Make any Image Into a Pillow

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Make any image into a Pillow. Tutorial by Girl in the Garage.

I saw this project a while back in Martha Stewart Living and fell in love with it.  It was on my to-do list for over a month when my sister told me about a Basset Hound pillow at Pottery Barn that she wanted but was pretty expensive.  She sent me a picture and I told her I was on the verge of making very similar pillows myself for a lot less money.  I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by the lack of detail in Martha’s instructions, but it wasn’t too hard to figure out.  😉


  • Photo (or any image) saved on your computer (scan it if using an oldie)
  • Cotton or linen printable paper
  • Printer
  • Drop cloth
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Pillow stuffing (I used polyester fiberfill – one 12oz. bag filled all three of my pillows)
  • Scissors

Printable cotton and printed sheets. By Girl in the Garage

First, I found the photos and image that I wanted and edited them to black and white.  Then since my pictures were small I enlarged them as much as I could while still keeping their picture quality, and printed a test sheet on regular paper.  Next I printed onto the printable cotton paper- make sure you print on the correct side.  (MSL said to use linen paper but my craft store only had cotton.)  Also- the paper that I bought said to only use in an inkjet printer, but I have a laser jet.  (Darn it!)  Well since I’m stubborn I tried it anyway and it worked fine- try at your own risk.  🙂

Images being cut from drop cloth. By Girl in the GarageThen I cut out my image, ironed the wrinkles out of the drop cloth, and ironed the image directly onto the cloth (follow the directions on the paper package for ironing).  Next I cut the drop cloth to the size of the pillow I wanted, leaving about an inch for the seam, and cut a second piece for the back of the pillow.

Cloth cut for pillows. By Girl in the Garage

Quote pillow cut from drop cloth. By Girl in the Garage

This is where I decided I didn’t really like the full 8×10 photo ironed onto the second pillow of the boys.  It looked like I just glued a piece of paper on there.  So I ended up peeling off part of the picture and trimming it.  It took some effort but it worked- and then I ironed the image once more so the edges would adhere to the drop cloth again.

Corrected cut image for pillow. By Girl in the Garage

Then with the two “good” sides facing each other, I sewed three sides together and about 3/4 of what would be the bottom of the pillow (leaving the one inch seam all around).

Sewing the edges of the pillow. By Girl in the Garage

Then I turned the case inside out and paid special attention to the corners so they wouldn’t be inverted.  Next came the stuffing – not too full, not too thin – also paying attention to the corners.

Stuffing for pillows. By Girl in the Garage

Stuffing the pillow. By Girl in the Garage

Finally I had to stitch the last of the bottom portion of the pillow closed by hand, being careful not to let the thread show too much.  The total finished size for each of my pillows is about 12in. x 9in.

DIY quote pillow and boys' photo pillow. By Girl in the Garage

Finished DIY pillows by Girl in the Garage

Boys photo image on DIY pillow. By Girl in the Garage

So what do you think?   I can see many future pillows as gifts to family and friends (and yes I will be turning my sister’s dog’s photo into a pillow soon).  This really is a pretty simple project which could become as sentimental or creative as you want it to be!

Thanks for hanging out with me for a while today!


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19 Comments on Make any Image Into a Pillow

  1. laura@Top This Top That
    February 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi Jen, what a great way to always look at those sweet babies!! Visiting via Fox Hollow Cottage.

    • Jen
      February 22, 2013 at 8:08 pm (6 years ago)

      I agree Laura- thanks for visiting!

    • Jen
      February 23, 2013 at 9:13 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks Rebecca! I got mine at Joann’s, so I imagine other fabric or craft stores would have it also. I had never even heard of it before reading about it in the MSL magazine… But now I’m hooked!

  2. Jeanette @ Creating a Life
    February 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm (6 years ago)

    What a great idea! Visiting and pinning from Diana Rambles.

    Jeanette @ Creating a Life
    Jeanette @ Creating a Life recently posted…DIY ClocheMy Profile

    • Jen
      February 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks so much for visiting, Jeanette!

    • Jen
      February 24, 2013 at 8:56 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you Mariel, I just visited your site and linked up!

    • Jen
      February 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks Randi! You’re right, there are lots of possibilities- and I plan to make many more. 🙂

    • Jen
      February 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm (6 years ago)

      Diana, thanks for the comment- see you at the next party! 🙂

    • Jen
      February 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks Jennifer- I just linked up to your party!

    • Jen
      March 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Sarah – glad you like it!


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