Creative Zone Blog

A painted fabric pillow

Tri-Art’s, versatile Low Viscosity Acrylic paint performs for fabric painting projects. It is thin, flexible and soft to touch when dry.  It is also washable!

Bottle of Low Viscosity Acrylic Paint in front of painted fabric

Tri-Art’s Finest Quality, Low Viscosity Acrylic Paint
Fabric (test in an indiscrete area for paint adhesion. Paint can’t stick to synthetic materials as well as cotton) 
OPTION* use an existing pillow slip 
Pencil, chalk scissors, paint brushes, thread and needle
Optional: Sewing machine 

Note: Fabric may be washed prior to sewing or in cool, luke-warm water once painted. 
Washing recommendation:  hand wash or a warm, gentle cycle. 

Drawing tools and scissors with pencil drawing of fish

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.

Use a cut out to trace and reference your design

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. 

Two spools of thread and a needle on top of the painted surface

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. 

Finished pillow displayed on a chair


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.