I was just telling my husband how sad it was that I am barely getting around to sharing Halloween decor with you. September was so crazy busy that I didn’t even have time to think about Halloween. Decorating for Halloween is one of my favorite things so I am diving in head first this month so I can make some new decorations to share. As I was going through all my Halloween decor I realized that I had lots of awesome DIYs from last year that I want to reuse, but sadly not one Halloween throw pillow in the 4 giant boxes of decorations. So this year I am remedying that, and I am starting with this easy DIY farmhouse style spiderweb throw pillow.
I love getting all crazy about decorations for Halloween, but I still like to keep it in line with the rest of the decor in the house. Adding aged and rustic things just work because that is what we already love. So when I starting thinking about adding a few pillows to our Halloween decor I knew I wanted to start with a trusty drop cloth pillow cover. I know, I just made a drop cloth for fall, but I love them so much! They are easy to make, add a little rustic farmhouse style to our home, and the drop cloth is more resistant to dirty fingers than regular cotton fabric. That is definitely a win at our house!
Since I knew I wanted a drop cloth pillow, I also wanted the Halloween design I put on the pillow to match with our home decor a bit (not that we have spiderwebs all over, just in the corners I am too short to reach). I happened to have a spool of small nylon string and remembered back to one of the techniques I learned when I was going to school for fashion design called couching. It is a technique of attaching yarn or similar on top of a piece of material with small stitches and it is perfect for stitching on an easy spiderweb.
Now I know this pillow looks a little intense. All those lines of black string are stitched to the top of the drop cloth to create the pillow cover. But seriously, it was really easy. I used a couple tricks to make it even easier, but as long as you can hold the string while sewing a slightly curved line, you can totally do this. I was able to make the entire pillow cover (including the spiderweb) in an hour and I was taking pictures. Now I think I need to make another one for the other side of the sofa.
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How to Make an Easy DIY Farmhouse Style Spiderweb Throw Pillow
- Pillow form
- Drop cloth or other natural colored canvas material
- You will need 2 squares of fabric the size of your pillow form. I used a 14×14 inch pillow form.
- Black string
- Black thread
- You want your zipper about 2-3 inches smaller than the pillow form, mine was about 5 inches smaller and it still worked fine, just a little squishy getting the pillow form inside.
- Large sewing needle
- Sewing machine
- Disappearing ink fabric marking pen
- Optional: Grooved cording presser foot and sewing machine seam guide
Start by cutting two pieces of drop cloth the size of your pillow form. After adding a small seam allowance the pillow form will fit snuggly inside the DIY pillow cover giving you a nice full throw pillow. I was using a 14×14 inch pillow form so I cut both my pieces 14×14 inch square.
Use the disappearing ink fabric marking pen to sketch out how you want your spiderweb. The disappearing ink is great for sewing if you plan to use your marks immediately. The marks will start fading and will be completely gone in about a day. I made the mistake of using it for a pattern I cut out one day to sew the next and realized I had no marks left.
Set your sewing machine to a small zigzag stitch, it should be just wide enough to go over the top of your string. Mine was set to a 1.5 stitch width and a 2 for the stitch length. If you have a cording foot, put it on your machine. The cording foot is so nice because it has grooves that you can place the black string into and it will feed it into your stitches at the right spot. If you do not have a cording foot you can still couch the string to the pillow, just take a couple extra seconds to get the stitches started around the string and hold the string carefully centered in front of your needle as you sew.
Sew the strings that will be the straight center lines of the spiderweb first. Leave a bit of extra string and thread at the unfinished edge of the pillow form and the end of the spiderweb.
Thread the excess thread and string on the end of the spiderweb through the eye of a larger needle. Then push it through the pillow cover at the end of the spiderweb. Pull it all the way through. Tie off the excess strings to keep them from unraveling.
Starting at the edge of the spiderweb, start couching the strings into the curved lines between the straight center lines. Keep one continuous line from one edge of the pillow form to the other.
Add your seam guide to the side of your presser foot. Set it to the distance you want between the spiderweb threads. Start sewing the rest of the spiderweb lines. Use the seam guide to keep them relatively equally spaced apart as you sew. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect (I know mine isn’t), you want it to look handcrafted because it adds to the farmhouse style.
Once you have sewn all the rest of the lines, trim the excess threads and strings from the sides of the pillow cover. I left them a little past the edges so they didn’t start unraveling while I finished the pillow cover.
Now it is time to add the zipper. Because this is a Halloween throw pillow cover, I want to be able to remove it from the pillow form to store it until next year. This will save me the space (and I need all the space I can get) in my Halloween decor box. I also would much rather use my sewing machine to add a zipper than to have to hand stitch an opening closed after stuffing a pillow with stuffing. I promise, zippers are not that hard to put in, I’ll show you. Also, I am putting the zipper in backwards, so the zipper pull is hidden on the inside of the pillow. This makes it harder to open the pillow cover (which is a bonus if you have kids), and also make the zipper more invisible.
Pin the two pieces of fabric with the right sides together. Mark the edges of the zipper on the bottom of your fabric. On the front of the zipper, you will want to give yourself extra space so mark it very close to the edge of the fabric surrounding the zipper (this will give your fingers a spot to get the zipper started since it is sewn in backwards). On the back of the zipper, mark it right after the zipper stop.
Sew a 1/2″ seam allowance with regular straight stitching from the edge of your pillow cover to the mark. Back stitch well. Repeat this for the other side of the zipper. Next sew between the marks with a basting stitch. A basting stitch is the longest stitch length you have (typically 5). This will mean your stitches are very stretched and make it easier to remove them in a minute. Do not backstitch the basting stitch.
Iron the seam you just sewed open. Now pin the zipper with the pull facing up to the back of the seam. Center the zipper teeth over the center of the seam.
Sew close to the zipper all around it. Backstitch the line across the front and back of the zipper for extra reinforcement.
Unpick the basting stitch in the seam. Now you can test your zipper. Open it up and you should have a hole in the seam! Yeah, now you’ve easily added a zipper to a pillow cover.
To finish the pillow cover, sew around the remainder of the seams with a 1/2″ seam allowance. I like to cut across the corners about 3-5 stitches to make it easier to turn them nicely.
Because the drop cloth frays easily, finish the seams with a serger or with a zigzag stitch close to the edge.
Now turn the pillow form, maybe give the edges a little ironing (ironing is the difference between having a project look home sewn or professional). Then stuff your pillow form inside and enjoy your fancy little spiderweb throw pillow!
My daughter is so in love with our new DIY farmhouse style spiderweb throw pillow that I couldn’t even get her to leave it alone while I took pictures for you. I just decided to go with it and let her be a pillow model. She loved ever minute of it! And apparently even though the drop cloth isn’t as soft as a combed cotton fabric, it’s still perfect for cuddling on the couch.
Now I am thinking of making another throw pillow to go with our spiderweb throw pillow. My husband loves sugar skulls, so maybe something in that direction. I was also thinking the saying I put on the October backgrounds would be perfect on a pillow. Maybe I just need to make a whole army of Halloween throw pillows 🙂 We will have to see…
But until then, I am going to cuddle that cutie and enjoy this rainy October day.
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