DIY Throw pillows for teens

I wrapped up my summer teen program with this sensational teen DIY throw pillow craft . Creativity was on the loose and Polyfill stuffing was flying through the air.

Last spring I was gifted a beautiful selection of fabrics I pulled out a stack of 1/2 yards for the teens to use. Our wonderful teen librarian Melissa had the kids select their favorite patterns. She borrowed my rotary cutter, cutting mat, and straight edge to pre-cut the fabric into pairs (fronts and backs) of 16" squares.

I cut Muslin into twelve inch squares, two for each crafter. One for drawing and the second to use as a backing to block the intensely saturated patterned fabrics.

I set the teens loose with fabric markers and some Tulip Multi-Surface Stencil tm the peace, skull and cupcake images were all very popular. The stencils have a tacky backing that grips the fabric while you trace around them. One note of caution be sure to use scrap paper under the fabric as the markers will bleed through. Check the package instructions, some varieties of markers need to be heat set with an iron.

It was exciting to walk through the room and see the range of styles, the markers sparked creative freedom.

These artist didn't use stencils!

I asked the teens to stack their drawings over the plain muslin backing and pin them to the center of a patterned squares. If I ever repeat this project I'll demo how insert a straight pin, its easy to forget that the majority of kids aren't familiar with basic sewing techniques.

We had a large group, one sewing machine, and a time limitation. I quickly seamed the edges of the drawings to each pillow fronts. With a smaller group I'd encourage the kids to use the machine themselves. Placing the pillow front and back right sides together proved to be another conceptual challenge.

After they pinned them together I seamed the four outside edges together leaving a four inch opening to turn the pillow right sides out and stuff.

I was happy to let the teens hand stitch their openings closed, for many it was their first experience with a needle and thread. Thank goodness Melissa was on hand to help, I was tied to the sewing machine the entire second half of the program. They left with stunning creations, pride and a sense of accomplishment. What a great way to spend an hour or two with a group of teens.

Melissa Orth super teen librarian in action!

This afternoon we're getting together to brainstorm more DIY teen crafts for the fall, I can't wait to get started again.