Easy DIY Projects: Watercolor Pillowcases

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Ever feel like your bedroom needs a makeover? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Instead of taking on a complete renovation, try switching up the small things. You would be surprised at how much of an impact these simple changes can have. For starters, try making these Watercolor Pillowcases for a colorful, artsy touch. They’re totally customizable and require little to no DIY skills…we promise!

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Supplies:

  • Tarp or large garbage bag
  • Powdered fabric dye (2-3 colors)
  • Foam brush
  • White pillowcases
  • Plastic cups
  • Water
  • Large bucket or garbage can (optional)
  • Access to washing machine

Before You Start: Protect your workspace with the tarp or large garbage bag. We recommend working outside, if possible!

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1. Prepare your first dye by mixing it with water. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Our first color was turquoise.

For a dark, saturated color, create a 1:1 mixture of powdered dye and water. For a lighter, subtle color, create a mixture of 1/2:1 powdered dye to water mixture. Of course, you can adjust these measurements to suit your preference. Just have fun with it and experiment.

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2. Lay out a pillowcase on your covered work surface. Using the foam brush, randomly apply brush strokes to the pillowcase.

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3. Prep the second dye and add this color to the pillowcase. Don’t be afraid to let colors overlap. Our second color was maroon.

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4. To make colors bleed together, press the wet brush in between brush strokes.

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5. Continue until a majority of the pillowcase is covered. Make sure to leave some white space so the colors have room to move around.

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6. Rinse the pillowcase(s) until the water runs clear. You can do this in a large bucket or a garbage can, or directly in the washing machine. When clear, wash in a washing machine for one cycle; check the directions on the dye’s packaging for any special requirements. Hang to dry.

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7. Once the pillowcases are dry, feel free to add even more brush strokes if you feel like something is missing. We decided to bring in a third dye – a dark navy blue – to add more “oomph”. If you decide to do this, simply repeat Step 6 to rinse and wash.

This is the beauty of DIY; you can make a change whenever you want!

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Once dry, your new pillowcases are ready. They’re the perfect cross between functional and fashionable.

What colors would you choose for your DIY Watercolor Pillowcases? Let us know in the comments below!

Author

  • kirsten-nunez

    Kirsten is a lifestyle writer and craft book author focusing on DIY, food, health and creativity. Since 2010, she has been sharing DIY projects at WildAmor.com. In May 2014, Kirsten published her first book, Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion.

    View all posts

4 Comments

  1. I think this is a great idea! I always seem to end up dyeing clothes that got stained or I’m just bored with! I think I would do a turquoise & lime green. Maybe even add in a little orange. This looks fun!

  2. I’m afraid of dying things! I’m scared I’m going to dye my washing machine and I’m scared the dyed items are going to beeld on things, skin, sofa, etc. @kirsten-nunez Tell me there is nothing to fear!

    Otherwise, these are totally adorable.

    1. I promise there’s nothing to fear, @stef! Since the print is supposed to look random and muddled, there’s no right or wrong way :) And fabric dye doesn’t stain things like bathtubs or washing machines – it typically wipes right off since the surface doesn’t allow for dye to adhere to it. Painted walls and doors, it will probably stick. But definitely not washing machines!

      And it won’t bleed on to you, promise! That’s why there’s Step 6, throwing it in the washing machine after rinsing it. It gets all of the excess dye out and “sets” the dye in the fabric!

  3. I love this idea! I bet the kids would love to make their own pillow case :)

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