Kid Craft: DIY Watercolor Fabric Pillows

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This week for our Make Something Monday craft project, the kids and I got creative with bandanas and paint and made these awesome DIY Watercolor Fabric Pillows!


I saw this fabric painting method over at the Girl Creative a couple of years ago and have been wanting to try it with my kids ever since!

We used white bandannas and fabric paint to create these fun Watercolor Fabric Pillows.  The kids are thrilled with how they turned out and have been carrying the pillows from room to room all day long for the last few days.

I used my sewing machine to put the pillows together, but if you don’t sew you could easily do this with iron on hem tape or hot glue.

Here is how we made the fabric and pillows.

You need:

  • Solid colored bandannas or other solid cotton fabric (bandannas are about 22 inches square.)
  • fabric paint
  • cups
  • water
  • foam paint brushes
  • pillow stuffing
  • sewing supplies or iron/ hem tape

When mixing up the paint, I recommend about a 1 to 1 mixture of paint and water.  You don’t want to use too much water as it will lighten the fabric paint too much, but not enough water will prevent the paint from spreading out on the fabric and that is what gives it the pretty watercolor effect.

If painting with little ones, I also recommend using a sturdier cup than the paper cups we used.  We had a few spills and I plan to use heavy coffee cups next time.

After mixing up the paint and laying out the supplies in the garage, I let the kids go at the painting on their own.

After they finished painting, I pulled the bandannas out into the sun and let them dry for a few hours.  Then I threw them into the dryer to heat set them.

The fabric was pretty stiff from all the paint and drying in the sun, so I waited a few days, then tossed them into the washer to soften them up.

Sewing the pillows was very easy, I put the bandannas right sides together and sewed around the entire bandanna, leaving about a 3 inch opening so we could add the stuffing.  To create the little edge detail, I flipped the pillows right side out after sewing and ironed the edges flat.  Then I sewed around the bandanna one more time, 1 inch in from the outer seam.  (Leaving another 3 inch opening for the stuffing.)

I let the kids stuff the pillows themselves and then sewed the openings shut. If you are using hem tape, I suggest either hand sewing or hot gluing the opening shut.

Tada!  Cut new pillows!  They love ’em!

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  1. Absolutely love this! Will give your technique a try next time. I recently made some cushions from old pillowcases and decorated them with fabric paint with my girls which they loved!

  2. Vernelle Nelson says:

    Making and painting pillows is a great way to keep children entertained for hours. My granddaughter – now 21 – had tons of fun making pillows while learning how to sew. She used fabric paint to create all sorts of artistic designs and write messages like "#1 Dad" … a pillow my son still has after more than 12 years.


  3. freckled laundry says:

    Way cute! This is going on the to-do pile.

  4. Those are cute! I am going to have to try that!!!
    Thanks for linking!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  5. Cheerios and Lattes says:

    This looks like so much fun! I would love to invite you to share this on Saturday Show and Tell: (www.cheeriosandlattes.com/saturday-show-tell-20/). I know that my readers would appreciate this and some of your other posts. Thanks and have a great weekend.

  6. My kids would love this one! I'm hosting a linky party "One Creative Weekend" at OneCreativeMommy.com. I'd love for you to visit and link up this idea and/or anything else you'd like to share.

  7. supermomnocape says:

    Those pillows are a great summer project. They look so proud of their creations.

  8. Makeiteasycrafts.blogspot.com says:

    Awesome! And what great memories you will have from creating these individual pieces of art! 🙂

  9. Rachel @ The Philosophers Wife says:

    Love it! That looks like so much fun! The kiddos look proud of their creations, which is awesome!

    I'd love if you'd link up to my Teaching Time for Toddlers post! (Even if this might be a little advanced for younger toddlers, with mama's help some of the older ones could have fun with this activity!)


  10. Great result. The kids look like they enjoyed it.

    I found you via the Tuesday Talent Show from Chef in Training
    I have linked up another attempt at meatballs. Have a good week.

  11. FashionArtProjects.com says:

    These turned out great! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Mama Jodi says:

    This is such a fun idea. They look fabulous too. I bet they are your kids new favorite pillow.

  13. Jeannie @ Living Loving Crafting says:

    What a fun idea! Need to try this with my little ones!

  14. Mixing the fabric paint with water has produced great results!!!

  15. Neat idea!

    New follower from: Musings of an Imperfect Mom

  16. Dayna at Precut Paradise says:

    It looks like a good time was had by all…keep making memories with those guys! I still have a pillow that my 21 year old daughter made in the 4th grade.