Wednesday, May 30, 2012

[Make] Lyrical Message Stenciled Pillow

I had some time this week and finally got around to a project that's been on the back-burner for several months now.  A pillow with lyrics.  Not just any lyrics though... Lyrics that I LIKE!  Do you recognize the song?

Last year I spotted this "You Are My Sunshine" pillow on VivaTerra --
Then I looked at the price tag (whoosh!) and moved along.  If you could only see what my boys do with pillows. Pillows are seldom on the couch or bed, but can usually be found all over the floor, smashed into unrecognizable shapes.  They serve as building blocks for my kids' imagination--  spaceships, forts, racing cars, falling boulders... All good but, ahem,  no expensive pillows for this household!

I was quite happy when I stumbled upon this DIY version by Amanda at Wit & Whistle and put it on my "things to tackle" list.  I already had a plain pillow (not linen, but a sturdy muslin) and a fabric pen, so it was just a matter of finding the time.

Click "Read more" for tips on making a Message Pillow

I decided to use the lyrics from one of my favorite songs-- Dream a Little Dream of Me.  I mean, how can you think of that song and not smile?

To help with the horizontal spacing, I wrote out the lyrics and counted the number of letters and spaces (I gave the letter "I" a 1/2 space).  I then wrote it out again, trying to keep the lines as evenly spaced as possible without dividing words.  If you can read my chicken scratch, the column on the left has the number of letters/spaces per line.

My stencil has 1-inch letters, so with a 17-inch pillow and 9 lines, I did a little math and spaced my lines out vertically-- roughly 1.5 inches for each row, and 1.75 inches each for the top and bottom. It helps to have a large ruler.  I used the one that came with my self-healing rotary mat.

I used a regular pencil for the stencil.  It did come off with an art eraser and some elbow grease, but if I were to do it again, I would use a grey fabric pencil instead.

The stencil is from Martha Stewart, but I don't recommend it.  When I bought it, I didn't realize that it was made from thin cardboard.  Clear plastic would've made it easier to space the letters.  And for the price, the stencils were cheaply made and I tore several of them just popping out the perforated letters (boo!).  There's a nice helvetica set at Michaels, but unfortunately, they were sold out of the size that I needed.

After figuring out the spacing (probably the most time consuming part), I used the stencils again to add the fabric pen.  I used the black fabric pen from this set and it worked perfectly.  Place a piece of cardboard inside the pillowcase before applying the pen. I did all the "A's" first, then worked my way down the alphabet.  Seemed to go faster that way.

I think this pillow will love hanging out on my bed... for about 5 seconds.  Then it'll hit the deck and maybe, while some little boys are using it to build their fort, they can practice their reading skills.  I know, dream on!   :)

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