They say the easiest and most fun way to liven up a room is by adding new pillows. So why not have double the fun and design them yourself? Since most of the pillows in our house are collected and turned into a giant landing pad for my daughter’s favorite activity — couch jumping — at least twice a week, I wanted to let my little girl have a hand in decorating them, too.
You can get as detailed as you’d like with the design for this toddler-approved DIY, but here we show you how to make three simple stamps that can be used in a number of ways.
So roll up your sleeves and get creative with these comfy conversation starters.
*Tiny hands add a lot of character to the design but also might have a hard time following a careful pattern. My 2-year-old was much more interested in ‘free-stamping,’ so I saved a portion of the pillow for her to go crazy. If you’re attached to a particular design, you might consider grabbing two pillow cases or saving this project for nap time.
Geometric Pillow Cover
- 1-2 large wood blocks (like this one)
- thick cord, like macrame
- thick yarn
- small wood blocks (pack of three)
- square pillow cover
- fabric paint (1-2 colors of your choice)
- 9×12 foam sheet (if making a stamp)
- craft bond glue (if making a stamp)
- cardboard for pillow and extra for paint tray
Wooden Block + Yarn Stamp Directions
- Grab the large wooden block and the thick cord. Tie a knot on the back of the wooden block with about 3 inches remaining on the short end for a second knot later.
- Wrap the cord tightly around the block. Don’t worry if an end or two are touching as they wrap back around, that can make for an interesting design. But be careful not to overlap the cord or the stamp will be uneven.
- Once your wrapped cord is close to equal size in height and width (mine was about 3×3″), cut the cord and finish with a second knot on the back.
- Repeat with the yarn and the smaller block.
Foam Stamp Directions
- Using your block as a size reference, simply draw a shape on the foam.
- Cut and glue the shape to the block.
Stamping the Pillows Directions
- Sketch out a few patterns on paper before you begin stamping. Here are a few inspirational patterns if you feel stuck.
- Place the large cardboard piece inside your pillow cover to keep the paint from seeping through.
- Pour about a quarter size amount of fabric paint onto your paint tray or extra cardboard, and use a brush or your finger to spread the paint evenly into a palette just larger than your stamp.
- Lightly pat the stamp into the paint 2-3 times and test once or twice on a sample paper to make sure you’re happy with the design and that every part of the stamp is picking up paint. (I found that the yarn had small stray fibers that left a more textured stamp, but after a few hard stamps on paper, the paint smoothed out the fibers.)
- Stamp away! For the yarn blocks, we alternated the large block and the small block every other row, rotating the stamp as well, so the lines went in a perpendicular direction to the stamp before. With the foam stamp, we opted for a more free style and began in one corner, rotating the design with every stamp about 3 inches apart. We then used the small triangle stamp to create stacked patterns of three in between each row of yarn stamps.
- Refill the paint as necessary.
- We let the pillows dry, with the cardboard insert, for a half hour inside. Then moved them outside to dry in the sun for another half hour.
- Once you’re sure the paint is dry, remove the insert and slip pillow case over pillow or fill with stuffing.
Pillow Care: The paint is made for fabric and shouldn’t fade in the wash. Wash your pillow cases according to fabric directions. I’ve washed mine twice on a gentle setting and they’re just as bold and vibrant!