This simple project has been over a year in the making. I first pinned a pillow cover that I thought would be an easy (and even better) do it yourself job, shortly after Theo was born. I got the pillow covers and then life was so busy and relentless, I never got to it. But I didn't forget about it. Last summer, after we got settled into our house, I picked up the art supplies I needed and carved my stamp.
Then it all sat in a closet until I heard the closing keynote at Alt Summit by Elle Luna, author of The Crossroads of Should and Must.
In one beautifully illustrated passage in her book, Elle talks about the importance of being creative in playful ways, getting messy, making, interacting with real media - beyond the computer. Yes!
So, I finally got out my supplies and pillow covers and got to work. It was so satisfying and I'm so pleased with the results. Here are the full instructions - and a few tips to skip some expensive craft supplies - so you can make your own!
In order to get started, all you need are:
- IKEA Vigdis cushion covers
- Plastic eraser
- X-Acto blade
- Acrylic Fabric Paint (must be colorfast and for fabrics)
- Paper bag or newspaper
- Wine bottle
When I went to the art supply store to pick up supplies, the staff were super helpful and nice, but they wanted me to buy some rather pricey materials. First of all, they wanted me to buy a block to carve, but I only needed a small cross, so I just used an eraser. Then, they said I needed a roller to be sure the paint went on smoothly, but I found that rolling the stamp along a wine bottle gooped up with paint had the same effect!
To get started, fold the pillow cover in half, and then in half again. Mark with a small amount of paint the folded corner point. This is the center of the cover.
Unfold and put some thick paper inside to keep the paint from going through to the backside when stamping.
Locate the mark you made for the center and put a cross stamp directly over it. You need quite a bit of paint on the stamp to get a nice opaque cross. But I also like having the natural variation that comes with hand-stamping, with some being lighter than others. It gives so much character, whereas if it were machine-produced it wouldn't have that character.
Then work from the outside back in. I used the lid to create a border and then eyeballed the midway point between the two for the next cross.
Create the bigger cross first and then fill in each quadrant. I eyeballed everything so that it would look more organic and unique and less perfect and boring. Just imagine the lines running continuously through each cross and they'll wind up in the right place.
Once finished, follow the instructions on your paint for drying and finishing.
That's it! You have new, awesome pillow covers. J and I both agree that our couch looks so much more pulled together than before with that simple change. What do you think? I hope you'll make some for yourself if you like them. It really was so much fun! xo