paper, but will print on the can peel the paper off after the printing is done.

  4. love the idea and the execution. I cringed a little, though, when I read the saying "like a fat kid loves cake" sentence. It seems just a bit insensitive, Most kids love cake. Anyway, thanks for the tutorial.

    1. You know what I didn't even consider the real impact of those words. The saying was a bit of an inside joke from a silly time and I really didn't even think of the actual meaning and heart behind it. Thank you for bringing it to my attention and I apologize for any offense and my insensitivity. It really was a slip and my heart behind it was never to marginalize or mock anyone. I really feel quite foolish. Please accept my deepest apologies.

    2. OMG! Really?! I think we live in a world where people are forced to walk on egg shells because we might offend someone! Instead of get upset over a comment about a fat kid, loving cake, get mad a the parents for allowing them to get in the condition!
      Basically , you offend me due to this silly mess!
      This lady's nice enough to show us so many cool things FOR FREE! And out of all of this,, you manage to find something so stupid to grip about! You did go to HER site!

  5. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your gifts.

  6. Do you have a laser printer or inkjet?