Wednesday, March 14, 2012

That 600-pound elephant in the room.

I don't know if that's really how the saying goes. Anywho.

It's Pinterest Challenge Time!! And this could not have come at a better time. I've been feeling uninspired. Worse, I've been feeling overwhelmed by Pinterest. The travesty! The challenge, whipped up by Katie of Bower Power, came at just the right time to knock me back into DIY gear.

So here's what you do. You take something you've been inspired by (that's the Pinterest part) and you actually do it (that's the challenge part - we all know how good we are at trolling Pinterest and just pinning). Hosting this winter edition of the challenge are Sherry of Young House Love, Katie of Bower Power, Erin of The Great Indoors, and Cassie of Hi Sugarplum. Stop by their sites to check out their projects (and the links to many other inspirations!) and swing by my past Pinterest challenges here and here (along with the many other projects with the 'Pinterest' tag).

But let's get on with it, shall we? I saw this on Pinterest:

Adorable. And originally from here.

And I saw this:

Texture-iffic. Originally from here.

I know I'm having a bit of a pillow phase lately all the time, and I don't really know how to make it stop. So get excited! Or start commenting on my obsession, like my sister, and eventually I'll get real self-conscious and stop. Or just hoard pillows in secret.

I really like elephants. I volunteered at the Pittsburgh Zoo the summer before 8th grade, studying and working with the elephants. Dork alert. But I loved it, and I loved that elephant pillow. I couldn't pass it up. Then I saw that the site had the template, so it was decided. I had to make the elephant pillow. But the question arose - how does one have an elephant pillow like that without kids and without looking creepy? Subtly and texture, I decided.

I had a bunch of strips of grey fabric from a failed shower curtain project. It wasn't the smartest idea to cut all the fabric into strips without first deciding that it wouldn't be used, but thankfully I was able to reuse here. I started by cutting fabric into shorter sections that would work in a horizontal pattern for the elephant, and stitched those together. An incognito elephant.

I then ironed down the seams so it would lay flat. This pillow required a lot of ironing on my beach towel. I then flipped that back over, traced and cut out my elephant.

Cutie! I thought a vertical background would be good. I started by cutting strips of the same length. I ironed them flat and stitched them together. The width of the strips is all about four inches.

For the back, I wanted something basic. This is where the blue and white pillow came in. I wanted to do horizontal strips, but with a piece at the seams that layered over the other. It's hard to describe, and I'm not doing a very good job, I realize. I started by cutting some additional strips. I already had six four-inch-wide strips, then cut an additional three strips. Of these three strips, I first cut them in half, so I had six two-inch wide strips. I then ironed the thinner strips in half. Then I layered them in between where the four-inch strips would be sewn. I think the picture helps image this.

Before sewing that, I layered a four-inch-wide strip on top, right side down. All said and done, the back then looked this this:

With the back done, it was time for the elephant! Like I said above, I first sewed the four-inch wide strips together for a vertical line. Nothing fancy. To figure out the elephant placement, I folded the piece in half diagonally, and then in half again and marked the center with a dot. I did the same with the elephant as best I could and pinned him down. I used the second-smallest zig-zag stitch on my machine to outline the elephant twice, because I never trust once. And going around twice helps to cover up my mistakes on the first round.

 I then sewed a zipper on the bottom and sewed around the remaining edges, and called it done fabulous. 

 Again, apologies for the horrible lighting of my apartment. I should probably get some more lamps one day. The grey is more true-to-life in the left picture.

He looks so happy hanging out on the couch. And I smile every time I look over at my couch that's becoming more and more animal friendly.

PS - that's the tie pillow I did a little while ago next to the elephant. For that tutorial, see here.


  1. I made pillows too! Love the elephant!

    Is that the "easy, no sew" tie it closed pillow cover in the last picture? I tried that and failed. Boo.

    1. Thank you!!

      And yes - that's the 'easy, no sew' pillow I made here: (no idea how to make that all nice and pretty and hyperlink-like in these comments - sorry!). I didn't totally get through it without some sewing though and so then made up the label 'slight sew' - haha. I think I maybe didn't use enough fabric - who knows.

  2. What a sweet little guy! I do love the no sew pillow (I actually considered it for my Pinterest Challenge this time around!). Great job, and thanks for linking up with the Winter Pinterest Challenge!

    Erin @ The Great Indoors

    1. Thank you! I'm so glad the challenge opened me up to your blog - you have so many great ideas that I can't wait to try! Thanks for being an awesome host :)


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