My house has a few themes going on at once: pink, pastels, white fluffy fabrics, cats, and cacti! As much as I love an actual cactus, I do also have an affinity for cactus-related products as well. I love the line-drawn quality of Elsie’s light up cactus marquees and thought that style would translate nicely to a pillow DIY too. If you’re worried about your freehand painting skills, don’t be! I’ve made a template for you to make it easy peasy. So let’s make a cactus pillow!
-white cotton fabric
-colored cotton fabric (for the back side)
-pillow insert (the template size as is works best with a 17-18″ square pillow)
-black fabric paint
-various size craft brushes
–Cactus Template (right click to download)
First you’ll want to print out your template onto the four pages it contains and tape your pages together to create one large outline. Cut your white fabric into a 19 x 19″ square so that you’ll have an 18″ square pillow once you sew it with a 1/2″ seam allowance around the edge. Place your template under your white fabric and use a thin marker to trace the design onto your fabric on top (you may need to hold it up to a window or use a light box if your fabric is thick).
Once your design is traced, place some wax paper under your fabric so the lines won’t bleed through to your work table as you paint. Add a small amount of water to some black fabric paint and use a scrap piece of your white fabric to test out a few painted lines. You want the paint thin enough that it’s relatively smooth going onto the fabric, but not so watery that the line starts to bleed out from itself as you paint it.
Once you get a good consistency, use whichever size brush you want your line thickness to be and simply trace the brush overtop of your pen lines. Experiment with different brush sizes and shapes to see which you like best for your lines. Let your paint completely dry.
I’m making an envelope style pillow. So cut your back fabric color into two 19 x 12″ rectangles and fold and sew down a 1/2″ seam across the top of each rectangle. Overlap the rectangles seam side up so the right side of your halves are facing your painted pillow half and pin in place.
See? Not too hard right? I like that I made the back pink since it adds a peek of color when you view the pillow from the side or above. I think the “drawn” quality of the print has a fun feel to it, and you could even use embroidery thread instead of paint if you wanted to do some needlework with a similar look. It’s certainly not hard to place this guy near a fellow cactus in my house (they are everywhere!), but if you’re a little wary of the prickles of a real cactus, well, this soft pillow may be just the thing for you! xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.