Have you ever thought about tapping into the gift market? Or perhaps the custom market? Let’s just cut to the chase and get down to business with our next tutorial, the custom felt lettered pillow. Bridging two popular categories and creating custom or personalized gifts is absolutely the way to go if you are looking to serve a myriad of shoppers in search of personalized gifts.
What is the beauty of offering a personalized or fully custom item? They don’t have to be limited to a particular season, they appeal to just about anyone, and they can stand out in a crowd of other sellers. Sure, anyone can go to your average department store and pick up a perfectly fine throw pillow that says “Home Sweet Home” across the front, but how special is that? Cute, but not that special. Now, what if someone wanted a pillow that has their surname with the year they were married on the front? Or how about a family saying of theirs? They’ll have to go to you!
Felt lettered pillows can be the perfect item for nearly any occasion- whether it’s just for fun, a wedding gift, a housewarming present, an off to college token, or a pillow used to decorate for a variety of holidays and seasons. While the design possibilities are technically endless, we’ll just list a few to get your creative ideas flowing: monograms, surnames, pet names and silhouettes, salutations, humorous sayings, well wishes, and holiday-themed phrases- to name a few.
What’s the market like for a similar personalized pillow? Taking a look at sites like Etsy and Amazon Handmade, you will find thousands of personalized pillows. Why on earth would I recommend you tap into the personalized pillow market? For one, there is always enough room for more- especially if you can fill a neglected niche or implement excellent marketing strategies. Second, the majority of the personalized pillows offered are made with heat transfer vinyl- meaning that felt personalization would stand out with its added quality and visual depth. There is nothing wrong with heat transfer vinyl details, but comparing heat transfer vinyl to felt lettering is like comparing an apple to the juiciest and most delicious mango you’ve ever eaten. They just don’t compare. Felt details provide an interesting visual dimension, a huge variety of colors, and a tactile quality that you just can’t get with heat transfer vinyl.
FOR THIS TUTORIAL YOU WILL NEED:
18” x 18” pillow form
19” x 19” fabric (2 pieces, one for the front, and one for the back)
Felt fabric (sheets or by the yard)
Pins or Heat-n-Bond iron-on adhesive (I like Ultra-Hold)
Pen or marker
Tip: Look for a fabric that isn’t too lightweight. Try upholstery fabrics, canvas, or felt. You can choose two fabrics if you want the front and back to be different from each other.
Tip: When choosing a zipper, aim for one that is just slightly shorter than the length of the pillow insert. For example, if your pillow insert is 18”, go for a 16” zipper. If you happen to have a longer zipper, you can always shorten it to fit your needs.
Tip: I know it’s scary, but it’s time to try an invisible zipper. Invisible zippers hide nicely in the seam, making your finished product more professional looking.
Tip: Either craft felt or premium felt will work for this tutorial. If you are thinking about making this product to sell, consider using a premium felt as you will be able to command a higher selling price.
Watch the video below for the full tutorial as well as tips and tricks for photographing, marketing, and shipping your pillows. Stick around until the end for a breakdown of the three P’s- price, profit, and popularity.
Feeling inspired to create, but perhaps looking for a different project? Check out our list of craft tutorials for some inspiration!