Friday, April 7, 2017

Itty Bitty Anthro DIY: Braided & Woven Pillow

Here is the next Anthropologie inspired tiny post.
Well, I made it through my first week of school after spring break... barely. Let's just say it was a rough one.
Thanks to the ridiculous Colorado weather, I did get a snow day, so that made my week a little better.  And let me tell you - it was an adventure:  I woke up to this heavy snow covered branch pulling a line down in my back yard.  Other severed power lines sparked a few fires on my street.  According to my neighbor, one was thirty feet tall!  I didn't witness that one, but I did see the scorched trees when the fireman finally took down the caution tape a few hours later.
Dozens of branches fell - literally DOZENS, I'm not exaggerating - that blocked the streets and damaged fences and roofs.  Firetrucks and other emergency vehicles came and went all morning.
The power was out most of the day, but I entertained myself.
By 5:00 pm half the snow had melted and by the next afternoon the sun was out and it was 65 degrees. I snapped this photo during a walk in the park the day after.  It's like the crazy winter storm never happened.  That's Colorado for you.
I also had a little extra time to work on this teeny tiny pillow tutorial.
 Last week, we took inspiration from a modern pointillism print at Anthropologie and today, we'll make a mini version of this woven throw pillow for the smallest, trendiest living room.
Here is the original Braided and Woven Pillow designed by Lika Motnyk and Nadia Yaron.  
This tiny version is inspired by the original, but not an exact duplicate.

You will need:
A small strip of light colored fabric
permanent markers with ink in shades of tan, yellow, and cream
similar colored embroidery thread skeins or textured string
sewing needle and thread
cotton balls or stuffing

I used a strip of basic white woven cotton. It is approximately 1.5" x 3".
The pillow we are using for inspiration has woven strips featuring several different colored threads.  We'll emulate that pattern with stripes drawn on the fabric.  I wanted my pillow to have white stripes so I left a few portions uncolored.  I also chose to put strips on only half my fabric.  The other half will become the back of the pillow, which I want to leave plain.
Next we will create the braided sections that give the pillow texture.  I used embroidery thread, natural twine, and this gold flecked baker's twine from the dollar spot at Target.

Next, to create the braided sections, braid your embroidery thread and string.  I recommend doing it "friendship bracelet" style.  Cut three similar sized strands, about six to eight inches long, and tie them together with a knot at one end.  Tape the knotted end to a table and braid.  I think I learned this trick at summer camp when I was little.  Did you make friendship bracelets this way?
Cut the braided strips into sections and sew them to your pillow, overlapping the drawn stripes.
Be sure to add a few extra stitches at the ends of the braids to prevent them from unraveling later.
Fold the pillow in half with the striped textured section inside.
Use tiny, even stitches and sew along either side, leaving the top open.
Carefully flip the pillow right-side-out.
Tear the cotton ball apart and tuck the fluffy little bits into the pillow for stuffing.
Fold the edges of the open area inward and sew across to finish the pillow.
And there you have it! 
An itty bitty throw pillow for only the classiest little dollhouse.
Here they are side by side.
You might notice that my pillow has darker thread, because that's what I had on hand.  
If you'd like a closer match, consider using a variety of different string for braids in multiple sizes.
 You could also add the fringe (I decided I didn't want to bother with that detail).  
If you are feeling very ambitious, consider buying a tiny loom and weave the fabric yourself!  
I think this technique and style could work well for all kinds of tiny projects: rugs, fabric covered furniture such as love seats, miniature bedding, etc.
In my opinion, texture is very important because it adds interest and an element of nature.  
You may notice that interior designers use texture in the spaces they create and stylists try to add bits of texture to outfits.  
This is especially important for tiny things because most miniature modern treasures are made of smooth, shiny plastic.  Texture is inviting and attractive.
Doesn't this look cozy?  Perfect for curling up on the couch during a snow day.
Here is a link to another Itty Bitty Anthro DIY:
I can't wait to see your miniature pillows!
Please post photos in the comments!


***Edit - although I appreciate the requests, I am not selling these miniatures because I feel that it would be disrespectful to the original artists. 
Thank you for understanding. ***

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