Painting Pillows

Here are the pillows I made for the bench in my office. I love pillows! But I dislike sewing. I am sewing challenged…..So I left these pillows until last. I went against all my mother taught me. “Do the things you like the least FIRST and save the things you love for last.” Great advice but I totally did the opposite :) Pillows are basically the only thing I know how to sew.

One of the reasons I don’t like to sew is I have a hard time finding fabric that I want. It is totally my fault. I get an idea in my head and I HAVE to have it that way. I am willing to settle for something close, but I would rather have it just that way I want it. I couldn’t find anything close to the color and pattern I wanted for these pillows so I painted all but one :)

Remember when my hallway looked like this? For all of about 1 week! Well it didn’t match the rest of my house but I did love the pattern and color. So in memory of my hallway, I used the same stencil (Alessa Scroll)and same color for one of the pillows.

For the off-white (dare I say ruffly?………the tom boy in me just shuddered :P) pillow in the front I used an old shirt. I could never pull the gathered thing off on my own so I cut up a shirt from my closet. It was a bright white so I “dyed” it using paint (I will explain that in a sec). Sorry for the terrible picture!

The brown polka dot one was made from left over fabric from when I made the valances for my kitchen. This was the only one that didn’t get painted.

The solid blue one was also dyed using paint. I wanted a darker color than the wall color but couldn’t find fabric that was the right color. So how did I do it?

It was actually really easy and not too messy.

I added a little paint to an old tupperware bowl and then added an entire 2 ox bottle of fabric paint medium. Then I added some water so that it was quite watery.  Make sure the paint is 100% mixed. If there is paint at the bottom that settles and doesn’t get mixed in you will have uneven color for your end result. Stirring it is the most important step.  I got the fabric that I had already cut to the right size and stuck it in the paint. I swished it, squished it, and picked it up and rubbed it. Once I made sure that it has sunk into all of the fabric, I wrung it out really well. ***The absorption of paint will depend of the type of fabric that you have*** I had a plastic kitchen garbage sack that I laid on the table for the fabric to dry. I smoothed it flat. The next day I washed them in the washing machine. Since it is not actually dye, you don’t have to worry about it bleeding.  I washed the stenciled one and the two “dyed” ones together with towels and had no problems. After that I ironed them. Then they were ready to sew :) I have used actual dye in the past and this was a lot easier.



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  1. says

    I looove the stenciled pillow.

    I’d probably throw myself off of a cliff before wearing anything ruffly. Looks great on other people but me…bleh doesn’t feel right. I would however toss a vintagy-looking ruffly pillow in a group like you have above. Perfect ensemble.

  2. says

    Thanks for the invite to Chatty Chicks this Wednesday. I don’t have computer acess for the next few weeks so I won’t be able to link up then. I am following now so will come back after my blogging break. Please let me know if this is the blog where the party is and I’d love it if you’d come over and follow me back.

  3. says

    I took the inspiration you offered with your shirt pillow and ran with it. THANK YOU!!! I linked back to you here [] I would not have thought of something so easy as using an old shirt for a pillow case. I ended up with a cute pillow that cost me NOTHING! Thank you again for the inspiration (and while I am at it… I pretty much find all your stuff inspiring :)

  4. Suzanne says

    When you ‘paint’ fabric, what type and brand name paint do you use? This is something I am truly interested in. Do you wash the fabric first and do you do anything to it afterwards so the color doesn’t come out?