Day 20: Joy pillow

Cathie and I are both designers by day and bloggers by night. This usually means having a minor obsession for typography. I am definitely a purveyor of everything typography related, so doing this craft was right up my alley. For day 20 we wanted to do a craft that brings in our love of type to life.


Depending on your sewing level, and painting dry time, it takes about a day and a half.


  • 16” inch pillow insert
  • 17” x 17” square of cotton twill fabric (front of pillow)
  • 26” x 17” rectangle of cotton twill fabric (back of pillow)
  • Thread to match
  • Multi-surface acrylic or fabric paint (2 colors)
  • Alphabet Joy Template
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes (flat and small tip)
  • Silhouette Cameo/Xyron or transfer pencil (see step 2)


Step 1:

If you haven’t cut your cotton twill, cut the front side of the pillow into a 17″ square. Cotton twill is a nice fabric for pillows because it’s thick enough for décor, but not too thick that it’s hard to manage while sewing.

Step 2:

First you need to print out the Alphabet (Joy) Template. These instructions require a Silhouette Cameo and a Xyron, however if you want to use the transfer pencil method, you will need to flip the template artwork so it’s backwards before you print it out. (You can reference this post on Krafty Kath for the transfer pencil method.) If you have a Silhouette Cameo, you can cut it out as-is.

Step 2

Step 3:

Once you have your stencil cut out, remove the individual letters carefully.

Step 3

Step 4:

Carefully peel off your stencil from your cutting mat.

Step 4

Step 5:

Now cut your stencil in half (in-between the 3rd and 4th row) so you have two halves.

Step 5

Step 6:

Gently run each half through a Xyron machine to adhere the sticky backing.

Step 6

Step 7:

Remove the backing and place in the center of your 17″ square front fabric. Make sure to align the two pieces.

Step 7

Step 8:

Make sure your stencil is firmly placed on your fabric. Now you can begin to paint. Using an up and down dabbing motion, gently paint the “JOY” letters one color and the remaining alphabet another color using the square tip paint brush.

Step 8a

Step 8b

Step 8c

Step 9:

Remove your stencil from the fabric.

Step 9

Step 10:

Fill in your empty areas that the stencil made using the fine tip paint brush. These are letters like A, B, D, O, P, Q, and R. Then touch up the edges where the paint bled.

Step 10

Now let your front fabric dry completely. (We let ours dry overnight.)

Step 11:

For the back of the pillow, if you haven’t already, cut a 17″ x 26″ rectangle of the same fabric. Cut that piece in half vertically.

Step 11

Step 12:

Take one piece and fold over one inside edge 1/2” and then fold over again. Iron the folded edge flat and use a couple pins to hold the fold down. Repeat to the other piece.

Sew each of the pinned pieces right down the center of the fold, approximately 1/4” from the edge.

Step 12

Step 13:

To assemble the pillow, place the front side of the pillow (painted side) up on the table. Take the two pieces of the backside and overlap them to match the 17” x 17” square. Place the right sides to the painted side and pin together.

Step 13a

Step 13b

Step 14:

Sew around all four sides 1/4″ to 1/2″ from the edge.

Step 14

Step 15:

Trim the excess seams on the inside and then turn the case right side out.

Step 15

Step 16:

Insert the pillow insert inside the case. You’ve just created a new Christmas decoration!

Joy pillow

Joy pillow