Cactus Outline Pillow DIY

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) 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!

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-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
-wax paper
-sewing machine
Cactus Template (right click to download)

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) 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).

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) 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.

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) 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.

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) 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.

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) Sew a 1/2″ seam around the edge of the pillow and cut the four corners of the pillow at an angle as show above (it makes the corners a little neater when it’s right side out).

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) Flip your pillow case out the right way and press your seams flat with an iron. Add your pillow insert, and you’re ready to display your work!

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) 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.

  • Oh, this is simply beautiful. Gotta search for materials I need. Thanks for your creativity and the template, of course.

  • I love this! Gorgeous and on trend! Totally need to get started on cactus DIYs for my blog 🙂

  • Oh wow. This is great. The little cactus is so cute!

  • This is so amazing and cuute! <3 The photos are just soo aesthetically pleasing!! 😉 <3

  • I love cactus themed crafts and this is such a cool idea. I’m pinning this to my cactus board to complete later once I’ve bought a cushion cover.

  • Love this idea! I think personalized pillows are a great touch to any home. If you can draw and paint and sew the possibilities are limitless!

  • OMG! How did I never think of tracing for things like this? I always get caught up on the fact that I can’t draw to save my life.

  • This is so cute!!! I love the design you put on! I wish I had a sewing machine…. Great post! Might have to find someone who has a sewing machine… Thanks for sharing!

  • Simple but elegant diy! How stable are the paintings after few machine washing?

    Thanks for share.


  • What a lovely looking DIY project, thanks so much for sharing this.

  • What a great way to give a room a southwestern feel!


  • Awesome idea! If one of my friends her birthday wasn’t over yet, I would seriously consider this 🙂

  • Wow! This looks fab! So simple but really lovely! You should sell these haha I’d deffo buy one! xx

  • Love the pillows and this post! Thanks for sharing and please take
    a minute to check out my latest post too if you can, I would love to
    hear your thoughts.
    Looking forward to your next one 🙂 xxx

  • Hi Laura! I love the idea of making something similar to this but I don’t own a sewing machine! Assuming I can’t be bothered to hand-sew it, which sewing machine would you recommend for a beginner? Thanks!

  • Love the simplicity of this pillow, great idea!

    Ingrid |

  • Love the simplicity of this, great idea!

    Ingrid |

  • I’ll have to try this DIY, this is such a pretty decoration idea!

  • Super cute! Brings people’s attention for sure when they walk through the door haha 😉

  • Oh my goodness this is so cute! I just might have to replicate this for my own apartment.

  • For our nursery I adapted some old pillow cases laying around the house, using a tracer pencil, baking paper an iron and a fabric marker. It was a super fast project, but I love the results.

  • I really like that you created this pillow in black and white. Cacti are cool and this makes them even more hip and fun!

  • This pillow is so adorable! 🙂 I love it! Such an nice idea

  • That looks really fun, I loved when we used to do creative things like that at school. Really like your blog and the effort you put into it.

  • Hmm, that’s a good question! It definitely depends on how thick you are applying your paint but since it’s watered down it should dry faster. Maybe 30-45 min? I would do a test run and see what you think!

    Laura 🙂

  • This is adorable!
    Also side note for Emma – I’ve been following the GGR Club’s success on insta and I would love if you could tell us a bit more about what the past year as a co-owner has been like 🙂

  • Such a cute little project! I needed to update my throw pillows like, yesterday.

  • This is honestly the cutest thing ever!
    I MUST try it out. x
    Izzy |

  • I absolutely love this pillow! I was wanting to know if you could give me a rough estimate on how long the paint took to dry? I’m a craft coordinator for a local moms group and I think this would be a fun craft for everyone, but allotted time is always a consideration. We usually only have a 2 hr window.

    Love your blog!


  • I love the cactus print. Also love this idea because the pattern you choose to have on your pillow is flexible if you prefer something else.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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