Thursday, November 29, 2012

{Tutorial} Knock-Off Ballard Designs Advent Pillow

I recently received the holiday edition of Ballard Designs’ catalog in the mail.  Amidst all of the gorgeous pages of holiday d├ęcor was this Advent Pillow:
Cute right?
Apparently a lot of other people think so too, because it looks like it’s already no longer available…
What’s a girl to do?  In this case, make one!  I present my version of the BD Advent Pillow:

Want one for your very own?  Here’s the how-to!

You Will Need:

  • 1 yard fabric (I chose a cotton ticking stripe)
  • 2 yards cotton webbing (found in the ribbon section of your fabric store)
  • 16 x 16 pillow insert
  • Number stamps and fabric paint (or number stencils), paintbrush


1.  From fabric, cut one 17” x 17” square and two 17'” x 10” rectangles (be sure to match direction if using stripes)


2.  Cut five pieces of webbing, each 17” long.


3.  Measure two inches from top of 17” x 17” square and line up top of your cotton webbing.  Pin in place.  Then measure two inches from bottom of webbing and line up top of next strip.  Pin.  Repeat for remaining strips.

4.  Sew along bottom of each cotton webbing strip as close as possible to the edge.  I used a straight stitch.

5.  When you are finished, it will look like this:


6.  Next, you are going to measure across to mark your “pockets”.  Measure in four inches from the left edge and mark.  Measure three inches and mark (three times).  I found it easier to mark all pieces of webbing at the same time to help keep the pockets in line.


7.  Sew along each line, stay-stitching on each end of the webbing for reinforcement.  The easiest way to do this (rather than snipping threads after each time) is to complete one vertical seam, pick up your sewing needle and pull through fabric to the next line and repeat until all five vertical seams are sewn.  Then repeat for the next column.
(See in the pic how the thread connects in between the webbing?  You’ll snip it later, so no worries.  This will save you a ton of time!)


8.  Once all vertical pockets are sewn, it will look like this:


9.  Now set this piece aside and lets work on the back pieces for the envelope closure.  On the long end of your rectangle (WS), fold in edge 1/4” and press.  Fold this in again 1/4” and press, then pin.  Repeat for other rectangle, then sew along each seam using a 1/8” seam allowance.


10.  Now it’s time to assemble your pillow cover.  Lay the 17” x 17” rectangle RSU.  Line up 17” x 10” rectangles with the edges WSU.  These pieces overlap as they will form an envelope closure.  Pin along outer edges.


11.  Using a 3/8” seam allowance. sew along outer edges, stay-stitching over the overlapping seams for extra reinforcement.  Trim threads and finish raw edge with a zigzag stitch, serger, or pinking shears.  Turn right-side out and press.  (Sorry, I don’t have a picture for this part…)

12.  Now it’s time to put on your numbers!  I used wooden stamps and black fabric paint, then hand-stamped the numbers to the center of each “pocket”.  Note – the stamps work better if you brush the paint on with a paintbrush rather than coat it as if in ink.  Trust me, I learned this the hard way. ';)  If you’re worried about your paint bleeding through, place a piece of heavy card stock or cardboard inside your cover.
004                                  005

13.  Allow paint to dry and that’s it!  Now find something to use as your Advent pillow marker.  I used a felt gingerbread man, but  you can use a candy cane, or a small Christmas cookie cutter, whatever you like.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you make one of these pillows to help count down the days until December 25th!!

Linking up:
Craftberry Bush
Tatertots and Jello

Days of Chalk and Chocolate
Home Stories A to Z

Wow us Wednesdays

The 36th Avenue
Scraps of Life
Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive
Somewhat Simple


  1. I love the advent pillow, that truly is a Special creation, TheSpecialOne would adore it. I love your blog and have a nice time exploring around. I will follow on the way out so as I remember the path to your door for next time. I hope you will find the time to visit me and do the same. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

  2. This is adorable!!! Such a great job! Your tutorial is wonderful!

    Would LOVE for you to link up at our "Home For The Holidays" link party!

  3. Look at your cute gingerbread man! I love it! You did a great job and I'd love it you could link it up to my party!

  4. This is adorable! You did a fabulous job! I am a new follower. I would love for you to link this up to my party (I see I am not the only one, lol) @


  5. I'll be featuring you tomorrow during STICKER TIME! Thank you for sharing!

  6. I love this x1,000! So adorable. I'd LOVE for you to come link this up in my Holiday link up! Stop over if you have time. I'm your newest GFC follower, too!


  7. You are featured!

    Susie :)

  8. Oh my goodness, you are so clever! That is such a great result-I think yours looks way better!

    I am hosting an Advent calendar link up as part of my 12 Days of Christmas series at my Christmas blog. I sure do hope you can pop by and link up this wonderful and creative post!

    Best Christmas wishes,

  9. Cute cute pillow. I will be featuring this tonight at my wow party. Thanks for joining last week.

  10. I am seriously in love with this project! I have all the materials, now I just need to find a little time :) Thanks for sharing and linking up!

  11. Love this! Thanks for sharing such a detailed tutorial! I'm going to feature this on my blog Friday! I hope you'll stop by!
    Scissors & Spatulas

  12. this is so darling! I think I need to make one this weekend I'd love you to add it to what we wore and made party over at

  13. So cute!! Thanks for auditioning for OMTWI! Don't forget to include the button in your post or sidebar! Don't want you to be disqualified!

  14. How cute is THAT! Thanks for visiting FlyAwayHome. Did you check out my advent calendars while you were visiting? You can see them here: Have a great day!

  15. Love it!! I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this morning that links to your tutorial:


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