Designing a custom throw pillow
December 17, 2021 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Have you received or designed a custom throw pillow as a gift? Do you have any suggestions, strong opinions, or counterintuitive considerations? (E.g., if you think certain materials, sizes, etc. should be avoided.)
posted by shrimpetouffee to Shopping (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Choose pillows with removeable washable covers.

If they have babies or chewy pets, avoid tassels or pompoms that could detach and become choking hazards.

Consider their decor (zoom and social media may yield tips, and their wardrobe palette will often match their home palette). Try to choose a colour that matches in both shade and intensity (for instance if they like green, don’t just get any green - check if they lean towards soft greyish sage or bright clear apple or vivid bold emerald or dark rich forest).

Finally, make sure to get details right- someone made a baby-birth pillow for me but they got a number wrong. I still like the pillow but I do notice the error.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 4:46 PM on December 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

Nothing scratchy.

Inserts are standard sizes. I think 12" is too uselessly small and 100% poly fill too flimsy.

I assume you know if their tastes are modern/country/traditional/boho etc.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:45 PM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

If having custom-made with special fabric, making sure the fabric won't transfer dye, either when wet or dry. I thought briefly about using kitenge cloth I bought in East Africa to make pillow covers, but the warnings online about the possibility of dye transfer were sobering: it would have been more work than worth it.

I'd also think about how stuffed you want them to be, based on the anticipated use patterns of your giftees - some people like a very hard pillow, which shows off the cover well, but I love couch pillows that can be scrunched and piled up to lay amongst and read.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 6:26 PM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

I have such strong feelings about color, pattern, texture, etc for throw pillows that I probably wouldn't want to get this as a gift myself (sorry!) but your recipient may be different. Taste is so personal- someone above said that they wouldn't want a scratchy fabric, for example, but I wouldn't mind linen or a slightly scratchy wool. I prefer down stuffing, but other people might not. Maybe you could consider giving someone a certificate for a throw pillow that you would make to their specifications? Right now, I'd like one made from a recycled cashmere sweater, in a dark teal color...
posted by pinochiette at 6:45 AM on December 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Strong second for pillows with removable covers. It means they can replace the filling if they prefer something else, or it gets clumpy, or to try remove a stain on the cover.
posted by stillnocturnal at 6:45 AM on December 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

And consider how the throw pillow is to be used, either the intention or the actual, in the household. Is it decoration, or to be USED?

In my household, there isn't much purpose for throw pillows that aren't soft and comfy and usable, and if they're too fragile to get thrown on the floor or sat on by a child, that's probably a no-go, either. Pretty is, well, pretty... but all it would do is get in the way and annoy me.
posted by stormyteal at 1:13 PM on December 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

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