Hi, friends! I’ve been all about the diy pillow covers this month. I recently posted my bleach dot pillow cover and I have another in the works (coming soon!) I love that there are so many ways to make beautiful pillow covers at a fraction of the price over buying them. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is worth buying a beautiful pillow. Etsy has some great ones! But there is a lot of satisfaction with making your own, too. And you can be creative! Today, I’m showing you how to make a pretty block print pillow cover.
This pillow cover is actually really fun to make! And the possibilities are limitless. All you need is a stamp and some fabric paint to transform a plain piece of fabric. I already had these covers in mind for our downstairs playroom/tv room. Since I have a black and white theme going on there, I decided to stick with that for my covers. I went with white cotton fabric and black fabric paint.
I also wanted my pillows to have a kinda vintage look to them – almost like it’s an old fabric and some of the block prints rubbed off with time. So, some of my prints are darker and some are lighter. Totally up to you how you want to design your cover though! I just thought I should make that point in case you were wondering. 🙂 Also – I made a 20×20 pillow envelope pillow cover for this tutorial.
So, let’s get started!
- 1 yard of fabric of your choice. (I made 2 pillows so I used about 1.5 yards, but you only need 1 yard to make one pillow.)
- Fabric Paint – I used this fabric paint.
- Cardboard – this goes under your fabric to protect while you are stamping.
- Paint sponges – I used these sponges.
- Stamp – I used this stamp. (It’s the same one I used to make my heart trinket dish.)
- Sewing machine and coordinating thread color.
- Straight pins
- You want to start by pre washing your fabric.
- Cut your pillow cover pieces. (Since I was making a 20×20 pillow cover, I cut – 1 front piece at 20×20 inches and 1 back pieces at 20×28 inches. Then I cut the back piece in half. So I have three separate fabric pieces now.)
- I only stamped the front part of the cover – so you can set your back pieces aside for now.
- Lay your front piece down on top of some cardboard or a mat. This will protect underneath in case the paint goes through.
- Squirt a little bit of paint onto your sponge.
- Dab the sponge on your stamp.
- Start stamping! Feel free to use whatever stamping pattern suits you.
- Reload your sponge with paint and reapply to the stamp as needed.
- I alternated where my darker and lighter stamps were. If you want all the stamps darker, you will have to reapply more often.
- Once you are finished stamping, set your front piece aside and allow it dry for at least 24 hours.
- After the fabric paint is dry, you need to heat set it with a dry iron OR in the dryer for 30 minutes on the hottest setting for your fabric. I personally used my iron since I had to do that anyways. *If you iron, it’s best to iron a little longer than usual – I ironed for 5 minutes on the dry setting. I also read that you can use a scrap piece of fabric over your cover to make sure no paint transfers to your iron. (I didn’t do this because my iron is old and this wouldn’t bother me.)
- I also ironed down my hems on my back pieces while I was at it! Take your back pieces, and fold over 1/2 inch, then 1/2 again. Iron this hem down.
- Now that your pillow covers are ironed, you are ready to sew.
- I sewed down each hem on the back pieces.
- Now pin your front and back pieces together (RIGHT SIDES FACING TOGETHER) and sew along each edge of the pillow cover. Your two back pieces will overlap in the middle – that’s the envelope part.
After I made them, I put these in our playroom right away and I think they fit in perfectly. Since we have a dark couch and dark carpet, I’m really trying to lighten things up with throws and pillows. I kinda wish we had a lighter carpet but my hubby thinks that is a recipe for disaster with a dog and two kids 5 and under. Maybe someday in the future when I can trust them with their sippy cups. 🙂
Isn’t this cool looking? Another idea would be to use a bright fabric paint to give your spaces a pop of color. I always love to get inspiration online and in magazines. I love trying to diy my own version of what I see. Also – put poms poms or tassels on your pillow at the end! This would really give it a unique look. Actually, I totally might still do that.
I really love the fabric creations stamp I used too. It’s sturdy and was a good size for block print stamping. Fabric Creations has other stamp designs that I can’t wait to try out – like paisley and tribal. And so many paint colors to choose from.
I also think this could make a good kids craft if you are not too fussy about the end product. My daughter mentioned that she wanted to make a pillow for her bed with me and this might be a good way to get them involved. Especially if they are too young for the sewing machine! 🙂 She would love to stamp fabric!
And the great thing too is that you are not limited to pillows. I’m thinking about designing some tea towels or a grocery tote bag in the near future. Even a cute summer dress for my daughter! Once you heat set the fabric paint, you can wash it. But make sure to check with your individual brand of fabric paint.
One more note! When you make your own pillow covers, I think it’s important to have the right insert to help them feel a little more luxe. I always opt for down or down alternative inserts. If they feel squishy and fluffy (not stiff) and you can karate chop the pillow into the ‘V’ shape down the center, you are good to go. I love crate and barrels inserts. I’m going to try one of these inserts from Amazon soon too. I’ll let you guys know if I find a good one.
***Update : you can also make your own! Check out this post on making your own throw pillow inserts from a bed pillow.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Who is ready to stamp every fabric in sight? 🙂
Happy stamping and leave me a comment if you have questions or just to say hi!