Joy Applique Christmas Pillow

Hey everyone! I'm Jennifer from Ellison Lane and I'm excited to be guest posting here today! I love Christmas and as soon as Halloween is over I am itching to turn on holiday music! I try to hold out until Thanksgiving but sometimes I have to give in early. ๐Ÿ™‚

Joy is definitely the word that embodies the holidays for me. Joy on my children's faces, joy in the time spent with family and friends and joy in the blessings I've been given.

It's always fun to work on new holiday projects each year and a pillow is the perfect way to add something fresh to your holiday decor. This one comes together quickly and is super easy to customize!

joy pillow from ellison lane

16″ x 16″ finished Christmas pillow


1 Fat Quarter of Green Printed Fabric

1 Fat Quarter of Red Printed Fabric

1 Fat Quarter of Solid Red Fabric

Heat-n-Bond Lite

Glue Stick

68″ of Red Ribbon

Red Embroidery Thread or Hand Quilting Thread

Red Machine Thread

18″ x 18″ 100% Cotton Quilt Batting

16″ x 16″ Pillow Form

Basting Spray (optional)

Microsoft Word and a Printer (optional)

Rotary Supplies and Paper Scissors


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1. Using Microsoft Word, choose a font you like and change the size for “J” to 700 and for “O” and “Y” to 300. Print the letters and cut them out. (I used Gill Sans Ultra font.)

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2.Trace the letters onto the smooth/back side of Heat-n-Bond Lite. Be sure to place the J right side down so you are tracing it backwards as it will reverse when you place it on the pillow.

3. Fuse the Heat-n-Bond Lite to the wrong side of the red fabric. Once cool, cut out the letters and set aside.

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4. Cut a 17″ x 17″ square of green fabric. Fold in half and in half again to find the center. Peel the paper backing from the letters, center them on the fabric and fuse the letters to the fabric.

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5. Use a tight zigzag stitch and sew around the edges of the letters. Leave long threads at the beginning and after locking your stitches when you finish, use a pin to pull the threads to the back of the green fabric out of sight. Tie the threads in a knot.

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6. Spray the batting lightly with basting spray (this is optional.)

7. Place the pillow front on the batting and use embroidery thread or hand quilting thread to stitch around the letters.

8. Cut (4) 17″ pieces of ribbon.

9. Swipe the back of the ribbon with the glue stick and press onto the pillow front, 2″ up from the bottom. Sew along both sides of the ribbon with red thread.

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Repeat for the other 3 ribbons, sewing on the top next then the two sides. Each ribbon should be 2″ in from the side. *Make sure your fabric is smooth when you sew on the ribbon.*

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10. Cut a 17″ x 17″ square of red fabric for the back. Trim the excess batting from the front of the pillow.

11. Place the front and back, right sides together and pin. Leave a 9″ gap for turning along the bottom. Sew around all sides with a 1/2″ SA, backstitching at the opening of the gap.

12. Clip corners, turn right side out and poke out corners with a blunt turning tool and press. Stuff your pillow with a 16″ pillow form and hand sew the gap closed using the ladder stitch.

joy title

Enjoy your new festive pillow!

Looking for more holiday sewing projects? Check out 7 more holiday home decor tutorials on my blog.

Want to learn 8 tips and tricks plus 8 new patterns for making beautiful pillows for your home? Pick up my Make It Pretty: Pillows pattern ebook!

Thanks Deby for having me! Happy Holidays everyone!

xo, Jennifer

Opt In Image
Introducing Jennifer from Ellison Lane

Jennifer Mathis is a designer, modern sewist and blogger. Her passion is designing and creating things that are both beautiful and useful. She is the founder and host ofย Sew South, a modern sewing retreat and the co-author of Make It Pretty: Pillows. Jennifer's work has been featured in several publications and you can find her patterns, tutorials and inspirations at Ellison Lane and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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130 Responses to Joy Applique Christmas Pillow

  1. Heidi Teachout says:

    simple, it makes me SMILE.

  2. Norma Santiago says:

    Love to makeand receive handmade gifts

  3. Having my family together and getting to play with our grandchildren!

  4. maggielou says:

    Being together with my family. Thanks for the giveaway

  5. Chris says:

    Smiling children’s faces.

  6. Laurie P. says:

    Making handmade gifts and time spent with family and friends.

  7. Lee says:

    A super tutorial! thank you! I am looking forward to enjoying all my family and friends together!

  8. Patti says:

    Without question, it is the gathering of for away family members for the holidays! Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

  9. Paige Gonzalez says:

    We live in California and our family member live in Texas, Ohio and Colorado. We travel to see our family every year and my entire family can not wait to see all of our loved ones!

  10. Tiffany says:

    Oh, how cute. I LOVE this pillow! Taking time off to relax with the family brings me joy.

  11. goonyburd says:

    It’s my favorite time of year – cooler weather, fireplaces, Thanksgiving, family

  12. Melissa Nelson says:

    Spending time with family and friends.

  13. Beth says:

    Having family around and all the great food that I make and share!

  14. patti krueger says:

    Spending time with family and not feeling rushed.

  15. Judith Gale says:

    Thanks for the projects and the contest

  16. katy says:

    Holiday giving brings me joy. And the food!

  17. Cindy Dahlgren says:

    Seeing the kids grow up and have kids and grandkids brings me joy!

  18. Angela says:

    Spending time with friends and family!

  19. Having my annual cookie xmas party with my grandkids and friends its a sprinkle frenzy a tradition I start when my first grandson was born 5 yrs ago

  20. Tree G. says:

    Hi, What scrumptious fabric!… & thank you for sharing such a fantastic project! This tutorial came just in time for me. where-as I’m attempting to applique birds onto a pillow for my grandmother-in-law and had nooooo clue where to begin.
    ~Again thanks and much holiday blessings

  21. Karen A says:

    I find Joy in celebrating the greatest gift of our Savior Jesus Christ.

  22. Tracey says:

    As always, my kids bring me joy ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Jacklynn Grimm says:

    The lights, decorations and being with family and friends brings me much joy!

  24. Ashley says:

    Getting to see my son experience his first holidays is a great joy for me this year. I get so excited thinking about it!

  25. Kokopelli says:

    Just ordered some Riley Blake fabrics from the Camp-A-Lot series. Awesome!

  26. The children getting ready for Santa brings me Joy. Helping them prepare the cookies and reading the bedtime story…..

  27. Geni says:

    I love this pillow, I’ll probably use this idea to make a cover for the bazillion pillows I already have. Thanks!

  28. calipidgious says:

    An evening of listening to christmas music, wrapping presents and decorating the tree!~

  29. Lydia Varona Trainor says:

    I have a very small family so spending Christmas together is most important. But I also love preparing for Christmas – decorating, cooking & planning for the get-together – brings me great joy.

  30. Kristin Lambert says:

    My children’s faces on Christmas morning brings me JOY!!

  31. Cindy Dahlgren says:

    Seeing family and friends, watching kids grow up and have kids, and celebrating the reason for the season.

  32. Nancy says:

    I get the most joy out of this season by giving gifts. I love to make or buy something for someone. I put a lot of thought into how I think the will use or need my gifts.

  33. DeborahGun says:

    celebrating the birth of our Saviour brings me the most joy ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Julie Clooney says:

    Being with my family and friends and seeing the excitement in children’s eyes as they anticipate the holidays coming!!

  35. Shannon Thomas says:

    My son and seeing his innocent joy

  36. Kim Leavens says:

    Being with family and the sparkle in the eyes of children who believe in the magic of Christmas!

  37. VickiT says:

    I have so many things that bring me joy this time of the year. It seems as each year passes it is hard to block out all the bad in the world with the news media focusing on that so much. But, the one thing that remains consistent is my family. My family always brings me joy and I’m so very thankful for an amazing husband who will do anything within his power to be sure I am happy. My almost 2 yr old Granddaughter who lives with us right now brings me joy every single day. It’s such a joy being so lucky to see her daily and in watching her grow into an adorable little girl. She’s doing that babbling children do which comes after that baby babbling and just before the real words start flowing. It’s just adorable to watch her babbling this way while flipping through a catalog I’ve given her that I am throwing away. She flips each page jabbering away, then flips her head up toward the ceiling and starts laughing, then goes back to ‘reading’ the book and flipping the pages again. SO much fun and a major joy to each and every day to watch her.

  38. Becky R says:

    Being with my family and the traditions we enjoy together.

  39. Joyce Mitchell says:

    Getting together with family brings me the most JOY this time of year. Thanks.

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