northstory + co

DIY – Leather Embellished Pillow

Has this ever happened to you?

You get an idea for an item that you need for your home – a rug, a table, bed sheets and so on – and you envision that item in a certain colour, pattern or just overall look. Then you go out and search for this imagined item. Heck you spend hours searching online.

And instead of successfully purchasing this item from the hundreds of thousands of home decor and upholstery stores like currently out there, you find yourself sitting there going “Why is it so damn hard to find a ________?”

That was the case with this pillow.

I live in Canada. You’d think being in a country where the Maple Leaf is on our flag, where Canadiana merchandise is practically mandatory due to tourism and Canada Day, I could easily find a contemporary pillow with a leather Maple Leaf on it. Apparently not. I can however find one with the Canadian flag as well the endless sea of Toronto Maple Leaf swag. I do mean endless despite the now 47 year drought for the Stanley Cup. Forty-Seven Years. People. Come on now.

But getting back to the issue at hand, my pillow. If one such mysterious creature does exist, it is not being SEO’ed, marketed or linked the original source of the maker despite all my misplaced efforts of searching endlessly on Google for it.

So, as with 90% of projects that I (we) make for our home that are dictated by the fact that I can’t find the item I have conjured up in my imagination or can afford to buy based on the parameters of our bank account, I said fine, I’ll make my own. 

This new maple leaf pillow actually influenced by our old maple leaf pillow shown below that I picked up at Superstore last summer. And many hugs, sleeps and kids markers causing it to have a date with the washing machine later, it’s showing its age and feeling a lot less like a pillow.

Canadiana Pillow from Superstore -

The other reason I decided to make this pillow was because in June I looked at James and said “Why are the Christmas pillows still on the sectional?” and promptly went on a pillow buying bender that resulted in Exhibit’s A and B below.

Beaver Canoe Pillow from Target -

Beaver Canoe Pillow at Target -

So I got out an old grey pillowcase that I bought two years ago with the intention of decorating it but never did. La, la, la…

pillowcase before

And then I received this gorgeous Aged Copper Distress leather from the Leather Hide Store and thought this is perfect to make the leaf with.

It’s the colour that I think our sectional should be. Sort of like the sectional that is on New Girl that you when you watch the show you wonder how 4 broke roommates could have afforded to buy it, let alone continue to pay the rent in their loft.

But yes that gorgeous caramel copper goodness.

This is an easy DIY for all of you out there like myself who are challenging in the art of using a sewing machine. I printed up a Maple Leaf template and then cut out the leaf parts of it in sharper edges to give it a more modern feel. Afterwards I traced the template onto the back of the leather, cut it out with good fabric scissors, punched holes in it using my new leather punch which I should have invested in ages ago.

maple leaf stencil on back of leather -

Then like the good Canuck that I am, sat down in our backyard in the Adirondack chair and hand stitched it onto the pillow. I purposely used a contrasting thread because that little bit of extra contemporary feel.

getting ready to hand stitch the leather leaf onto the pillow -

Not a bad Canadiana style update for a $2 pillowcase. Maybe I can put it in my imaginary cabin up north that I seem to think our suburban house is morphing into. Maybe we should just get a cabin.

Oh right. Bank account parameters.

Maple Leaf Pillow - hand stitched maple leaf made from leather -

DIY Leather Embellished Pillow - Maple Leaf - Canadiana - -

I have a lot more projects that I want to make with this leather – name tags, storage boxes and one that if I can pull it off, will probably be one of my favourite DIY’s to date.

But in the meantime maybe you’d like to make some projects or crafts of your own? Well Leather Hide Store is giving you a chance to win $50 to spend at their store! YAY!

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Contest runs from July 14 – July 22nd, 2014 and is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Good Luck!

PS – If you read or received this post twice and think what’s going on, a funny thing happened about 30 minutes after I posted it. My site crashed for the first time ever (who says blogging is all fun, creative projects? Tech support. I love tech support). So if you entered the contest before, definitely re-enter it to make sure you’re in there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Reply
    July 14, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I would try to make a bowtie with it!

  • Reply
    Danielle Floyd (@wannawin4)
    July 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I would probably try to make some sort of jewellery

  • Reply
    July 14, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    I’m so happy you couldn’t find what you were looking for because this pillow is awesome! Masculine and patriotic for the win!!

    • Reply
      July 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      I know I’ve been heavy on the Canada love these days. I fully blame Canada Day this month as you US gals are seriously kick ass with your Patriotic Fourth of July projects so I had to do something over here.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Oooh… I want one of those pillows too! Are you considering making more to sell? (Please?)

    • Reply
      July 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Thank you Erin, that’s very sweet of you! I don’t sell anything but if I can find a pillowcase again I can make you one. If not really, try your own. If I can do this trust me anyone can as I am the prototype of a person that cannot sew.

  • Reply
    Dannyelle @
    July 15, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I love your pillow, it looks great.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I do this ALL THE TIME (“Why is it so hard to find ___??”). This pillow turned out so cute!

  • Reply
    July 16, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I’m really not sure what I would make but I love your pillow. So cute & something I would never think to do. You’ve inspired me!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2014 at 12:06 am

    I love your pillows! I would like to try to make a passport holder or small card wallet.

  • Reply
    Victoria Ess
    July 17, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I’d make a pillow too!

  • Reply
    Lynn Mathieu
    July 17, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    I would make a pillow,definably with maybe a mongram

  • Reply
    July 21, 2014 at 8:23 am

    It looks great. I love how it is sewn with so visual with big yarn and not hidedn like you would ususal see it 🙂

  • Reply
    July 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I want to make a passport holder

  • Reply
    Crystal Rose
    July 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I would make a hair clip.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Love the pillow Alex – you are so talented!! I would probably try to make some tags…how fun!

  • Reply
    Virginia Fynes
    July 23, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Love this pillow! What a perfect leather project that anyone can do. It turned out perfect!

  • Reply
    Tan of Squirrelly Minds
    October 1, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I just LOVE the leather detail on this pillow! I haven’t worked with leather before but I keep meaning to. This may be my first leather project

    • Reply
      October 4, 2014 at 7:54 am

      Thanks so much! If I can do this anyone can. I am so incompetent with sewing and that leather punch makes all the difference.

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