Create an Embroidered Pillow that is as Unique and Personalized as your Interior Design Style

When it comes to my home and interior design, I want each decor piece to be modern, unique and meaningful. And this hand embroidered pillow fits ALL of my criteria.

I embroidered this pillow based on a drawing my husband made while he was in architecture school in Rome. I met my husband (18 years ago!) after my freshman year of college when we were both interns at the same architecture firm. He had just returned from a semester in Rome, and being the lover of travel and Europe that I am, the time he spent studying overseas was one of the first things that hooked me.

A throw pillow that is a drawing he drew nearly two decades ago combined with my embroidery is a really special project…and makes a great conversation piece! If you don’t have a drawing you want to use, you can easily print a drawing from the internet or even use an adult coloring book!

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You can find more details below but the best way to understand my process for creating this throw pillow is to watch my full tutorial on YouTube.

To start with, I traced around an throw pillow cover I already had for a 16 x 16 inch pillow. You do need to take seam allowances into consideration, but I like to sew with very narrow seams AND I like my pillows to be extra stuffed - so tracing the existing pillow cover worked great for me. Feel free to add in a little space for the seams. I used a nice off white canvas. For tips on chosing fabrics for embroidery projects and my other embroidery tips - check out Embroidery Art: My 5 Best Tips for Beginners . You can also watch the entire tutorial on my channel here.

Then I took my husbands drawing and laid it under a piece of Water Dissolvable Stabilizer and traced the design. Peel the backing away form the stabilizer and center it on your fabric.

I embroidered all of the main lines of the drawing with black embroidery floss in a simple outline stitch.

Then all you need to do is run your piece under water and the stabilizer will dissolve leaving just your embroidery work behind - like magic. This is one of my all time favorite tips for embroidering anything.

One of the reasons I chose this particular drawing was because I thought that the umbrellas in the foreground and the shutters would be great places to add a pop of color. My husband of course didn’t remember what any of the actual colors were - so this was the perfect opportunity for me to add in some of my creativity!

While I don’t know what the original colors would have been in this drawing and I haven’t ever been to the location that inspired this piece…I was also lucky to have spent time studying abroad also and so I based my color choices off of the vibrant European colors of my studies. I spent most of my time abroad studying in France - which is a huge influence in everything I do but especially in my entertaining style and design preferences. Check back to my blog (hopefully soon) to read more about this French influence (and how the French can influence your design too!)

I ALWAYS use DMC brand embroidery floss. I love their beautiful colors.

I used a chain stitch when filling in my colors. The colors that you use will depend on the design you are embroidering but for reference here are the colors I used:

  • The red umbrellas are DMC 3777 and DMC 356.

  • The yellow umbrellas are DMC 3820.

  • The shutters are DMC 502

  • The flowers in my window box are french knots in DMC 224 with DMC 505 for the greenery.

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Once I completed my embroidery all I had to do was lay my piece face down on my other piece of canvas and sew three of the sides together. I sewed in a little bit from each corner on my last side, stuffed a pillow form in and hand stitched the hole closed!

This pillow is the perfect touch to my living room couch. I love it so much I cannot wait to make more.

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Let me know if you liked this project and want to see more embroidery projects!