Decorative Document Plush Pillows

Document plush pillow DIYDocument plush pillow DIY Document plush pillow DIY Do you all remember when I said in my home tour video that I wanted to do some kind of project that involved my marriage license? Well, teaming up with Canon USA, I’m making good on that today. I decided I wanted to try and make a few small throw pillows for our living room couch that showcase some found papers. I used our marriage license, a movie ticket stub, a plane ticket stub and a hockey game ticket stub (my first hockey game!). I would rate these high on the quirky factor, and I seriously LOVE how they turned out.

Document plush pillow DIY via This is a similar idea to making a photo plush (like this one). The main difference, other than the subject matter, is I didn’t need a camera for this project. Weird, right?

Using my Canon printer to scan found papersInstead, I used my Canon PIXMA MG7520 to scan the documents before I put them into Photoshop. It’s actually our primary scanner in the studio because it gets the best quality. I certainly could have just taken a photo of the documents instead, but I wanted to see if a blown up scanned version would give the prints a more paper document feel—if that makes any sense? I really like the results! 

-found papers (legal documents, old ticket stubs, any paper memorabilia will do)
-fabric transfer sheets
-cotton fabric
-sewing machine (or you could hand-stitch if you have the time)
-needle and thread
Canon PIXMA MG7520 photo printer

For all four pillows, my cost for this project was around $28 (not including tools).

Step One: Scan and photoshop your documents. For me this meant enlarging some of the scans so I could turn them into small pillows for my couch. Enlarging will cause some distortion or pixelation in your images, especially if you make them WAY larger than they originally were. I personally liked this look as it makes the documents seem more authentic to me. 

In Photoshop be sure to “Flip Canvas Horizontal” as this will create a mirrored look. You want the images to print with the words backwards so that when you transfer them to your fabric, they will be the correct orientation.

Love my Canon printer!Step Two: Print and trim your scanned images. If you can trim your edges so they are slightly rounded, this usually helps your transfers stay flat once you iron them on. 

You might be thinking, “But what if I want to make a pillow/plush that is larger than my transfer paper (8.5×11)?” You can choose to tile your images and print two (or more) sheets.

How to mirror an image in photoshopHere you can see I tiled my marriage license and printed it on two different sheets so I could make a larger pillow. Try to divide your image in a space that is less busy. This will make it easier to line up.

Using ticket stubs to make throw pillowsStep Three: Follow your fabric transfer instructions to iron the images onto your fabric. Remember to leave plenty of seam allowance so you can easily sew with the fabric after. 

In the above photo, I wanted to show you how much I enlarged this plane ticket stub (from a trip Elsie and I went on this year). One thing I didn’t notice before I printed this was how the ticket has subtle yellow and blue lines throughout, which became much more prominent when I printed.

Stitch up plushStep Four: Stitch up your pillow and fill with Poly-Fil. Since all of my documents/ticket stubs were square or rectangle in shape, they were extremely easy to quickly stitch together on my sewing machine. If you’d like a more in-depth tutorial on how to make a pillow, click here. If you’re new to using a sewing machine and need a resource to get going, check out our latest e-course, Sew with Us

Document plush pillow DIY Document plush pillow DIY I just finished these up last week, and I can’t wait to have guests over. I have a feeling these are going to be a conversation starter. 🙂 Thanks for letting me share my project! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.


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