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!

Resources for this project:

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  1 question
  • Lindsay 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?


Join the conversation

2 of 6 comments