I love decorating for holidays! But am I the only one who feels like the days go whizzing by so fast that one minute I’m putting up Christmas decorations and the next minute it’s already Valentine’s Day? To try and get a little extra mileage out of my decorating efforts, I like to use things that can stay up past their intended holiday. Red decorations from Christmas can easily double as Valentine’s decor. But sweet pink and red hearts don’t really fly for St. Paddy’s Day. That is why I love these neutral X and O pillow covers. They are just lovey enough for Valentine’s Day, but neutral enough to stay out all year round.
I first saw these lovely pillows in Anthropologie, but they were a bit too expensive, a bit too big, and not the exact color I wanted. Plus they were labeled hand wash only, and with 2 little ones in the house I don’t buy anything that isn’t machine washable. So I set out to make my own, and they were so easy. If you know how to turn on your sewing machine, then you can make these pillow covers. Two of them took me about an hour and a half from start to finish, and it probably would have been a lot faster if I hadn’t spent 30 minutes deliberating between a circle and an oval for my O. (In the end I went with the oval, in case anyone was wondering.)
- 1 – 1/4 yards of a main fabric (I used a grey stonewashed linen)
- a fat quarter of a contrasting fabric (I used a natural colored linen)
- rotary cutter (optional but helpful for cutting in a straight line)
- straight pins
- sewing machine
On your secondary fabric, draw an X and an O, each measuring approximately 13 inches tall. Cut out both letters.
Cut your main fabric into 2 rectangles measuring 19 inches x 45 inches each. Hem each of the 19-inch sides by folding the fabric under about 1/2-inch then folding it under again about 1/2-inch and sewing along the seam.
With the right side of the fabric facing down, fold one of the hemmed edges toward the center approximately 12 inches. Fold the other hemmed edge toward the center approximately 12 inches. The two hemmed edges should be overlapping by 6 or 7 inches. making an envelope type shape. This is the back of the pillow cover. Iron the entire cover, focusing on the creases on the folded edges. Repeat with the other piece of fabric. Unfold the pillow covers. Using the creases as your guide, mark the center of the pillow’s front.
Center the X and O on each of your pillow covers and pin in place with straight pins.
Using a contrasting color thread in your sewing machine, stitch around each letter twice. Remove the straight pins.
Fold the pillow covers again, this time wrong side out, and pin together with straight pins. Stitch along the unfinished sides 1/4-inch from the edge. If you want, you can zig-zag stitch or serge the edges at this point.
Turn pillow covers right side out and run them through the washer and dryer once to fray the edges of the letters. Stuff with your pillow inserts, and you are done.