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Hands-on with Stitchagram, the Instagram custom pillow

It’s no surprise that you can do many things with your Instagram photos: print them on canvases, iPhone cases, postcards, stickers, magnets. But of the myriad of options, we found Stitchagram to offer something interesting and unique as a way to truly build a unique gift or home furnishing. The Washington, D.C.-based company offers handmade pillows with your Instagram photos to bump up your pictures into something huggable. Here’s our hands-on of the customized product.

Getting started

Designing your Stitchagram pillow is pretty easy given the web-based app on the company’s website. Like most services that need access to your photos, you will have to log into your Instagram account to allow the third party access before arranging your pillow photos. The unique thing about Stitchagram is you can also print photos of your friends’ accounts. This will require you to send them an invite to allow their permissions, and if they agree, you can certainly take liberty to honor you and your friends’ work of art. 

Stitchagram offers two types of templates: a 2 x 2 square (four photos) or 5 x 5 (20 photos). To get a good idea of color vibrance, we decided to do a 5 x5 layout and tested out all kinds of photos, from dark to light to bright and colorful. Stitchagram does note, however, that darker photos may come off washed out and light photos might turn out pure white, therefore saturated photos will result in better prints.

How does it look?

Although the company told us of a three-week expected shipment, we happily received our Stitchagram pillow in just a bit over a week (gonna take a guess that being located four hours from D.C. had something to do with the speediness). The printing is done in North Carolina before the fabric is sent to D.C. for hand sewing, so everything is made in the good ol’ USA.

Like Stitchagram warned, the colors did come off a bit faded but in a vintage-y way Instagram has always been known for. Just look at the screenshot of my designed pillow versus the real thing above. For a deeper comparison, here is the original photo of a plate of puffins I recently enjoyed in Iceland compared to how it looks on the pillow. 

As you can see, some of the color vibrance are a bit lost in the print, but not terribly so that they destroy the original quality of the image. I personally don’t particularly mind that the plate looks more white than it actually is in the original, but I did wish the mustard yellow could have maintain its saturation. The pre-washed look might work for some but perhaps not bright enough for others so it will depend on your personal taste. Oddly enough, the colorful, saturated photos were also the ones that came out a bit faded. Instead, photos with steep contrast looked the best (refer to the middle photo of my WALL-E and EVE Christmas ornament).

The nicely sized pillow makes for a perfect throw on the couch to showcase your favorite pictures in a cuddly way. The canvas fabric is a bit rough but not uncomfortable (think canvas-types bags or fabric storage containers in college dorms), and the company recommends spot cleaning with damp cloth as needed. However, if you absolutely must rinse the entire thing, the cover is removable and should be washed “in cold water with phosphate free detergent, and tumble dry low or air dry.”

Our verdict

We generally love support handmade goods in the states, so are we satisfied with the quality of the product received? Indeed so! Stitchagram is the first and one of a kind in its realm of Instagram-inspired products, and for the right customer looking to make some personalized furnishings or unique gifts, this sure isn’t a bad route to go.

And, get this, it’s actually pretty fun! Imagine a themed pillow with just photos of cool architecture, or pictures from a road trip to commemorate your travel. A pillow full of similar color shades might also be a neat way to make your pillows pop rather than just a randomized mix of your Instagram gallery. For restaurants, this might even be a neat way to promote your store by printing logos and products on the pillow and decorating the shop with them. Word of advice for when you are designing your pillow: You may want to add your lower priority pictures on the bottom row since those tend to get squashed and you won’t see as much of them.

You can design your own Instagram pillow with your own photos or a friend’s at $64 apiece, plus shipping. International customers are also welcomed though you’ll have to wait even longer for the shipment to make it out to wherever you are.