08 July 2015

DIY: gold scallop throw pillow

If you think back to our apartmentiversary tour this year, you might remember how I made a little sitting area in the dormer window of our bedroom:

If I’m being honest, it’s not so much a true “sitting area” as it is “space filler after we moved the baby into his own room”. But that’s ok, because it’s more of a short-term solution for a funny-shaped space, and I didn’t put a lot of time or money into it. As a matter of fact, I shopped the house for everything there – except one thing. That gold scalloped pillow!

Scallops are hot right now, and I had my eye on this sold-out scalloped pillow from Caitlin Wilson Textiles.

I admit, the gold and scallops make me feel like I’m hitting peak 1980’s style throwback, but whatever, it’s trendy and I work with fish so a scales pattern makes sense. At least my bedroom isn’t pink and blue anymore?

So I wanted that gold scalloped pillow, but even if it were in stock, it costs $65, which is out of my budget for a single pillow cover (insert not even included!). This calls for a DIY!

I started with this $5 pillow cover from H&M:

I only went with H&M because I had an order there anyway and didn’t have plans to visit IKEA anytime soon. I’d hoped it’d have a zipper on one end like the plain IKEA pillow covers I’ve seen, but no such luck. Instead it had a zipper in the middle of the back:

Not the end of the world, just has to be a single-sided instead of double-sided pillow. It also meant that ironing it was a bit tricky – if I just ironed it, the zipper in the middle would leave indentations on the front of the pillow cover. Instead, I put a folded-up washcloth inside while ironing:

Once ironed, though, the pillow cover itself was ready for painting! But to be on the safe side, I also cut pieces of wax paper to fit inside the cover. That way, the paint wouldn’t bleed through to the other side.

Okay, $5 throw pillow cover is prepped to paint! As for a stencil for the design, I DIY’d my own for free. If you’re handy with Illustrator (or even Powerpoint, probably), you can easily draw one yourself. I just drew an oval, deleted half of it, and tiled it, tinkering with the shape of the oval and the size of the pattern until it was just as I liked.

But if your graphic design skills just aren’t that great – or if you’re pressed for time – I have a downloadable version, sized to 8.5x11” paper. Download here by right-clicking (command-clicking on a mac) and print it out to get your own stencil!

After I printed out my stencil, I cut it in half along the lines, and just used that single edge to trace the whole pillow in pencil.

And now, finally, the gold paint! I played with the gold acrylic paint and a craft brush on scrap paper, but I didn’t feel like I had great control over it. So instead I opted for a gold paint pen. It’s not as shiny as the source, nor did I make the lines as thick. But hey, good enough for a trendy throw pillow under ten bucks!

I didn’t paint the pattern all in one go – I did a line here, a line there, whenever I had a few minutes. It took a little while, but it was done soon enough!

Then I just added my own insert pillow (already owned, just needed a new cover) and voila!

Not quite as nice as the $65 one, for sure. But for the time (an hour or two) and money ($8) I spent , it was worth it to have a new little trendy accent for our home.

Now that I finally got around to painting a throw pillow, I kinda want to make more of my own pillow designs using cheap pillow covers! Maybe when IKEA opens this fall....?