DIY Photo Pillow

17 01 2012

I was on one of my favourite websites a couple of weeks ago checking out their trends for 2012 when a came across this gorgeous pillow from Archival Decor.


I love it.  They have a lot of other versions but this is definitely one of my faves.  It costs $245.   Definitely not in my current stay at home mom budget.

So I decided to do a little researching to see if I could do something like this on my own.  First thing I looked up was how to transfer an image to fabric. There are a lot of different ways to do it but my criteria for what I wanted was that I didn’t want to be limited to the size of the image and I wanted it to be easy. I found some great instructions on A Beautiful Mess.  Great Blog.

Next I found some photos that were close to what I was looking for.


I found this one on Flicker


And this one from Etsy via a Pinterest site.

I sent them to Staples and had 11×17 laser copies made in a rich black text ( at least I think that’s what they called it)

Materials needed

A laser copy of an image- You can really do anything you want.  I think my next pillow of my dog Lucy.  Just remember if you are using anything with letters to flip it before its printed or the letters will be mirrored.

Heavy artist medium-  I grabbed a high gloss one and wish I would of got something with more of a matte finish.  After the image is transferred you can put and extra coat of medium on to help protect your image.  I picked mine up at Michaels in the artist’s paint section.  It’s a little pricey so make sure you use your Michael’s coupon they always have for 40 or 50% off.  I have the app on my phone so I always have it with me.

paint brush- any thing

fabric- (I used cotton but I think this would work on anything except stretchy)

water bottle

Soft cloth to wipe it down- I used my Norwex microfiber and it worked amazing but I think an soft cloth or microfiber would work.


Now you can either leave the image as above or trim out the white.  Please note any where you paint the medium it will transfer to the material including the white border.  So you can just be careful when painting in on or cut it out.




After you have put a good thick layer on it press it the spot you would like it on your fabric.  Smooth out any wrinkles.  Then we wait.  A few hours or overnight.  Just needs to dry before you can take it off.

After it has dried spray the back of the paper with water and let it soak in a bit.


Now things get a bit messy.  Just start carefully peeling and picking the paper off.  Be careful not to scratch to hard or your picture will come off.


When it gets to the last bit use your cloth to clean it off.  Keep wetting the image and wiping.   Voila!  Your fabric is ready.  Now you can add an extra coat of medium at this point….just remember if you picked a gloss it will make it shiny.

Make pillows any size, or what ever else you want.


I made these pillows which I love….



At about ten dollars a pillow I’m pretty happy with the results!

Hope you enjoyed.


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