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Monogram Embroidery Pillow: easy DIY

Sharing this tutorial for how I made this DIY Monogram Embroidery Pillow

If you’ve been following my blog recently, you know we have been smack in the midst of sending my oldest off to college…like yesterday.  Since she and her roommate chose a white/gold color scheme, with splashes of navy and hot pink, we’ve been blinging up all sorts of things around here. 

Most recently, we recovered a storage cube to make it work with their room.

I’m not exactly sure the genesis of this gold monogram embroidery pillow, but at some point along the road, there was a ‘Hey mom, could you make a gold monogram letter pillow for my room?”, followed by a “Sure I can do that!”  (I am a mom after all).

We decided on a big blocky ‘K’ monogram using a gold metallic thread.  I pointed out several options for filling in the monogram and she chose to have the ‘K’ filled in with french knots.  Not at all difficult, but suffice it to say that I’m officially ‘french knotted out’ for a while.  The pillow took me probably 8 days, start to finish, working on it in the evenings while Terry and I watched “The West Wing”.  

Which reminds me, how did I miss this show when it was out originally?  It is fantastic!  The writing and casting…spot on.  Terry and I thrilled to still have 100 of the 154 episodes to watch on Netflix.  Bring on the binge-watch.

DIY Monogram Embroidery Pillow Material:

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  • Fabric depending on the size you choose.  Our pillow is small, 12″ by 12″, so I got 1/2 yard of fabric.  Specifically, I chose white Kona cotton. 
  • For our block ‘K’, which measures almost 8″ by 8″, I used 4 skeins of DMC Metallic Pearl Cotton Skeins Size 5 – 27.3 Yards-Gold
  • Embroidery Hoop I used a 6″, but it would make sense to get a larger one that would encompass all your letter.  It got difficult to keep the hoop on towards the end when it had to go over the part of the fabric that had all the french knots. 
  • Initial that you want to use.  Kate searched the internet and sent me this one. When I went to go find the image for the purpose of this post, I just searched “classic font wooden letter” on Google Images. That link should bring you to the Google Images page with most of the letters in that font. We just printed off the image and it worked great.  I pasted the letter into a word document and enlarged it as much as possible.  As I was working with 8.5″ by 11″ paper, I was limited to an image that was right about 8″.  I’d imagine if you needed it bigger you could either cut and paste it or send the image to a printer and have them print it on a larger piece of paper.

Monogram Embroidery Pillow Instructions:

  • Once you have your image the size you need it (see bullet point above) you need to transfer it to your fabric.  I’ve used several methods in the past, but this time I used some Singer Dressmaker’s Tracing Paper that I had at home.  The blue didn’t transfer at all, but the yellow worked enough.  I’m seriously not a fan of this stuff.  In the past, I just rubbed pencil on the back of my image and then traced and that seemed to work just as well if not better.
  • At this point, you can begin your monogram embroidery. I first outlined the letter using the, wait for it, outline stitch!  Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials has a great explanation.  By outlining first, you make sure all your knots stay in the lines.
    embroider monogram
  • Then the fun starts…this DIY Monogram Embroidery Pillow is comprised of many, many, many french knots. Sarah has another great explanation, the only difference being that I wrapped my thread 3 times around, instead of 2.  In fact, I produced a little ‘movie’ to show you how to do french knots…think you might see it at Sundance!  
  • My work ‘curled’ on me, which I think might be prevented by using the peel away stabilizer referenced above.  However, after washing it, I was able to iron it flat without diminishing my many knots.  That being said, I think I will try the stabilizer next time.
  • Then I made my work into a pillow with gold fringe trim.
    Block Monogram embroidered using french knots
  • As I was using a 12″ square pillow form, I cut my fabric into 2- 13″ squares, centering the K.  
  • I sewed the fringe on the front of the back piece, with the fringe facing towards the center of the fabric.  
  • Then I sewed the two pieces together, with the front of the K facing the front of the back with the fringe in between.  I did leave a small, maybe 5″, opening to stuff the pillow in the cover.
  • I sewed the opening closed and Ta Da!
  • I added a little something on the back, just so my sweet baby girl always remembers.
DIY a block monogram initial pillow with lots of french knots Perfect addition to your bedroom| home decor

Kate is thrilled, so I am thrilled.  

If you liked this Monogram Embroidery pillow tutorial, I bet you will also love this appliquéd monogram pillow.

Pin it for your future reference!

finished block monogram pillow
Instructions to make a DIY monogram letter pillow using french knots and a simple outline stitch. Perfect for your home decor or gifting.

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  1. What a beautiful job! And it just happens to be my initial also!
    I would love for you to stop by on Mondays and share at our Something to Talk About link party!

  2. So cute! Sending boys to college is not nearly as fun! It’s pretty much pack, go, and then cry a bit (me, not them) No fun decor’ 🙁

    1. Hi Paula, thanks for your kind words. It was fun seeing their decorating plan fall in place…they even had a Pinterest Board dedicated to their dorm decor. But, when my son goes in 3 years, I won’t miss all the stuff we sherpa’d across streets and up several flights of stairs! Be thankful for those low maintenance boys!
      Thanks for stopping by to visit!

  3. This is amazing! I’ve never done french knots (i’m a sewing beginner!) so I love this! haha you’re movie was great too! easy to follow! Thanks so much for sharing – I have bookmarked for hopefully my next project!

    1. Didn’t you love my movie! I think I have a future in the film industry!!! NOT In any event, so glad you’re adding it to your to-do list, which I know is as long as mine. Thanks for visiting.


  4. I love monograms and this one is so cool. But I cannot imagine how many french knots you had to tie! OMGoodness! Were you fingers tired? LOL I’m glad that you got to help her decorate, letting a child go-even for a good reason is hard, but sending her with a few pieces of home makes it easier on both of you!!!

    1. I am curious as well as to how many knots I tied. If I had to guess, I’d say A LOT!!! 🙂 But it was an easy craft…rather mindless. Easily done in front of a good TV show. And I am glad that she has a little something that I made in her dorm room
      Happy Saturday, Lynn

  5. Your pillow is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial. I love to embroider.
    I wanted to follow your blog, but couldn’t find where! I f you wish I’m all the way down the end of my blog.
    Happy new year.

    1. Hi Fabby, Thanks so much for stopping by to visit. I’d love to have you follow my blog, the sign up form is on the right side of the page, towards the top of the page, in a beige/brownish box.
      I hope you enjoy embroidering the monogram…it is really quite easy. I’d love to visit your blog…do send me your site address.

      Happy New Year, Lynn

  6. Love this pillow! Kudos to you for tying all those knots!! I made my daughter a similar french knot monogram a few years ago on a much smaller scale – i put her initial “M” on the edge of her pillow case. It is beautiful and she still uses it, but I thought my fingers might fall off before I finished.
    Love it!

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