Put A Bird On It! – DIY Embroidered Throw Pillows

Have I told you about my vintage blue velvet chesterfield sofa? Well, I have a vintage blue velvet chesterfield sofa. And she’s beautiful! And when I got her, she was just begging for some colorful throw pillows. So I made some! But not just your average Plain Jane basic square pillows – I made embroidered pillows trimmed with poms! I’ll tell you how….

02 sofa

01 MLyn Pillows

Selecting Fabric

Though wary of it at first, I’ve started to buy most of my fabric online. It’s so convenient! Especially if you create a mood board with screenshots of the fabric swatches to help bring everything together.

03 mood board
Part of my living room mood board that helped me pick out my fabric

Cut Fabric

I bought pillow forms that are 18″ on each side, so I cut my fabric just slightly larger than that – at about 19″ on each side to allow for the seams. I ordered more fabric than I needed so I could be sure to center the design I wanted to focus on – the birds.

05 fabric

Finish Edges

I always recommend that you finish the edges of your fabric before working with it. This will keep it from fraying. Use a surger or the zig-zag stitch on a regular sewing machine.

06 Edged Fabric


Using yarns that match the colors on my fabric, a yarn needle, and an embroidery hoop, I made stitches in the printed fabric with the corresponding colors. I tried to imagine how the different feathers would look and added texture by going in different directions. Using the printed fabric as a pattern made it very easy!

07 fabric and yarn

08 Embroidering

Sew Pillows

Once I embroidered all the areas I wanted, I continued to sew the pillow cases as usual. Place the right side of fabric together and sew along the edges, leaving a gap on the last side for turning the pillowcase inside out and stuffing it with the pillow form. Once the form is inside, stitch the opening closed.

09 Stitch

10 Stitch Closed
When it’s time to hand stitch the opening closed, I like to use small binder clips to hold the fabric in place. I think they work better than pins when it comes to pillows.

Make Poms

The final step was to trim the edges with little poms. I used the same yarn that I embroidered with to make the poms.

12 Pom
Start by wrapping yarn around the prongs of a fork about 15 times, more or less depending on yarn thickness.
13 Pom
Thread a piece of yarn through the middle prongs at their base, under the wrapped yarn, and back up through the prongs at their ends.
15 Pom
Tie the ends that you just threaded through the prongs together in a double knot. It should gather the wrapped yarn at the center.
16 Pom
Slide the yarn off the prongs of the fork and snip the looped edges on each side with scissors. Leave the tied ends long.
17 Pom
Once all the loops are snipped, your pom should look like this. Use scissors to trip any uneven pieces.
18 Pom
Thread the long ends through a yarn needle and sew the pom to the edge of the pillow, knotting it securely.

The Finished Product

01 Embroidered Pillows

01 MLyn Freya Pillows

What are some ways that you’ve dressed up your throw pillows? Let me know in the comments below.

And be sure to follow this blog so you’ll be the first to know when my next Creative Quest goes up. Cheers!

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