DIY Pet Pillow

2 04 2015

So, I did a lot of DIY for Christmas last year (yes, this post is VERY late in coming), and that included my first attempt making a pet pillow (more specifically a cat pillow) for my friend L, who loves her cat, Misha. 🙂 This is pretty easy to make, and people love custom things, so if you have a pet lover in your life, this might be the gift for them!

Wanna make your own?

You will need:
– pet photo, full-body (unless you want a floating head or something)
– t-shirt transfer photo paper, sold at any office store like Staples
– computer and printer (obviously)
– white cotton material (I get a full yard to have extra leftover)
– an iron
– pillow stuffing
– sewing supplies (needle, white thread)

First, get a picture, full body view, of the pet of your choice….a little harder doing a gift, because your friend may wonder why you’re asking for a pic of their pet…Anyway, load the pic to your computer. If you have photo editing software, you can edit the area around the cat to be white (select and erase, or dodge, etc.) so it’ll be easier to cut/transfer to material without getting unwanted background elements. You can always do a close cut with scissors too.

pillow supplies

pillow supplies

See my lovely supplies, above, including the printed pet image. (Oh yes, and try not to be an idiot like me and forget to flip your image before printing if any words are visible (like her ID tag); otherwise they’ll iron on backwards.) Now it’s time to cut out your image. If you weren’t able to make the image background white, cut as close as possible to the pet itself. Because I was able to edit mine white, I could leave a bit of a margin which is easier to deal with.

misha pillow2

Cute! Cut out your white cloth to make 2 pieces that are bigger (at least a couple inches around the image) than the pic. It really doesn’t take much cloth since your transfer paper size is only 8.5×11″, regular paper size, which is pretty small. Now, for the ironing! Iron your cloth first. The transfer paper will come with directions; just follow those.

misha pillow3

Let your new picture-cloth cool down, then you can cut out closer to the pet shape, but remember to leave plenty of room around the edges. Leave the cloth with the pet image facing up flat on a table. Lay the other, blank white cloth on top of it, aligning the edges of the cloth. (If you want the back of the pillow to be the backside of the pet, you’ll need to get a picture of the back of him/her, iron that onto cloth, and then place your cloths so that the images are touching/facing each other.) Then sew around it…again, be sure to sew leaving a couple inches of white visible instead of right next to the pet, or when it’s stuffed, some of the pet image will be cut off. I used a sewing machine, but you could easily do it by hand. Don’t sew all the way around; leave several inches open. You’ll need to reach in the opening to add stuffing. Turn the sewn pillow inside out – now the pet is on the outside!

misha pillow4

Now it’s time to add stuffing. Any craft store like Hobby Lobby should have this. When it’s fully stuffed, take the needle and thread and, by hand, sew the opening closed.

misha pillow5

Ta da! I will admit, this is not a great picture of the pillow. The pet photo quality was really sharp, and it’s eyes didn’t actually look so wonky. BUT – either way, my friend thought it was cute, and it was definitely something unexpected. 🙂

Project: Mouse

20 01 2015

I haven’t abandoned this blog! It’s just life getting in the way as usual. In a 2 week time span, I’ve traveled to a tropical vacation spot and will travel to a frozen cold business city. Then there was the biopsy business which was totally not cool except for the fact that I’m now technically part titanium. And I’m enough of a nerd to be excited about that.

Anyway, I’ve been making time for little craft projects. Last summer, I fell in love with this line of vegetable/animal figurines called Homegrown. OMG. They are the cutest! I can’t decide which of them to buy yet, so in the meantime I decided to try making the rutabaga mouse out of old polymer clay.


You’re probably supposed to use foil or an armature for the body, but I thought I’d try to get away with making it smaller without that stuff.


Rough. Man, is it hard to get things smooth! By the time I baked it, it looked pretty okay. Then I knocked its ear off. And then its arm fell off. 😦


However! I epoxy-ed it all back together, and the acrylics worked brilliantly. You can see the picture of the Enesco/Homegrown version behind it. It’s much better than mine, but I’m still pretty proud of it. Oh, and those are a couple of random, in-process, clay swans on the painting foil.



The cooking time confuses me, because the clay package said 15 minutes for every 1/4 inch, but the mouse’s body was so much thicker than the rest. I ended up burning the bottom of him, but! paint fixes all.

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