Create a whimsical pillow for the holidays with this tutorial for an ombré tree pillow. Use sparkly fabric and a colorful charm pack to create this fun pillowcase!
Thank you to Fairfield World for sending me the lumbar pillow to use for this project.
Pillows are such a fun way to decorate for the holidays! Today I’m excited to share this colorful ombré tree pillow with you. It’s perfect for the holiday season and can be enjoyed all winter long! I’m sharing this pillowcase as part of the Fairfield World Pillow Party co-hosted by Laura Kelly. Everyone participating in the party was sent a lumbar pillow insert with the challenge of creating a holiday pillowcase. This year there are so many fun ideas! For my pillow I decided to create a whimsical tree scene, which fit the shape of the lumbar pillow perfectly!
For my tree scene, I planned to make my trees from a variety of green fabrics, similar to my favorite holiday tree banner. I decided to switch it up and make colorful ombré trees instead using a charm pack of Kona Cotton Solids by Robert Kaufman. The 5″ squares included in the charm pack were the perfect size for my triangle trees. It was really fun picking out the fabrics to create an ombré effect. If ombré is new to you, it is using different tints or shades of a color and arranging them from light to dark. The charm pack came with lots of colors to play around with.
Below is the tutorial for creating this ombré tree pillow. It is made using appliqué, a simple running stitch and you can add snowflakes using HTV and a cutting machine. You could also add snowflakes with embroidery or a metallic fabric marker.
- Fairfield Pillow 14″ x 28″
- Free printable pattern – located in my Free Resource Library under Christmas and Sewing Patterns, Pillows.
- 1 yard Fusible web interfacing like Wonder Under
- 1/2″ Fusible fleece interfacing – *optional
- Cricut Silver Iron On for snowflakes and cutting machine – optional
- Embroidery floss that matches each shade of fabric for the trees
- DMC Light Effects E415 Pewter Embroidery Floss
- Sewing notions: Fabric scissors, Ruler, Sewing Pins, thread, embroidery needle
Printing the Pattern
Start by printing the pattern. You will need the tree template and the snow template at the beginning of the packet. Also included is the entire pattern for the front of the pillow you can print to help with placement if you’d like.
Cutting the Fabric
Cut three pieces of blue fabric for the pillowcase. Cut one piece (15″ x 29″) for the front and two pieces (15″ x 18″) for the back of the pillow.
*Optional fleece interfacing: I like to line the front of my pillowcases with a layer of fleece interfacing. This makes the pillows extra soft and since the front of the pillowcase is a little stiffer, the design lays nicely on the front. You can apply this before or after you embroider the pillowcase. I applied my fleece interfacing before, which added a nice weight to the fabric for embroidering, but the needle also pulled little tufts of fleece through sometimes which I didn’t like. I think I’d still apply it before, but you could apply it after or skip it altogether. :)
- Front Piece – 15″ x 29″ Blue fabric
- Back Pieces – (two) 15″ x 18″ Blue fabric
- *Optional – Fusible fleece interfacing 15″ x 29″
Cutting snow and trees. Use the templates and fusible web interfacing, like Wonder Under, to cut pieces for the snow, ombré trees and tree trunks. The same process can be used for all of the tree pieces and the snow. Below you can see the step by step pictures for the tree pieces. I do recommend cutting the snow first though, since it is such a large piece and will use up the most fusible web interfacing.
Start by laying the fusible interfacing over the printed pattern with the paper side up. Since the interfacing is see-through, you can use a pencil to trace the pattern pieces onto the interfacing. Make sure to trace the tree pattern five times. It will be helpful to mark each piece with a letter so you know which point of the triangle is the top! I forgot to do this but recommend marking a T for the top pieces, M for the middle pieces and B for the bottom pieces.
Bubble cut around the pieces leaving about 1/4″ around the pencil lines. Iron each piece to the correct piece of fabric. To create the ombré trees, use the fabric with the lightest shade for the top of the trees and the fabric with the darkest shade the bottom.
Once the fabric has cooled, cut out each piece of fabric along the pencil lines. Repeat the process for each tree, the five tree trunks and the snow.
Appliqué the Snow and Trees
If using the fleece interfacing, decide if you want to fuse it to the pillow case before or after you embroider it. I chose to fuse it before. I liked the weight it gave my fabric for embroidering, but I did pull some fleece tufts through to the front while embroidering the trees, so it is up to you. You will fuse it to the wrong side of the front piece.
Iron the snow to the front of the blue fabric matching up the bottom edges.
Iron the trees to the front of the pillow to create the colorful forest! You can place the trees anywhere you’d like, just be sure to start with the trunk and work your way to the top of the tree. If you’d like to follow my pattern exactly, you can print the large pattern and lay it on your pillowcase. Mark the corner where each tree trunk should start with a pin.
Iron the trunks on first following the pins. Next, add the layers of the tree. You can use a ruler to help place the layers so they are all exactly the same or wing it and skip using the pattern. The diagram below shows how much to space each layer.
Embroider the Design
Add decorative embroidery to the trees and snow line. Use a simple running stitch and DMC embroidery floss that matches each shade of fabric. I used DMC Silver Light Effects floss for the snow line and the tree trunks.
Add the Snowflakes
I decided to add snowflakes to my pillow scene using silver Cricut Iron-On. I used snowflake files from Design Space and cut six 1.5″ snowflakes and two 2″ snowflakes. You could also embroider snowflakes using the silver embroidery floss or draw them using a silver fabric marker.
Form the Pillowcase
Now that the winter tree scene is finished, it’s time to form the pillowcase. This step is actually pretty easy since we are making an envelope closure rather than a zipper closure. Finish one 15″ edge on each back piece by folding over the edge 1/4″ twice and top stitching.
Next, lay the two back pieces over the front of the pillow with right sides together. The back pieces will overlap in the middle.
Stitch around the the entire pillow with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip the seam allowance at each corner of the pillowcase.
Flip the pillowcase right side out and the pillow case is finished! Insert the pillow form and enjoy your new pillow!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial for a colorful ombré tree pillow! Check out the other festive pillow designs for the Pillow Party below.
Download the Free File! This freebie is in my Resource Library under Christmas and Sewing Patterns, Pillows. Enter your first name and email to get the password to download this file. You’ll also have a chance to sign up for my newsletter to receive fun craft tutorials, tips, updates and more FREE files to help make crafting something special and unique easier!