How to Make a Tuxedo Pillow

Two Methods:Fabric paint a tux pillowSew a tux pillow

A tuxedo design is a fabulous and fairly simple way to improve the look of any plain cushion. There are a few ways to go about transforming your pillow into a tuxedo pillow, and here are two examples to inspire you.

Method 1
Fabric paint a tux pillow

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    Find a suitable pillow. Square pillows (or cushions) provide the best shape but the shape is determined by the final look you're after, as even a rectangular pillow can work.
    • If repurposing an old pillow, clean it well to remove marks.
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    Measure the pillow. For the sake of this tutorial, the assumption is that the pillow you're using is square. Any other shape and you'll need to make adjustments as befits the shape.
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    Using the measurements, create a triangle paper template that will reach from corner to corner of the "top" of the pillow and meet evenly in the center of the "base of the pillow.
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    Cut out the triangle paper. Pin this carefully to the pillow front, the tip going down to the base and the two top edges meeting the top edges of the pillow. The pins must create a very tight line down the edges of the triangle, to ensure exact lines when painting the fabric paint in place.
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    Prepare the black fabric paint. Pour into a container for ease of access and have your brush ready.
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    Begin by carefully painting a line down each side of the triangle you've just stuck to the pillow front. This creates the neat barrier lines between the tuxedo coat and the white shirt that will be underneath it. It might help to follow a ruler for exactness.
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    Paint the exposed portions of the pillow black. This will be the two triangle shapes to each side of the paper triangle. Allow to dry completely before removing the template.
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    Remove the paper pattern. You should have a cushion with two black triangle sides and a big white triangle center.
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    Make the bow tie pattern. You'll need two evenly shaped triangles for this. The measurements for the bow tie should be determined by the amount of white space at the top of the pillow, and the space to the edges from the black triangles. The triangles will be placed tip to tip, with the wide base facing each black triangle. There should be a small, clearly noticeable space between the base edges and the edges of the black triangles. This represents the end of the bow tie and the continuance of the white shirt before reaching the black coat.
    • When creating the cardboard template, make it slightly larger than the intended final size, then cut out most of the inner part of the triangle while leaving a strong edge to serve as the paint infill template.
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    Apply the stencil template to the pillow using pins. Be sure that the tips meet evenly and that the bow tie looks straight.
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    Paint inside the cardboard triangle templates using the black fabric paint. Be especially careful around the edges, to ensure that they're neat. Allow to dry completely before removing the template. Make any touch-ups as needed.
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    Paint a row of round black buttons beneath the bow tie to the base of the pillow. Alternatively, stitch on a row of black buttons.
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    Display. The pillow is now complete.

Method 2
Sew a tux pillow

This is a great sewing project for beginner and intermediate sewers. You make use of the buttons and buttonholes already in place for the opening that allows insertion of the pillow insert.

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    1
    Find an unwanted tuxedo shirt. Thrift stores are often a good place to find one for next-to-nothing. Also pick a new square pillow insert (available from craft and d├ęcor stores).
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    Use a disappearing ink pen and ruler to mark the square size of the front of your pillow on the front of the tuxedo shirt, plus one inch extra (2.5cm). Center this square over the folds and buttons at the shirt's front, the parts that make it obviously a tuxedo shirt.
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    Cut out the square. When cutting, cut both the front and the back of the shirt, unless you're planning on using a different backing, in which case you'll need to measure the alternative backing to match the front.
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    Stitch the sides of the two squares together, right sides facing, as for a normal pillow cover. Leave a 1/2 inch (1.27cm) seam allowance and clip the corners.
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    Turn the cover right side out. Open the buttons and insert the cushion. Close the buttons to complete.
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    Sew a bow tie to the front of the pillow for a final touch. If you can't find an unwanted one, simply sew a bow and attach it instead.

Things You'll Need

Version one:

  • Black fabric paint
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pillow/pillow insert

Version two:

  • Pillow insert
  • Tuxedo shirt
  • Bow tie or bow (black is best)
  • Disappearing ink pen
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine and thread (can be done by hand if wished)

Sources and Citations

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