This DIY Frayed Edge Appliqué Pillow (with a sweet little bunny) is a fun little Easter craft. If you've never done appliqué, this is the perfect project to get your feet wet. It utilizes a simple basic stitch on the sewing machine (you can sew by hand, if you prefer). I have the free printable appliqué template below, as well. And who can resist the addition of a yarn pom pom bunny tail?
Are y'all tired of my pillow tutorials yet? Honestly, I'm such a throw pillow hoarder that I may never tire of creating them (but please don't leave en masse). This is another super budget-friendly project...I used an old men's plaid shirt (the shirt was old, not the man who wore it...ahem), and of course, my go-to drop cloth for fabric. Check out the tutorial for this DIY Frayed Edge Appliqué Pillow below (it's on another easy envelope pillow cover!).
I purposefully selected the plaid shirt for this bunny to coordinate with my living room. This was actually not my husband's shirt...he didn't have any the correct color (and of course, had just purged his closet when I went searching for a shirt). I grabbed this one at the thrift store when it was half off one day...so only $1.50 for it (and I could have made at least five of these bunnies out of the shirt).
To begin this project, you'll need to start your cuts for a basic envelope pillow, in the size that works for your pillow form (or just use an old pillow that needs a refresh...that's what I do). CLICK HERE FOR MY ENVELOPE PILLOW TUTORIAL. You will just cut the three pieces for this pillow...then come back here to create the appliqué on the front piece. After your appliqué is complete, you can go back to the envelope pillow tutorial and finish sewing your pillow. Just like in my pillow tutorial, I used a drop cloth for this bunny pillow. I grab my canvas drop cloths here on Amazon for a better price than the hardware store...I can get 4-5 throw pillows out of one drop cloth.
Let's get started, y'all!
- 3 precut pieces for an envelope pillow (see that tutorial here)
- fabric for appliqué piece (again, I used an old shirt for this)
- bunny template (free download here)
- yarn for pom pom tail (you'll also need a safety pin)
- embroidery thread for appliqué (I wanted to use the same color as my pom pom tail. ALSO, I purposely used a darker aqua thread for my bobbin thread...this makes it easier to tie off the appliqué. Also, I used regular thread for my bobbin thread, rather than embroidery thread. It will make your bobbin go further to just use regular thread...because it's all fun and games until the bobbin runs out. Right?)
- fusible web for appliqué (grab the one I used here on Amazon)
- you'll also need your sewing machine, an iron, and an ironing board, as well as your washer and dryer for the fraying process
Depending on the brand of fusible web you use, be sure to follow the directions on your package (they all seem just a bit different). I'll give you the gist of it here, but those package directions are key.
You'll start by tracing your template onto your fusible web (my template is placed under the web, and I trace it through it with a pencil).
Be sure to get all of the wrinkles out of your large pillow piece before adding your appliqué. If you're using a drop cloth, like I prefer to do, then the side of fabric you use won't matter.
Cut your traced shape out of your fusible web. Lay the web on top of your fabric piece (on the wrong side up...it just so happens my fabric is the same on both sides). My brand of web has a sticky back that just peels off...so I adhered it that way. Then, cut around the shape adding an extra half inch (or however long you want your fray to be).
Again, follow your fusible web's package directions. Mine has a second piece to peel off.
Peel the piece off, turn the shape over and adhere it to the piece you'll appliqué to...make sure to line it up exactly where you want it.
Even though my package directions don't require it, I hit the appliqué piece with a warm iron...this helps to transfer those little glue bubbles from the fusible web to my appliqué shape. It basically adheres the shape to my pillow even better.
The half inch that didn't have the fusible web will not adhere to the pillow.
This is the part that will be frayed.
Take your pillow front to the sewing machine and use your basic stitch to sew the shape to the pillow (since you have the fusible web in place, this is technically just an added measure...but, it really gives your pillow a more finished look). You will sew a half of an inch in from the edge of your appliqué piece. Do not do a backstitch at the start or finish (we'll finish the stitch off in the next step, below). I also take it slow sewing on an appliqué piece...and utilize taking my presser foot up and down with the needle still in place to turn corners. If a corner seems too tricky, I also will use the wheel on my machine and place a stitch or two "by hand" to make sure I stay on track. There are several other stitches that work well for appliqué, but I like the basic stitch with a frayed edge appliqué (the stitch doesn't take up as much "space", allowing for a fuller fray).
Once you are done on the machine (remember, no back stitches on these appliqué projects), you'll turn the piece over to tie off your stitches. I use a straight pin and pull my two threads (the one from the start and the one from the end) through to the backside. This is where having a different color of thread is helpful...you know what to look for pulling the thread through.
You will end up with four threads on the back.
Tie each set of threads twice to secure it...then cut the excess thread.
At this point, you will finish sewing the actual pillow together (remember to turn the appliqué side of the pillow to the inside when you sew). Click here to refer back to the envelope pillow tutorial to finish your pillow.
Once your pillow is sewn together, you will wash it (I washed mine twice) and dry it to fray the edging of the bunny. Depending on your fabric, it may just easily fray on its own through the wash. If, after one wash, there isn't much fray, you can cut small slits in the fray area to get it started. Be sure to dry the pillow to get a good seal on that fray.
Trim any loose threads off of your frayed bunny edge.
You'll probably want to iron the pillow, once again, too.
To make the cutesy little pom pom tail, click here for my easy pom pom tutorial.
I tied my pom pom onto a safety pin...this makes it removable to wash the pillow.
Just use the two long ends of the pom pom to tie it to the pin. Once secure on the pin, trim those two pieces to even them out with rest of the pom pom.
Then, well...pin the tail on the bunny, y'all.
What do you think? Are you a frayed edge kind of person, too?
Fraying edges are perfect in life and decor, right?