This year I’m going coastal for Christmas. My focus is Simple to Make Coastal Christmas Decor. For this year’s fabulous Home for the Holidays Blog Tour, hosted by my amazing friend, Sondra, I decided to focus on a little corner of my home where we spend a lot of time. It’s filled with handmade Christmas items like this poinsettia pillow I created with a coastal flair. And I put together a super easy tutorial so you can make your own coastal Christmas poinsettia pillow, too. If this is your first time here… Welcome! Be sure to take a minute to introduce yourself and sign up to receive more creative inspiration.
It’s been many years since I’ve lived near Lake Michigan. After a summer of spending every spare moment we had on the Lake Michigan beaches, I wanted to continue to enjoy the memories of sand and waves and sunshine, even as the gray clouds of winter threaten us with their gloom. I’ve done a little summer coastal decorating, but deciding to put this twist on my Christmas decor stretched my creativity. Especially since my goal is to spend a few dollars as possible.
READ: Summer Coastal Decor DIY
There is a difference in Lake Michigan coastal decor and east coast or tropical coastal decor. First… we don’t have many shells other than the little ones from the invasive and non-indigenous mussels nor do we have starfish or coral. We also don’t have the buoys used by the lobster fisherman on the east coast. But we do have lighthouses, sand… plenty of beautiful clean sugar sand, and all the usual boating effects.
The waters of Lake Michigan change daily, even hourly. And that’s true for the colors too. It can be steely gray when the clouds of gloom come in. But, we especially love the pretty shades of aqua blue and so I chose to make that the key color to this year’s color scheme. The fabric I chose for our little coastal corner came from Walmart. I would never have thought to look there, but my friend Jennifer, found some fabulous Waverly fabric that she used in her Christmas decor and I decided to see if my store had Waverly fabrics, too. Yay! They did! I fell in love with this fabric because it was the ethereal mix of blue and aqua and gray… just like my beloved Lake Michigan. What gave it the additional coastal feel is the creamy white pattern which looks a bit like sea coral to me. And though the Great Lakes are fresh waters and have no coral, I decided to take the liberty and go with it. I’m so glad I did. It also reminds me of cracked sea glass… though that may be a stretch. The extra bonus… the fabric was, I think, just $3.27 a yard. Out of two yards I was able to create two Christmas stockings and two 18 inch pillows with a little still left over. Now that’s economical.
As I was cruising Pinterest for inspiration, I realized most of the coastal themed Christmas pillows don’t really “fit” a Lake Michigan coastal Christmas… so that got me thinking outside the usual coastal box. I had an AH-HA! moment and decided to incorporate “this year’s” blue fabric and my second favorite Christmas flower, white poinsettias, for a pretty coastal poinsettia sofa pillow.
There have been many knock-offs of the now-famous Pottery Barn poinsettia pillow, even Joann Crafts had one in red when I was there the other day. Because I tend to do my own thing and really don’t want to be a carbon copy of the masses, for a moment I thought I’d skip the idea. And then I realized… I usually put my own twist on things…. so why not?
Simple to Make Coastal Christmas Decor
Poinsettia Pillow Tutorial
(Affiliate links for your convenience*)
- Fabric for Removable Pillow Cover (To make an 18 inch pillow you’ll need 5/8 of a yard… adjust the yardage based on your pillow size.)
- Pillow Insert (18 inch soft decorator style)
- Thread (to match your fabric)
- Felt (1/4 – 1/3 yard – depends on the width, my store didn’t have off-white felt so I used Pellon)
- Several sheets of plain paper
- Embroidery Floss (to match the fabric of your pillow over)
- Aleen’s Quick Dry Glue
- Large Jingle Bells (Mine were part of an ornament from the Dollar Tree)
- Acrylic Paint to match the jingle bells to the fabric
- Artist Paint Brush
- Notions… pins, scissors, tapestry/embroidery needle, hand-sewing needle, steam iron, sewing machine
- *Note: I may make a small commission on purchases made through those links. Thank you!
I said this was a simple project and it is. In fact, I did no measuring. If you’ll looking for exact measurements for the pillow cover… you’ll want to go elsewhere. But, if you stick with me here… you might just fall in love with my system.
Let’s start with the pillow fabric and the pillow insert.
After removing the pillow insert from its plastic sleeve… I used the plastic sleeve as my template. Seriously… this makes things so much easier.
Lay your fabric out… still folded in half… and then lay the plastic pillow sleeve on the fabric. Cut your fabric length to match the sleeve. So simple.
At this point it’s wise to warm up that iron and press your fabric… especially that crease that has formed from being on the bolt as it will be in the front and center on your pillow.
The one thing to keep in mind is that the plastic sleeve for your pillow is a little bit loose. So, make sure to make your poinsettia pillow cover about an inch smaller than the plastic sleeve for both the length and the width. It’s super easy to do.
To begin to make your pillow cover… Take one of the salvage edges of your fabric and fold it so the wrong or back sides are together. Because we aren’t measuring anything… you’ll know that your fold is the right size when you can slip your hand in the pocket that the fold makes until your fingertip is in the center of the fold and the salvage almost touches the web of your palm between your index finger and your thumb (about 4 inches).
(I’m sorry this photo is taken from the finished pillow cover – I somehow missed taking a few photos, but hopefully this will still help.)
Pin your fabric in place. Then sew with a straight stitch securing the outer sides of this flap in the seam allowance area. This will secure your “pocket” for the following steps.
Next… sew the edge of the flap about 3/8 of an inch from the fold. See stitching in the image above. There is no need to fold the opposite salvage end as it will not show in your finished pillow and the salvage edge won’t unravel and is considered a finished edge.
To make an envelope for your pillow, layout your fabric backside down on your table. Remember the crease you just ironed out? That barely visible crease should be the center of your pillow. Using your plastic pillow sleeve as a guide, fold the salvage sides of the pillow to the center. Remember too that you don’t want to “match” the size of the plastic pillow sleeve, but instead make it about an inch smaller. (Again… I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of this for you.) There will be a fair amount of overlap… I think you can see it in the photo below. Please note that you will have the pocket end laying down first and then the plain salvage will overlap it on top (You can kind of see that in the photo below.). The deep overlap will ensure that your pillow cover lays smooth and tight on the back with no bulging. Note that a soft decorator or down pillow insert slips into the finished poinsettia pillow sleeve very easily. The less expensive stiff “crafter” inserts take a little work to get inside the pillow cover… so choose wisely. (Note: the difference between the two is about $3… with the decorator pillow insert costing about $6.84 at Walmart.)
Pin your pieces together for sewing.
Trim the corners on an angle about 1/4 inch from the seam. This will help give you a smooth perfect corner.
Turn your cover right side out. A rounded butter knife might be helpful in gently rounding out the corners.
Here’s what a filled pillow cover looks like on the back side.
Iron first and then insert your pillow in your pillow cover.
Wasn’t that easy? And no measuring required!
How to Make a Poinsettia Flower for your Pillow Cover
Make a paper petal pattern with the dimensions as shown about of 2.5 x 4.75 inches for the smaller petals and cut 5 for one flower.
Do the same with the second petal which should be 3 x 5.25 inches and cut 10 for one flower.
Fold all the petals in half for a crease.
It helps to visualize your final product by creating a poinsettia flower with paper.
In addition to cutting your 15 petals, you’ll also need some embroidery floss and needle.
Create a stem line with straight embroidery. I used the full strand and stitched one way as shown and then returned with the same strand of embroidery thread filling in the blank space with straight stitches.
Pressing a crease in your flower petals are key to the look. You can do this before or after stitching. It’s helpful to do it before stitching if you have a hard time sewing a straight line.
Continue stitching the stem for all the flower petals.
Now it’s time to make your poinsettia flower.
Cut a round out of plain fabric or felt, I used muslin here, 7-8 inches in diameter. Your hand spread from the tip of your pinky to your thumb is 8 inches… so use your hand as a guide. Grab a bowl from the cupboard that size to trace your circle if you want it perfect, mine was just free-cut.
Gather your finished poinsettia leaves, the round fabric you just cut, and Aleen’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue. I love this glue for fabric.
Place your petals around your round as shown.
Once you are pleased with the position, apply a bead of glue by folding over the edge of poinsettia leaf.
Continue to place your petals and glue for each of the sections… working inward… three layers in total.
Now it’s time to make the Poinsettia center buds with jingle bells.
You’ll need jingle bells… I used five large ones and paint. Also, paint in your fabric color and an artist paint brush.
Jingle bells can be hard to find, so I found an ornament at the dollar store with the bells and deconstructed them easily.
Paint and allow to dry. I actually painted my jingle bells before I started working on the pillow. That way they were dry in plenty of time. You may need to paint them twice for good coverage. If you’re in a hurry, you can always dry them with a hairdryer.
Using your leftover embroidery floss and needle, secure your jingle bells to the backing fabric. I simply drew the thread through one time and tied it off and trimmed the ends for each jingle bell.
Two last steps (not pictured). With a needle and thread, baste your poinsettia onto your pillow and then fill your poinsettia pillow cover with a pillow form.
Here’s your finished coastal Christmas decor poinsettia pillow!
The project should be easily completed in about 2 hours.
So what do you think? Is it a nice mix of traditional Christmas and coastal Christmas?
Thanks for stopping by today… I can’t wait to hear your lovely thoughts!
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And now onto the extraordinary 2nd annual Home for the Holidays Blog Tour
hosted by Sondra Lyn at Home.
Wow, do we ever have a great week of holiday celebration ideas lined up for you!
Join us each day for inspiration from nearly 30 of the today’s finest blogs!
You’ll see everything from gorgeous decor to yummy holiday recipes… and everything in between! Here’s a look at what’s coming up this week:
Monday – Holiday Decor
Tuesday – Holiday Recipes
Wednesday – Mantles and Tablescapes
Thursday – Holiday Crafts
Friday – Gifts and Wrapping
Be sure to check back every day this week to enjoy all the goodies we’ll be sharing with you! Each day’s links will be posted that day and will go live at 7am EST/6am CST, so don’t miss a single day!
Cause we all know…
there’s no place like…
Home for the Holidays!
Monday – Holiday Decor
Tuesday – Holiday Recipes
Wednesday – Holiday Mantels and Tablescapes
Thursday – Holiday Crafts
Friday – Holiday Gifts and Wrapping