Hello fellow crafters. Having just moved into a new home, I have had the re-decorating bug. I have wanted to create a “fresher” and “newer” look with some things I already have, as well as some new additions purchased on a budget. While shopping at IKEA one day in my favorite section–AS IS– I came upon some pillow covers. Most were solid colored, so it provided a perfect canvas for some personalizing. When I saw Deena’s February release of Smitten, I was “smitten” with so many of her designs, and decided to use one on a pillow cover. Talk about DRAB to FAB! Today I’m going to share with you my process for achieving a one-of-a-kind home decor item…a fashionable pillow cover.
- Every Little Bit-Smitten February Kit
- Silhouette Machine or other digital cutter OR Print and trace pattern, then cut out yourself
- Freezer Paper or other Stencil Paper Method
- Scissors, Craft Knife
- Natural Sponge, Foam Brush, Paint Brush, Stencil Brush
- Iron/Ironing Board/Press Cloth
- Fabric Paints of desired colors
- Hook, Paper Piercer or small pointed object to weed cut design
- Washi tape or other low-tack tape
- Repositional liquid glue/tape runner (?)
- Rulers, Pencil
- Scratch Paper
- Pillow Cover or other desired Material for project
I really LOVED this card and layered globe; and thought it would be the perfect things to put onto a pillow. So, I went right to my Silhouette Digital Cutter and made it happen. In a series of screen shots with texts, I will show you how I accomplished this project. Perhaps show and tell will be the best format for explaining my process…
After I selected ALL the layers together, I sized my design as large as I felt necessary on the digital mat. This ends all the designing done in my Silhouette software. I have heard good things about using freezer paper as a stencil transfer method, so I thought I would give it a try. You can also use other forms of stencil materials as well; Silhouette, Martha Stewart, Contact Paper, etc. are some other brands. To prepare the paper to cut, I simply tore off a sheet of freezer paper approximately the size of my 12×12 mat; then cut around the edges to fit my mat. Freezer paper is a matte paper on one side and is smooth and shiny on the other side. The idea is to place the shiny side down, against your material of choice, and iron it to make a temporary adhesion to the material. You may find success with putting a pressing cloth over the freezer paper as you iron-just see what works best for you based on the fabric you have selected. I had read somewhere where someone claimed to have more success in cutting freezer paper with the shiny side UP, because it adhered better to the cutting mat. I decided to give that a try. **NOTE: To use this method, you MUST reverse your design before you cut, just like an iron-on transfer. If you choose to cut with the matte paper side up, no modifications will be necessary.**
These are what my stencils look like after they have been cut and trimmed. The freezer paper does tend to roll up, so you can either put them under some books or something for a bit, or just tame them when you use your iron. Notice that washi tape on the map at the top of the photo? Those are holding down the little interior pieces of the map I had mentioned earlier. I used the washi tape in the same way you would use transfer tape to hold the little pieces in their proper positions. When it came time to put those tiny pieces of stencil on my pillow cover, I put a little bit of glue from a glue pen (which I let dry some first so it would be removable) on the back of those tiny pieces to create a mask. You will see in a following photo how effective this method was.
Now that your stencils are cut, your fabric paints are all lined up in a row, your sponge or brushes are at the ready…it’s time to prep your foundation to receive the design. To have a professional outcome, pull out some rulers and find the center point of your background. Make a little pencil dot to mark that spot. Ready? It’s time to have some fun!
I did begin using a thin cotton fabric to cover my stencil as I ironed, because I didn’t know what to expect. My pillow cover is made of a quite sturdy cotton canvas, so I ended up just removing the press cloth and directly ironing onto the freezer paper. Here you see me putting down the circle/background of my design. I mixed some blue and green fabric paints together to achieve an aqua color. I was hoping to capture the look of ocean water-and it’s an awesome color!
The 12X12 template/stencil is much smaller than my pillow cover, so I had to be careful not to extend off the freezer paper. I used a file folder on one side to help me keep the paint where I wanted it. By using a natural sponge, I pounced the color onto the fabric, giving it a distressed look…exactly what I was going for.
I REALLY wanted to add a little pizzazz to the stripes, so I combined several colors together. I was very inspired by the gold tone on Deena’s journal card. The base was a tan color, and I added in some champagne metallic paint and a little bit of gold metallic paint. It has the perfect amount of shimmer and dimension that I had hoped for. Using the same sponge technique, I applied the paint onto the stencil with the strips. While applying the paint, I used varying amounts of pressure and saturation giving just the amount of coverage desired. Since the bottom two layers were more of a distressed or mottled-look, I knew I wanted the top layer containing the map to be solid and saturated. Rather than going for a black, which was a little harsh, I added in some red and blue to give it a deep purple hue. Depending on the light it looks black or very dark purple. I love it! In the photo below, I use a hook to weed the little pieces of masking I placed onto the continents. They stuck perfectly, and removed quite easily.
Oh, my goodness…the design was complete! I found it helpful to use a small paintbrush to fill in or extend lines/areas that needed a little bit of attention; but that was no big deal. I HIGHLY recommend you taking an image you are quite fond of…and create something of your own. It is quite gratifying! I have my eye on some of Deena’s recent Word Art designs in A Kind Word: Love Edition Part 3. I hope I have inspired you to try something new and make a home decor item you will love to see everyday.