Scrabble pillows are all the rage right now at homespun stores, and sites like Etsy. While we love to support handmade and local goods, all that attention to detail usually means items are more expensive—and we love helping you save your precious funds even more. Making these pillows by yourself is simpler than you might think! Just follow our simple steps to DIY yourself some unique and inspiring Scrabble throw pillows.
-Pillow cases or fabric of your choosing
-Actual pillow inserts
-Awesome buttons (if you're sewing your own or your cases don't have a zipper closure)
-Felt in a dark color like black or brown
-Felt stickers in numbers (same color as your felt)
-Heat n Bond Ultrahold Iron-on Adhesive
-Scotch tape-Ruler or measuring tape
Source: Reprinted with permission from Lo Lankford at http://www.ivillage.com/how-make-scrabble-pillows/7-b-351137#351136
Pick Your Pillows, Print Letters
The pillow fabric (or other fabric) you use will impact the overall appearance of your pillows. Decide if you'd like to buy premade pillow covers, or if you'd like to buy fabric and sew your own (for the more experienced crafter). We suggest getting either 12x12 or 16x16 covers. If you're buying premade covers, make sure to buy those that are sold separately from their actual pillow, or that will at least unzip and slide off. If you're sewing your own, remember to leave the third side open until you're ready to stuff your pillow. We chose a very retro, fun print for our pillows, but feel free to go "standard Scrabble" with a set of plainer sand, black or camel colored pillows.
Next, decide on a font for your Scrabble letters. We used a simple Arial, but feel free to be as creative as you'd like! You'll also want to decide what your pillows will "spell." Popular choices seem to be: "love," "home," your initials or last name, or the name of the cities where you grew up or in which you live. Print out your letters one at a time in a large font size. (This will depend on your pillow size and how big you want your letters to be.) We made 16x16 throws, so we went with 600 in Microsoft Word.
Lay your print out on top of your pillow on a flat surface. Does the size seem right? Resize and reprint until you have the right fit.
Cut Out Letters
Once your perfectly-sized letters are printed, you're ready for the next step. Break out the Heat n Bond paper, and lay one letter down on the paper, lining up the bottom of each sheet. Tape the letter-printed paper onto the Heat n Bond paper along the perimeter. Be careful not to tape any part of the actual letter. Then, carefully cut the outline of your letter from the two papers. Repeat for each letter in your chosen Scrabble word.
Create Felt Letters
Now that you have all of your letters cut out in Heat n Bond paper, take out your felt. We used black, but brown, gold, silver or anything dark enough to show up well on your pillow works too. Cut a square large enough to hold your letter plus a few inches of excess on all four sides. On a smooth surface, lay the letter down in the middle of the square with the paper liner face up. Use a ruler if you're having trouble keeping it straight. Preheat your iron to medium heat, no steam. When it's ready, place and hold the iron on the paper liner for 2 seconds. Repeat until the entire surface is bonded. Allow to cool. Repeat for each letter.
Once all of your letters have been ironed on, cut the letters out of the felt square. Don't remove the paper.
Iron Letters Onto Pillows
Now you're ready to apply your felt letters to your pillow cases. Iron your cases first, making sure they're smooth and ready for application. Then take one pillow case and your first letter and place the letter, adhesive side down, on top of the pillow. Use a ruler and another set of eyes to assure that your letter is lined up properly and where you want it on your pillow. Again, make sure that you're working on a sturdy and flat surface. Use a light pen to mark the top and left side of the letter, and then peel back the sticker. Lightly lay it back down in its place. Preheat iron to medium heat, no steam. Press and hold the iron for six seconds on each section until the entire letter is bonded to the pillow. If the letter isn't sticking, repeat for two more seconds (not unusual for thicker fabrics). Repeat this for each pillow and letter.
If you sewed your pillows and would rather sew on your letters, use the same process but use Heat n Bond Lite. Minimal stitching will be required after you iron on your letters. This is more work, but some people enjoy the shabby-chic feel of visible stitches. If you want to get extra funky, stitch your letter in a neon or bright color.
Attach Your Scrabble Numbers
The exact process that you used to cut and apply your letters can be used, in a much smaller font, for the Scrabble tile numbers. But if you want to "cheat" and keep it simple, use the felt letters or numbers we recommended in the materials list.
Lay out your pillows and look up their numerical Scrabble score here. Want to make up your own point system? Go for it, we won't tell! Once you've got your felt numbers picked out of your bag, lay them on top of your pillows in the bottom right corner. If you want to be precise with placement, use a ruler to measure a couple of inches to the right and then a few more down from your number. Step away from the pillow and see if your number looks well-placed. Make a small mark with a pen onto your pillow from the corner of your number. Then strip off the backing and place it back down, gently at first. Step back again. Look good? Push the felt sticker down onto the fabric with your palm, rubbing it in from all corners. Repeat for each pillow.
Once again, extra stitching is up to you!
Iron, Let Set, Stuff
Once the pillows are decorated with letters and numbers, break out that iron again. Gently iron both sides of your pillow, going around the edges of your letters and numbers. Let them set for at least ten minutes. Then, carefully stuff your pillows into your pillow cases and zip them shut. Fluff appropriately.
If you sewed your own pillows, consider using cute, large buttons as closures in lieu of a zipper. Used pre-made cases with a zipper? Use felt and adhesive to put a jaunty heart or star on the other side of the pillow.