Shawna Bailey
Shawna Bailey
  • Hometalker
  • West Orange, NJ

Make Designer Color Block Decorative Pillows for Just $6

6 Materials
45 Minutes

Switching the pillows on your couch seasonally can really change the whole look and feel of the room, but I've always been held back by that crazy price tag! The cost of new throw pillows every season can put quite a dent in your budget. So, instead, I painted my own color block pillows! And the best thing about them? They were five dollars each! Now, I can make pillow covers in different colors and patterns every few months.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
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I gathered some super cheap pillows I found on sale, some regular acrylic paint, a few sponges from the craft store (from the pottery section), and some good quality painter's tape.
Step 2: Prepare Your Pillow Case
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I removed the pillow from the case, and laid the case on a flat, protected surface. If your surface is uneven, your paint will look uneven on the pillow - no thank you!
Step 3: Make a Pattern with Painter's Tape
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I laid painter's tape across the case diagonally. I placed the tape so that it extended past the case onto my surface, to keep it from shifting while I painted.
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I applied another piece of tape down the middle of one of the triangles of the case. You could use your tape to create any pattern you'd like, but I wanted bold blocks, so I kept it simple. I made sure to firmly smooth down all my pieces of tape, so nothing would seep under it and ruin the nice, crisp lines.
Step 4: Sponge Acrylic Paint onto Your Design
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I squeezed acrylic paint onto a clean disposable plate. Because I wanted a color block look, I needed just one color at a time.
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I used my sponge to spread the paint over the entire taped off area. I used a sponge, instead of a brush to make sure I could spread the paint thinly , which would keep it from drying too stiff. I was careful to only brush the paint away from the tape lines, just to be sure nothing seeped under (I really wanted those pristine lines!).
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Once the area was covered, I removed the tape and let it dry for 20 minutes. You could remove the tape before or after your patch is dry, but I wanted to make sure that the line was perfect before letting it air.
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I added another line of tape, this time overlapping the edge of my first triangle, so that there would be no gap between the colors. Then, I simply sponged on my second color in the same way as my first.
Step 5: Let Your Design Dry
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I let the whole pillow case dry for 20 more minutes and then removed all the tape. Even if you remove your tape immediately, don't move your pillow case around too much until it's nice and dry.
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To ensure that the colors stayed put, I heat set the color by carefully ironing my pillow cases. You could also put one in the dryer, then wash it on cold by itself. This will make the pillowcase softer and allow you to wash it in the future. It may bleed the first few times you wash it, so wash with like colors.
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All you have to do now is put your pillows back into your now stunning cases, arrange them on your couch, and wait for guests to 'ooh' and 'aah'!

Suggested materials:

  • Cheap Pillows
  • Acrylic paint in a few colors
  • Paint sponges
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Martha Marti Carter Eason
    on Nov 4, 2017

    Does the acrylic paint work better than fabric paint? I've also heard that using vinegar when washing fabrics that may fade is a good prevention. How did you keep the darker colors from fading on the light colors? That is often a big problem when making things like this, including shirts! The pillows are gorgeous! (I should have said that first!) I really love them!
  • Gail Layson
    on Jan 6, 2019

    Does it matter if your cheap pillows have a design on them, because I don’t ever see pillows that are white

    • Jamie Jones
      on Feb 2, 2019

      Usually cheap pillows have a white pillow inside of a super cheap fabric printed cover. Instead of putting a zipper and removable cover the white pillow is usually stuffed inside of the cover and sewn up

  • Cindy Thomas
    on Feb 2, 2019

    How do you keep the paint from bleeding onto the other side?

Join the conversation

2 of 33 comments
  • Lisa West
    on Jan 6, 2019

    This gives me ideas. My neice bought me 2 autumn pillows. I have tons of fabric. So now I will sew some pocket cases and paint away. Thank you for this idea. Now I can use my pillows instead of storing them until next fall. Love this idea.

  • Kat Rogers
    on Feb 2, 2019

    They look GR8!

    Just a couple of Notes:

    Be sure to wash the fabric first, and Acrylic FABRIC Paint works great because it dries softer. One other thing I've experienced is IF your fabric is stretchy, like something with spandex, Stretch The Fabric WHILE Painting~ If the fabric stretches AFTER it's painted, the paint Will Crack.


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