A Beautiful Rose Textured Pillow Made From an Inexpensive Drop Cloth

3 Materials
2 Hours

A little bit of simple hand sewing and you can create this beautiful accent pillow. The textured roses are made from strips of basic hardware store drop cloth and attached to a pillow cover.

This project requires a simple hardware store painters drop cloth 4 feet x 15 feet.

The canvas drop cloths are raw cotton.  They are very rough and have a stiffening agent on them that you need to remove it to make your canvas pliable.

Soak your drop cloth on the stove in a giant pot of boiling water with a cup of vinegar.  I don’t cook it on the stove, I just add the canvas to the boiling water and let it sit overnight. 

I use a 15-gallon stockpot.  You can cut down your drop cloth to make it fit if you’re using a smaller pot.  

In the morning toss your canvas into the washing machine and wash on hot.

Once the wash cycle finishes up, you can go ahead and toss your fabric into the dryer.

I usually give the fabric a feel after it’s dry and if it still isn’t soft I repeat the process.   I didn’t have to with this canvas fabric because I wanted it pliable but still a bit stiff.
So now that you have your fabric, it’s time to make the roses. 

Start by cutting 1-inch strips from your canvas.  They don’t have to be perfect.  The less precise they are, the better.   

The easiest way to do this is to cut a notch in the fabric and give it a good rip. 

I ripped my 4×15 inch canvas on the 4 ft length and made about 50  1 inch strips 48 inches long. 
To make the roses roll pinch one end of fabric strip and start to wind the fabric around the end.

Keep rolling and twisting your strips around. 

They don’t have to be perfect, but they do need to be flat so that you can slide a needle through the center to fasten it together.
I cut my strips all the same length, but I still ended up with different size roses due to how I rolled them or how wide I cut the fabric. 

The trick to get areas that look like petals is to twist your strips as you are rolling them around.  The folds are what give the little rosettes most of their texture.  
When you’ve completed rolling up your rose, you’re going to pass a needle and thread directly through the center. 

Do this for a few passes.  Turn it over to add additional hand stitching to the back.  It only takes a few minutes per flower. 
Sewing your roses on to your pillow takes a bit of patience.  You need to ensure that they won’t come off in the wash if you plan on ever tossing it into the washing machine.  

I started in the center and worked my way out, but you can pretty much start anywhere.  Just make sure that the sides of your roses are touching and you can’t see the pillow cover.
Once you have all your little roses sewn to your pillow cover, it’s time to clean it up. I used a pair of scissors and cleaned up all the threads.

This project makes such a beautiful textured pillow. No one would know you made it from a drop cloth!

You can check out the full tutorial on the blog.
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Laura Kennedy

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Nan
    on Apr 28, 2018

    Does the fabric take dye well?

    • Laura Kennedy
      on Apr 29, 2018

      If you drop cloth is 100% cotton and has all the sizing removed it will take dye very well.

      I just dyed a batch dark grey and they turned out beautiful.

  • Tracy Jones Hensley
    on Oct 8, 2018

    Does the fabric make the pillow seem heavier? I love this idea, but may use a lighter weight fabric. Thank you for sharing!

    • Laura Kennedy
      on Oct 8, 2018

      Yes, it does make the pillow heavy, it's the reason I only added the roses to the front. You're essentially adding the weight of the drop cloth to your pillow.

  • Deb10762945
    on Nov 19, 2018

    This is such a beautiful idea! . I plan on trying this project. Did you use the entire drop cloth for one pillow including the rosettes?

Join the conversation

2 of 32 comments
  • Annie
    on Oct 20, 2019

    I put my question in the wrong spot, sorry. I am wondering if the flowers fray after a while.

  • Julie
    on Jan 12, 2020

    I'm so doing this.. Finally a great idea for that old drop cloth... tks. I wish there was a video on how to make the rose. I read it but I'm a little confused.

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