Monday, July 9, 2012

DIY - Pop of Red / Coral Pillow

Taking the color pallet for the front room from the area rug, I decided that my pop of color would be red. According to HGTV, the best way to add that pop was by accessorizing.

As I mentioned here, I sewed a bunch of couch pillows and they turned out great, but I was still missing that POP of color.

While we were flying home I was browsing thru the fly mall magazine. I saw something like this pillow
and thought HEY! I could make that in red!

I didn't have a craft store and teach a ga-zillion classes for over a decade for nothing!  Made myself a mental note of what I would need to make my POP.

I choose a rough cotton as the base. Thought it would be nice and sturdy and would hold up well. I also bought fabric dye and zippers - I was in business!

Quickly I prewashed the fabric and sewed two simple pillows - here are my instructions for that.

I used a trouser hanger to hold the pillow in the dye.

I was discouraged.

The fabric was NOT sucking up the dye the way it should. I tried all kinds of things and it just wasn't happening. I even tried wetting the fabric and it hardly took on the water!

I thought I'll try some salt where the dye did take, to get this effect.

Interesting tidbit: Salt will absorb the dye (in this case silk paint), leaving an interesting pattern behind.

Didn't work either. Considering our humidity here, I'm guessing my salt was too "wet" to do any kind of absorbing.

While I was taking the 2nd pillow out of the dye it dropped in and ruined it. 


Not wanting to cry over spilled milk, I went ahead and just dyed them both all red. Since parts of both pillows were in the dye longer, they turned out two toned.

I then thought - WAIT A MINUTE - Fabric paint! I could paint a coral pillow. Coral would go well with the beach-ie theme I have going on. Added bonus is that I could create such a pillow at a much better price than what a finished, fancy pansy, designer pillow would cost. 

S0 that's what I did. I went to Ben Franklins and bought a textile medium and a slightly off white paint.

Using a vanishing maker I drew my vision of a coral branch

I covered a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil and put it inside the pillow

To make it a bit taunt, I stretched the fabric across the cardboard and taped it in the back.

According to the instructions on the textile medium you need 2 parts acrylic paint and 1 part of the medium. Easiest way to do it is to make three same size dots of paint and then mix them together.

I had to paint two coats because the red kept bleeding thru.

Red loves to do that you know....bleed thru....

All done! Now I have to wait a few days to let it set, then it could be washed.

And here it is, my finished pillow and I like it!! Now all I have to do is figure out what I would like to paint on the other pillow case.

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Aloha a Hui Hou!


  1. Well now, this is one beautiful pillow and love that it was so thrifty.


    1. Aloha Linda! Thanks for stopping by! I'm sure you'd love my driftwood and mercury glass lamps too! :o)

      I'm sure I'll hit you up for some suggestions for our front room! :o)


  2. Wow what an excellent job you did!! You are really talented. It turned out beautiful! beautiful

    1. Thank you Alicia :"> can't wait to paint the 2nd one!


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