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Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set

July 1, 2014

July 4th just got colorful.

I don’t know about you, but I’m in the last-minute crunch to get the house prepared for holiday guests. There will be pool parties, cookouts and fireworks. Why not dress up the porch with some creative holiday flair? These hand-dyed pillows fit the bill! They’re the perfect DIY craft project because they’re easy to make, and fun to enjoy all summer long. Let’s get patriotic, shall we?  

Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set

To make these pillows, you’ll need:

  • 1 yard white cotton fabric
  • Dylon® Permanent Fabric Dyes, tulip red and navy
  • 14″ pillow insert (or polyfill)
  • 18″ pillow insert (or polyfill)
  • Dritz® point turner
  • Dritz® fabric pen/pencil
  • Dritz® straight pins
  • Scissors or Omnigrid® rotary cutter, mat & ruler
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle & thread
  • 2 mini squeeze bottles – we found them in the cake decorating department at the craft store
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Rubber bands
  • Salt
  • Measuring spoons and glass measuring cup
  • Iron

Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set

To make the pillows, cut two squares that are 14″, and two squares that are 18″.

Pin three sides of each pillow, and stitch together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave 6-8″ open in the middle of the fourth side to allow for stuffing later. NOTE: leave the fabric turned wrong side out until later.


Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set

Cut the corners diagonally to remove bulk.


Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set

To create the “swirl” design, pinch the fabric where you want the swirl to begin. Now twist the fabric until it resembles a cinnamon bun. (You see we did so with the help of a small ruler.)


Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set -

Wrap 3-4 rubber bands around the fabric.


Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set

To create the stripes design, scrunch the fabric horizontally from left to right. Wrap 6 rubber bands along the length of the fabric (spaced approximately 2-3/4″ apart).

With your fabric pen or pencil, mark the sections that you will be dyeing red (that’s every other section).


Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set

To prepare your dye, dissolve two tablespoons of salt in two cups of hot water.

Using your funnel, add three teaspoons of dye into your squirt bottle, and fill it the rest of the way with hot water. Put the cap back on and shake.


Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set

Squeeze the dye into your fabric, and let sit for 30-45 minutes.

Remember to dye only the marked sections for the stripes, and all over for the swirled pillow.

Rinse the dyed fabrics in cold water as you remove the rubber bands.


Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set

Let the fabric dry and turn the pillows right side out using that nifty point turner.


Easy Crafts: Make an Americana Pillow Set

Stuff with pillow inserts or polyfill, and stitch closed by hand or machine.

We used a ladder stitch in a contrasting color, so you can see how it works.


Now decide where you’re going to place these guys – will they sit on a porch or patio? Maybe you’ve got the perfect sunroom. I don’t know about you, but celebrating with good old red, white and blue makes me feel good – happy Fourth of July, y’all!