Monday, November 21, 2011

How to get that vintage look with fabric

I've been wanting some red cross pillows for the boys room. I thought a pop of red would look great in their room. My sister pinned these a couple days ago and I decided to go for it and make them.

Here's the link if you want to just buy them

I bought 3 oatmeal colored linen look pillows that Ikea just came out with. They were $13 a piece. (They also have them in white :) They're 24'' x 24'' which was just the size I needed. I wanted my pillows to look like I actually used vintage fabric, instead of sewing on a felt cross so I decided to paint the crosses on.

I experimented a little this time though. I taped off the crosses onto the front of the pillows and stuck a piece of cardboard behind them (so the paint wouldn't bleed through). Then I mixed paint medium into 3 different containers, 3 different ways.

This is the first pillow. I added the least amount of paint medium into the paint for this one, a 2 part paint, 1 part medium, or 2:1. (this is what the bottle tells you to do) And I let it dry the longest before I washed it. I washed all three at the same time so the one I finished with first had the longest to dry. The color was more vibrant and didn't wash out as much in the wash.

This is the second. I added 1 part paint, 1 part medium, or 1:1. When I washed it out, more of the paint came off but it still had a lot of the vibrancy left.

The third pillow was 1 part paint, 2 parts medium, or 1:2. It had the least amount of time to dry and the most amount of medium. It came out of the dryer with the most amazing complete vintage look that I didn't think could be replicated.

So, in conclusion my dear friends, my hypothesis was correct. (that's a direct quote from my 6 year old) The more medium you use, the more your paint will come out. Adding the medium also softens the paint and makes it appear printed on the fabric. You could never tell that I used simple craft paint. I love them.


  1. Looks wonderful!!! I think I'm gonna go get some pillows from Ikea!!

  2. Man, look at the floor in there! It's like...a lot of carpet. I've just never really seen it.

    Also, the pillows look nice.

  3. Great minds think alike! I'm crazy about swiss crosses too and I finally just posted some pillows on my Etsy shop yesterday. Such a coincidence I should see these today. Very nicely done! They are beautiful! Love your style!