Pretty Holiday Pillows – Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

November 17, 2009
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I just finished up these sweet holiday pillow covers. If they look familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen these in the latest Pottery Barn Catalog:
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I thought they were cute, but not cute enough to fork over $29 each plus tax and shipping. Since I made covers for pillows I already own, these only cost me about $5.00 total, or the cost of two yards of Wal-Mart fabric. When the holiday season has passed, I’ll just remove the covers and pack them away with my decorations for next year.
These pillows were already on my to do list for the holidays when I wandered over to Creative Little Daisy. Autum has put together a great pillow cover tutorial. If you’re not a seamstress, this is definitely a page to bookmark. Go ahead and check it out, I’ll wait.
Pottery Barn’s pillows were embroidered. Since I don’t have a sewing machine that does embroidery, I decided I’d try to stencil them using freezer paper. Here’s how to stencil:
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First, find a font you like and print out a design for your project.
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Then, find some freezer paper. It is NOT the same thing as waxed paper. It has a matte side and a shiny side. When ironed shiny side down, the paper will stick to the fabric. When you’re done with your stencil, it can be easily peeled off.
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With the shiny side down, place a piece of freezer paper over your design and trace. The freezer paper is easy to see through.
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Then, using an exacto knife or a small pair of scissors, cut out your design, being careful to save any of the small interior pieces of the letters.
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I stenciled onto a smaller piece of fabric, and then attached it to my pillow cover using a decorative stitch. I cut a piece of fabric approximately 1” larger all around than my desired patch size. Place your new stencil shiny side down on your fabric and press, being careful to adhere all of the edges. Don’t forget to iron on the interior pieces of the letters.pbpillows 023
These “Spouncer” brushes work great for applying your favorite craft paint. I bought mine at Wal-Mart.
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I used two coats of red paint, and then allowed it to dry for a couple of hours before peeling the freezer paper off. pbpillows 026
I turned under the edges 1/2” on each side and pressed. Then I placed the stenciled piece on my pillow cover front and attached it using a decorative machine stitch.
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Stitch the front and back of the cover together and you’re done! Don’t forget to check out Autum’s tutorial if you need help making the pillow enclosure.
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Linking up to the following fabulous ladies:

The Shabby Chic Cottage DIY Day @ ASPTL


  1. These's loook great ! And thats wonderful you made them ! your right no way would i pay that much for a pillow either.... Great job:)

  2. These are beautiful and have a really expensive and classy look! You did a fabulous job.

  3. Great job! Thanks for the tip about the freezer paper. I'm looking forward to trying this project!


  4. Beautiful! Very clever. I am taking note, to copy these. Thanks so much...deborah

  5. These are on my to do list too! I absolutely love them!

  6. Thank you so much for this tutorial!!! It was just the info I needed for a Christmas project on my to do list!!!!

  7. oh, how cute! i wish i were able to make them by myself but i just cant sew :(
    wish you a very sweet day!

  8. Cute!...I am hosting a tutorial contest this month...if you live in the USA you should enter!

  9. wowser! so cute! you did a great job!

  10. These are on my to craft list too! Yours turned out great!

  11. These pillows are perfect!! Perfect pillows!
    Mama Holli

  12. I loved your pillows! You did a great job. I like home accessories with words on them too.

  13. Very nice. I really like these because I'm not into the over the top holiday looking stuff. These are festive, but subtle no reindeer ramming cheer in my face.

  14. I never knew that about freezer paper... so cool!

  15. I would love it if you would post this to my Its So Very Creative party next Monday --its up on sun night

    your new follower

  16. Thanks for following Cheri! I'd love to post it to your party on Monday. Thanks for the invite.

  17. just spent the big bucks for two pillows on etsy with a black "paris" design I could have done this way.

    next time!

  18. I'm a big fan of freezer paper stencils as well! and I did some pillows similar to yours and love them! They're so fun to do!

  19. Hey Thatgirl! I have a whole roll of freezer paper, I'm happy to share. How was Disney?

  20. I really like yours so much better than pottery barn!

    The finished product is fantastic especially on your red couch.

  21. Wow, these turned out great! I love the decorative stitch you used- they are just beautiful!!

  22. Impressive! Nice job with these. Simple and beautiful.

  23. Completely fabulous! I've always wanted to try freezer paper stencilling...I think you've given me the inspiration I need!

    I love the fact that you made the covers removable...such a great FRUGAL idea!!

    Thanks for linking up!

  24. I seriously like yours better than the PB ones! Good job!

  25. I love these pillows, and this is a great tutorial, and they turned out so well! I'm putting a link to your project on my blog tomorrow when I post about holiday pillows. :)

  26. Hey- one more question! Do you recall the name of the font you used? I looked through my "script" fonts tonight and I couldn't find the right one...

  27. Found you through Met Monday. I actually bought two of those Pottery Barn pillows at Christmas time last year. Thanks for the tutorial. This Christmas, I'll make them for friends and family!

  28. Such a beautiful pillow. So excited I found your blog from Sew Mama Sew. I will be back often.

  29. I love these so much I made some of my own. Thanks for the idea.


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