For instance, this Christmas tree pillow (on left) is made from felt circles. An exceedingly clever idea and not terribly difficult to make. In this case, why should I spend the $27 (plus tax) for this item when I know I can make it for less?
So I didn't buy it. :-)
I had a pillow insert on hand, which would have been the major expense of this project. I did need to buy the felt, but the red felt was the only big piece; all the others were just felt squares. I did economize by purchasing polyester felt rather than wool felt. I was utterly astonished at just how *expensive* wool felt is!! My goodness!
Once I had the pillow pattern traced, I drew a big triangular shape for the tree in chalk on the red felt background. Starting at the bottom and working up, I simply tacked the circles of green and yellow felt in the middle of the circle to the background. I packed them pretty tightly, as I couldn't exactly know how loosely or tightly sewn the Crate-n-Barrel pillow was done.
I decided to intersperse some yellow circles amongst the green .. just for a spot of color. I also changed out the dove on top for a Christmas star.
What I didn't do .. and I really have no idea why I didn't because I normally do ... is I didn't put any piping/cording around the perimeter to define the edge. My finished pillow really reinforced the fact that non-piped edges simply become rounded and the resultant pillow is less distinct. Ah well ... lesson learned.
When I put away the Christmas decorations this year (2010), I forgot about this pillow. I discovered it on the sofa after all the boxes had already been packed and stored. I wasn't about to figure out where to shoehorn the pillow in the Christmas boxes .. so I left it out.
Heh .. and I did the *same* thing for Christmas 2011. That makes 2 years that this pillow has been out in the General Pillow Population on the couch. I must say that I'm impressed by the durability of those circles! They haven't flattened appreciably and the pillow still looks very respectable. :-)