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Project

Embroidered Throw Pillows

Forgot to bring handcrafted throw pillows back from Tangiers? No need to spend the price of a plane ticket on a designer version. Instead, buy a few affordable wide-weave cushions and commission your favorite artisan — here's looking at you, kid — to trick them out, simply by working yarn right into the weave with a tapestry needle. 

embroidered pillows

Photography: Alpha Smoot

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

Also pictured (from left): West Elm silk hand‐loomed pillow covers, in Nightshade and Platinum, $39 each, westelm.com. Pottery Barn Linen Seed Stitch lumbar‐pillow cover, in Sailor Blue, $49.50, potterybarn.com.

materials

  • Pillow covers

  • Alpaca yarn

  • Tapestry needle

steps

  1. To make bows: We added the bows by threading the needle with 6 to 10 pieces of alpaca yarn and pulling it through an existing stitch in the pillow. Trim the ends to the same length (about three inches total), repeat, and admire your savvy "souvenir."

  2. To make stripes: Thread 6 to 10 pieces of alpaca yarn through a tapestry needle. Work it over and under a row of existing stitches. Stop every few inches to tease the ends into tufts or change color.
  3. To make tassels: Thread 10 pieces of alpaca yarn through a tapestry needle. Pull it through a stitch in the side of the pillow, then tie the two ends of yarn in a knot to form a tassel, and trim the ends.

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