Abstract Face Pillow DIY

Easy abstract face pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) When making decorating decisions in our new house, I’m trying to be extra thoughtful about what I pick. I really love the idea of a whole house feeling like one cohesive unit with slightly different takes on that vibe in each room. One thing I’ve been trying to mix into the house is a quirky vintage vibe, and I’ve been loving all the abstract eyes, lips and faces that have been dominating decor and wearable items lately. They feel like they belong on a giant canvas in an awesome Palm Springs ranch, and that’s totally my jam. Anyway, I thought that I would make a few face pillows that capture that vibe for our living room (which I promise I will show you all of soon!!). I had a lot of fun sketching a bunch of crazy looking faces until I came up with one that I really liked. In case you just broke into a cold sweat thinking about having to create your own artistic masterpiece for this project, I’ll let you know that I included the face as a download so you can use it as a template, and you can do this on a plain white throw pillow cover if you don’t want to sew your own cover from scratch. Easy peasy!

Easy abstract face pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Supplies:
-freezer paper
face template
-X-Acto knife and cutting mat
-white cotton fabric or plain throw pillow case
-black fabric paint
paint dauber

First, print your face template as large as you want it to be on your pillow. My pillow was 18″ x 18″, so I had to print it onto two pieces of paper and tape them together for the face to be big enough.

Easy abstract face pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Trace your printed face onto the non-waxy side of the freezer paper and use your X-Acto knife to cut out the shapes. Make sure to keep the middle of your lips and eye for the next step!

Easy abstract face pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Position your freezer paper stencil onto your pre-made pillow cover or fabric square. I made my pillow cover, so I cut a 19″ x 19″ square for the front of my pillow knowing I would use a 1/2″ seam allowance and it would end up being 18″ x 18″ when finished. Iron the freezer paper (shiny side down) onto the fabric. I usually go over the fabric for about 20-30 seconds so I know it’s secure. Let the paper and fabric cool completely.

Easy abstract face pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Use a paint dauber and fabric paint to fill in the exposed areas of fabric with paint. Remember, the less paint you use, the less likely you are to have leaks. So layer small amounts of paint until it’s filled in rather than starting with globs of paint.

Easy abstract face pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Once the paint is dry, you can peel off the freezer paper and expose your face underneath! Since I needed to add a back side to my pillow, I finished the pillow in an envelope style (the easiest and fastest way to make a pillow in my opinion), added my insert, and I was done!

Easy abstract face pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Easy abstract face pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) I LOVE this pillow! It’s just what I was looking for. It’s got a modern twist but is still so vintage quirky that fits in with the rest of our mid-century inspired elements like our sleek Joybird sleeper sofa (BTW, did you guys catch our ultimate mid-century couch guide?). I’m always trying to find fun design elements to mix into a foundation of classic pieces and shapes, and unique pillows are a quick way to add some personality. This freezer paper method is a really easy way to add a design to fabric. You can do it, I swear. And once you do make this cutie pillow, you know what to tell all those who doubted you, right? IN YOUR FACE!! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • Love this! I can imagine so many images on my pillows! Is there a tutorial or anything about the pink telephone wall decal? I want one for my dressing area

  • Definitely going to the arts store and doing this pillow DIY. Such an awesome idea and your design is so modern 🙂

    xx, mel

  • Wow – way cool! I actually didn’t think I’d like this one bit but I do really dig it. Especially the way you styled it afterward!

  • Cool idea! Where did you get the basic white pillow? (sorry if I missed it).

  • Love how customizable this is! I don’t think abstract faces are my cup of tea, but I think I’ll use this method to do some lettering on pillows!


  • wow, that pillow is SO COOl. I could totally see my BF shelling out like $100 for it haha

    XO Sahra
    Que Sera Sahra

  • What a fun project Laura! I’m looking forward to seeing your living room tour – your decorating style and projects are so inspiring 🙂

  • SO cool and amazing!! Gonna try and replicate… will probably mess it up somehow but might as well give it a go hehe!!

  • So so cute!
    Hope you don’t mind – I wrote about you two on my INSTA-CRUSH post the other day. I love your feed and the blog! Keep up the wonderful work!


  • Such a cool idea and that pattern you created is super fun/modern. Sophisticated with a little edge.


  • I love this technique for putting an image on a picture! We’ll have to give this a try soon!


  • I love this DIY! I really want to make some pillows now 😀 That would be a perfect gift as well! 🙂

  • I love how cool and easy this is, and such a wonderful statement for a room!

  • I’m not going to lie, when I first saw this I couldn’t help but laugh, but in the best way possible! It’s so cute and unexpected, it would certainly be a conversation starter.

    Sweet Horizon

  • Such a cute DIY! Also, so envious of your fiddle leaf fig – it’s gorgeous!

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

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