Acrylic paint design on a pillow

Painting a fabric pillow.

Tri-Art’s versatile Low Viscosity Acrylic paint performs well for fabric painting projects. It is highly pigmented, thin, flexible and soft to touch when dry. It is also washable with water so easy to clean. This article will show you what you can create using this wonderful paint.

A bottle of Tri-Art Low Viscosity acrylic paint.
Tri-Art Low Viscosity Naphthol Red ​​Medium

You will need a pillow case or fabric and a sewing machine, a pencil, chalk, scissors, a needle and thread and any Tri-Art Low Viscosity acrylic colours.

scissors and pencils on a template
creating a stencil​​

Create a stencil 
Create your pattern or stencil to scale on a heavy weight paper. Then cut it out and trace onto the fabric surface. This will ensure correct size and placement on the fabric surface for the pillow.

A stencil and a painting created using the stencil
tracing the pattern onto thefabric​​

Trace pattern on to fabric and paint
Using chalk or a colour pencil to draw the pattern that is the same colour as your paint will avoid outlines showing once the painting is complete. Chalk is easily removed in case of mistakes or required changes. Depending on the weave of the fabric, a piece of paper or hard surface may be required to prevent bleed through on the reverse side from touching surfaces. 

The paints may be thinned (very little) with water to increase flow if desired. Test the ratio to be sure the paint won’t bleed and have fuzzy edges. Too much dilution will effect the paint film’s ability to adhere and it may wash away with water.

a sewing needle and thread
sewing the fabric​​

Sew the pillow together by hand or machine
There are a number of options for creating the actual pillow if not using an existing pillow slip. Sewing up the sides for a pillow slip that encases a pillow you already have, or stuffing to create a new pillow. 

a painted pillow
display the pillow​​


Display your pillow. NOTE: The fabric may be washed prior to painting to remove sizing.  In this case, the fabric wasn’t washed prior to keep the crisp body of the fabric and for soil resistance. Washing recommendation:  hand wash or a warm, gentle machine cycle.

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