How to Make a DIY Sharpie and Alcohol Pillowcase

7 Materials
1 Hour

I needed some new pillows, but struggled to find the colors and designs I was looking for, so I decided to make my own DIY Sharpie and alcohol pillowcase! It was a super fun, easy, and affordable project.

I’ll walk you through the easy steps. Let’s go! Gather your supplies:

  • Permanent markers (I got mine at Dollar Tree, but you can use any kind)
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • Spray bottle (not required)
  • Cotton pillow cases – I used these smooth ones and these textured ones and they both worked very well
  • Pillow inserts (I used extra pillows I already had on hand)
  • Ruler (not required)
  • Iron or dryer (to set the color)

Plan your design. I’ll start off with a simple dot one. You simply make dots all over the pillowcase. The dots can be any size, but the larger they are the more the color will spread. I’ll show you a larger dot option next.

Once your pillow case is covered in dots, simply pour your alcohol on the dots. The color immediately starts to spread and spreads more over time. TIP: You’ll want to put down some foil or another item to protect your countertops from the permanent marker.

Once the pillow case dries (usually in about 2 hours) you’re done, but for this one I decided to add more dots in different colors to see what would happen. I added dots in a turquoise and a dark blue color to the bottom of the pillowcase, and then poured more alcohol on them exactly as I did previously.

I let dry and then once I was happy with the design, I ironed the pillowcase. The heat from the iron sets in the color and gives you the ability to wash them in the future with less bleeding.

Here’s how it turned out. As you can see, the ink in the dots really spreads out over time.

And here’s how the one I did with larger dots turned out.

This one spread out so much it takes on the appearance of flowers. So fun!

Now it’s time for one of my favorites…in more of an organic batik look.

Take a ruler and draw 4-5 vertical lines—they don’t have to be perfectly spaced. Next draw 4-5 horizontal lines. I intentionally let my marker sit on the fabric in some areas to mix up the thickness of the lines and to make it more organic, less perfect feeling.

Now you will want to draw angled lines in each square. I started off drawing a line going one direction, then alternated directions until each square was filled. Again, these shouldn’t be perfect lines (unless you are wanting that look).

For this one I used a spray bottle full of alcohol for a different look. Dumping the alcohol makes the ink spread much further and lightens the color, and spray is a little more less dramatic.

Spray over all of the lines and set aside to dry.

The ink spreads nicely as it dries.

I let dry and then once I was happy with the design, I ironed the pillowcase. The heat from the iron sets in the color and gives you the ability to wash them in the future with less bleeding.

And here’s how it turned out. I absolutely love it, and want to make more in different colors.

Here’s another one I did using simple horizontal lines and the alcohol duping method. Very subtle.

What do you think of these DIY Sharpie and alcohol pillowcases? So easy right?

I seriously don’t want to stop making them. I need to order more pillowcases. :)

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Audrey Kuether

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Tina Shontz
    Tina Shontz
    on Oct 9, 2019

    I didn’t see a mention of how to set the colors. How is that done?

  • Sharon
    on Oct 10, 2019

    This is so cool. I want to try using a beige or tan colored pillow case with black or earth tones..what do you think??

  • Lisa Junguzza Contee
    Lisa Junguzza Contee
    on Oct 13, 2019

    Could this be done with a black pillow case and a bleach pen?

    • Audrey Kuether
      Audrey Kuether
      on Oct 14, 2019

      Hi Lisa. I'm not sure the alcohol technique would work on dark with a bleach pen, but just the bleach pen and a dark pillowcase might look really cool! Definitely worth a try. :)

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