Painted Garden Pillows

By  Vera Collier 

size: 14"x14"

  • Painted Garden Pillows
  • Birdhouse Pillow
  • TulipPillow


  • Unbleached natural cotton drill, 1 yd.
  • Polyester fiberfill


  • Loew-Cornell Fabric Paintbrushes: Series 223 Shader #6, 8; Series 224 Angular Shader, 1/4”; Series 227 Liner #0; Series 228 Scrubber #3
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Blue Chiffon, Burnt Sienna, Dark Chocolate, Hauser Dark Green, Hauser Light Green, Hauser Medium Green, Lamp Black, Lemonade, Moon Yellow, Napa Red, Pansy Lavender, Peony Pink, Pumpkin, Raw Sienna, Soft Black, Terra Cotta, Warm White, Neon Fiery Red, Neon Scorching Yellow; Fabric Painting Medium
  • Water-soluble fabric marker
  • Sewing machine, sewing needle, off-white thread

Basic Supplies

  • ruler and measuring tape, pencil, graphite and tracing paper, masking tape, stylus, paper towels, container of water, scissors, iron and pressing surface, straight pins

Pattern - Painted Garden Pillows

  • Prepare Fabric
  • 1. Cut four 15" squares from fabric; set two aside for pillow backs. Iron front panels to shiny side of freezer paper. On both front panels, measure in 1-1/2" from all four sides; draw line using fabric marker to create 14"x14" square. Measure and draw line 1-1/2" from top and bottom of square. Place lines at top and bottom of panel. Mark and draw vertical lines at 1", 4-1/2", 5-1/4", 8-3/4", 9-1/2", 13" from left. (Note: There should be three 3-1/2"x11" rectangular panels, 1" from sides and 3/4" apart.)
  • 2. Working one panel at a time, dampen rectangle with fabric medium. (Note: Any place the design extends past the rectangles, fabric medium must be applied before paint.) On tulip pillow, basecoat center panel Moon Yellow and side panels Lemonade. On birdhouse pillow, basecoat center panel Blue Chiffon and side panels Moon Yellow. Let dry.
  • 3. Print out full-size patterns. Transfer patterns to front panels using transfer paper and stylus.
  • Tulip Pillow
  • 1. Basecoat flower stems and leaves Hauser Medium Green. While wet, stroke Lemonade down stem center, blending lightly. Shade leaves at bottoms and stems Hauser Dark Green. Drybrush highlights at top part of leaf Lemonade. Drybrush leaf with small amount Napa Red. (Note: To drybrush, dip brush into paint and work paint into brush. Offload paint onto dry paper towel until most is rubbed out so brush gives off just hint of color.)
  • 2. Basecoat pink tulips Peony Pink; shade Napa Red. When dry, pull fine lines Napa Red up from base of petals using liner. Vary line length and curve to match petal shape. Highlight Neon Fiery Red. Basecoat yellow tulips Moon Yellow; shade Raw Sienna. Pull fine lines up from base as before using thinned Raw Sienna. Highlight Neon Scorching Yellow.
  • 3. Basecoat butterfly body Soft Black; highlight with very light sideload of Warm White. Basecoat wings Pansy Lavender; highlight outsides Warm White and shade along body Soft Black. Add comma strokes Warm White using liner. Paint antennae Soft Black using liner. Let dry thoroughly.
  • 4. Outline rectangle with thinned Lamp Black using liner. Avoid over-thinning paint which may cause bleeding into fabric.
  • Birdhouse Pillow
  • 1. Basecoat flowerpots Terra Cotta, topiary stems Raw Sienna, topiaries Hauser Dark Green, birdhouse walls Napa Red, birdhouse base and roof Hauser Medium Green, roof knob and perches Dark Chocolate, birdhouse opening Soft Black, and star Raw Sienna.
  • 2. Drybrush highlights on flowerpot and rim Pumpkin. Shade flowerpots on each side, along bottom, and underneath rim Burnt Sienna. Shade to each side Burnt Sienna. Repeat with second shading on left of and underneath each pot Dark Chocolate. Highlight center of stems Moon Yellow using dry brush; shade top and bottom with Dark Chocolate. Add roping detail around each stem Dark Chocolate using liner. Highlight center of roping lightly with thinned Moon Yellow. Add cast shadow underneath detail with narrow sideload of Soft Black.
  • 3. Stipple topiaries Hauser Medium Green, then Hauser Light Green. Keep lighter color to right of topiary. Lightly stipple Moon Yellow, but do not extend as far as Hauser Light Green.
  • 4. Shade birdhouse along left side, under roofline, and along bottom against base Soft Black. Paint thin Lamp Black line to separate three boards of birdhouse front using liner. Drybrush highlights on center of boards Pumpkin. Pull fine thin lines down from roofline and up from base Soft Black; add woodgrain lines randomly.
  • 5. Paint crescent-shaped line Napa Red along left side of birdhouse holes for depth. On birdhouse, shade left of perch Soft Black; highlight right of perch Moon Yellow. Shade left side of roof knob Soft Black; highlight right side Moon Yellow. Drybrush highlight center of star Moon Yellow. Shade star Burnt Sienna. On birdhouse, shade beneath star Soft Black. Outline panels as in Tulip Pillow Step 4.
  • Finish Pillows
  • 1. Pin pillow fronts to pillow backs with right sides facing. Machine-sew 1/2" seam, leaving opening on one side. Clip corners; turn pillows right side out. Position pillow face down on surface; smooth out seams. Firmly stuff with fiberfill; hand-sew opening closed. (Note: Pillows should not be left out in weather, but are fine to use in sunroom or covered porch.)