504 Main by Holly Lefevre: DIY! French Inspired Pillows
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Monday, November 8, 2010

DIY! French Inspired Pillows

I have a little - teeny, weeny - fascination with pillows.
I love them - can't have enough as far as I am concerned.
I also feel it is a super easy way to change out
the decor and give a new look to a room.
I have been busy sprucing up my living room, first was paint! And, as I said in that post, home improvement is like the kids book "When You Give a Mouse a Cookie." I did some new art {that tutorial is coming later in the week} and some new pillows!
 See isn't this room screaming for these pillows!

I have this weird eclectic French/Junk decor happening in my house and I wanted some pillows that were casual {and as per the hubby not too girly...meaning no ruffles}. So I had these cool Cameo Ladies stencils from Cutting Edge Stencils that I used on my art and I thought tying them into the pillows was brilliant {if I do say so myself}. I had nice quality pillows on my couch already, so I only needed to make covers for them.

  • Fabric - I was going to use drop cloth, but then decided on this slubby canvasy-linen fabric I had.
  • Cutting Edge Stencils, Cameo Ladies
  • DecoArt Fabric Painting Medium
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic in Graphite
  • Vintage Image from The Graphics Fairy found HERE and HERE
  • Pouncer
  • T-Shirt Transfers for light colored fabrics
  • Pillow form
  • Also you need an iron, cloth, sewing machine {and supplies} and some cardboard or protective surface to paint on.


  • Wash the fabric.
  • Press it to prepare for the decoration.
  • Print out the vintage image from your computer {sized to match the size of your pillow - I printed mine out on the full sheet, 8 1/2" x 11"}. Be sure to use MIRROR image so the text will read correctly once you press it on.
  • Trim around the transfer as close as you can to the lines.
  • Place the transfer onto the pillow to position it and the silhouette of the cameo lady. YOU DO NOT want to paint on top of the transfer. Depending on your desired position, you may need to trim additional paper from the transfer.
  • Iron on the transfer according to package directions. Once cool, peel backing off.
  • Mix the Acrylic Paint and DecoArt Fabric Painting Medium in a 2:1 ratio.
  • Place the Cameo Ladies stencil on the pillow and secure with masking tape - do not put the tape on the transfer - or hold in place.
  • Using the pouncer, lightly pounce all around the stencil filling it in completely. I was not worried about my ladies being totally solid, so there are parts that are darker and some lighter. I wanted a worn effect.
  • Let dry thoroughly for 24-48 hours and then heat set for 30 seconds with an iron.
  • Determine the pillow size.
    • My pillow was 18" x 18." I wanted a flange of about 2 1/2" all around the pillow as well. I cut the front in a square 24" {18" for the pillow, 1/2" each side for seam allowance, 2 1/2" flange all around}.
    • I prefer to have the back open so I have an opening to switch things up. Cut 2 backs 16" wide by 24" long {9" for half the pillow, 1/2 inch seam allowance, 2 1/2" flange, 3" overlap - for opening, and 1" fold back to finish the opening.}
  • On both of the back pieces, fold back 1 inch of the fabric and stitch down {you can overlock the edge if you prefer or fold under twice}
  • Layout the front of the pillow, right/decorated side up. Place the right sides of the back pieces on top of the pillow front...you want right sides together.
  • If necessary, pin around pillow, and/or sew a 1/2" seam all around the pillow.
  • When done, clip threads, clip corners and turn right side out.
  • Use the tip of the scissors to turn the corners to get nice sharp corners.
  • Top stitch 2 1/2" in from the sewn edge to create the flange.
  • Pop in your pillow and you are done!
{Forgive my photos...it was a bad photo day here!}

I was supplied with a product bundle to review and try out for this giveaway. Read my disclosure HERE.

DIY ClubVisit thecsiproject.com

freckled laundry

Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy


  1. Ohhhh I want to {try} to do this!

  2. So chic! Great use of mixing techniques. And I'm in love with the extra embellishment on the smaller pillow.

  3. Holly - I ADORE your pillows. WOW - those silhouette ladies are adorable. What a fantastic project!!!

    Thanks for linking up with us :)


  4. dang girl you are on a roll... major crafts every day and all beautiful

  5. I am in love with those! They are PERFECT! You are so stinkin' creative!

  6. There is something about a silhouette ~ so elegant and lovely!

  7. holly! I love your pillows. They turned out really pretty.
    great tute too!
    ps I got my craft paint today from the giveaway! I was so excited, I broke them out and used them within 15 mins! perfect timing!
    thanks again!

  8. Oh my goodness what pretty pillows!! The silhouettes are gorgeous!

  9. Just stunning! You did such a great job using both the stencil and transfer (that way you get a bigger area than the 8 1/2 x 11). Thank you so much, Holly, for linking with little ol' me. ~Kim

  10. These are really pretty! You'd get quite a price if you chose to sell those I bet.

  11. So, so fancy. I love the silhouettes.

  12. Love your pillows! You did a great job with those images, and those flowers are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Your pillows are gorgeous!!! I love the combination of the silhouettes and the sheet music. Beautiful!

  14. Thought I already commented but it must have been on the DIY Club site. I love these pillows and was super excited to see you at my air your laundry Friday party this week, Holly!



Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation! I sure hope you come back for more!

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