Heart Denim Pillows

Heart Denim Pillows

These pillows are made of both new and old fabric. Why not reuse old jeans into something new! The red heart is made in chenille technique, which gives it a nice raised surface. These pillows get better every time they get washed!

What you need:
  • Denim fabric 22”x22”(55x55cm)
  • Discarded jeans for heart applique and the back of the pillow
  • Metal Zipper length
  • Thread in contrasting color (the same as topstitching on jeans)
  • Topstitch needle.
  • Red fabric, use solids, not printed fabrics.
  • Red sewing thread
  • Heart-Denim-Pillow-Template.pdf

1.Print out the PDF pattern and tape it together. Trace the outlines of the hearts on paper and cut them out.

2. Cut out hearts from different denim fabrics, you can use the wrong side of fabric for more variation.


3. Cut out the front fabric pieces (one for each pillow) and draw a line with chalk or erasable pen ½” (1,5cm) from the edge  on all four sides.


4. Place the heart applique pieces, using the pattern as a guide.  Remove one of the hearts, which will be substituted with a red chenille heart later in the process.

Heart-denim-pillows-step4a.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step4b.jpg

5. Pin the other hearts in place and topstitch them in place about ⅛” (3mm) from the edge using denim thread in a yellow/brown color. 


Making the chenille heart applique

6. Trace the removed heart to red cotton fabric. Use only red dyed fabric, not printed, the printed fabrics may leave a “white” edge around the edges.color variation adds more interest. Use 6 layers for each heart and stack them on top of each other. 


7. Lay the stacked hearts on top of a red bottom layer that extends at least 1” (2,5cm) around the edges. Draw a line at a 45 degree angle of straight gran =true bias.

Heart-denim-pillows-step7a.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step7b.jpg    

8. Topstitch through all layers with straight stitch and a short stitch length (about 1,5mm) start and stop at the edges of the heart and backstitch to secure the seam.

9. Make parallel stitching lines about ⅜” (1cm) apart on the whole heart.


10. Cut between the stitching lines with a special slash cutter or sharp scissors. Do NOT cut through the large fabric piece in the bottom layer.

Heart-denim-pillows-step10a.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step10b.jpg   

11. When finished cut around the edges, and put the heart in place on the pillow

Heart-denim-pillows-step11a.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step11b.jpg

12. opstitch around the edges about ⅜” (3mm) from the edge. Stitch also in every other line of stitching across the heart. (Image showing wrong side of pillow)


Making the back of the pillow

13. Measure the  size of the pillow and cut off the  jeans legs with a little extra fabric. You probably need at least two legs for one pillow


14. Cut the leg pieces at one of the seams (the one without topstitching)


15. If you have problems to get the fabric lie flat you may need to cut into the fabric and overlap the edges like this:

Heart-denim-pillows-step15a.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step15b.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step15c.jpg   

16. Make the long edges straight with a ruler and rotary cutter or scissors.

Heart-denim-pillows-step16a.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step16b.jpg

17. From scraps of denim fabric cut two strips the same width as the zipper and about 6” (15cm) long. 

18. Sew one on each end of the zipper and fold out.

Heart-denim-pillows-step18a.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step18b.jpg   

19. Sew the zipper to the straight edge of the jeans leg one piece on each side. Press and topstitch close to the edge and about ¼” (7mm) away from the edge.

Heart-denim-pillows-step19a.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step19b.jpg

20. Place the heart you removed earlier and stitch it in place somewhere near the zipper.

Heart-denim-pillows-step20a.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step20b.jpg

21. Open the zipper halfway to make turning right sides out easier later on in the process

22. Place the cushion front on top of the back, right sides facing and pin in place around the edges. Cut out close to the edge and sew together using a ½”(1,5cm) seam allowance.

Heart-denim-pillows-step22a.jpg Heart-denim-pillows-step22b.jpg

23. Turn right sides out and press.

Your pillow is now finished. To get a more worn look you can use a brush to make the edges of the hearts softer. Brushing on the chenille heart will also make a more velvet-like appearance  The fraying will be more visible after washing and drying (tumble dryer gives most effect)