Painted Pillows

Transform an ordinary accent into a colorful masterpiece for fall.
Margaret A. Hammack

Cast a warm glow of autumn in your home with pillows you paint yourself. Purchase inexpensive pillows in a fall color palette at a home-center or discount store, and embellish them for a custom look. Those that have removable slipcovers or ones with a flat surface are easier to paint. It's a simple way to give your home a seasonal feel without investing a lot of time or money.

Step 1:
Design a geometric pattern on your pillow using a ruler and pencil. Don't be afraid to draw directly on the pillow, as the paint and designs will cover up your pencil markings.

Step 2:
Use drafting or masking tape to help make straight lines. You will have to remove and reposition tape during the painting process to ensure that the entire pillow is covered in paint and that you don't miss any part of the fabric.

Step 3:
Decide on your color scheme, and pour matte acrylic paints onto paint palettes or wax paper attached to cardboard. Fill in taped squares using a 1/2-inch-wide paintbrush. Make sure paint is dry before changing tape lines.

Step 4:
Pour metallic paint on a palette, and coat assorted rubber stamps as you go. You may want to test the stamps on a piece of paper to determine how much paint you need for full coverage.

Step 5:
Apply stamp to painted squares. If there are gaps in the design, fill them in with metallic paint using a paintbrush. Allow pillows to dry completely before using.

Materials List:
Everything you'll need to create the look

  • pillows
  • ruler and pencil
  • drafting or maskingtape
  • matte acrylic and metallic paint
  • crafts store paint palettes or wax paper taped to cardboard
  • ½-inch-wide paint brush
  • rubber stamps

"Painted Pillows" is from the October 2003 issue of Southern Living.