African print fabric / Using Appliques and Yarn on pillows

In November 2018 I was surfing online at  I came across a shop called Tess World Designs offering beautiful African print fabrics. I purchased 2 yards of this red and gold metallic cowrie shell print fabric.


100% cotton. Only $7.00 a yard.  Fits my budget and it’s my favorite color red.

First thought after receiving:  Very light weight.  I would need to line it. Not a heavy wax print like some African print fabrics. The vibrant red is very pretty.

I researched this print online for some ideas on fabrication. I found some ideas. But when I saw this set of pillow covers on sale for…..$162.00


it was no question, I decided to make a few pillows of my own.  After all, pillows are my favorite DIY item.  I change accent pillows more than what some may consider normal.  When I make pillows with my own spin on design it’s fun and such an affordable way to refresh a space with little to no effort.

Moving right along………

As the saying goes: Measure twice before cutting.  Well here’s another:  Carefully inspect before cutting.   AFTER cutting I noticed a flaw in the fabric #@!!!   Since the flaw was in the center I decided to create an applique to cover it.  I purchased another print from Tess World Designs and used for the applique.  Same color palette of red and gold metallic.  But I was not in favor of the mask design. So a modification was needed.

To make the applique I cut out the diamond design. Then cut a circle from the cowrie shells and applied it over the mask. Last, I applied gold cord trim around the diamond shape.


Only one was really needed for the flawed area but I made three for balance and eye appeal. After a finished hem of the excess fabric on the applique I applied them to the pillow front. Also applied gold cord trim around the perimeter of the pillow. (Disregard the white fur. That was another pillow laying on top)

It  turned out nice but I was not completely satisfied. The pillow still needed more “flavor” more jazzy playfulness! (thanks Jamala “wink-wink”).  My pillow creations are all about having a little fun with fabric and trims.

I found this eyelash yarn Haute Fur for that bit of whimsy and playfulness I was looking for.  This yarn is so fun and super soft.

I simply wrapped it on a cardboard of the desired length.  After removing the cardboard, I did a zig-zag stitch in the center to secure it.  Then applied it to the center of the applique.  Nice and secure and no fraying.


The eyelash yarn was also applied around the diamond border. I’m super happy with the results.

Using your own DIY appliques or buying premade appliques is a super easy process to hide a flaw in fabric. I love adding fun playful touches to my pillow creations.

Finished measurement 24″ X 15″. Back zipper closure.  The large pillow measures 24″X 24″ with self fabric piping and back zipper closure.

The pretty African print pillows with the appliques and yarn whimsy makes our guest room bright and cheerful for now.  🙂 

Time for another DIY fabric project.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sew, create and enjoy loving your home


14 thoughts on “African print fabric / Using Appliques and Yarn on pillows

  1. Thank you so much!! I am so glad you enjoyed. That is a very, very nice compliment and I appreciate it more than you know. Thanks so much for visiting. Come back again. Thanks again. :-)!!!

  2. Linda, you are simply AMAZING!!! Your style captures and brings African Home Decor to ANOTHER LEVEL!!!

  3. Hi there!!! So nice of you. Thanks so much Hellen. I truly appreciate you taking time to do that. I love that!!!! Thanks again. I’m so glad you enjoyed them. 🙂 Right now I’m searching for more African print fabric. So more to come. Come back a visit again! 🙂

  4. You are so amazingly creative. I’ve spent the last 2 days viewing all of your YouTube videos and reading your posts. Love the pillows and Afrocentric touch!

  5. Thanks so much. I am So sorry for the delay reply. Gosh…I need to get on the ball. I appreciate you taking the time to view, read and comment. I get so caught up reading others I forget to read my comments. But please know you have not been overlooked. :-). Thanks again.

  6. Wink wink back!! These pillows are the bomb digging- a major hit!! Your creativity mixed with skills are a match made in heaven.., the red and gold looks fabulous against the all white bedding. I honestly think you need have your own designer line of pillows!! I can see it now..,the lovinghome collection designed by Linda G!!

  7. Linda, the pillows are gorgeous! I love how you were able to work around the flaw in the fabric. Your finished pillows are way nicer than the ones you showed for purchase! I too am a fan of constantly changing out pillows! Pillows make my heart smile ♥♥

  8. Hi there. Thanks so much. I store my pillow covers by hanging them on tier pant hangers. This way I can change the pillows using the same inserts. hmmm, maybe I should do a post on how I store them.??? 🙂 Thanks again.

  9. Linda, the pillows are GORGEOUS! I love the trim too and it works well in the room. I also think that your pillows turned out far better than the costly pair you found online. So now I’m curious about the other pillows that change out. Do you save the pillows for later? Or, do you just recover them?

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