DIY: nautical embroidered pillows


My weekend project turned into a couple of weekends but I am quite happy with the results!  The pile of fabric turned into some new "nautical" pillow covers for our living room.
The top 2 canvases and navy blue corduroy I found at a Thrift Store for a few dollars.  The check fabric I've had in my stash for years and thought it was time to put it to use.  The pillows are from Ikea.
I always sew our cushions with an envelope style closure at the back so the larger pillows were done in a couple of hours.
Here's how I made the small embroidered pillow.

Navy blue embroidery floss and hoop also found at a Thrift Store.
Nautical Compass design found here.
You will also need some circles to trace around (I used bowls), a ruler, pencil and scissors to snip your threads.

draw on image
Using the round bowls and a ruler I drew out a Nautical Compass design using the printed image as a guideline.

set up
I have put my canvas fabric into the embroidery hoop and am now ready to embroider the design.  I did the entire piece using a back stitch.

embroidery finished
The front of the pillow is now finished so I have cut two pieces of corduroy to make a simple envelope style pillow case.  Zig zag stitch or serge the edges and turn it inside out.

It took a total of 3.5 hours to make.

Here's my son reading about the Titanic in a National Geographic magazine, how fitting!

I enjoyed making the little embroidered pillow so much I immediately started a second pillow in the darker canvas with a lighthouse design.  It's still in the works but I will let you know how it turns out.
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Joey, it turned out great! awesome project!

  2. I love the cushion. Back stitch can be so effective!

  3. I love embroidery! It isn't something I do often now, but when I was in junior high and high school it was my main craft obsession :-) These patterns are lovely!

  4. Brilliant! Sheesh, to have such talent!


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