This is a great gift idea for any graphic design nerd in your life. These are pillows modeled after the icons for the Adobe CS4 programs.
Mine are big, but it's very easy to make them smaller. I will explain that along the way.
Step 1: Materials
For this project, you will need:
At least 1 needle
a yard of black fabric (I used the fleece like blankets are made of. I find that it doesn't fray around the edges and it makes the pillows super soft.)
1 10 lb. box of stuffing
1 yard each of the colors you would like to use for your pillows. I also used blanket fleece for this too.
ID (Indesign) is pinkish-purple
DW (Dreamweaver) is bright green
Ai (Illustrator) is bight orange
Ps (Photoshop) is blue
FW (Fireworks) is yellow
Black thread, and thread that matches each color of fabric that you bought
A printer with paper, I used 11x17 in. paper, but if you don't have that, 8.5x11 will work.
A sewing machine - this will make the process go a lot faster, but it is not required.
Step 2: Printing the Stencils
The first thing you need to do is download the attached pdf. This is The adobe icon stencils that you will need. I would print off two copies so that you have one to refer back to for any spacing questions.
You will need to tell Adobe Acrobat whether you want to scale the pages to fit or just tile them across multiple pages.
I tiled mine across multiple pages, and my pillows are approximately 24x24". If you want to make smaller pillows, tell acrobat to scale it and to what dimensions. Make sure that you make your letters small enough to have lots of room around them, just like the actual Adobe icons.
Note: I currently only have 5 of the programs. Stencils for the rest are to come later.
Step 3: Cutting and Pinning the Stencils
After your stencils are printed, carefully cut them out.
Then, lay out your black fabric.
Lay each stencil on the black fabric, leaving space between each.
Pin all of the letters to the black fabric with your straight pins
a. Cut each letter out now, very carefully
b. Trace around each letter with a pen, chalk, or something else. Then remove the pins and stencils and cut each letter out very carefully.
Note: I did not make the Fireworks pillow because I never use that program. The steps are all the same though.
Step 4: Cutting the Fabric
Fold your colored ffabric in half. I just left the fabric folded where it was when I bought it, and used that as the bottom edge of my pillows.
Lay it with the folded edge closest to you. This is the bottom edge of your pillow.
Cut your pillow fabric into a square.
I cut mine as follows:
From the folded bottom edge to the top edge is 25"
From the left to right edges, is 26"
The extra inch is so that you have room to sew the pillows together. No matter what size you want your finished piece to be, add an extra inch to each side at this step so that you have plenty of space for stitching.
Step 5: Pin on the Letters
Pin your letters onto the front of your squares, careful only to put the pins through the top piece of fleece.
Depending on your sewing abilities, I suggest hand-sewing the letters onto your pillows now, using your needle and black thread. Any stitch seems to work. I used different ones on different pillows to test that, and they all turned out just the same.
If you absolutely cannot hand-sew, you can use a sewing machine to sew these on, but make sure only to sew them onto the front fabric, or you won't be able to open and stuff your pillow.
Note: I have barely any hand-sewing ability, and they turned out just fine. Don't doubt your ability to do this step by hand.
Step 6: Sewing the Pillow Together
After your letters are sew on, turn your fabric inside-out. Pin and sew your pillow squares. At one corner, leave about 4-6 inches of space unsewn. You will use this whole to turn your pillow right-side out and stuff it.
This is where a sewing machine is the most helpful. I strongly suggest it if you have access to one. On a machine, it took me 15 minutes to sew all four of my pillows.
After you have finished sewing, remove all of your pins and turn your pillow right-side out.
I apologize for my lack of pictures for this step.
Step 7: Stuff Your Pillow
This step is pretty self-explanatory.
Take your pillow, and stuff it will lots of stuffing from that 10 lb. box of stuffing that you bought.
Stuff all of them before you even think of sewing that hole on any of them up. This way you can make sure that they are all stuffed about the same. I did not do this, and my InDesign pillow is thicker and firmer than my others.
I suggest watching a good movie or t.v. show while you do this step. It is pretty monotonous.
Step 8: Finish Your Pillows
Now that you have finished stuffing all of your pillows, take the thread that matches each pillow and sew them closed. There should be a natural fold from where you sewed the rest of the pillow inside out. You can use this to guide how you choose to stitch.
Again, I have almost no hand-sewing ability, and mine turned out just fine.
Having thread that is the same color as your fabric is very important because it makes your stitching a lot less noticeable.