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DIY Farmhouse XO Pillow for the Bedroom or Valentine’s Day

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Often we create because we want to do something creative and enjoyable. Othertimes we create because we can’t afford to purchase an item we fell in love with. The later is what happened with this DIY Farmhouse XO cushion. I am happy about it though as it motivated me to get back to creating.

A farmhouse style bed with pink bedding and an appliqued XO farmhouse pillow.

I saw this amazing farmhouse Christmas cushion for $85, and I had to leave it there especially at Christmas. But I never quit stalking it and eureka it was still available at the Boxing Day sale. I have it set aside for next years Christmas guest room.

Large farmhouse cushion with applique lettering and painted saying for Christmas. Cushion used as inspiration for a handmade farmhouse pillow.

In the meantime I wanted something fun for our guest room and thought I would copy the farmhouse cushion look and create something almost identical. Here is my swanky new XO farmhouse cushion and I did for $5 as I had leftover drop cloth fabric, but you can whip one up with a little bit of drop cloth and/or linen for less than $20 even if you have to buy the fabric. You could even do it with denim for a child’s room, wouldn’t that make a nice gift from Grama for a tween.

The big difference in this new style of farmhouse cushion is how the applique is done. It isn’t individual letters appliqued on the front of a cushion. Instead it is cut outs and a large piece of fabric appliqued behind the cushion. Check it out.

XO DIY Farmhouse Pillow Supplies

Two pieces of dropcloth or heavy fabric 36″ by 14″ inch long

A smaller piece of dark coordinating fabric for the back of the lettering 34″ by 12″

A piece of fusible interfacing 34″ by 12″

A piece of freezer paper 36″ long

Free downloadable XO pattern

Transferring the Pattern

Start by cutting your fabric. I like to rip my fabric to ensure it was exactly straight, and to have the frayed edges. Once you have the fabric pieces cut, iron and set aside. No need to seal the edges. Bonus, this time we want those edges to fray, baby fray!

Print out 3 copies of the downloadable pattern, tape together so they become one large pattern.

Cut the freezer paper, place wax side down. Center the taped together XO patterns. I just eyeballed mine.

Tape the upper edge of the xo templates to prevent the pattern from shifting while your tracing. Place a piece of carbon paper between the freezer paper and the pattern.

3 copies of a free downloadable pattern taped together that way XO, in plain white paper with a piece of carbon underneath.

Trace out each letter. You can lift up the paper occasionally to make sure you have all the lines done. Once the pattern is transferred to the freezer paper, discard the pattern and carbon paper.

Transferring a pattern onto freezer paper using carbon paper.

Cutting out the XO Lettering

Measure one inch out from the edge of your lettering on each end. Draw a line and trim the paper edges, Fold the paper in half along the long edge and mark center with a pen top and bottom.

Find the center of your fabric by folding the width size in half and marking top and bottom with a pin.

Making sure the good side of the fabric is face up and the wax side of the freezer paper is face down, lineup the center of the freezer paper and the fabric, For the vertical I eyeballed it.

Steps of finding and lining up the center of the paper pattern with the fabric, and marking it with a pen and pins.

With a hot iron and No steam, press the freezer paper. The heat will melt the waxy side of the freezer paper and lightly adhere it to your fabric.

Flip your fabric over so the wrong side is showing. Cover with the piece of interfacing iron well.

Once again turn the fabric over so the freezer paper side is upwards. Next, pin all three layers together, the freeze paper the drop cloth and the interfacing.

Carefully pin around the edges of each letter, I used about 50 pins. Make sure to pin the central part of the letter O as well.

X and O letter on freezer paper with lots of sewing pins holding down all the letter edging.

Once its all pinned start cutting out the letters. It very important to remember you are discarding the actual letters and keeping the outer part. I used small scissors and snipped inside the letter, inserted the scissors and cut along the edges. Each letter took less than 5 minutes.

For the letter O to hold the central portion of the O in place when removing the fabric leave a little bit at the top and bottom in place without cutting it. We will remove that later.

Cutting fabric XO from a pillow cover

Once all your letters are cut out. Flip the fabric good size down. Cover the lettering with the coordinating fabric (grey) and iron in place.

Working on the good side of your fabric, applique the letter openings to the coordinating fabric.

I liked to do the letters individually, removing the freezer paper and pinning the edges of each letter before completing a small zig zag stitch around all the letters.

For the letter O remove the freezer paper and pin the edges of the internal part of the letter. Once secure cut out the little left over bits before appliquing.

Using scissors snipping out the little bits of fabric that was holding the center piece of the letter O

Sewing the Cushion

Yeah our fabulous appliqued cushion front is done, so were almost finished.

A large DIY farmhouse cushion in cream with XOX appliqued on the front. Its sitting on a bed with pink bedding.

The expensive purchased cushion has a large zipper down the edge. I rarely sew zippers as they are fiddly, but in this case a 30″ long zipper was too pricey. You can’ t make this style of cushion as a envelope cover, as the frayed edges would have areas much thicker where the folds are. Our work around is to use a strip of velcro fastener at one end.

Pin your cushion together wrong sides together. Cut the velcro to fit one side. Pin the velcro in place. Once pinned sew along the edges.

Sew the remaining three sides of the cushion close to the edge. Repeat with a second seam 1/4 inch inside the first.

DIY drop cloth farmhouse pillows with large XO letter appliqued on the front. The pillow sits across the front of a farmhouse bed with pink bedding and fur cushions.

If you don’t want to buy a long cushion insert you can make one of your own using muslin and stuffing. Cut two pieces of muslin 36 by 14 inches. Place wrong sides together, sew three sides. Turn right side out, fill with stuffing and then close the final edge. If you need better instructions check out my post about making my own pillow inserts.

How to make European cushion inserts and DIY bolster cushion inserts

How to Make Cushion Inserts

Sewing a bolster cushion with buffalo check trim

Handmade Farmhouse Bolster Cushion

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  1. Love that you saw something you like and figured out a way to make it for a fraction of the cost – you’re a girl after my own heart, Leanna. The pillow is gorgeous and so well done! Pinned

  2. Libbie@alifeunfolding says:

    What a sweet project for Valentine’s day! So pretty.

    1. Thank you for the Pin, and for letting me know Kim. It is much appreciated.

  3. That’s gorgeous Leanna. I love the fact that the letters are hugs and kisses are peaking out. That adds so much character and texture to the whole look.

    1. Thank you Michelle, its a little shabbier than I usually make but I adored the Christmas one, so I went with that style.

    1. Glad you like them, and I am trying to make my home more decorate year around and less seasonal looking, I think the black helped with that.

  4. I love this DIY idea! This would make a great gift and it could be customized with any word. Pinning!

    1. Thank you Paula, its much easier to do then singular letters and less messy then painting.

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