Monday, November 4, 2013

Designer Inspired Pillow Shams | Stenciled Ikea Pillow Shams for only $3 each!

Hi! I hope that you had a great weekend!! Today I'm sharing a few super affordable pillow shams - I made them before we moved, so photos are taken from our CA home - if you are wondering if we have a gallery wall/shelving/rug etc. Not yet, but hopefully soon!

In case you missed the tutorial on Infarrantly Creative, read on to see how I made them!

I love this because you can simplify it to be finished in about an hour or you can spend a little more time to have a completely custom look! Want to know the best part? It only cost about $3-5 per pillow sham!

I started with $3 white pillow shams from Ikea. Then I picked up some fabric paint and fabric medium from Michaels. I decided to purchase the colors that I didn't have and also use leftover latex paint with fabric medium so that it would be washable after heat setting.

For my inspiration, I turned to my Pinterest boards (always a great way to see trends in what you like!) and picked the a few designs that I loved from Caitlin Wilson Textiles and Sarah Swanson's home

I started with two striped designs. It really doesn't get easier that this! For the diagonal stripes, I didn't even have to measure! :) I simply determined the width between stripes and offset it with two pieces of tape to keep the line straight and then laid the next piece of tape. For the wide chevron, I did measure, but still super simple! 

The most important thing is to press the tape down firmly so that the paint doesn't seep underneath the lines. Then I mixed up my paint, dipped my roller in, rolled off the excess (also important to get clean lines) and rolled away from the painter's tape to avoid build up around the tape. 

After that dried, I created an inexpensive trim by taping off the edge and brushed on a contrasting color. 

Now for my favorite part! I decided to create my own stencils based on Caitlin Wilson's Hong Kong and Scallop fabrics. Download my silhoutte files for free Hong Kong inspired HERE and HERE (2 part stencil) Scalloped HERE. I drew the patterns in Adobe Illustrator and cut the stencil on my Silhouette Cameo. You could also pick up a few stencils at your local craft store for a simpler method. 

I've been making stencils for about a year and have learned that not everything can be easily translated into a stencil. To get the thin gold lines instead of a gold fill on the Hong Kong inspired stencil, I created a two part stencil, the first to capture the outer edge of the cube, and the second to finish the inside. A little extra effort, but I was able to achieve the exact look I was going for, so definitely worth it! 

If you've never stenciled before, here are a few tips. 1. Lay and tape paper over your table, tape the sham down, center the stencil and use painters tape to secure your stencil in several places to avoid it moving 2. dip your brush in paint and wipe off excess on a paper towel before starting, you want a small amount of paint on the brush to avoid it going underneath the stencil. 3. Hold the stencil down with your other hand as you go to prevent it from coming up 4. Carefully line up the next row so that the pattern stays consistent. 

Allow the paint to dry completely and heat set with a white cloth between the pillow and iron on a low setting. 

I decided to mix the painted shams with my DIY greek key sham and a pillow made out of the left over fabric from my Mid Century Modern refurbished chairs, Caitlin Wilson's tall mint chevron. 

I didn't paint the backs, but that would be a great way to add a contrasting color or pattern to have a reversible sham! 

I'm loving our new pillow shams! Most of all, I LOVE the price! 

Here's the breakdown:

Ikea Gurli Sham $3, qty 4 $12
Paint and Fabric Medium $6 (with coupon at Michaels) 

Total: $18 

I had the fabric for the mint chevron pillow left over and the Greek key sham was a previous DIY, but this project could be easily done for under $30 depending on your fabric selections! 


  1. The contrasting edge seals the deal. Looks so clean and offsets the design perfectly. Adding it to my to do list. :)

  2. Gorgeous pillow covers! You are sooo talented.

  3. Gorgeous! You are the master of stencils. I really want to try some DIY silhouette stencils too.

  4. Hey Sarah! Do you use IKEA inserts or do you buy other inserts? If so which IKEA insert do you buy? Your pillows always look the right combo of fullness and comfort.
    - Lora @ Craftivity Designs

    1. Hi Lora! The pillow shams are from Ikea, here is the link

      I like my pillow shams to be about an inch smaller than the pillow insert, it helps them to look more full.

  5. Beautiful job on these pillows.

  6. So gorgeous. I want.

    I bought some IKEA pillow covers months ago, and have been wanting to paint on them but haven't painted on fabric before. Do you have a certain brand of fabric medium that you like?

    1. Hi Sarah! I've only tried martha stewart from Michaels, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I've been happy with it :)

  7. Holy wow. When I saw the title of the post "stenciled pillow shams" and the first photo, I had no idea which of the pillows had been stenciled. They look FABULOUS! I cannot believe how designer they look for that price tag. LOVE!

  8. These are gorgeous- I can't believe that you painted them. They look so crisp and not like paint at all. Nice job!

  9. These came out fantastic. Would you be willing to share the studio file for the items you cut with your Silhouette?

    1. Hi Kim! I just uploaded my silhouette files. They are next to the stenciling process image. Hope this helps :)

  10. Those pillows look awesome! I've been looking for some ideas for inexpensive pillows for my sofa, and that's a great idea! Do you know if Michaels sells a scallop stencil or know where I can get one? Unfortunately, I don't have Illustrator.

  11. These look awesome! Love the stencil designs you made! So creative and such a great price for designer looking fabric!


  12. You seriously amaze me! Those pillows are fantastic. I'm especially loving the gold/geometric one. I may try making my own stencil with my silhouette too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. What material did you use to make your stencils with on the Silhouette?

  14. Great job! I dont have a silhouette machine and im not too excited about cutting the stencil out manually...would you be interested in selling a couple stencils?


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love hearing what you think! :)

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