Make Your Own Stylishly Stenciled Trompe L’Oeil Pillow

2 Materials
30 Minutes

In this video and written tutorial, DIY expert and A Makers' Studio founder, Amy Howard, is shows you how to create your own Trompe l’Oeil (“to fool the eye”) pillow. This technique creates a pillow that looks like an optical illusion, as the design pops right off the pillow… almost like it’s 3-dimensional!

Apply your floor tile stencil to the center of your pillow, making sure the main pattern is directly in the middle.

Apply If The Creek Don’t Rise Gel Art Ink to the stencil with your spreader. Hold down your stencil as you go to ensure it doesn’t move.

Remove the stencil, wash it, and lay it flat to dry. Let the first round of Gel Art Ink dry fully as well.

Place the edge of your dry stencil to “marry” it with the pattern you painted on first. Then, repeat Step 1 until stencil has covered the entire pillow. Allow it to dry fully (about 2 hours).

Add one part Hey Y’all Gel Art Ink to one part water, mixing with your artist brush. Using the artist brush, offload any extra paint and then start to embellish the edges of your stencil design to add detail.

Once your paint is dry, apply a warm iron to set your Gel Art Ink. This is the best way to ensure the paint sets and will stay on even after washing!

Place your finished pillow in a favorite chair, on the bed, or styled on the couch!

How simple (and fun) is that? Find more DIY tutorials and craft kits at!

Tutorial for DIY 3D Trompe l'Oeil Pillow
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Lindsay
    on Mar 26, 2019

    Are there any other kinds of paint or gel one could use for this project (that may work well for someone with limited resources)? And what fabric was the pillow case, and could this work on most fabrics?

    • Jacx
      on Jun 14, 2019

      I have used Annie Sloan chalk paint. Be careful not to apply too thickly. Always put cardboard between the layers to prevent bleed thru. After doing this I used a med temp iron to help set the paint. Worked out great. I ironed on the back side.

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