Monday, February 20, 2012

Butterfly Specimen Art Pillow

 I finally finished the kids playroom and I am so excited to share how it all came together. So there will be a few posts on that this week. My goals for the playroom were simple. I wanted a fun bright and colorful space that they could play in, create in and learn in. Something created for boys and girls since they would both play in there together and something that could grow with them. So when I was thinking of creating a reading nook of some sort I thought of a couch, or padded area but space is an issue since the room isn't huge. I decided on large pillows that they could cuddle up with and they could easily be used in other ways later. Then I decided to make specimen art pillows which could be educational, and cute at the same time.  So here is how I made this one.
 I used a pillow that was 20X20 inches. Then using simple white cotton I cut out 3 squares that were 21X21 inches. 2 are for the back and 1 is for the front. I also used heavy weight interfacing (the fusible kind) I used interfacing to add stability to the cotton since I would be embroidering and stitching the butterflies on. Then I ironed the interfacing onto the center of the square.
 Next for the butterflies. I made a template by folding paper in half and free hand cutting half a butterfly on the fold. Then I had a symmetrical butterfly as my guide. I also cut out some leaf like shapes in 3 different sizes as well as some small circles. For my butterflies I cut out 6 butterflies in 6 colors I mixed and matched the colors for the small pieces. To the pieces to the butterfly I simply sewed a line through the middle. You can barely see the thread when it is done so I didn't worry about matching it up.
 Then line up the butterflies on the square (the interfacing should be on the back) Rearrange the butterflies until you like the placement then make a small marking to where they are.
 Use a ruler to draw a line marking where each butterfly will be, the ruler can make sure that you have everything lined up even. (oh and I used a disappearing ink pen to make the lines which go away in 24 hours)
 Then sew each butterfly on at the marking by sewing right down the middle.
 Next with the disappearing ink pen I wrote the number above the butterfly and the color below. It worked well with the specimen style as well as being a great educational tool for Abbey with the colors and numbers. Then I used a basic backstitch to embroider the words.
 Then for the back of the pillow I turned under the top edge and stitched it in place. Then fold that edge down again a few inches. (about 5 inches) Do this for both back pieces.
 Then with the fold face down place the other folded piece face down on top. Line them up so that they create a square the size of the front when overlapped.
 Then place the front piece face down and sew around the edges. Clip the corners then turn the pillow case right side out.
 Put the pillow in through the folds in the back.
 That's all there is too it. (I forgot to mention that when I added the embroidery to the words I added the middle of the butterfly and antenna)
Simple fun and cute. They made the perfect addition to the play room and I love the 3D effect of the butterfly wings. Coming up later this week is the version I made for Jude, something cute and perfect for a boy.


  1. This is such a cute project! I love everything about it :-)

  2. What a fantastic and fun idea!! Going to try this with my 8 yr old bug obsessed boy!!


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