Sunday, 23 December 2012

Make a Button-Tree Cushion, With Woodland Visitors

This cute, decorative cushion features an appliqued felt tree, and uses an assortment of buttons in varying sizes and shades of green for the leaves. An embroidered owl sits among the branches, while a grey squirrel scampers off around the trunk

 The design uses 4 basic embroidery stitches, blanket stitch, chain stitch, stem stitch & vandyke stitch (although you could substitute other stitches of your choice.)

You will need:

A plain cushion cover and pad
A 30cm square of brown felt
40-60 buttons of various sizes and colours
A selection of embroidery threads in various shades of brown, grey and orange
A small amount of iron-on interfacing and hemming web (optional)

Cut the tree shape below out of your brown felt, and pin it into position on your cushion cover. ( alternatively, use small strips of iron-on hemming web to keep it in place while you blanket-stitch around it ) I printed off two copies of the tree, one to use as a template, and another to use as a 'map' for my buttons later.

Trace the smaller pictures of the owl and the squirrel from the template, and transfer to your cushion cover  (or alternatively, draw them on freehand with a pencil, as I did)

Embroider the owl and squirrel using colours and stitches of your choice. I outlined my owl in stem-stitch using 2 strands of thread, & filled in the face, and eyes with chain-stitch using a single strand of thread. The body of the owl was filled with rows of blanket stitch using two strands of alternating shades of brown, to give an impression of 'feathers' laying down the body. The beak and feet were sewn using stem stitch, and individual chain-stitch 'links' for the claws, sewing through the felt forming the branch.

The squirrel's tail was formed using a strip of vandyke stitch in a dark grey to form the centre of the tail, with individual stitches added between the sides of the vandyke stitch, in paler shades of grey/cream, to give the tail a 'fluffy' effect. The outline of the tail and the back legs of the squirrel were also sewn in stem stitch, using the paler shade of grey for the tail, and the darker shade of grey for the legs, with the left leg being sewn over the felt, so the squirrel appears to be climbing round the tree.

Arranging the buttons:

Depending on the size and shapes of the buttons you are using, you will need between 40 and 60 to form the 'leaves' on your tree. Before you begin to attach them to your cushion cover, map out where you want them to go, either by placing them on the cushion cover and moving them around until you are happy with the look of it, & taking a photograph to refer to while sewing, or by laying them out on your work table, on your second copy of the template. 

Then just sew each button on, positioning it from your 'map' until the tree is full of leaves. Insert your cushion pad, sit back and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely pillow and fabulous charity! Thanks!