• Nicole Metzel

DIY Pillow Cases

Ahhhhhh throw pillows. They are legit the never ending battle in this house. I, like most sane people, absolutely love them. I want them everywhere. I want them on the couch, on the beds, in the office, on the cat tower....

Okay not really the cat tower, but I seriously love them.

My husband - well he thinks they just take up space. Nevermind the fact that he sleeps on the couch all the time and it would really help his neck kinks from developing, but I digress.

Throw pillows throw a whole new element to a room. They give them something more. It's like this piece of decor that ties everything together while still giving you function.

The biggest problem I have had with commercially found throw pillows is either they are ugly as sin, or they don't match what I am looking for at all.

And I will NOT settle for ugly throw pillows or close enough. NOT HAPPENING.

Alas, I found the most awesome way to create perfect throw pillows for my home, and I wanted to share it with you.

Supplies Needed

  • Chalk Couture Square Pillow Cases or Lumbar Pillow Cases

  • Fabric Dye - {{Liquid or Powder}}

  • Stock Pot

  • Hot Water

  • Old Towel

  • Chalk Couture Chalk Transfer {{D Size Transfers Work Best}}

  • Chalk Couture Ink

  • Chalk Couture Ink Mat {{Or A Piece of Cardboard - But seriously the mat is life}}

  • Squeegee {{I prefer the large handled ones for this project}}


Step 1: Fill your stockpot about half to 3/4 of the way with hot tap water. If you don't fill it enough, it's okay. You have the ability to add more water later. **ProTip** My water heater is set to an insane 150 degrees Fahrenheit - so if yours isn't use the hottest you can and heat it up on the stove top a bit before you start.

Step 2: Place the pot on your stove and set the burner on the lowest setting. I do this so that the water will stay hot while my fabric is in the dye bath.

Step 3: Add one full bottle or packet of your dye. There isn't a specific kind you need to use. I chose to use liquid for this because it seemed easier.

Step 4: Add your Chalk Couture Square Pillowcases or Chalk Couture Lumbar Pillowcases to the dye bath and stir them around. **ProTip** If your fabric cannot move around freely - add more hot water at this point until your fabric can move around without tangling about.

Step 5: Stir like freaking crazy. I am not kidding about this. Stir - and stir - and when you think you have stirred enough - stir some more. **ProTip** I stirred for about 45-60 seconds every 5-7 minutes while my cases were in the dye bath.

Step 6: Keep your fabric in the dye bath for at least 30-60 minutes. The longer they are in the dye bath, the more vibrant your color will be. Just make sure not to set a timer and walk away, you REALLY need to stir them so they don't get splotchy and gross.

Step 7: Once you've reached the time to take out your cases, and you are satisfied with the color, take your pillow cases out of the dye bath and run them under cold water until your water runs clear through the case. **ProTip** The pillowcases will be HOT. Use tongs to take them out and place them under the water until they're cool to the touch and you can rinse them freely.

Step 8: Once you've gotten all of the excess dye out of the cases throw them in your washing machine with an old towel. **ProTip** Use a towel that you don't mind getting destroyed. In case there is extra dye in the cases, it will get soaked up by this towel.

Step 9: Run your washer on whatever your normal cycle setting is at a warm temperature. Then, dry everything, including the towel on a low tumble dry setting in the dryer.

Step 10: Your cases will be super wrinkled when they come out of the dryer. Do not panic. They're going to look horrible. Iron them a bit to get these wrinkles out. **ProTip** I hate irons so I use a heat press to iron mine. It seems to go faster with less effort.

Step 11: Insert your Chalk Couture Ink Mat into one of the pillow cases. If you don't have a mat, you can use cardboard in its place. I love the mat because it's adhesive so your fabric doesn't wiggle around on you.

Step 12: Apply your transfer to the pillow case and smooth everything out. Air bubbles will make the design bleed, and unlike chalk paste - ink is permanent. You want to make sure that you don't have any bubbles at all. **ProTip** I like to use a large handled squeegee and run in vertically in sections over the transfer to make sure I don't miss anything. You can grab one here.

Step 13: Apply your ink onto the transfer and cover all areas that have silkscreen. Fabric is very porous, so I like to add a thin layer first and then add another thin layer on top of that.

Step 14: Peel back your transfer and VOILA! Let it dry for a good 10-15 minutes. **ProTip** I get super antsy to stuff my pillow and use it right away. Clean your transfer off while you wait for your project to dry. It should be all good by the time you come back.

Step 15: Stuff your pillow with either a pillow insert or free form stuffing. You're all done!

See It In Action

Check out this video I uploaded for you to see the magic in this watercolor technique. Please make sure to like the video and subscribe to my YouTube channel. If you love the video and want to see more fun, easy, DIY tutorials, make sure that you also:

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Did you try this? What did you think? Share your experience with me along with your photos in the comments.

Until next week, happy creating!



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