I recently made a personalized pet throw pillow as a tribute to our beloved family beagle, Maggie. I plan to display this pillow as part of my holiday decor, but this idea would also make a perfect, personal holiday gift for any pet lover in your life! Let me fill you in on all of the details for how I made this adorable custom pet silhouette pillow cover.
For this project, you will need…
- An 18″ pillow form
- 1 fabric piece cut to 18×18″ (for the pillow front main panel)
- 1 piece of white twill cut to 10.5×10.5″ (for the pillow front patch)
- 2 fabric pieces cut to 12×18″ (for the pillow back panels)
- Black flocked heat transfer and electronic die-cutting tool OR black felt and a pet shape template*
- Safety pin
- Coordinating thread
- Basic sewing supplies: machine, iron, etc.
*Free templates for many dog breeds can be found by doing a Google search.
For a more detailed explanation for how to construct envelope-back pillow covers like this one, including helpful diagrams to guide you along the way, be sure to check out my Envelope-Back Pillow Cover Tutorial, which includes a free downloadable PDF.
- Fold the raw edges of the pillow front patch piece under 1/4″; press.
- Place the pillow front main panel piece face up on a work surface. Position the pressed pillow front patch piece so it is precisely centered on the front main panel piece. Pin. Edgestitch around the edge of the patch piece to affix it to the front main panel.
- Apply a narrow hem to one of the long edges of each of the pillow back panel pieces. (To do this, fold the edge under 1/4″ and press. Fold another 1/4″, press, and stitch.)
- Using an electronic die-cutting machine (I used my Silhouette CAMEO), cut a pet silhouette shape from the black flocked heat transfer. Affix to the center of the front patch piece according to the heat transfer package directions.
- Alternatively, if you don’t own an electronic die-cutter, download and print a pet silhouette shape with your computer, adjusting the size as needed with your printer settings. Cut out the template, and trace onto the black felt. Cut out the felt piece, and center and pin the pet shape on the front patch piece. Stitch around the outer edges of the pet piece to secure it to the pillow front.
- Place the completed front panel piece face up on a work surface. Position one of the back panel pieces face down along the top edge of the front panel piece, right sides facing, so that the seamed edge of the back panel piece runs through the center of the front panel. Make sure to precisely align all raw edges and top corners. Pin. Position the remaining back panel piece along the bottom edge of the front panel piece in a similar fashion; pin. (Note: The seamed edges of each of the back panel pieces will overlap at the center of the pillow.)
- Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, stitch all the way around the perimeter of the pinned pieces.
- Clip the corners, finish the seams with a serger (or a wide zig-zag stitch on a standard machine), and turn the cover right-side out.
- Tie a bow with ribbon and affix it to the pillow front so it appears to be tied around the pet’s neck.
- Slip the completed cover onto the pillow form. You are finished!
Pillow covers like these can be whipped up in no time at all, and they make such great gifts!
For even more great pillow ideas, check out these posts from the PS archives.
P.S. For those who would love to know more about sweet Maggie, the inspiration behind this project, you won’t want to miss this post. She’s a keeper!
Having grown up in a home brimming with sewing notions and paintbrushes, Amy has a deep love for all things creative. On any given day, you’ll find her knee-deep in her latest creative endeavor, with projects ranging from sewing and crafts to home decor and kid-friendly ideas. Amy believes that everyone, regardless of skill level or experience, possesses the ability to create something beautiful, and Positively Splendid was born of her passion for helping others harness their innate creative potential.