DIY Decorative Pillow Case

If you thought fabric paint was only for children’s summer camp tee shirt projects, you were wrong. You can give a plain pillow case new life as a subtle textural masterpiece for only a couple of dollars.


  • Pillowcase to be made over – or plain fabric for sewing into a pillow case
  • Paper or cardboard to insert under top layer of fabric
  • Fabric Paint- preferably in a tube with a small applicator and not fabric markers or paint designed for a brush
  • Your design
  • Optional: beverage of choice

Assemble your materials. Fabric paint.

Make sure you have adequate refreshments.

Step 1: Prepare pillowcase/fabric. Launder, dry, and press pillowcase flat.

Step 2: Brainstorm your design. You will use dots to create a pointillism effect on your chosen canvas. Bear in mind that a more complex design will take longer. Carefully consider your starting point. If you are right handed, you will probably want to work from left to right, and vice versa. Any smudge from an errant finger or hovering hand will ruin your miniature masterpiece so take a moment to consider what mode of operation will be least likely to end in disaster. If you need to, lightly pencil in guidelines for your design. Be careful if you are using light or transparent fabric paint, though, as the marks may show through. I find freehand to be fun.

Step 3: Place cardboard or paper under the top layer of your fabric. If you are using a ready made pillowcase this is especially important so that you do not end up gluing the front and back together.

Step 4: Begin placing small dots of fabric paint onto your surface. It may take a few tries to get the right pressure going, so feel free to practice on a scrap piece of fabric. This is a lot like piping decorations for a cake. Slow and steady wins this race! Work slowly and carefully until you have completed your design.

Step 5: Allow to dry for the amount of time specified by the fabric paint manufacturer and then enjoy!

Notes: I like the subtlety of monochromaticism, but there is no reason why you couldn’t use a more lush palette. I used a “pearl” finish paint and loved the hint of sheen it gave my abstract geometric designs. Try glitter, metallic, or gloss for a different effect. Vary sizes of droplets for more visual and textural interest.

I made over two existing pillow cases. They are a solid color microfiber – as basic as you can get. I think I actually purchased them at a local grocery store and they were somewhere around $6 each – including the pillow form. Even if you have to buy pillows for this project, chose boring basics like the ones I had on hand, and the project will still stay under $20 for a pair – even less if you bargain shop! Are you inspired yet?


2 thoughts on “DIY Decorative Pillow Case

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s