DIY Projects

Custom Painted Pillow

Looking for an easy and relatively cheap DIY project with a big impact? Read all about how to make your own custom painted pillow cover!

custom painted pillow

I’m excited to be getting back into some fun DIY projects, now that the littlest one is a bit older and life is more routine.  Today I’m sharing how to make your own custom painted pillow, and it’s super easy!  This project was born because the pillow I really wanted wasn’t available anymore… so I made it myself!

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Okay, so about a year ago I shared the rental renovation basement living room plans.  In my moodboard, I included a cool white and green lumbar pillow and I wanted to use it in the space.  Well, in March when I had gone to actually purchase the pillow, it was out of stock, but would be back “soon”.

custom painted pillow graphic

Fast forward a few months later when it said it wouldn’t be back in stock until mid-November!  We didn’t really need the pillow right away, so it wasn’t too bad.  But then, lo and behold – when I go to buy the pillow in November, it was completely gone in the green colour!

(Then I was busy with the baby, then the holidays and come January it was still nowhere to be found).

So I did what any desperate thrifty person would do, and I decided to recreate the pillow myself!

Materials Required:

I should mention that I tried finding the Milan pillow in other places, and even tried to find something similar that I could use instead.  But alas, I loved that pattern too much and nothing really resembled that in a lumbar shape.

using pillow forms

Since my pillows were 12×20, I decided on a 3×4 pattern to divide my lines.  I would recommend washing your pillow covers first to remove any fold marks (I didn’t, and it was really annoying!).

starting painted pillow design

I couldn’t find my skinny tape, so had to cut my own strips using regular painters tape.  You can faintly see in the image above, but I also marked small dots every 4 inches on the tape for my different areas.

painting custom pillow

I mixed a custom paint colour to try and match the sofa, then added the fabric medium as well.  (I had some leftover from when I painted the dog bowl rug – but I don’t know if it’s necessary).

painted pillow pattern

I painted all the stripes on one side of the pillow, then flipped it over a few hours later and did the back too.  (I only screwed up the pattern the first time – you can see in the photo above on the left).

Painted Pillow Reveal

custom painted pillow

The stripes aren’t perfect, some wider than others, some more faded and I like that random look.  The original Milan pillow looked like that too, and it was definitely an easy DIY project!

painted pillow on sofa

I’m happy that the green colour I chose matches the sofa.  Although I don’t think anyone would have complained if it wasn’t perfect.

painted pillow on chair

This green pillow cover was from the Dollar store of all places!  It matches the sofa exactly and I usually have it placed on the chair.  This white pillow and cover were from my original design post, and I did buy that one a while ago too.

milan pillow knock off

I just got the two burgundy pillow covers (and inserts), and now we finally have all our pillows for this basement living room (only took a year!).

green sofa with pillows

It’s a much comfier setup now (there was usually some arguing over who got to use the only two pillows).  Oh, and I’m going to talk about those shelves in a few weeks too (another DIY project I did recently!).

green sofa with red and white pillows

Although, let’s be honest – as soon as I put the pillows back up, the kiddos seem to grab them and move them to the floor.

custom pillow painted with stripes

This custom painted pillow ended up working out a lot better than other pillows I tried making.  But, get this – I literally went to link to the original Milan pillow as I was writing this post, and apparently, the green one is back!

So, if you like the pillow as much as me, you could either do this DIY to recreate it – or just buy the original (which is a bit larger at 14×26).

(See more of the basement living room progress here and the original design plans here).

Nicole Q-Schmitz name signoff

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