Fall Leaf Embroidered Pillow

I started thinking about this embroidered pillow last week.  I was lying in bed, trying to rest while the kids napped, and the idea just popped into my head!  So, I got out of bed, headed downstairs to my computer, and started looking for the perfect leaf.

I thought it would be a pretty simple project.  Maybe a few hours and I’d be done.  I could finish it that night and take pictures of it in the morning and I’d be good to go!

Fall leaf embroidered pillow cover

Well, not so much.  It really was a pretty simple project, it just took for-ev-er!!!  Like probably at least 12 years forever!

I’ll share how I did it, just in case you want to make one, too.  Don’t worry, I’ll give you a hint on how to make it go faster for you!

Okay, so the supplies I used were:

VIGDIS Ikea pillow cover 20×20 pillow form leaf print out tape measure permanent marker large needle embroidery floss/thread (I used DMC “golden brown” #3826 from Joann)

First, I printed out this maple leaf.  It didn’t quite fit on my paper since I wanted it a little larger.  I just centered it on my pillow cover and made sure it was where I wanted it.

fall leaf printable cut out and centered on pillow

Then I traced the leaf with a Sharpie permanent marker.  I used red so it would blend in more with my orange thread if I missed any spots.  After tracing it, I freehanded the spots that didn’t fit on the paper.  It didn’t need to look perfect since it was a leaf, and well, leaves aren’t perfect!

fall leaf traced on pillow cover

After tracing, I got my needle and embroidery thread out and started stitching.  I doubled up the thread, so it would be a little thicker, but it was still really thin.  This is the part I’d do differently in the future.  I think I’d use yarn if I tried this project again.  This literally took me probably 12 hours to complete altogether because I would stitch maybe five or six long stitches along a line and then I went back and filled it in.  The thread was so thin that I had to do a lot of filling in.  It was really frustrating and obviously took me way longer than I had expected.  

dark orange embroidery floss thread

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy with the results.  I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long!  I worked on it every chance I got so that I could get it done in a reasonable amount of time, but it still took me several days to get it done.

I ended up using 4 skeins of thread for the whole pillow.  At about 40 cents a piece, it made this a really inexpensive project!

DIY maple leaf embroidered pillow cover

Embroidered Ikea pillow cover

Fall maple leaf embroidered pillow cover

I really love the texture and subtle pop of color it adds to the house.  I really never decorate with orange, so it’s fun to mix it in in the fall!

Ikea pillow cover hack - embroidered leaf Hand embroidered leaf pillow cover Fall leaf embroidered pillow cover

This project was something totally new for me, but I’m really glad I tried it and brought my vision to life.  There’s something so satisfying about trying new things!  Now to keep the dog and cat fur and toddler spills off of it for as long as possible!  I swear, things have a very hard time staying nice in our house right now!

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  1. says

    I love this Allison…totally worth your time. I embroidered a pillow once with a REALLY detailed design. It turned out fabulous, but by the time I finally finished it, my decorating scheme had changed and I no longer needed it :)

  2. FABBY says

    I love to hand embroider, so thanks for giving me the idea to make this awesome FALL leaf! I saw you featured at The Inspiration Gallery.

  3. Jenny says

    I absolutely LOVE the way your pillow turned out! Thank you SO MUCH for this post as I have been thinking about doing a similar project for some time but just haven’t gotten started. Did you use an embroidery hoop? I have only embroidered something 2x’s in my life and they were when I was a kid, so I am very much a novice. Any additional tips would be great!! Thank you!

    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Thank you, Jenny! I really had no idea what I was doing, so I’m not much help! LOL! I did not use an embroidery hoop because this was the first time I’ve ever embroidered something, but part way through it, I was thinking I should have! Best wishes with your project. Wish I could be more helpful!

    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Haha! I have no clue, Cindy! I know nothing about embroidery. I just made it up as I went! Sorry I’m not much help!

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