Before Christmas, I put a teaser on Instagram for a DIY I was working on, and promised a forthcoming tutorial on the blog. It’s taken me three months, but I am FINALLY making good on that promise.

(I also promised I would give an update on the Dirty Lemon detox. You drink one bottle before bed for 6 days. You don’t change anything else about your diet. It’s kind of tasty – like lemon water with a hint of saltiness. I felt pretty good, definitely got rid of some bloating; and I looked forward to drinking out of the pretty bottles. My verdict: worth it for the fun factor! For more info on the health benefits of lemon generally, check out this great article from Health Ambition.)

Aaaaaannnnnd we’re back to arts and crafts. Last fall, I got it into my head that I wanted to make Ryan something with the lyrics/title of a song he loves on it. I settled on a throw pillow because 1) they’re easy to make and 2) Ryan has some throw pillows I don’t love and I’m conducting a slow coup of the design around here.

I set out on a craft shopping spree. I found stencils at Target, hit up Blick for fabric paint and paint brushes (I could spend a fortune in there), and went in search of the perfect fabric. I wanted one side to give the look of a burlap sack, but feel soft and snuggly like a Charmin commercial. I quickly found a sand colored linen/cotton blend to fit the bill at Brooklyn General Store. The other side gave me some trouble. When you dream up a project and you think, “Of COURSE it will be easy to find a gorgeous printed map fabric by the yard,” you are wrong. You are so, so wrong.

I scoured the internet for something that could capture my “vision,” and finally found the magic fabric on Amazon. It was still a bit of a gamble – would the colors be right? The weight? – but it would work. (I can’t find the one I ordered anymore, but here are some similar options.)

I could take you through a step by step, but that would be really boring, and my instruction skills are sub-par. My only advice when sewing a throw pillow is this: always craft pillowcases with an invisible zipper. If you are prone to messiness, have pets or children, or just like things clean, you will appreciate that you can take the case off and throw the thing in the wash. If you want a tutorial on how to make a zippered throw pillow, check out these ladies:

I didn’t actually follow this video, but it’s a pretty simple concept. To pick up where they left off, I put some cardboard inside my pillow when it was done and got to work stenciling on those song lyrics (so emo, right?).


Because I was putting Talking Heads lyrics on throw pillow, I wanted it to look a little abstract and imperfect. (Also, I know my limitations as a craftswoman, and choosing to make something imperfect suits my level of patience.)


When it was done, I hid it in a safe place to dry and made myself a cocktail!

Here’s the finished product:

Live in the wild:


Have you guys met Hektor? He’s the king of the house, I’m basically his servant. He loves the pillow, so it’s a win!

#hektorthepuggle on pillow

Has anyone ever made you a handmade gift that you love? Do you make your own gifts for others? Share your story in the comments!





About the Author Aubrie Fennecken

Aubrie Fennecken is the Chief Alchemist at Opportunity Kitchen | work + wellness strategist | nonprofit fundraising expert | providing productivity and self-care support for mission-driven humans

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.