Stencil Pillows??…WOW!!

I love simple changes to home decor that make a big difference.  However, when it comes to painting on fabric, my track record has not been the best.  My first attempt was strokework on a lampshade.  Not sure why, but doing a sample before working on the shade did not cross my mind.  When working on fabric, there are no second chances, hence the terror!  Well, all I can say is the front area that everyone saw wasn’t awful, but NOBODY was allowed to look at the backside!


Chalky Paints and Supplies

Earlier this summer I updated my summer deck decor.  I purchased some very inexpensive plain, tan 20″ square pillow covers from IKEA for only $4.00 each.   They matched perfectly and looked very nice, conservative, but nice.  My intentions all summer were to paint or stencil something stylish on them.  I love to try all kinds of different techniques, mediums, paints, surfaces, but for some reason, painting on a pillow top brought back all those unsuccessful attempts at fabric painting.  I had a long talk with myself last night and decided that each pillow had two sides (that means if the first try was awful, I would have a second chance at redemption!) and if worse came to worse, they only cost $4.00!  I had seen that the new Chalky Paint works on fabric and did a little checking on the web.  Not only was it used for stenciling on fabric, but entire chairs (fabric and leather) were painted!


Designer Stencils

Today was the day to tackle the project.  I gathered up my supplies, Chalky Paint, stencils, stencil brush, ruler, painter’s tape, plastic trash bag, water, paper towels and lots of courage.  First, I covered my work space with a clean trash bag and taped it in place.  I know my studio table has remnants of prior projects and wanted to make sure no other product would accidentally end up on my pillow.  I inserted a piece of cardboard inside the pillow slip to keep the paint from soaking through to the other side and also to provide a smooth, sturdy surface to stencil.  I positioned the stencil and measured to make sure it was exactly where I wanted.  Next, I placed painter’s tape along any edge to prevent any over-spills from the stencil brush.  My colors are earthy, so I selected Cameo, Rustic and Heritage.  I wanted the words to be most visible, so I stenciled them darkest.  To stencil, load the stencil brush with paint and wipe onto a paper towel to remove any heavy, excess paint.  I used a very light, swirling motion to apply the paint softly onto the top of the fabric.  I didn’t want the paint to be solid, so I kept the brushstrokes almost delicate.  A second coat can always be added, but too much paint, especially on fabric, can be a disaster!  I let the brown color, Rustic, also coat the scrolls and designs, but much lighter than the letters.  Next, I loaded my stencil brush with Cameo, which is a deeper rusty red.  I wanted to add a shading to the decorative areas that became lighter towards the top, bottom and edges.  Finally, I stenciled the very tips with Heritage, orange.  Cautiously, I lifted the stencil and …WOW…I was so proud of the results!  Chalky paint is everything that they say it is and even more!  I can’t say enough how wonderful it is.Cafe Paris

finished pillow

Finished masterpiece!



I think what I learned from this whole experience is that the worrying about what could go wrong often robs us of venturing into creating without fear.   I am so excited not only about finally tackeling this project but also the fact that it turned out so well.  Was it worth all the worry and stress?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Would I stencil on fabric again?  ABSOLUTELY!  I am going to stencil more pillows, lampshades and even furniture!

Little touches make a huge difference.  My $4.00 pillows would retail for $25.00, how cool is that!  Plus, they are “designer pillows”  LOL!  My advise is to get brave and try some new adventures.   You never know what glorious results await!!


One thought on “Stencil Pillows??…WOW!!

  1. mary sterling

    I also have chalk paint from DecoART and now, thanks to your inspiration, I’ll go to IKEA, grab some pillow covers and stencil some to go on my screened in room – I couldn’t find the ones I liked for the new seat cushions and NOW I can have the ones I always wanted! Many thanks! mary sterling


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s