christmas · crafty · diy · projects

christmas crafting: painted pillow covers

When we purchased our Ektorp sofa and love seat from Ikea, I got some 20×20″ throw pillows, as well. They’re actually just the inserts, so I grabbed a few covers (a 16×26″ blue ticking stripe, a blue patterned/polka dot and these ones) while I was at it.

Last year I bought several plain Gurli pillow covers from Ikea (these ones) to paint for a Christmas market.  I began with a simple “merry & bright” to see how it would go.

It was surprisingly easy to paint with acrylic paint on this cover.  The biggest trick is to have the paint thick enough that it won’t ‘bloom’ outside the area you’re painting (unfortunately I’m speaking from experience, as you can see on my pillow…you can touch up any goofs with cream–white and a touch of brown–paint), but still look fairly smooth, without a lot of brush strokes.

christmas crafting- pillow covers

Before you begin, it’s best to launder your pillow cover to remove sizing.  Press, if necessary, to have a nice smooth surface to work on.  If you’re worried about the paint soaking through, you can insert a piece of cardboard.  This will also keep the fabric nice and tight if it’s made to fit exactly.

I just drew my design on with chalk (a pale colour is best as some will stain your fabric…I used a pale yellow) and painted as I would normally.  If that is intimidating for you, I created a similar font for you to trace.  Simply print, rub the back with chalk and trace the design onto your pillow case. I used a deep red for the words and gold for the ampersand.  Hindsight, I would have placed the words closer together.


You can download your pattern here:

pillow1 merry, pillow1 bright, and pillow1 &

This year, we had a very busy fall and pre-Christmas schedule.  I was unable to attend any Christmas markets, so I didn’t bother making any covers this year either.  I did want to make a second one for myself with a letter to Santa theme.  I sketched out my design, then painted away.  I scanned the cover in three components to help you if you want to replicate it. I did try to reduce contrast to give a nice bright image. Again, print, rub the back with a pale-coloured chalk and trace.  I used black (you could use dark grey if it’s too stark for you), red and green.  I tried to achieve a handwritten (but not too) look and a smudge-y post-office stamp.


You can download the pattern pieces here:

pillow2 to Santapillow2 stamp, and pillow2 north pole

Finally, clean up any residual chalk from tracing your pattern.  Toss your pillow cover in the dryer for ten minutes to heat set the paint.

Stuff your pillow insert inside the cover and toss on your sofa to admire.

There you have it.  A couple of easy, last minute additions to your holiday decor!

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Joining the party over here:

Friday Favourites #455 @ Simply Sweet Home
Farmhouse Friday #86 @ The Painted Hinge
Home Matters #213 @ Life with Lorelai
Saturday Sharefest @ The Sway
Snickerdoodle Create, Bake, Make #262 @ Across the Boulevard
Sundays at Home @ Little Farmstead
Best Friday Features @ Tatertots & Jello
Happiness is Homemade @ Bloghetti

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