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How To Make an Upcycled Gucci Inspired Tiger Pillow

I don’t know why but some Gucci tiger pillows came up in my Pinterest feed. I don’t shop at Gucci, it’s a bit out of my price range and I’m not one for designer labels.

When I saw these pillows, I loved them and wanted them. But there was no way I was going to pay that price for them.

Not only did I know I could make them much cheaper, but I could also tweak their designs, so the pillows were more personal to me.

I liked the funky designs of the pillows, they were just what I needed for my home office chair. The pillows looked very simple to recreate. They basically consisted of embroidery patched on either velvet or tartan fabric and were trimmed with a coloured fringe.

After a quick search online, I saw that the large embroidery patches could be bought very cheaply. I wanted a tiger pillow so I choose a large tiger embroidery patch. There were quite a few tiger designs to choose from.

This pillow was not a direct copy, just inspired by Gucci. I didn’t want the words Gucci on my pillow but something more personal to me.

I went for the words “Sit Down”. Not only was this a humorous pun, Sit Down by James was my wedding song. So the phrase has extra meaning.

The pillow was made from upcycled fabrics which also made it very affordable.

I was so pleased with how this upcycled tiger pillow turned out, I posted a picture of it on the family Whatsapp. I now have a request to make one for my son, sister, mother and best friend, so I’m going to be busy. I have also made an easy DIY footstool with a tiger embroidery patch to match the tiger pillow.

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What You Need To Make A Tiger Pillow

The Embroidery Patches

Embroidery patches come either as stitch-on or iron-on patches. Obviously, if you can get iron-on patches, it will be easier to add these to your tiger pillows.

If the patch you want only comes as a stitch-on, that doesn’t matter. All it means is that you will have to stitch the patch to the fabric, which will take a little longer.

Embroidery patches for tiger pillow
  • Fabric for the body of the pillow. I used a tartan fabric from a mini skirt and the leg off an old pair of jeans for the back of the pillow. As well as denim and tartan, velvet fabric would work well with a tiger pillow.
  • Fringe pillow trimming. The trimming I used was 4cm wide. Make sure you order enough to go around the outside of the pillow. I used just under 2 meters for my pillow.
  • Pillow insert, I made a cover for a pillow 40cm by 40cm.
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Sewing machine
fabrics to upcycle to pillow

How To Make An Embroidery Patch Tiger Pillow

1.. First, unpick the seam of the skirt to open it up.

tartan mini skirt
unpicked tartan skirt

2. Cut the leg off the old jeans. Then unpick the seam of the jean leg to open up the fabric. You will need a straight or flared pair of jeans for this. Skinny jeans will not be wide enough.

cutting the leg off a pair of jeans.
unpicked jeans leg.

3. Next, measure your pillow. To fit a 40×40 cm pillow cover, I cut both fabrics to a square 42 x 42 cm, this allowed for a 1 cm seam margin.

fabric cut to sized

4. Next, lay the embroidery patches on the tartan fabric to work out the design of the tiger pillow. Once you are happy with your design, pin the patches in place.

Pining the patch design

5. Next, I secured the embroidery patches to the fabric using an iron. Put the iron on the hottest setting (turn off the steam), place a piece of scrap cotton fabric between the iron and the patch to protect it. Then iron the patch to the tartan fabric, pass the iron over the patch for about 30 seconds.

Then turn over the tartan fabric and iron the back of the fabric for another 30 seconds. This will activate the glue on the back of the embroidery patches and secure them to the fabric.

ironing-patches to pillow

6. Next, pin the fringe trim to the right side of the front of the cushion. Pin it all around the edge. Then stitch the trim in place using a sewing machine.

Sewing fringe to pillow
Stitched on fringe

7. Next, lay the denim backing fabric on top of the fringe and pin the pillow cover pieces right sides together. Stich the two pieces together, leave a gap large enough for the pillow/cushion inserts on one side.

Pinning cover right sides together

Finishing off the Tiger Pillow

8. Turn the tiger pillow right sides out, using the hole left for the insert. Place the pillow pad in the cover and hand stitch the hole closed.

I did think about adding a zipper to the pillow cover to make it removable. Then, I realized that I would never wash the cover of this pillow in a machine because it would ruin the fringe.

However, if you want to make the cover removable, you can either add a zipper or make it an envelope pillow. As I did with my other Sit Down supercross stitched cushion.

turning the tiger pillow right sides out
tiger pillow cover

9. Finally, all that is left to do to finish off the pillow is to set the fringe free. The fringe trim is kept in place with a thread to make it easy to sew into place. Pull these threads out to release the fringe.

removing the thread from the fringe.
back of Gucci pillow
Gucci inspired tiger pillow
Gucci tiger pillow
Gucci inspired upcycled tiger pillow

I’m really happy with my rather funky-looking tiger pillow and I’m going to be making another one soon, as I have another tartan skirt. I’m just trying to decide what words to use and what embroidery patch.

I think that these embroidery patch cushions would look great just on the denim. They would look a bit like biker jackets and would add a bit of Rock ‘n Roll fun to any couch or chair.


Don’t throw away any of the tartan scraps from this upcycled pillow cover. You can use them to make super cute plaid tartan fabric feathers or even a mini tartan Scottie dog garland.

DIY and Upcycled Pillows On Pillarboxblue

Step-by-step tutorials for other pillows and cushions on Pillarboxblue to check out.

Visit Favecrafts for more projects.


Sunday 14th of March 2021

Such a fun creative craft! For the next cushion, maybe you could use a hugging bear and write "Lean In" lol. Thanks for sharing at our #HomeMattersParty :)

Claire Armstrong

Monday 15th of March 2021

Thank you so much, love that idea!


Saturday 13th of March 2021

This is so fun, Claire! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 14th of March 2021

Thank you, Cecilla. Like a lot of my creations it makes me smile.


Friday 12th of March 2021

This is SO much fun! I'm not normally aware of what Gucci are doing at any given time but this is very cool! It's funny what can pop up in ads or on a social media feed isn't it? Normally I seem to get ads for things I've just bought, but you hit the jackpot with this inspiration!

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 13th of March 2021

Thank you, Julie. Yeah, I didn't even know they did homewares before seeing the ad. I'm not even sure why Gucci came up in my algorithm, it's not somewhere I'd shop.

Michelle Leslie

Thursday 11th of March 2021

I had no idea that a Gucci Tiger pillow was a thing and had to go look it up, and then almost fell off my chair when I saw the price. That's just nuts and I think yours is waaaaaaaaaay better, Claure. The tartan backing is more fun plus your tassels complement the tiger's colors too.

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 11th of March 2021

Thank you, nor did I until I saw them on Pinterest. Being half Scottish, I'm drawn to tartan it's in my blood!

T'onna | Sew Crafty Crochet

Sunday 7th of March 2021

This pillow is fabulous! I love the tiger and that bright orange fringe! You always make awesome stuff!

Claire Armstrong

Monday 8th of March 2021

Thank you, T'onna. I do love a bit of color. I'm a great admirer of your fabulous crochet creations too, they are so creative.