How to Make a Hand-Painted Pillow

Nicci Battilana adds sparkle to her painted pillow with an acrylic jewel and glitter paint.


Materials and Tools:

10 oz. canvas for the front of the pillow
black cotton fabric for the back side of the cushion
permanent black marker
acrylic paint, various colors
fabric medium
gold glitter paint
acrylic jewels
fabric glue
flexible varnish
sewing machine
16" x 16" pillow form
needle and thread




1. Cut an 18" x 18" canvas and an 18" x 18" black cotton fabric for the 16" x 16" pillow form. This includes a 1/2-inch seam allowance on all edges.

2. Place the two pieces of fabric with right sides together and pin together.



3. Machine stitch around the four corners and three sides, leaving an opening in the center of the remaining side big enough to insert the pillow form. Fasten the ends of the threads securely.

4. Turn the cover right side out.



5. Draw a chosen image on the canvas side of the pillow cover using a permanent black marker.

6. Mix fabric medium into the chosen acrylic paint colors.



7. Paint the image for your pillow. Start with the skin tone, then the hair, then the clothes and background. Paint the eye color last. Let dry.

8. Embellish the painting with glitter fabric paint.



9. Attach an acrylic jewel with fabric glue to the eye. Let dry overnight.

10. Apply three coats of flexible varnish. Let dry.

11. Insert a 16" x 16" pillow form.

12. Turn under the raw edges of the opening in line with the remainder of the seam and hand stitch the opening closed.

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