Semi-Handmade :: Embellish A Throw

I love a beautiful throw.  At my house, we keep two queen sized blankets in a huge basket next to the sectional so we can all snuggle at a moments notice.  These blankets get covered with pizza and dog and muddy shoes and can be easily washed and quick dried on super high heat.  These blankets are like your favorite tee-shirt. These are not the beautiful throws I’m referring to.  I’m talking about the kind of shirt, I mean throw that you pull out on special occasions.  It sits all pretty on your bed or in your office far away from pizza and dogs and high heat.

Anthropologie provides that exact kind of throw I’m talking about with their Quirky Heirloom Throw in bright and…neutral  {FYI almost every review says it’s well worth the $198 price –WOW!}

See how the throw is the pride and joy of the chair?  This is not the kind of throw you use to stay warm and sop up diet coke, this is the kind of throw you pamper and show off.

Pier 1 has a great selection of applique throws.  Much more friendlier priced at $39-79.

I purchased this embellished throw last year after I made some goals for my home, one of which was I wanted it to feel more handmade.  So, I didn’t make this throw, and I don’t even know if someone in the country actually made it because I bought it from Home Goods but, it did have a “handmade” tag on it and I thought it was beautiful.  So I splurged and spent $60 of Christmas gift money on it back last January.

Since the moment I bought it I had every intention of hacking it and making my own semi homemade throw. But as much as I love flowers, I didn’t want another flower throw.  So it took me forever AKA: 11 months to figure out what I could use.

Meanwhile I had been saving these clothes parts forever.  You know how over the past few years lots of shirts have all those cute embellishments on them like ruffles and weird folded ribbon and clumps of frayed fabric and knotted fabric?  Once I stained/holed/pitted out/wore out the shirts, I didn’t have the heart to throw them away because of their cute embellishments.  So, I grabbed the pile of clothes and kept my eye open for an inexpensive, forgivable throw I could hack.

You could use West Elm’s Favorite throw which is on sale right now for $19.  Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Marshalls are also great places to find perfectly imperfect throws.  You don’t want the fleece throws–just something that will allow you to sew or iron on some fun embellishments.

So there’s the throw I found for $15 at Marshalls.  It’s neutral and is forgiving as far as if I sew, you don’t really see the threads on the back because it’s not a flat cashmere throw.  Do not use an expensive cashmere throw for this project.  Unless you really want to.  But don’t tell anyone I told you to use cashmere.

Up there you can see how I cut the embellishments from my old shirts and just grouped them together to see what worked together.

You could make an initial–that’s an “M” if you can’t tell.  Or you could make a shape.  Or a big flower.

I just wanted randomness so I laid it out on a table like so.

And then I squished it all together because really, this his how a throw looks when it’s draped over a chair.  Hmm, I like it.


This project can be completely sewing machine free if you want.  However, if you choose to use ribbon it’s going to be much easier to secure it with a sewing machine.  So if you don’t want to lug that bad boy out, opt out of ribbon.

First thing I did was grab my iron on stitch witchery hem tape fusible web whatever it is that you call this stuff–it’s like iron on sewing.  I really wanted to use a ribbon because it was going to be the unifying color I was going for.  So even though I ironed it on, I knew I’d have to hand stitch the entire thing or use the sewing machine to secure it.

Here it is in its flat, ironed on glory.  I purposely wanted it wonky and folded over itself so this is the look I was going for.

And I did the same thing with all the other bits and pieces.  Just ironed them on with the stitch tape stuff.

So here it is all ironed on.  The throw itself isn’t very photogenic.  For some reason, in these photos it looks like it’s all smashed and from my childhood, in person it’s fluffy and knobby and knubby and soft.  Anyway, the iron on stuff will hold it on pretty good but since it’s a throw that will get moved and such you really want to secure all of your embellishments…

Now’s the fun part.  Grab some thick colored thread–I just used embroidery floss because it’s like 39 cents and they have every color imaginable at the craft store.  Go for a bold color that coordinates with your throw and embellishments.  You want the stitches to show up in all their imperfect hand stitched beauty.

I hand stitched over every piece that I added on but for the ribbon.  It took about 25 minutes and was relaxing.  I made little fun stitches and since the throw is knubby you can’t see the stitches from the back side unless you really look for them. I even made little knots in the center of the flowers just for fun.

Lastly, if you used ribbon or if you just want to extra secure some parts, run over it with a sewing machine preferably with bright-colored thread.  And this is NOT the time to be a perfectionist. You want it wonky and quirky and imperfectly lovely.

Like so.

See how the sewing on the pink ribbon is really crude?  That’s what you want.  Thankfully.  It adds to the charm.  At least for me it does.

Here it is all laid out.  But it will never actually be laid out flat like this so it doesn’t really matter how it looks when you lay it flat.

It will always just look like this.

And this.

And for the record, I think my throw is quirkier than Anthropologie’s.  If you hate mine, that’s ok, the whole idea is to use what you have and make something prettier.  And quirkier.  Now go forth and embellish!

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  1. LOVE your throw! Such a great idea:)

  2. You are like some mad genius….It is very quirky, but I am quirky and do things like that too, so I get it… It has a certain charm……it is your home, you have to put YOUR stamp on it, right? Keep on it, girl!

  3. Paola Norman says

    I love that you share with your audience who YOU are…I love that you live your it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful statement truly and honestly. I love that you INSPIRE me and countless of others to be free by expressing who they are through their decor. Thank-you your wonderful.

  4. Kristina M. says

    I LOVE this, it is right up my alley. I have a sister-in-law who is always gushing about how cute my house is to our family. She says things like “I just can’t put stuff together the way you can”. Then when we go shopping (read: thrifting) together, she always is like thats ugly, weird, outdated, where would you use a single teacup from a china set? On and on and on. Whatever it’s MY house and I love it and my husband doesn’t object too much. I think the quirkier pieces really bring it all together.

  5. Yes, ma’am!

  6. I love this! I’ve been trying my hand at felt and fabric flowers lately, I’ll have to keep this one in the vault!

  7. Wow!! I am falling over…this is soooooo what I love…so me!! Beautiful! The Lord has definitely gifted you and inspired so many through you! Thanks for sharing this! It’s not hard either…beautiful! Wow! Love, Love!!

  8. It looks perfectly lovable and cozy :) My eyes will be peeled for cheep throws shouting “make me quirky!”

  9. Yay for you!! I so love that you’re real, you love quirky and funky stuff like I do and you create things that make YOU happy. I’d much rather see this type decor than a house full of Kirkland’s. That’s just me! :-)
    I love fun things and lots of color in my space and the more “different”, the better. Rock on!

  10. “you is kind. you is smart…” you is quirky!!!! ;)
    right on queen nester. never stop being YOU. that’s what really keeps us all coming back!

  11. This has nothing to do with quirky throws: I bought a paperwhite bulb kit today! All because of you, well, and because I like narcissus-es (narcissusi? More than one narcissus. Whatever.). Just thought you might like to know. : )

  12. Thank you for reminding me to be quirky…it is a gift, you know!

  13. I like the knots in the center of the flowers! Cuteness all over!!

  14. That is so fun!! It is quirky and original. Definitely going forth to ponder what I can no embellish!! =)

  15. *now embellish, not “no” embellish. Crazy me. =P

  16. susie edwards says

    I Love your chair, too!

  17. Yes! I am making plans to get a group of girls together to embellish throws. Great idea.

  18. Really love this project. It’s the kind that I can actually pull off after a long day of flower arranging and toting of heavy buckets of water. I often dream of doing something when I get home, but with my frazzled brain I usually just fall on my face and regret it in the morning. Now this I can do! And I have every embellishment and supply needed. Now all I need is a cheap throw. Thanks!

  19. How cute is this! I love the look of your blog, cozy just like your throw. Come by my blog. I have a vintage garland tutorial and giveaway I think you will enjoy. Thanks, Cindy

  20. So pretty !!!!

  21. I love your throw. It’s slightly chaotic and very romantic. Beautiful. Love the way it looks on the chair!

  22. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of storing blankets near our couch in our tv/movie watching room. Such a good solution, since I always get chilly there this time of year. AND we have a corner table with a shelf underneath. Perfect.

  23. What a great idea! I really like how it turned out as well.

  24. Brilliant! I love your throw… you’ve inspired me to make or to have my daughter and I make each one of these… It could be a really fun xmas break project…. Thank You for sharing…. !!

  25. Adorable!

  26. Thanks , I have just been searching for information approximately this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I have discovered till now.
    But, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you certain concerning the supply?

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