Making a beautiful, patriotic pillow can be a lovely way to commemorate the somber Memorial Day holiday. As a decorative symbol that you can display in your home each May or give as a gift, it’s sure to serve as a reminder of the sacrifices others have made. This decoupage project can also be a great way of starting a conversation with children about what the holiday means beyond the seasonal barbecues and fireworks displays.
Age Guideline: 13 and Up
Time Required: 2 Hours (including waiting periods)
What You’ll Need:
- Red, White, or Blue Pillow (starting with one solid color is best)
- Pre-cut Fabric
- Fabric Glue
- Red and Blue Beads
- Fabric Mod Podge or other Decoupage Liquid
- Thin Paintbrush
- Red Felt
- Blue Felt
- White Felt
- Small Flag Cloth (a small fabric that has a recreation of the flag on it)
- Start with a mental rough draft of the design that you want to decoupage on your pillow. Take into consideration the size of pillow, the personal message that you want to say with your pillow, and how you intend to use your pillow. While you don’t want an intricate design on a pillow that you intend to use heavily and throw out after a gathering, you will want to spend a great deal of effort preparing the design for a pillow that you intend to keep for years to come.
- Gather the materials that you will need. With this step, you also need to keep in mind its destination. For example, if you intend to put your pillow on an exterior bench or in an area where children will be playing, you’ll need to choose materials that would not easily become detached.
- Cut out designs from your red, white, and blue felt. You may opt to make stars, strips, hearts, or any other design that you would like to use sporadically as a background for your larger pillow designs. Next, cut out any large designs.
- Cut out a piece of the felt into a rectangle that’s 1/2 inch larger than your flag cloth on each side, so that it will appear to mat the flag as one would a photo in a frame.
- Cover the side of pillow that you intend to decoupage with a thorough coat of decoupage liquid, making sure that all your brush strokes go in one direction. then allow it to dry for 30 minutes. After it has dried, apply another layer of decoupage liquid, taking care to ensure that your brush strokes go in the same direction as before.
- Apply the large, rectangular piece of red felt that your flag cloth will cover. Next, carefully place the flag cloth on top of the red felt, then use fabric glue to secure the cloth flag onto the pillow.
- Now you can really get creative! Place the accessories, small felt cut-outs, and other decorative materials on the pillow. The decoupage liquid should hold the items in place with no additional coats of decoupage liquid needed.
- Leave the pillow to set for 30 minutes.
Now, you’re all done! A decoupage pillow will look great on a sofa, bed, nightstand, or decorative table. You may even want to make multiple pillows and use them as backings for dining room chairs at a Memorial Day gathering.