Creating paper bag pillows is one of my all-time favorite home decor projects. They are really easy to make, and add a super festive look to your home for any season or holiday for very little cost. And better yet, this is a great earth-friendly project, utilizing natural elements and recycled materials, too.
Shamrock “Paper Bag Pillows” by Designer Audrey Pettit
Therm O Web XL Memory Tape Runner
Therm O Web Fabric Fuse™ Liquid Adhesive
Patterned Paper: Photo Play Paper (Bloom, Hoppy Easter, About a Little Boy)
Watercolor Cardstock: Strathmore 110 lb. Cold Pressed Paper
Die: Sizzix (Hearts Framelits die set)
Stamp: My Creative Time (Happy Everything Stamp and Die Set)
Ink: Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black), Ranger Distress Ink (Twisted Citron, Brushed Corduroy)
Ink Blending Tool: Ranger
Trim: Stampin’Up (Crumb Cake Scalloped Tulle), May Arts (grosgrain)
Other: Recycled Kraft Grocery Bag, Polyfill Fiber Stuffing, Sticks
With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, I whipped up a trio of bright and happy paper bag pillow shamrocks to add to my front entryway table. Love how they look tucked into a basket or bowl, in a group, or all on their own.
I’ve got all the step-by-steps to share with you, plus lots of tips on modifying the project to perfectly suit YOU. So let’s take a closer look.
St. Patrick’s Day “Paper Bag Pillows” Instructions:
To begin, gather your supplies. You will need a variety of patterned papers of your choice, and a recycled kraft grocery bag. I used a mixture of papers from Photo Play Paper’s adorable spring release. You will also need either a heart shaped die, or a heart pattern. A quick Google search can provide all numbers of heart templates that you can download for free. Or simple freehand draw a heart onto scrap paper, and cut it out to use as your own handmade pattern.
If using a die, die cut three heart shapes from each print of patterned paper. You can use any size heart you wish. For my project, I used the third smallest heart from the Sizzix Hearts Framelits die set. If you are using a paper pattern, trace the shape onto the back side of the patterned paper, and cut the hearts out by hand.
Cut out one side of a kraft grocery bag. Fold it in half so that any printing or wording on the bag is on the inside. Edge the heart shapes with a bit of matching Distress Ink using an ink blending tool. Adhere the hearts to the folded bag using Therm O Web’s XL Memory Tape Runner so that the three hearts jut up against each other in a clover design.*Tip: Make sure you leave enough room around each clover to trim out the shapes leaving a slight border of the kraft paper.TooltipText
Using a sewing machine, stitch around the edges of each shamrock, starting about 3/4″ from the stem, and ending about the same distance on the other side. Cut around the clovers, leaving a small border of kraft paper showing. If you don’t sew, don’t worry. Simply trim around the clover shapes, and adhere the two pieces together using a strong adhesive, like Therm O Web’s 1/8″ Super Tape™ or Fabric Fuse™ Liquid Adhesive. Just be sure to apply the adhesive only around the edges, leaving the center free and clear of all adhesive. This is so that you can stuff the shapes like a pillow.
Now stuff the “pillows” will a bit of polyfill fiber stuffing. I recommend inserting a dowel or skewer into the opening at the base to help keep the pillow open while stuffing. Once you get started, the pillow becomes easier to stuff. Be gentle to minimize any tearing of the paper at the opening. Don’t overstuff the pillows, either. Just enough for a bit of padding.
Tip*: If you don’t have any polyfill fiber stuffing, try substituting crumpled tissue paper, Kleenex, or even newspaper.
Once the paper bag pillow is full, close up the opening with Therm O Web Fabric Fuse™ Liquid Adhesive. I like to dip a wooden skewer into the glue, and then spread it inside the opening. And before the pinch the bag closed, we’ll insert a stick for the stem.
Add more Fabric Fuse™ adhesive to the top of a piece of stick, and push the stick into the pillow. Press the paper down around the stick to seal the opening.
Hold in place for a few minutes with some mini clips, clothespins, or just your fingers.
Apply brown Distress Ink to the edges of the paper bag shamrocks, and then embellish with your favorite trims. Add a dab of Fabric Fuse™ adhesive at the base of the bows to keep them in place. And finally, add a stamped sentiment strip, tucked into the bow.
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