Stencil How to: Make Outdoor Pillows From Drop Cloth

Changing out the throw pillows in a space can be one of the easiest - and thriftiest - ways to freshen up your decor for the season. I've been sewing my own throw pillows for years and have gotten it down to about a half-hour science (per pillow).
Recently, I started adding zippers to my DIY pillows because I wanted to be able to remove the covers and throw them in the washing machine. (I have small children. Need I say more?) Also, I'd like to keep my house from being buried under a mountain of handmade throw pillows. Zippers allows me to reuse former pillows. (Read on for details.).
Today I want to show you how to make rustic chic throw pillows using Royal Design stencils and a painter's dropcloth for the fabric. These pillows work perfectly as part of my lakeside, outdoor-themed decor.
Supplies suggested for this project:
Royal Design Studio Stencils: Buck Forest Bonnie Christine Wall Stencil and Timberland Bonnie Christine Furniture Stencil
Royal Stencil Crmes - Bronze Age, Copper Kettle, Smoked Oyster and Pearl Oyster
Stencil brush
1 painter's dropcloth
18-inch polyester zippers (one for each pillow)
Painter's tape, tape measure, thread and scissors
Sewing machine
Starting at one edge of the dropcloth, cut out 21-inch squares, two for each pillow you intend to make.
Time-saving tip: Designate the seam at the edge of the dropcloth to be the bottom of the pillow, which is also the spot where the zipper will go. This will make for less seam-sewing.
Stencil the panels. I positioned the Buck Forest stencil over my panel, securing the edges with painter's tape. I used a stencil crme combination of three parts Copper Kettle to one part Bronze Age for the color.
For the Timberland stencil, I wanted to use multiple colors on my panel, yet still keep a cohesive look between the two stencil patterns, so I used Copper Kettle as my base.
Then I mixed up two other colors using a combination of stencil cremes to achieve my desired look.
I kept the same color for the same type of tree.
Sew zipper onto panels.
I began by lining up two panels, with the seamed edge on the bottom. I positioned the zipper so that it was equal distance from both ends.
With the stenciled side facing up, I tucked the zipper under the seamed edge of the dropcloth and sewed a line the full length of the panel, using the current seam as a guide.
After attaching the left side of the zipper, I lined up a second panel and repeated the procedure on the right side of the zipper.
Turn panels inside out and finish sewing edges.
I tried to keep about a half-inch of space around the perimeter to make the finished product a 20-inch pillow, but this is not an exact science. The important thing is to make sure the seam is in far enough to cover the zipper's edges.
Turn pillow cover right-side out. I ironed the cover at this point to heat seal the stencil design. After that, it's stuffing time!
I stuffed my pillow cover with another pillow I already had on hand - one of my favorite thrifty tricks. The dropcloth is thick enough so no pattern shows through.
Tip: Since I'm using my pillows outdoors (on the porch primarily), I sprayed them with a liquid-repelling treatment to help keep them from being damaged by the weather.
I absolutely love these stencil patterns together. They work because I used similar color palettes for both and one design is large while the other is smaller. Also, they both have a woodland theme. These patterns exude a rustic yet modern vibe that suits my home's environment well.

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