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DIY Painted Pillows

I absolutely love the way my boy’s paint pillows turned out! My goal at the start of my playroom renovation was in incorporate décor that would create pops of color.  In addition to pops of color, I wanted to involve my sons in making some of the décor.  This is just one of several craft projects I will be sharing that I did with my kids to create something that was theirs and that was useful in our playroom. 

painting fabric

I had so much fun making these throw pillows with my kids.  We got messy, We laughed, We used out imagination!  And my kids learned a few new things, for one what a sewing machine is!  

This post will that you through step-by-step how we made our pillows that we will enjoy for years to come! 

Tool & Materials


  • Sewing Machine


acrylic paint

Step One: Cut Canvas Fabric to Size

fabric painting

Measure your fabric and cut to size.  

If using a pillow form make sure you cut your fabric to fit your form correctly.

If using poly fill cut to your hearts desire!  For these pillows I wanted a size that would fit well on our Nugget couch.  I cut my fabric at X” by X”.  This left 1/2″ around all edges to allow for sewing. 

At some point I’d love to make some shaped pillows with the boys, my oldest loves dinosaurs and my youngest love monster trucks!  

Step Two: Tape Fabric to Cardboard

This is an important step to hold the fabric still and flat while its being painted.  This also ensures any paint bleed through doesn’t get anywhere you wouldn’t want it to! 

pillow covers

Step Three: Draw the Design onto the Canvas

paint pillows

This step was hard from my 2.5 year old, but was a good step for my 4 year old.  My 2.5 year old just wanted to play with the paint. 

My 4 year old really put some thought into what he wanted to draw and how and drew it.  His throw pillow is a “whole colorful ocean”.  He drew lots of curvy lines.  

My two year old broke off the pencil into the cardboard :) But then he ask for some help to draw a monster truck.  So that’s what I did! 

Step Four: Paint the Pillow - Get Messy!

With two little kiddos painting things quickly escalated with entire bottles of paint squeezed out.  So just as quickly as that escalated we establish a few rules!  I made sure the boys only had one bottle open at a time.  They went on to squeeze out paint and spread it around, sometimes with their hands and sometimes with a paint brush or sponge. 

Once you are done painting, leave to dry. 


Step Five: Sew Fabric Together


Once fully dry, sew the painted front panel to the patterned back panel.  I sewed the panels together on my sewing machine.  This made this step quick and easy.  

I made sure to leave a small hole about 4-6 inches wide at the bottom of the pillow.  This would be the space where we would push the poly fill stuffing in. 

Step Six: Add the Stuffing

This step is another reason why I would recommend using the poly fill.  My kids had so much fun stuffing their pillows! 

I opened the poly fill bag and just let my kids pull the stuffing out and fill their pillow up. 

paint pillows

Step Seven: Sew the Opening Closed

paint pillows

While I had sewn the two panels together myself, this step we had some fun with and I involved my kids.  

I placed the sewing machine petal on the counter, and told my kids when to press it as I feed the pillow through the machine.  They both loved being a part of this step!

paint pillows

Like the way our paint pillows turned out?  Check out all of the Kid’s Décor we made here!


*Disclosure: We only recommend products that we regularly use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own.  We shop for the best prices and share those with you!

JOANN Fabrics: POP! Alpha Letters Grey Cotton Canvas Fabric
paint pillows

Paint Pillows

Prep Time 15 minutes
Build Time 2 hours
Dry Time 8 hours


  • Sewing Machine


  • White Cotton Canvas Fabric
  • Patterned Cotton Canvas Fabric (optional)
  • Fabric Paint
  • Poly Fill (recommended) Pillow Form (alternative)
  • Paint Brushes
  • White Thread


  • Cut Cotton Canvas to Size
  • Tape Fabric to Cardboard
  • Draw Design onto Canvas
  • Paint the Pillow
  • Sew Fabric Together
  • Add Stuffing
  • Sew Opening Closed
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