Monday, October 22, 2012

Silhouette Pillows

A here with more on the pillow front!  I've been inspired by fabric printing/painting for a while now but hadn't done anything with it. Then I found a Halloween inspired pillow on Etsy that pushed me over the edge.  I bought up some canvas-like fabric immediately without any idea how I was going to make it work and ended up with one of my favorite personal creations!  My methods were a bit trial and error, but by the end, the materials list for these pillows included:

  • 1 yard fabric (I chose a canvas-like material with a linen/natural look)
  • Ruler
  • Fabric pencil 
  • Scissors
  • Die cuts (I made mine on my Slice, but Cricut cuts or stencils would work too)
  • Cardstock
  • A projector/tracer
  • Soft lead pencil
  • Black craft paint
  • Fabric medium (Martha Stewart has an easy-to-use one)
  • Paint brushes
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine

I started by measuring and cutting my fabric.  I used the same measurements as for the Batty Pillow because I wanted to cover more of my ugly couch pillows.  Without set pattern pieces, I use a good ruler and fabric pencil to lay out my lines.

Once I had my pieces cut out, I started sketching what I wanted the design to look like on the front of the pillows.  I have a Slice electronic cutter and browsed my cartridges to see what options I had.  After making some difficult choices (I only had enough fabric to make two pillows, decisions, decisions) I cut my designs out of cardstock.

As you can see, my cutter only cuts up to 4" shapes, kinda small for a 20" pillow.  To make the images bigger, I used a tracer (projector) from my office to blow the images up on our apartment wall.  I taped the fabric to the wall and traced the images with a soft leaded pencil.  If you don't have access to a projector, you could take your die cuts to a copy shop and have them blow up the images for you, then trace around the edges onto the fabric.  For that matter, if you don't have a die cutter, you could print images off of your computer and cut them out or draw them yourself!  I'm not very skilled in the drawing department, so I cheat.

Once I had the large images traced onto the fabric, I laid out the smaller die cuts and traced around them.  Luckily, I didn't have to project every letter of OCTOBER or SPOOKY.  If so, I would have spent all night camped out in the hallway!

To mix up the paint I used one part Fabric Medium to two parts craft paint.  I mixed up quite a bit so that the consistency would remain the same for the entire image.  Some people would have chosen to use stencils at this point, but I'm stubborn.  I wasn't able to make stencils of the large images because all my cardstock is too small, and I didn't want the letters to have a different look from the large images.  Instead, I decided it would be a great idea to paint the whole thing by hand.  Warning, do not do this unless you are a very patient person who loves the feeling of accomplishing detail work!  By the time I was done, even I thought I was crazy!  Luckily J has a large collection of different sized brushes and I was able to do the details without pulling out too much of my hair.

Yay!  The hard part was done!  After letting both images dry for nearly 24 hours, I heat-set them with an iron by ironing them on the backside with steamless medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.  Then I assembled my pillows in the same way as the Batty Pillow and voila, new pillow covers!  The backs look something like this:

The fronts, however, are my favorite!

I'd love to see more design ideas, so please share your stuff below!

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