Painted Pillow Tutorial

For years I have said “You’re either the bird, or the windshield”. You want to be the bird. At least in my mind you want to be the bird. My take is that the bird leaves a mess on the windshield and flies away.

I suppose one could look at that statement and think “No, I want to be the windshield”, because in their version, the bird crashes into the windshield. It does happen, but my version is less traumatic for the bird and the windshield. The driver, too.

My book club friends and I use this phrase all. the. time. We shorten it and just say “Bird”. When something good happens you are the bird. When you get a job, you are the bird. When your kids make straight A’s, bird.  As a tribute to these girls, I made a bird pillow. It was so much fun to make!

Here are the steps to follow if you want to make your own, or any other pillow.

First, determine what size you want your pillow and your text. Open a word processing file (pages, word) or another program (I use Photoshop) and print out your text. I am using a graphic for the ‘i” but you can use any combination of letters, numbers, or symbols.


Next, tear off a piece of freezer paper and draw a straight line so your word will be level. Place the text under the freezer paper, being sure it’s aligned with the straight line you drew, and trace.


Using small scissors (they get around the little curves much better), cut out your word and iron it to the right side of your fabric.

Then paint. I used a black acrylic paint that is suitable for fabric. Not all acrylic paint is so please be sure to read carefully.IMG_2402web


Let the paint dry for a bit, and remember to put newspaper, scrap fabric, something under where you are painting so paint doesn’t get everywhere.


Finish your pillow with some bias cording, trim, anything and enjoy!

Published by Patty Murphy

Designer. Quilter. Fabric Hoarder.

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