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Advent DIY Day 9: Handmade Holiday Typography Pillow by Hodge:Podge

Dec 9, 2013

by Jo Casley handmade and vintage goods

Every day between December 1st and December 25th, we bring you a new festive ‘how to’ as part of our DIY Advent series.

Barbara is a caffeine-fuelled design aficionado that makes her home on Canada’s “wet” coast. She is the author of Hodge:Podge by Markova Design, a blog that showcases her frugal do-it-yourself projects, room makeovers, and interviews with fabulous Canadians, inspirational interiors and anything else that tickles her fancy.


What is your favourite handmade present you’ve ever received from someone? My favourite handmade gift I have ever received was a Barbie house my parents built for me when I turned 6. My dad built the structure and my mom decorated the interior with carpet, wallpaper and furniture made by my dad. That dollhouse got endless hours of play.

Do you have a special tradition you do every holiday season? A favourite holiday ritual that has become a tradition in our house is we bake and decorate gingerbread houses from scratch. We love designing a new house every year, creating the plans, making the dough and covering the house with our favourite candy.

For you, how is Etsy “where one-of-a-kind gifts come from”? I love Etsy to find one-of-a-kind gifts. In this era of mass-produced products, it is such a delight to browse Etsy and to find gifts that have been made with love, creativity and care. I love browsing the site for hours, creating wish lists. The selection is endless! I am also blown away by the creativity! Even my own daughter has her own Etsy shop selling paintings she has lovingly created with her own hands.

Handmade Holiday Typography Pillow

Supplies Needed:

  • Fabric, 100% cotton or linen is best, cut into 2 squares 1” larger than desired finished size  (My pillow is 18 x 18 “, so I cut a 19 x 19 “ square)

  • T-shirt transfer paper

  • Coordinating thread

  • Scissors

  • Template (made on the computer)

  • Pom-pom fringe (optional)

  • Zipper, for enclosure (optional)

  • Iron and ironing board

  • Sewing machine



Once the fabric has been cut, you need to create a template. Creating a template is really quite easy on your home computer. The key is to make a reverse image.

 Create your word or letters in Microsoft Word in your desired font. I used Academy Engraving. Enlarge to desired size; I sized my font to 400.

Save the file as a PDF.

Re-open the file so you can save it as a JPEG file (this is the only way to reverse the image). In JPEG format, open “Tools” and scroll down to “Flip Horizontal.”  TA-DA!

Print onto paper to make sure it is the desired size. If satisfied then print onto transfer paper. Cut out the letters.

 Iron out any creases and wrinkles on your fabric square.

Place the letters printed side down onto your fabric, being careful to centre on the square.

Iron on highest setting and run the iron over the letters in a circular motion for about 30 seconds over each letter.  Don’t overdo as you can burn the transfer paper and the fabric.


Let cool and slowly peel off the backing.  If you find printed “bits” coming off, lie down and run over with a hot iron again.


You are now ready to sew the pillow.

If you want to add pom-pom trim, you need to pin it half an inch from the edge, with the fringe facing towards the middle.


Hold the trim in place when stitching the two pieces together.


At this point you can pin the two fabric squares together and stitch together, leaving an opening for the pillow to be inserted and slipstitch it closed. Or you can follow my zipper insert tutorial here.

At this point, you can stitch the two pieces together; right sides together and slip stitch the ends or you can add a zipper enclosure following my tutorial here.

What I love about this project is you can create whatever holiday message you want using the endless array of fonts available on the web. Happy creating!


Have you made any Christmas advent DIYs? We’d love to see – send us pictures with the hashtag #ChristmasAdventDIY and we’ll share them on and Twitter @EtsyUK.


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