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.


  • I Think it is unique idea for make decorative pillows.

  • Love this idea! Especially as a wedding anniversary gift!


  • I love this idea! It not only looks super cool, but it’s a fun way to display memories! I’ll have to try making some for my home.


  • I love this idea. I’m inspired now to do something with my dads birth certificate and his school reports. He passed away 20 years ago and I’ve wanted to have a way to have them did played but different from the usual framed way. Thanks so much 🙂

  • That’s such a good idea! You use this print for a lot of DIY, it looks necessary to have one! 🙂

  • That is a really cool idea! I had just finished watching your home tour and wondered what you might do with the marriage certificate then stumbled upon this project. Brilliant!! My son is getting married this fall. He proposed to his fiancé by escorting her on a scavenger hunt with riddles and poems he had written that chronicled their relationship by revisiting some of their memorable date spots and hangouts where their Love blossomed. I would love to get those hand written notes and do something like this with them as part of their wedding or shower gifts. What a sweet project! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • very creative and fun idea. plus throw pillows, i mean who doesn’t love those haha

  • I love the idea of using throw pillows to celebrate one’s nuptials.

    Happy Friday!

  • This is such a cute idea, I love it! I would love to do this with my marriage license. 🙂


  • This is SUCH a cute idea. I totally want to do this with our marriage certificate. Love the ticket stubs too… What fun!

  • Hey Emma! Love this project, everything looks fantastic.

    Just a quick question, what was your dpi when scanning? I have the same scanner and if I’m enlarging, let’s say old contact prints, I boost my dpi to 600.

    Just wondering if you increased it or kept the default.


  • Great idea!

    Would you check out my new blog please 🙂

  • I love this! I want to make some for my house and kiddos! BTW, did you used cotton transfers or the regular paper and then iron them in the fabric?? I am not sure I am getting this technique right, hehe…Thank you for this and for always keeping us inspired. I really enjoy your daily posts. x

  • This is by far my favorite thing I’ve ever seen on the blog/interwebs.

    THANK YOU!!! 🙂

  • These are so cool! Would be pretty awesome to do with my interrailing ticket!

    I’ve had issues in the past with photo transfers (done in this way) cracking in places after a while – do you have any tips to avoid this?

  • Such a brilliant idea! Looks so quirky to have those in living room 🙂


  • oh geez, so clever! one can ‘rest their head,’ as it were, on a sweet memory indefinitely. i think i’m partial to the trip/airline ticket pillow.

  • WOW!!! I’m astonished! This is such a GREAT idea!!! I have so many “souvenirs” from trips (tickets from museums, tram tickets, etc) that I keep.Cool way to do something with them.. Totally love it!!

  • Love these! I also love that it actually says “grandma’s cabin” on your wedding certificate.

    And on a whole other note, I just wanted to say that I was just in your shop and accidentally ended up on the 404 error page, and it is awesome. Ended up staring at your two pups for ages with a big smile on my face.

  • This is genius! I love the idea of turning ordinary pillows into something very special. With a scanner and a printer, there are just so many things that you can do. Thanks for sharing!

  • Damn, I just had bought something like that a few weeks ago and now there is a DIY on your blog haha 😉 Great idea!

    Have a nice day 🙂

  • Love the one with the airline tickets! Would make a great gift for a girlfriend or family member!

  • I never would have thought of something like this!

  • Such a smart lady! This would also be a great gift idea for mother’s day.

  • Aw I love this! I have a tutorial that shows how you can print directly onto fabric, all you need is a printer, some card stock, and fabric

  • Brilliant! This would be great for a gift – I am definitely putting this on my to-do list!

  • This is a really unique way of preserving memories. I always like to keep concert, movie, and plane tickets too so this is really a cool way of putting it together seamlessly 🙂


    Laurali Star

  • I’ve got to do this! I’m moving away to a University next year and what an amazing way to take some of my favorite memories/pieces of home with me!!!!

  • Love it, you have a great idea!!! we`ll try to do this fantastic and original idea!

  • Great wedding anniversary gift…especially if you’re on your cotton anniversary!

  • You have spurred my imagination! I love DIYs that are really so easy yet look so much more stylish and expensive. SMH that I didn’t think of it on my own, but loving that you did and shared! Thanks!

  • Oh wow, what a lovely idea! One of my fave projects you guys have done. And such a great gift, too.

  • This is perfect! You could easily make this a habit and feature various milestone or other important moments throughout your home in a creative way.


  • Wow,
    Love this! So unique and tells a very personal history. Thank you !

  • These are amazing! It feels great to have items at home that are so unique.x


  • This is so cute! If I get brave enough to try sewing again, I’d try the marriage license like you, or birth certificates of the kids!


  • Love those pillows! You have such unique pieces in your home. I love the vibrant colors 🙂

    xx, Mel

  • That is indeed a lovely tip, my wedding will be on September so this is a lovely idea for me 🙂

  • love that the movie you used the ticket from was a matinee of Furious 7 haha

  • Love these pillows! They’re so creative and a great way to remember fun events!


  • Oh great! so funny for living room!

  • This is a fantastic idea!!!!!! This is a business waiting to happen.

  • This opens up so many possibilities! What a great way to remind yourself of all the best moments of your life!! I am totally going to make project from this! Thank you Emma!!!

    Juju Sprinkles

  • My boyfriend and I just went to London and I saved the airplane tickets *just in case*… TOTALLy doing this!

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