…a heat transfer vinyl project.
I made this pillow for our lakeside living room, but it would be just as at home in a bedroom or on the deck. It also makes a fabulous hostess gift if you’ve been invited to stay at a friend’s cabin/cottage/house at the lake. Let me tell ya, extra cushions (especially ones that can double as bed pillows when the sleeping bags come out), are always welcome at the lake. And if they’re cute and funny and start a conversation, all the better.
I chose the “Vigdis” Ikea cushion cover for this project because it’s more folksy and less formal than the “Gurli” covers I’ve used before, and it handles my favorite 20″x 20″ Fjädrar insert beautifully. I’m not affiliated with Ikea; I just really like the quality of this cover + insert combination.
You’ll find the free cut file in SVG and Silhouette formats below, plus instructions on how to change the direction of the pointing hand, and everything you need to know to be successful with heat transfer vinyl.
This post includes affiliate links to help you find the products I used. Read my full disclosure here..
What you need…
- Cushion cover & pillow insert – I used a green Ikea “Vigdis” cover & “Fjädrar” 20″x20″ pillow insert. (the denim “Ormkaktis” cover is also very cabin-y)
- Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) in a contrasting color to the cushion cover – I used white Siser Easyweed.
- Silhouette mat
- Weeding tool – I use a dental hook like this
- Heat press or iron & ironing board
- Teflon sheet or parchment paper
- Silhouette cutting machine – I’m still using the Original Silhouette Cameo (it’s a workhorse). It’s powered by Silhouette Studio Designer Edition v. 3.3.638 (you can use another cutting machine brand if it’ll cut SVG files)
- Free Cut File ↓ ↓ ↓
Sizing the design…
I held a measuring tape to the cushion cover to nail down the size I wanted, but if you want a more precise idea of how things will look before cutting the design from HTV, you can print out several different sizes and audition them on the pillow as I did for the Book Drunkard Book Bag project. Going through a few sheets of paper is far more economical than having to re-cut HTV because something was the wrong size.
My design ended up about 8″ wide. Feel free to resize to whatever works for you. To do that, simply select the design and drag one of the corners until it’s the size you want. If you’re using the SVG file, you may need to group the design pieces together first (to do that, select them all, right-click, then choose ‘Group’ from the list).
Changing the hand direction…
If you want the hand pointing in the other direction, ungroup the design (select the design, right-click, choose ‘Ungroup’) so the hand image is separate from the other elements. Then select just the hand image and flip it (right-click, choose ‘Flip Horizontally’). Then group the whole design together again (select all of the elements at once (hold the shift key down while you select them, or draw a selection box around them all), right-click, choose ‘Group’).
—It’s HTV, so remember to mirror the design before cutting so it shows up the right way once applied (to mirror a design, select it, right-click then choose “Flip Horizontally”). It should look like this on your screen when you send it to cut:
—Cut settings will vary a little from machine to machine, but I find I get a much cleaner cut—i.e., easier to weed—if I choose the Double Cut option in the Cut Settings window. Cutting takes longer because the blade cuts in two passes, but I find the extra time is worth it.
—Weed out the parts that aren’t part of the design.
Applying the HTV…
If heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is new to you or you need a refresher, I wrote in detail about how I work with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) here. Here’s the fastforward version of this project:
Place the design where you want it on the pillow (shiny carrier sheet side up and cut HTV side down). The letters should all be facing the right way. Cover with a Teflon sheet or parchment paper (I used parchment paper this time) and press for 15 seconds using a heat press or iron. If using an iron, press firmly in an up and down motion until the whole design gets its 15 seconds.
Stuff it with a pillow insert, and yo, you’re done.
Bring on the sun.
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