How to Create Hand-Painted Pillows

Tips for designing your own painted pillows.

Project by Pamela Marwede from Sarasota, Fla.



By the age of 12, Pamela was painting her parents' furniture in a variety of creative ways. Pamela never stopped painting objects and after getting a degree in textile design, she combined that training with her fine arts skills to create bold and captivating art like her hand painted pillows.

Materials and Tools:

cotton muslin
plywood table
acrylic fabric paints
fiber filling


1. Staple a plain white unpainted piece of cotton to a work table and paint it with a base coat of bright colors. Soak fabric with paint using a 2 or 3-inch paintbrush. Dry fabric on table.

2. When dry, start to paint on outline of design with wet paintbrush. Use compass to draw circles, which are part of design. Paint leaves, stripes and background patterns. Let dry.

3. Add more details with brush and then finish it off with outlining applied with a squirt bottle. Outline leaves, circles and the rest of the design. This will create another layer of paint. Let dry.

4. When dry, heat-set fabric in the clothes dryer.

5. Wash fabric with soap in a washing machine ONLY after 3 days of air curing.

6. Hang fabric outside on a line and hose off the soap with a garden hose. Let dry.

7. Cut finished piece of fabric into two pieces to make pillow shape.

8. Pair two pieces together and sew three sides closed.

9. Stuff with fiber filling and sew fourth side closed.

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