Archive | create

bow pillow (tutorial)


A simple, understated pillow, with classic detailing and menswear-inspired fabric? Yes, please.

One of my favorite pillows I’ve made is an oversized bow pillow (which you can see in the background of this picture and in this post about pillows). The inspiration came from those silky bow blouses from the 80′s, but with a slightly more masculine feel with the gray plaid of the original pillow. It’s such an easy one to make that I thought maybe you would like one in your home, too. I’d love to show you how.




fabric (medium to light-weight so the bow will lay nicely) / scissors / pins / needle + thread. Not shown: iron, sewing machine



1 / cut two pieces of fabric 1″ larger than pillow form size. My form is 12 x 18 so I cut my fabric to 13 x 19. This will give you 1/2″ seam allowance.

2 / pin fabric pieces right sides together

3 / stitch around the perimeter, angling a few stitches on the corners and leaving an opening in the bottom center.

4 / trim extra fabric on corners

Turn right side out and you’ll have this:




1 / cut long strip of fabric for sash. Your length will depend on how long you want your finished bow. I like the tails to just hit the bottom of the pillow. My sash was cut to 40″ long. The width is 5″.

2 / fold sash in half and iron flat

3 / starting on the folded side, angle the stitches to create a nice finished edge of the bow

4 / stitch along open edges of sash to close -  leaving an opening in the center (see below). Repeat steps 3 + 4 on other end of sash.


5 / trim ends

6 / be sure to leave a small opening in the center of the sash

7 / turn sash right-sides-out. Using a pencil or skewer can help.

8 / not shown: iron sash flat for nicely crisp edges

9 / hand-stitch opening close. Your finished sash will look like this:




1 / make a loop, leaving about 1/3 of the sash as the tail

2 / loop the other end of the sash up over the loop

3 / pull through center loop

4 / pull gently to tighten, adjusting the bow loops and tails to lay nicely



1 / hand-stitch back of bow to hold together

2 / stitch to top left corner of pillow cover (make sure you only stitch through the front piece!)

3 / insert pillow form (I prefer down-filled like this)

4 / pin opening and hand-stitch to close

And here’s the finished piece:


Try it in a light-weight flannel, silk, or fabric found in the apparel section of the fabric store. It looks cute as a smaller lumbar shape, but also great on our sofa in a large square.


This is a great project for a beginning sewer as there are only a few straight stitches! Give it a try …

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diy glitter gratitude banner


Here’s a great project for this fall: a glitter gratitude banner. I generally tend towards simple, inexpensive and less-than-one-hour crafts and this fits on each level. Of course you can use the same method to spell out any word or initials – a monogram would be super cute hanging over a bed or use individual letters as gift tags, place cards or party favors this upcoming holiday season. We can all use a little more glitter in our lives.

So let’s begin. Here’s what you’ll need:


spray adhesive / fine glitter (like this) / gratitude template (download below) / string / scissors / hole punch

(not shown, but important: a box to contain spray glue and glitter)

STEP ONE // print template and cut out letters


You can do this a couple of ways … print onto cardstock (I used a silver cardstock to help the glitter blend in if I missed any spots) and cut out. OR print on regular paper, cut out and use as a pattern. Trace onto sturdy, but thin, cardboard and cut out letters.

STEP TWO // spray letter with adhesive glitter-banner-spray-glue

This is where the box comes in. And be sure to spray outside or in a well-ventilated area. Spray glue is stinky! Just a light covering will do.

STEP THREE // generously sprinkle on glitter


Make sure to cover all of the letter.


Let dry for a few minutes.

STEP FOUR // repeat on the back of the letter


This isn’t necessary, but it gives the letter a more finished look.


STEP FIVE // punch two holes in the top


If you are just using for a gift tag, you’ll only need one hole.

STEP SIX // string letters together glitter-banner-string

I used jute rope from the hardware store, but any ribbon will do.

Once you’re letters are all strung together, hang and enjoy!


You are welcome to use this template to create your own gratitude banner. The file is located in The Archive – our library of freebies and downloads. Sign up for free or log in below.


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custom artwork for a fun client!


My favorite HGTV show is Fixer Upper – where the darling couple Chip & Joanna Gaines help a family buy a major fixer-upper and turn it into something jaw dropping. Chip takes on the reno, Joanna works her magic on the design and interiors. She is beautiful and fashionable (I want all of her outfits) and has great farmhouse/cottagy/classic design taste.

I was asked to create a custom watercolor with Joanna’s design essentials and was beyond excited to see what I could create.


Joanna’s design essentials are more theory than actual items, so it was a fun challenge to figure out how to draw ideas like balance and texture.


We worked to come up with great pieces that reflected these ideas and what resulted is a whimsical collection of pretty essentials that would look great in any home.  Joanna runs a shop called Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas as well as a great online shop so we used items from there as our inspiration.

magnolia-inspiration-watercolor metal basket / stripe pillow / magnolia candle / hanging vase / cake plate


The prints are being used for promotional purposes, they’ll be slipped into packages and orders and available at Joanna’s big fall workshop.


Curious about what her design essentials are?

unique light fixtures
good faux florals
personalized details
pops of color
architectural pieces

Love those!


Such a fun project that I was honored to be part of.

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newly organized pinterest boards (and how I did it)


It was time for a deliberate reorganization. I started pinning a few years ago and created only a handful of boards. Most were titled generally – like decorate and things I like – which was fine until they started filling up and the categories no longer felt specific enough. As I have saved more favorite images/ideas/inspiration, it seemed fitting to make them more easily find-able for both me and those who follow my boards. So one day a few weeks ago, I finally made the time to begin my pinterest makeover.

The first step was writing down all of my existing boards and separating them into more specific categories that made sense. So what was once Home Sweet Home turned into Exterior, Entry/Mudroom, Living Spaces, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Bedrooms//grown-ups, Bedrooms//Kids + Bunks, etc. It helped to break the larger categories up into smaller, yet specific groups but still broad enough to not have too many boards. So while I could have broken kitchens out into white kitchens or industrial kitchens, I just went with kitchens. At some point if that board gets crazy-full, I can always make changes later.

Next, I had to manually move pins from one board to another. I searched and searched for a way to bulk move (ie click on several pins at a time and move the group to a new board), but the option does not yet exist. So one-by-one it was.


It took hours. Like a lot of hours. But it was mindless work and I got to look through hundreds of pretty pins which was not a terrible way to spend my evenings these past couple of weeks. Plus, it feels really good to start fresh with clearly labeled boards and pins all in the right place.

Once the new boards were created and pins were moved around, I gave each board a cover photo and then organized them by category by dragging and dropping into place. You could also organize your boards alphabetically (which is also not a default option, but it should be).

And here is my new and improved collection of pins.

pinterest-boards-1 pinterest-boards-2 pinterest-boards-3 pinterest-boards-4

Ahhh. It feels good to have this one checked off my list. And now I can’t stop pinning to my pretty new boards.


 Are you needing a pinterest makeover? Need any other helpful tips or tricks? Or do you have any to share? Leave a comment and let’s chat!

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free hand-drawn halloween clip art

My No.3 and I were doodling yesterday and we got on the topic of Halloween. We had a little fun drawing a few not-too-spooky pictures which turned out so cute I decided to make them into clip art.


The kids love Halloween (what kid doesn’t?!) and I thoroughly enjoy the candy (fyi: four kids acquire a lot of trick-or-treat candy) but the overly scary stuff I can do without. So these doodles are mild and cutesy and would be super great for party invitations, gift tags, scrapbooking or as overlays for the annual kids-in-their-costumes photos.


Need a little help knowing how to use the graphics? No worries … I created this video about how to use clip art in illustrator that will help. And, of course, for even more detailed teaching our Simplified Graphic Design class is great.

Grab the clip art now with plenty of time to play with it before Halloween.


To download the clip art, log in or sign up for the archive – our library of free printables, fonts, templates and more. It only takes a second and you’ll have instant access to it all!

p.s. I’d love to see how you use these doodles … if you create something with the clipart, please post a photo on Instagram and tag me (@jonesdesigncompany) or email a photograph. Can’t wait to see what you make.

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The time I was going to show you how to make paper dahlias

I was joking with my family just the other day about how I use the word favorite quite liberally.


My favorite candy? Good & Plenties. Sour Patch Kids. Hot Tamales. Fruit Mentos. Twix if I’m feeling chocolaty.

Favorite color? Blue – all shades – or sometimes just the jeweled tones. Green. White – ah, I love white!. Gray.

My favorite season? Which ever one is up next.

See? Lot’s of favorites. Don’t try to stick me to only one from each category because I just can’t decide. There are just too many great things to choose between.

The same is true for types of flowers. My long-time favorite has been the hydrangea, but when peonies are in bloom, or lilacs or ranunculus each one becomes my new favorite.


And then this time of year rolls around and dahlias pop open and I forget how much I love their colors and shapes and variations. And they turn into my current favorite.


I was feeling so inspired by these farm-grown flowers that I thought I’d figure out how to recreate a paper version. I do have a thing for paper/fabric/tissue/crepe paper flowers.

I came across a few great tutorials – with templates even – and combined them with some methods of my own to create this pretty flower:


The plan was to share the tutorial with you, but here’s the thing: that one flower took me over an hour to make! 60 minutes for one little flower is just not a practical project. So I scraped the tutorial idea. I’m all for paper flowers, but I much prefer simple crafts to long, meticulous ones with lots of required precision cutting. If you have time to spare and meticulous cutting is your thing (or you have a fancy silhouette machine), here is the diy version I liked best.

So nevermind the dahlia tutorial I was planning on doing. It was great in theory, but this time around, I’ll just stick to looking at the real things. Dahlias are my favorite.


P.S. don’t make fun of me for liking good & plenty. I can’t help it.


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DIY Seahawks birthday invitations + graphic design class now open!

If you haven’t gathered this from countless previous posts, let me tell you a not-so-secret secret about me: I am an in the moment kind of girl.  Casting vision, long-term goal-setting, meal planning, scheduling posts – these are not my forte. I’m a night-before, whatever is right in front of my face or on the to-do list today type which mostly works out fine. I like being flexible and I’m pretty good at pulling things together at the last minute.

Like my son’s birthday party, for example.


It’s coming up this weekend and we just figured out what we’re doing for his party. It’s been on my radar – just not glaring enough to do anything about it (see? not very forward-thinking). But we’ve come up with a plan (Seahawks watching party!!!), planned out the food (football game snacks, gatorade to drink, chocolate covered s’mores for dessert) and written the guest list. All that’s left are goodie bags (a big deal for a nearly-nine-year-old) and decorations (I’ll figure those out later – see below).

Oh, and invitations.


There are countless ways I use graphic design in my everyday, but making my kids’ party invitations ranks at the top of reasons I love knowing my way around Adobe Illustrator.

First, I like that I’m not limited by what’s available in stores as far as themes go. Any design/colors/motif is possible.

Second, I prefer an invitation where I don’t have to hand write in the details. By making them myself, I just type it all out which makes them easy to read and less time-consuming for me.

Third, invitations always set the tone for the party and even if it’s not over-the-top extravagant, it’s nice to put some personal touches into kids’ parties.

And finally, there’s no need to think weeks ahead (thank goodness!) and spend extra money ordering custom invitations online. All it takes is a little time in front of the computer, a printer and a few pieces of nice paper.


Now, I’ve been designing invitations for quite some time (see a bunch of examples here), so the process is pretty quick for me. And it can be for you, too. This invitation is a mix of a free printable background (the playbook diagram – so cute!), free kraft paper digital scrapbook paper, and a Seahawk icon copied from the internet. Nothing too fancy! I made the yard line markers/numbers with a font called Stamping Nico (from and the main text is Trend Sans (from The design is simple, but playful and I like that it is seahawk-y/football-y without being obnoxious.  I also like that they were finished in time to give out a few days before the party.


I know not everyone wants to make their own invitations, so my feelings will not be hurt if you click away at this point …

* BUT *

… for those of you who would like to create invitations and stationery and logos, blog graphics, artwork and postcards for your husband’s (or your own!) business, I’d love to help you learn how.


This past spring I launched a great online class called Simplified Graphic Design teaching beginners how to use Adobe Illustrator. I LOVE THIS CLASS! I love teaching it and answering questions and hearing about how it is helping ladies finally feel confident using a seemingly complicated program to unleash their creativity. The class is made up of 12 video lessons that all take place online. You can go at your own pace and have access to the videos for as long as you’d like (no pressure to hurry through!).

I teach the most common and practical tools/steps/techniques needed for everyday design and share all of my best resources for fonts, graphics, inspiration and tools.

If you’ve been wanting to learn a new skill, need a refresher course on Illustrator, or have been dying to know how people make all those awesome graphics, this is totally for YOU!

>> For all of the details and to register, click here <<

p.s. space is limited and the class has sold out each time it’s been offered, so be sure to grab your spot.

p.p.s. I’ll be browsing pinterest for great football party decorating ideas, but if you have any brilliant ideas, I’m all ears …

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