Christmas is coming! Well, sure, it's a few months away, but I like to get an early start on
things. I'm a little crazy about Christmas. Okay, a lot crazy about it. It's one of my favorite times of the year and it's filled with such memories and sentimental feelings. Memories of the smell of the warm plastic of the color wheel light shining on our aluminum tree, making christmas cookies while our faces are smeared in flour and we're calling ourselves "The Great White Hunter" tribe, and the year my brother read a Hardy Boys book that told him how to cut out a square of wrapping paper to see the contents of your present and then carefully tape it back up so no one knew. That last little shennanigan inspired our poor Mom to start using a carefully guarded code on all the presents instead of names. It's a wonder she didn't stop at just one kid. Then again, by the time she found out how crazy we were it was too late.

I need to start on these things early because my family has started to only give homemade or thrifted gifts. We decided to do this after we realized the spending was getting out of control and we were all getting old enough to just buy whatever we needed. Although Mom's annual gift of socks never fails to incite gasps of joy from all four of her grown-up children.

One year I tried to make my poor brother-in-law some slippers. I don't have a picture of them, but I can tell you that he used them to chase their kids around the house because they were terrified of them. Funny presents, yes.

A pillow with the coordinates of important places transferred onto it for my brother and sister-in-law. They were married last year and, as most newlyweds are sentimental, I think they'll like this. It has the coordinates of the city where they met, the town where they were engaged, the city where they were married, and also their current home. 

makes: 1takes: 30-40 mins., depending on your sewing skills

Pillow form (mine was an 14" x 20" travel pillow, available at Wal-Mart for $3.00)
A large cotton dress shirt (Thrifted for $2.50)
needle and thread or sewing machine
acetone (can be found in the nail polish remover section)
paper towels
laser printed text (print this in reverse)
masking tape (optional)

Now, the fun part starts.  Cut your fabric out in the shape of the pillow(measure two of the edges along the seam and make it exactly that size).  Put a protective sheet of plastic under the fabric (don't use anything with writing on it or it will transfer to the fabric). 

Cut out your coordinates (printed in reverse on a laser printer).

and lay them out on your fabric in the way that you would like them to appear on the finnished product. 

Secure the edges with masking tape.  Dampen a wad of paper towels with acetone and start rubbing away. You don't need a lot of acetone, just enough to make the paper translucent (tip: if you use too much acetone, the ink will bleed)  You can take a tiny peek at the transfer to see how well it is working- the tape should hold it in place.
*Note: if you just got  manicure, which I'm not familiar with, this will ruin it.

continue on until you have used all of your transfers.  If you want a more rustic look, rub the transfer less in some places and more in others.  Iron your transfer on the cotton setting to set the ink.  Put the wrong sides facing each other and sew three sides (or all four if you used the dress shirt method).

Flip right side out and iron the seams.  Stuff your pillow into the pillowcase and blind stitch the open side.  If you are uncertain about your blind stitching skills, go to my tutorial here.

And, enjoy your pillow!