Personal Pillows

I enjoy filling my home with things I’ve made by hand (where possible). I think it adds a really nice personal touch, and makes you feel genuinely proud of the work you’ve put into your home. I also love seeing people’s reactions when they tell me they love something of mine and I just casually reply with an “oh, thanks. I made it”. For me, pillows are a super easy way to add a more personal and homey touch to your space.

But at my last place where I lived in my bachelor apartment, I did a little makeover and put a lot of work into my furniture and my bed to try and make it as visually pleasing and comfortable as possible. I originally had birch coloured furniture and took I think 3 days to paint it all black. That meant my entire bed, two night stands, a 4-drawer dresser, my vanity and two floating shelves were all strewn about my 12×14 foot apartment. It was not an easy task, but I am so much happier with much more chic looking result.


After the furniture was painted I used the Ikea print of London that I had hanging over my bed and I decoupaged it with pages from a book. I picked the book Tess of the Duberviles because I’m named after the book, so it had more of a sentimental quality.

The finishing touches were pillows that I sewed - two with a gold brocade kind of fabric and then 3 smaller ones in a creamy beige silk on one side and a cotton on the other (don’t ask why, it’s just the scraps of fabric I had, so I made it work!) I chose one of the pillows to personalize and using a gold marker, I drew a “t” on the pillow. I played around with a few fonts first just to see how they looked and eventually decided on this one:

Then, when I moved in with my boyfriend this past December, I wanted to personalize the space for both of us, not just me, so I made him an “n” pillow, for Nick, to match mine. Now my pillow rest on my side of the bed, and his on his side - the rare time that the bed gets made these days. I had the pillow already made, so all I did was pick and font, and then I just drew it freehand on the pillow. I wanted them to look handmade so I wasn’t going for super straight lines, but I did try to make sure that the N was level.


I think this is a really cute (and inexpensive!) way to customize your space. Since I had all the supplies lying around already it didn’t cost me anything, but if you had to go out and get everything, it would still be a fairly inexpensive project.

The pillows I used were from Ikea. I remember they were these small little 1’x1′ light blue pillows in little bins around the showroom. You can find similar ones here. You could also try buying cotton batting to stuff the pillows with. For fabric, I would just suggest a plain lightweight cotton, so that would probably only run you about $6/m and you should be good with a meter to make 2 pillows. To make the covers, I measured the size of the pillow and then added 1/2″ to each side for seam allowance. I sewed all sides together, right sides in, except for a 3″ length on the last side which I used to stuff the pillow into the case and then sewed it shut with a matching thread.

Lastly would be the marker. I used a Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen in the colour GOLD 250**, which I’m sure my mom bought for me at Curry’s Art Supplies for around $5. I’ve also had this marker for about 5 years and have been able to do a lot of stuff with it, so even if it seems pricey for just one marker, you should be able to get a good amount of use out of it!

Also, you should be able to complete both pillows in a couple hours, or an afternoon at most, so find yourself a wee bit of time and get sewing 🙂

Here’s a look at the completed pillows in our current apartment:

The cat of course wanted to be part of the action, so she got right in there for a few photos.


I think the pillows turned out really cute and add a nice personal touch to the room! What do you think? Would you make some personal pillows for your home?

xo, tess.

0 responses to “Personal Pillows”

  1. Tanitha says:

    Great tutorial, I love making personalized things like this, for myself or as gifts.

  2. These are so cool! What a brilliant idea! 🙂

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