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DIY Hand Stitched Saying Pillow

Hey crafters! Holly here from Revamperate, and today I’m sharing how to decorate your home with a hand stitched saying pillow!

If you’ve never tried this type of embroidery (I actually learned it for paper stitching), it can be a little challenging to get the hang of. Just take your time with it and you’ll pick it up before you know it. Luckily, it doesn’t matter what the inside of the pillow looks like and you can unravel your work until you’re happy with it. You can use this technique to add any sayings or designs to fabric items like pillows, blankets, aprons, etc., which means you can make some very thoughtful gifts. In this tutorial, I’m showing you how to add words to a pillow, but once you feel comfortable with it, you can try this on a bunch of different items!



First, let’s talk about supplies. You can make your own pillow cover or purchase one to make the project easier. I used an IKEA cover. In order for the words to be readable, I do recommend using a solid color pillow. A hand stitching needle is generally thicker and easier to hold and come in a variety of sizes, and I recommend using a larger one if this is your first time hand sewing or stitching.

How to Make a Hand Stitched Saying Pillow:

  1. Iron the pillow cover flat
  2. Use your pencil to sketch a design or words (you can use a stencil for this if you want)
  3. Thread the needle. From the underside of the fabric, thread the needle through the top left side of your outline and tie a knot on the underside to hold the thread in place.
  4. The hand stitching motion goes something like this: make a small top stitch, then a bottom stitch and instead of continuing, top stitch backwards. Then come up the other side and continue. In order to fully outline the words (as opposed to a dotted line), you will essentially be backtracking every other stitch, so when you come up one side, you go backwards in order to cover the area, then thread back down and up again the same side. Below is a close-up so you can see the stitches and the difference between this and an over-under stitch.
  5. Continue this stitching pattern until you reach the end of your thread or the end of your word, switching colors as desired. Just make sure all knots are on the underside of the fabric, where they will be hidden from view, and you can switch threads or colors as much as you want.
  6. Once you’re satisfied with the stitching, trim excess string from the underside, ensure all knots are tight and place the pillow form inside of the pillow.
  7. Now it’s ready to display! The stitches will hold up against casual use, but you may need to be careful around pets. Spot clean only if possible.

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Display on your couch or give it away for a thoughtful gift! Now that you know the stitches, you can customize just about any fabric item with beautiful hand stitching.