Christmas Applique Pillow Using Ikea’s Cheap Covers

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I love Ikea’s pillows and covers! Aside from being super comfortable, they’re also very inexpensive, which makes it easy to change up the colors in our living room.

Ikea’s INNER 16×26 pillow is one of my favorites. I love how the rectangular shape contrasts with square cushions. We have two of them on our couches, and one on our bed. 

A while ago, I bought the very neutral, beige HEDDAMARIA cover for our living room pillows. They worked fabulously as a quiet backdrop for Summer’s bold colors and Autumn’s rich hues, but with Christmas being just around the corner (and me being an all-out Buddy the Elf), I really wanted to change all the pillows to merry & bright reds! 

A quick peek into a few home décor stores told me that store-bought Christmas pillows were definitely not within our budget, so I decided to upcycle the covers with the easiest ever felt applique. 

2 pieces of felt from the Dollar store, a teeny square of scrap fabric, and some white thread were all that this upcycled Christmas pillow required! 

Felt is perfect material with which to learn the art of applique, especially if you’re teaching this to kids!

With four daughters, crafting is an endless affair in our house, and applique is a sort of “rite of passage,” because it involves a sharp needle, a steady hand, and careful eye!  

Here’s how to make the Christmas Applique Pillow.

Step 1. Cut 3 stockings out of felt. We didn’t use a pattern for this, but free-handed the first one, and used that as our template for the other two.

Step 2. Pin the felt stockings into place on the front of your pillow cover, roughly centered (make sure the pillow insert has been removed, so you can access the inside of the case).

Step 3. Thread your needle with a contrasting thread color (we used white, but light blue or green, or black would look great, too!).

Step 4. Starting inside the pillow case, use the needle to pierce through both the pillow cover and the upper corner of the first felt stocking, about 1 centimeter in from the top and side. 

Step 5. Using a simple whip stitch, make your way all around the felt stocking, taking care to keep the stitches evenly spaced and uniform. Finish off by inserting the needle into the same hole you started with, and tie the loose ends inside the pillow cover.

Step 6. Repeat Step 5 with the other two stockings.

Step 7 (optional). You can dress up these stocking anyway you like, with further applique (I sewed on a little heart in the heel of the center felt stocking), add faux fur trim to the tops of the stockings, or sew on buttons, tiny bells, and bows! 

Happy stitching! 

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