Leather Pillow Project

Leather Pillow DIYA few months ago Mallory came to visit Elsie and I and work on a few projects. We had a lot of fun, and one of the things Mallory and Elsie created were these awesome leather pillows! I love the design and materials they used. I'm so excited to move them to my couch later this week (I'm having some painting done in my living room at the moment, so I'm trying to keep pretty items out of harms way). Mallory agreed to share their process of making the pillows:Leather Pillow ProjectThese pillows look really impressive, but they aren’t very hard to make. We used real leather that was left over from other projects, but faux leather will work just as well as long as the backing doesn’t unravel. Since these are for Emma’s living room Elsie was thinking we should make them southwestern themed. I searched online for southwestern patterns and kilim rugs, which have similar patterns, for inspiration. I then drew out four geometric designs based on my findings. Elsie and I decided one of my sketches would be too hard so I redid that one.Leather Pillow Sketches1. To start these, I used brown kraft paper and a clear ruler to draw the patterns I wanted to sew onto the pillow fronts to scale. Then I carefully cut out the pieces from the paper to use as templates. Keep in mind, you need seam allowance on the big front pieces to sew them to the back eventually.
2. I cut two 12” square pieces of leather and two 16” square pieces of leather to make the pillow fronts. For the backs I cut the same size squares out of thick cotton. I cut the front pieces out of contrasting leather to topstitch on. You can cut leather with a rotary cutter, nice scissors, or an X-acto knife.Leather Pillow Pattern3. Once all of the pieces were cut out, I used leather glue to glue the pieces down to the pillow fronts.  Rubber cement also works great if you don’t have leather glue.

4. To topstitch the leather down, I used a leather needle and adjusted the tension of my machine with scrap pieces before sewing the project. If your leather sticks to the machine use freezer/wax/parchment paper between the machine and leather. Normally I would use a Teflon foot instead of freezer paper, but I couldn’t find one for Elsie’s machine at the fabric store. I sewed close to the edge all the way around each piece on the front.Leather Pillow Prep5. Once all of the pieces are sewn down I sewed the pillow fronts to the backs with the good sides facing each other, leaving a gap of a few inches on one side. I trimmed the corners off, cutting close to the stitch line without getting it.
6. Turn the pillows right side out, stuff it, and sew it closed by topstitching really close. Hand stitching wouldn’t work very well with leather, unless you have practice with it. That’s how to have beautiful, expensive looking pillows.

Here are the finished designs:Leather Pillow Designs 2Leather Pillow Designs 2Homemade Leather PillowsHomemade Leather PillowsThanks so much, Mallory!

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