My oldest brother is thee hardest person to shop for. I kid you not. He’s an animator, which indirectly means that in the past he’s been given a plethora of animated movies, movie character figurines, and drawing books/pencils/you-name-it’s. But I didn’t feel like shopping for any of that.
No. This year, I was so ready to give killer gifts. And my weapon of choice was practicality.
Exhibit A: The dog pillow.
After a mildly intense thought process, I finally decided that the best gift for my brother would be a pillow for his new apartment. Now…for a man, that sounds about as exciting as a new pair of socks. or bed sheets. or the housecoat your grandma used to buy you in lieu of toys. But that’s before throwing Rusty Doodle into the mix.
My family, if you do not already know, has a very unique love for our labradoodle. By unique, I obviously mean that we tag him in Facebook photos and bake him homemade dog biscuits. But alas, he’s deserving. He comes when you call him, sits when you ask him, and sneezes when you look at him. Not lying. So what better than a personalized gift that can both decorate a man’s bare apartment, while also reminding him of the dog he’s missing 350 days out of the year?
What You Will Need:
1 Small bottle of acrylic paint in any dark color (I used black)
1 Thin paint brush
1 Thick paint brush
19″ square (plus more for mistakes!) of linen or hemp-linen
18×18 pillow insert (I purchased mine here)
Homemade pet stencil (optional)
This pillow was sew simple (get it?) to make, and took me just under an hour. After gently ironing my fabric, I used a large ruler to cut the linen into an 19×19″ square. To paint the graphic, I created a template using a labrador retriever silhouette that I found online, and traced it lightly onto my fabric using a pencil; because we have a labradoodle who looks a bit differently than the average labrador, I first made some alterations to the legs and tail before using my paint brush to outline the body. I then used one or two larger brushes to fill in the body. It took about 20 minutes for the thin coat of paint to dry.
I put my “good” sides facing inward, and pinned the sides together about .5″ from the edges. I sewed three complete sides and about half of the bottom so I could stuff my pillow in. I cut the corners of the fabric before inverting it, then stuffed my insert in and used a simple stitch to close it together. And voila! An affordable homemade pillow that’s durable, casual, and nicest of all, personal.