Intro: No-Sew Star Pillows for Under $5
These went over great for Christmas presents! They are super cute when finished and are actually pretty useful- they support the neck just right and make for great travel pillows too. They are cheap because they are made out of remnants that you can pick up from the fabric store for super cheap, and perfect for someone who is clueless when it comes to sewing like me to pretend that I actually can do domestic craft hour.
These also are good little pillows to put herbal or aromatherapy additions in because you can easily untie it and replace the herbs when they lose their scent. I've also been drooling over iPod speaker pillows on ebay lately so the next idea I will probably try to work into one for myself is making one of these stars into a little iPod speaker for traveling...
Step 1: Materials
Micro fleece remnants in two colors- any fabric that doesn't need to be hemmed will work just as well.
Stuffing- I used Polyester Fiber-fill in some and strips of leftover fleece in others.
Stencil (either make out of cardboard or use something from around the house like I did)
At the local JoAnn fabric store I paid between $3 and $4 a yard for the fabric remnants (1/2 yard each color made a couple stars easily) and I paid $8 for a big bag of PolyFil that I haven't made a dent in yet. For about $20 I bought materials for the 5 stars I made for Christmas presents and had lots of extra material, definitely a budget-friendly project!
Step 2: Draw It Out.
Draw the star design out on the inside of the Fabric. I used a tin decorative sailor star we had laying around the house for my template, but you could make one out of cardboard or use some other found object to make it whatever shape you like. Use Sharpie to trace the stencil then outline it again about 3-4 inches out from the star design to give yourself guidelines for cutting.
Step 3: Cut Out the Stars
Cut the fabric out 3-4 inches wider than the stencil, I usually cut one out then trace the other color with the stencil then use the other fabric to mark the second piece. Then lay the two pieces on top of each other and cut into small strips around the edge of each star from the wide edge to the stenciled outline, trying to keep the pieces fairly even in size with one another. Also be careful to keep the pieces tight on top of each other, if you've got a better stocked sewing cabinet than I do you could pin the pieces together, but it's not super critical to having them come out looking good and I'm lazy.
Step 4: Tie Up the Edges
Carefully flip the fabrics both over so the sharpie side faces in- then pop some good tunes or a movie on and zone out on the tying stage. Tie the pair of strips, one from each color to get the snappy contrast thing going on, into knots along the edges of the star. I like to start in the center and work my way to the outer edge of the first point, but whatever you find is easiest. Also I tend to get super OCD about this part and try and have all my knots tied the same direction so the ends come out even, but once again not necessary- especially with bigger fringe. If you have kids this would be a fun project for them to help out with as it can be tedious, but it's easy and very gratifying as you see the stars start to take form.
Step 5: Stuff It and You're Done!
After tying each point I like to stuff it, so I can work the stuffing out evenly. Sometimes there are spots at the tips where the stuffing will poke out a little and if one bugs me I use a little strip of fleece remnant to overlap that part inside the star. Continue tying the strips together and stuffing until you're done. I've found it easiest to end in one of the center parts of the star that way you can add extra stuffing to the middle if needed. The best part about this project is it's very forgiving- if you have a problem with part of it, need to add more stuffing, etc. it's super easy to fix because all you have to do is untie the section that needs fixing and then retie it again.