Palm Springs Photo Pillow DIY

Palm Springs Photo Pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) I love having lots of reminders of desert and beach scenes in my house to keep it forever summer and to lift my mood during the bleak winter months. While the bulk of the vibes usually come from plants or prints of cacti and sandy beaches throughout the house, I thought it would be fun to add some California cool to the pillow department as well! We partnered with our great friends at Canon USA to create a fun downloadable template, and since Elsie’s been to Palm Springs many times (lucky girl!), I asked her for one of her trip photos to turn into a cute throw pillow for the couch.

Palm Springs Photo Pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Supplies:
Canon PIXMA MG7720
iron-on transfer sheets
-white cotton fabric
-piping for edges (I got the gold piping from Hobby Lobby)
-fabric scissors
-straight pins
-sewing machine
-pillow stuffing
-Palm Springs photo template (part one and part two) Right click to download.

Palm Springs Photo Pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) I used my Canon PIXMA MG7720 for this project. It does a great job of pulling out all the colors, even when using different paper types like this transfer paper. When you’re making a decorative item for the house, you don’t want to miss any of the details of your image!

Palm Springs Photo Pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Once your templates are printed, cut out your two sides with a small border around the photo edge.

Palm Springs Photo Pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Follow the iron-on instructions to adhere the photo sheets to your white fabric. Allow the decals to cool completely and then peel off the backing layer. Place the two decals facing each other and hold the two layers up to a window so you can see through them to line them up exactly on top of each other. Pin together and also mark with a pencil on the line down the middle line so you can see where to sew when you take the fabric off the window. Use your sewing machine to sew the halves together just inside of that line, trim 1/2″ around the photo edges, and iron the middle seam flat on the back of the circle (don’t use the steam setting on the iron). Once your photo circle is together, pin your piping all the way around the front edge of the circle with the rope part of the piping hanging over onto the photo portion of the fabric. Use a zipper foot to sew up to the edge of the piping all the way around the circle.

Palm Springs Photo Pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Use your photo circle to trace and cut another circle of plain fabric (this will be the back of your pillow) and cut a long strip of fabric that is 3 1/2″ wide and 1″ inch longer than the circumference of your photo circle (this strip will be the side of your pillow). Fold your long strip in half and sew across the cut ends 1/2″ from the edge to create a loop of fabric that’s the same circumference as your photo circle. With the seam on the outside, match up and pin the fabric loop all the way around the edges of your photo circle and use the zipper foot again to sew them together just outside of the piping so that the piping shows between the two fabrics when turned right-side-out later. Repeat the process of adding and sewing your piping around the edge of the back circle and then pin that circle (right side facing inward) to the back of your side fabric loop. Repeat the process of sewing them together up to the outside edge of the piping but make sure to leave a 3-4″ gap where you can turn the pillow right-side-out and stuff the pillow later.

Palm Springs Photo Pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Once all your sides are attached, carefully turn your pillow right-side-out and stuff to your desired density with pillow stuffing. Use some fabric glue or a hidden stitch to close up your stuffing gap, and your pillow is done!

Palm Springs Photo Pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) Palm Springs Photo Pillow DIY (click through for tutorial) What a cute pillow! And every time I see that iconic pink door with the two giant agave, well, it just kills me dead (#housegoals). The round shape and piping also add a special detail which give it a custom look as well. If Palm Springs isn’t your ideal location, you can totally do this project with another photo of your trip to the mountains or whatever place you love to visit (hmm, maybe I should make a Paris pillow too then…). Have fun sewing! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. 

  • This is so awesome! I got so excited when I saw this printer because I have the same printer in red. Lol I’m becoming a super fan

  • That is such a cool idea, and it looks amazing!

  • Yep! You can only buy transfer paper in 8 x 11.5″ sizes (at least from what I’ve seen) so just using one sheet would make a really small pillow and that’s why I put two together 🙂


  • It’s certainly not everyone’s “place” but for someone that loves color, warm weather, mid-century style, cactus and palm trees, and Frank Sinatra, well it’s hard to beat!

    Laura 🙂

  • That’s such an awesome and fun idea! And that picture is beautiful, the pillow looks amazing.

  • Because she has to adjust to the size of the transfer paper. It does not exist as large as the circumference of the cushion market. Best regards¡

  • Awesome idea! Why didn’t you transfer the photo on a single piece of fabric instead of two and thus avoided the middle seam?

  • I don’t really get it either, but I think it has to do with the colors and “vibes”, and it pairs well with the midcentury modern decor that is very in right now.

  • Fun idea! But am I the only one who just doesn’t get why everyone is obsessed with Palm Springs these days?…

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