Friday, April 16, 2010

Stenciled Pillow Covers Part 1

I have been looking for new throw pillows for my sofa.  It's a pillow-back sofa, so its four giant pillows along the back and then two smaller ones on the sides.  Everything is beige, blech. I found a couple of cute smaller throw pillows at target for 9.99 (they are actually outdoor pillows and I will show them in a future post).  I still needed some bigger ones though.  I'm also super picky and when I have an idea of what I want something to look like, I can't settle until I found it. I wanted a geometric trellis kind of design.  So I decided to make my own pillow covers, and you can too. Here's what you need:

A stencil (this was from Joann and was $5)
Fabric paint and a sponge brush

You also need fabric.  The fabric I found was on clearance and is a thick canvas kind of material.  The thicker home decor fabric is a little more expensive than quilting fabric, but it holds up and will take the paint better.  Cut a square of fabric for the front of your pillow.  You can buy a pillow form at a craft store, or just cover an old pillow, like I'm doing.  My pillow was 18" square, so the fabric I cut was 18" square. My seam allowance will take up about 1/4 inch on each side, but I wanted to cover to be really firm.  The pillow that I'm covering is kind of flat. I'll be fluffing it up in the drier to perk it up a bit. 

To get my stencil perfectly centered, I placed the fabric square on a piece of cardboard (actually, the back of a drawing pad).  I lined the bottom of the fabric up with the bottom of the cardboard and eyeballed it to center it.  The stencil was five inches wide, so I measured up from the bottom of the cardboard 6.5 inches, made a mark, and then made a second mark up five more inches.  I repeated this on the other side.  Then I laid the stencil on the fabric so it fit between these marks. 

Then you can tape the stencil to the fabric to keep it from slipping.  You'll notice that some of the following pictures have little pieces of thin tape and other ones have giant strips of clear packing tape.  That's because I'm speshulllll and can't paint inside the lines.  If you're speshul like me, I suggest you use the big tape too.

So on the THIRD TRY, I finally did not get paint outside the stencil. Just use the sponge brush to dab paint straight up and down on the stencil.  Don't use strokes because the paint can get squished underneath the stencil.  I also had to hold the stencil nice and taught so it set against the fabric.

Then, pull the stencil off and voila . . .

Stay tuned for Part 2 when it becomes a magnificent throw pillow!


  1. pretty pretty pretty!!

    What an awesome idea. Are you gonna sell then on Etsy?

  2. Hmm. . . that's an idea. These ones are definitely just going on my couch but I really liked doing the stenciling so maybe there are more projects to come.