Mandala Stenciled Pillows

3 Materials
2 Hours

For some of you, stenciling may drag up memories from the past of timidly painted folk-art tulips on country curtains. But today’s stencils are anything but timid! I recently received two mandala stencils, and after one afternoon of experimentation, I was hooked. And there’s NOTHING timid about these boho pillows I whipped up in one afternoon with stencils, a drop-cloth and some fabric paints.

step 1 – pre-wash the drop-cloth

As much as I wanted to skip this step (because I’m impatient to get to the fun part), I forced myself to do it. I pre-washed the drop-cloth remnants, and it did soften them immensely. Just throw them into the washer for a short cycle with detergent and one cup of white vinegar. Then iron them while still a bit damp. 

step 2 – prepare the stencil

Place a piece of cardboard behind the fabric to absorb any paint that leaks through. Next, place the stencil on top and tape down the edges. I used stencils from Stencil Revolution, and I was blown away by their hip and fresh designs!

step 3 – paint

I used two colors for the first pillow and alternated waves of pink and orange. I overlapped some of the cut-outs with both colors to create a more fluid design. I applied the paint by pouncing the s ponge brush up and down, and it worked well.  Do not remove the stencil right away; allow it to dry for about 2 hours before removing it. You’ll be wowed by the finished design.

For the second pillow, I used 4 different paint colors (purple, blue, green & metallic gold), and once again I overlapped the colors.

step 4 – finishing touches

Now that your design has come alive, there are so many options… frame it? make it into a pillow? a tote? I decided to make pillows out of these designs, and you can find an easy tutorial for sewing a drop-cloth pillow  here. If you prefer taking a short cut, there are lots of ready-made linen pillow covers on Amazon. You can also find good deals on pillow inserts. Either way, you’ll end up with some very cute boho throw pillows.

Suggested materials:
  • Mandala stencil & Harmony Mandala stencil, each 15″ x 15″   (
  • Fabric paint, sponge brushes & cardboard
  • 24" x 40" drop cloth remnant
Wendy at
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 31, 2019

    I love your project and hope to try it. I have a few questions. You said that you had a video for sewing drop cloth pillows but I didn't see it.

    I'm not sure how to do paint overlapping. The rows of the designs are so close, I can't picture how you did it. I would like to cover over pillows already on my couch. They have a piping all around them. Would you not advise this? Is any fabric paint ok for stenciling? Thank you so much.

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