Striped Pillow With Painted Detail

Since my painted striped curtains turned out much better than I had anticipated, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at a smaller painted fabric project, so I made a pillow.  I really wanted to make a pillow inspired by a Trina Turk pillow that I absolutely love, but I didn’t have any white fabric on hand, and the fabric store was closed yesterday.  So in the meantime, I decided to practice using some leftover striped canvas that I used for lining my kitchen drawers.  Here’s how it turned out…

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I do wish I had made the outside square a bit smaller so that it’s not so close to the edge of the pillow, and I wish I had used a different color.  But I’m so excited about this whole painting fabric thing.  I feel like a whole new world of DIY possibilities has opened up to me now that I know how easy painting on fabric is.

And it really is as simple as taping off the design, just as if I were painting on wood…

…and then using a 2″ Purdy paint brush and some leftover latex paint (yes, the kind that goes on walls) mixed with some Floetrol paint conditioner.  Once the paint was dry, I just sewed up the pillow in the way that I showed in this basic throw pillow tutorial.

I did learn one valuable lesson.  When I do any fabric painting projects in the future, I’ll never again try painting on outdoor canvas.  I know…seems like common sense, right?  It’s outdoor canvas because it’s been treated with something to repel liquids and stains.  Duh!  But for some reason, it didn’t even dawn on me beforehand that using an outdoor canvas might cause problems.

In the end, all turned out well.  It took three coats of paint to get it to stick, but it finally worked.

Now that I’ve gotten my practice pillow out of the way, and I’ve learned a couple of tips along the way, I’m going to get the right kind of fabric and try to create a look similar to my favorite Trina Turk pillow.  And of course, I’ll share the result with you!



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  1. Such a cute project! I love the choice of yellow, and honestly I think more coats gives it a very professional screen printed look. Though I must confess, seeing pillows “posed” this way makes me giggle every time. I can’t help but imagine designers dressed all in white running around the house yelling “hi-YAH!” and karate chopping pillows 🙂

    1. LOL…It makes me laugh too, and yet, I do it in every single room, whether my own or a client’s. And every single time, I wonder, “Who in the world came up with this, and why?” But as a designer, I do my duty, and karate chop my pillows. 😀