Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fake Pottery Barn Nautical Pillows

As soon as I received Pottery Barn’s summer catalogue, I knew I was going to “fake” their beautiful nautical theme pillows.  Pottery Barn advertises them as “hand painted.”  I say, “Thanks for telling me how to make them!”

Only problem was that I didn’t have any good fabric to make them.  Then, last weekend, I hit the jackpot at a flea market!  A woman was selling beautiful silk fabric for $1/yard, along with pillow inserts for $2/each and beaded trim for $2/12 yards!  Amazing deal!
(If you didn’t hit the jackpot like I did, you could also use an old, light-colored pillowcase  or pick up some cheap fabric at Walmart – you will only need 1 Yard for your pillow!)
Let’s get started!  First, lay the pillow insert down on the fabric and cut about 3 inches extra around the insert.  You will need two pieces of fabric – one front and one back, and the square doesn’t have to be perfect.
Next, set your pillow insert aside and run a bead of fabric glue (I use Fabric Tack) around THREE edges of your bottom fabric.  Gently press the top piece of fabric onto the glue edge and set aside to dry.   When dry, turn it inside-out so that the messy ends are on the inside of your new pillow cover! 
Now fire up your iron!  You will need to fold the 4th side of the pillow cover inside so that they will make a nice seam.  Press them down with your iron, along with the other edges of your pillow cover so that it appears crisp.
Next, put in your pillow insert and run a bead of fabric glue along the inside of the  4th edge of your pillow cover. 
I used a few clothes pins to secure the fabric at this stage while it dried.  Pretty easy so far, huh?
When it’s dry, you can apply any fabric trim or lace you have available.  Or, you may like the look of the crisp edges and leave it as is.  I decided to use my beaded trim and applied it with a glue gun because it’s much faster than waiting for fabric glue to dry:
Now it’s time for the “Creative” part of the project.  I have some confidence with a paint brush (though I’m no artist), so I decide to give a try at painting the Coral first.  It’s basically like painting a bare tree, but with lots and lots of branches.  I’m using basic craft paint and a small brush for this.  It’s surprisingly easy to paint on fabric, if you’ve never tried it!
Not too shabby, so I continue with another, larger coral and some seaweed.  On the other pillow, I tried my hand at a scallop shell.  To make it fancier, I wrote “Fruits de Mer” underneath it (a French expression for Seafood). 
If you have no artistic interest, do not worry, you can still have these pillows!  Surf the internet for “nautical images” and print out some of your favorites onto an iron-on transfer sheet for computer printers.  Now your options are unlimited!

The Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:

2 Fake Pottery Barn Pillows  ($2.00 for 2 Yards Fabric, $4.00 for Pillow Inserts, $1.00 for 6 yards of Trim) 

Total Fake-It Cost $7.00

2 Actual Pottery Barn Pillows  (Shell $39.00, Coral $39.00)

Total Fake-It Yourself Savings $71.00

*Update* I took this project one step further and created a Companion Mermaid Pillow!

**If you liked this, check out my other Crafts!**


  1. Wow! I <3 your Coral pillow! I like it better than the PB one!

    Good job!

  2. Saw these at PB and nearly passed out at the price. You did a nice recreation! Just found you from Homemaker and have become your latest follower. Hoping you will follow same.

  3. I love these pillows! I am featuring them on my site on Monday, June 6th!

  4. You did such a great job. I kinda like your version better then PB anyway. I found you on Homemaker on a Dime. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Those look gorgeous--awesome knockoff!

  6. Well for not being an "artist" you sure turned out some amazingly artistic works of art! Love everything about these -- what a score on the fabric and trims!

  7. Great Job! I love both pillows and what a deal on the fabric and inserts.

  8. Beautiful pillows. Your painting is spectacular- you see I can't paint. I hate that I can't paint. I make myself feel better by seeing your gorgeous work.


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