Introduction: Make-Out Practice Pillow for Valentine's Day
When I was in middle school, everyone "joked" about making out with pillows for practice. I'm assuming that I was not the only one for whom the jokes had some truth. Let's just all admit that we all practice made-out with our pillows and we looked really silly doing it. Those poor pillows.
There seems to have been little innovation in the make-out practice pillow department despite the rise in popularity of decorative "Let's Make Out" pillows and cuddle pillows that are shaped like a human torso, so it is time that I step in and offer a new solution to the middle-schoolers or lonely hearts of the world: a pillow with a mouth. You are welcome. You are so welcome.
I have to admit that I didn't decide that these gadgets needed to be invented by sheer and sudden inspiration. It came to me as a matter of need. As I was taking out the garbage to my apartment complex trash last year, I saw two enormous suitcases on the ground next to the dumpster. The size was curious to me, so I snapped the latches and opened those bad boys up. The chest-opening song from Zelda played loudly in my head as I gazed upon the majesty within--each case contained a CPR dummy and a big bag of removable rubber dummy mouths. My eyes were wide as I took the hoard of face-bottoms from their cases.. What magical creations could I make with such a weird find?
The mouths sat in a bin in my studio for awhile. They whispered to me as I worked in my studio. We are waiting, they said, and we are creepy. Don't you want to get us out of your studio? After many months, the rubber lips exhaled the idea of make-out pillows. I've been avoiding the insistency of the mouths, but as we near closer to Valentine's day I know the time has come.
I have to admit that when I mentioned this idea to my friends, the reaction from anyone over the age of 25 tended to be variations on "that's really creepy," and anyone under the age of 25 thought it was hilarious and awesome (middle-school to college-age seemed to be the sweet spot of people who really liked the idea). I thought it was pretty hilarious myself until I actually made the things. They are super creepy. But I sort of love them for that.
EDIT 2/14/2014: Since originally posting this 'ible, my pillows have sort of gone viral. I was interviewed about them on WGN Morning News in Chicago and gave a nice shout-out to my Instructables community. You can watch the interview here if you like.
A PDF for the tags is also included in this instructable.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Scissors (and a rotary fabric cutter is nice if you have one)
- Sewing Machine
- Sewing needle
CPR dummy mouth. I found a whole bunch of them bagged up in a suitcase with a CPR dummy at my apartment dumpster awhile back, so I'm unsure of where you could get them. You can buy them through this website, but they are really expensive and you have to buy a lot. If you really want to make one of these pillows, message me and I can send you a mouth (I have around 30 of them). EDIT: Because I have had a number of people asking for mouth pieces to create these pillows, I made a quick listing for them on Etsy. If you would like a CPR dummy mouth, it will be $5 (mainly to cover the shipping so that I can send it to you). Get one here. EDIT AGAIN: I am all out of mouths. Sorry!
- Felt. Cut two squares of felt than are 12" x 12". I chose to do the back and front of the pillow in two different colors, but if you want it to be all one color you can get away with buying a half-yard of fabric.
- Embroidery floss. I used a color contrasting my felt so that it would stand out.
- Pillow stuffing
- Small piece of cardboard or mat board
- Sheet of paper
Step 2: Mouth Template
Lay your rubber mouth in the center of the sheet of paper and trace around the edge with a pencil. Fold the paper in half and make a smooth pencil mark about 1/4-inch inside the outline of the mouth. Cut along the pencil line you just made.
Unfold the sheet of paper and use the mouth to check the size of your template.
Step 3: Sew on the Face
Place your paper template on top of the square of felt that you would like to become the front of your pillow. Use a sharpie to draw the shape of the template on the felt. Cut out around the outside edge of the sharpie mark.
Check the fit of your mouth in the felt hole, and if it all looks good, pin the rubber face to the felt so that the face is coming up through the hole with enough overlap of felt and rubber to use for sewing. It is a bit difficult to get the pins through the rubber, but with a little pressure they will go through. Don't stab yourself with pins!
Using a needle and embroidery floss, sew the mouth to the felt. Stay away from the very edge of the felt and the edge of the rubber--the rubber on my mouths is very thin at the edges, so I tried to sew into a thicker part of the rubber.
The mouthpiece has a big hole in the back where the mouth was connected to the CPR dummy's chest. It needs to be closed off so that stuffing doesn't make its way into the mouth of an aspiring make-out master. Once you have sewn all the way around, cut out a small piece of cardboard or mat board scrap to cover the air hole of your face. Glue it in place (hot glue, tacky glue, whatever you have around should work).
Step 4: Sew the Pillow and Stuff
With the rubber mouth inside, pin the felt square with the face to the other felt square. Leave a gap for turning/filling the pillow. I use two pins to mark where I want my gap so that I remember to stop when I'm roaring along on the sewing machine.
Sew the squares together. Nip the corners off with scissors and turn it all right-side-out. This is best done by easing the face through the hole first and then working the rest of the fabric through.
Stuff the pillow with your favorite filler. I had a leftover bag of poly fill laying around, but usually I buy gigantic stuffed animals at the thrift store for a dollar and use their insides for filling. Hand-sew the hole shut and fluff your new
Step 5: Optional Gift Tags
The pillows look pretty creepy and are not instantly identifiable as a tool for practicing kissing skills, so I made some simple gift tags to dress up the presentation a bit. If you are giving a pillow to your experience-needing little brother, your forever-alone best friend, or anyone else who you think would appreciate such a gift, just print off the tags, cut out whichever one you like best, punch a hole in either side, string a ribbon through, and tie the tag around the pillow.
Tags included in the document are "let's make out," "I heart tonsil hockey," and "put your tongue on my tongue," and underneath each title it says "kissing practice pillow."