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Faux Watercolor Pillow with Fabric Markers

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Creating a faux watercolor pillow is easier than you think using fabric markers and water!

faux watercolor pillow with fabric markers

Have you ever tried to change the mind of a pre-teen girl?  Bottle that up and market it if you’re successful at this!

My daughter had it in her head that she was making a watercolor pillow for her cousin as her homemade Christmas gift this year. More specifically, a watercolor pillow that said “LOVE” a la the famous Philly landmark.

It wasn’t so much that I thought she couldn’t do it, as my dork brain just kept thinking “tie-dye” every time she mentioned “watercolor”. It just was not computing! Soooo, I may or may not have tried to get her to pick a different project a time or two, but the girl is nothing if not determined!

Because I’m well aware of my skill level with a sewing machine, I searched everywhere for a plain, white pillow cover that we could transform into her design. Why are these so hard to find?? WHY?? Absolutely nothing at Michael’s, A.C. Moore or Jo-Ann’s! Seriously, they all looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for one. It seemed so simple to me!

As I was dejectedly heading out of my final store, Jo-Ann’s, I spotted these canvas tote bags that were just begging to be embellished! I grabbed one and ran (no running in stores, kids!) back to the pillow inserts and it was the perfect size for a 14″ pillow (which I already happened to have at home). I was THRILLED that I didn’t have to break out the sewing machine 2 days before Christmas (absolutely NO comments on how I’m a procrastinator! That wouldn’t be nice!).

Unfortunately, because I’m a procrastinator, I also seem to have skipped taking pictures of EVERY SINGLE STEP of this project! Which is kind of boggling my mind because I could have sworn I did! But 2 cameras and my phone later, there are no pictures to be found! 🙁  So picture a canvas tote bag with two handles. I just cut the handles off!

faux watercolor pillow with fabric markers tote bag

Once I got home, I used my Silhouette to design and cut out the letters using clear contact paper as my stencil. We made sure to press the stencil down REALLY well on the fabric.

Then my daughter did the rest! Using fabric markers, she would color in the letters, making sure to overlap her colors in lots of places. She stopped every minute or so to dip her brush in water and go right over where she had colored just blending the colors and fanning them together. Be sure to stop frequently so your colors don’t have time to dry before you can get them wet!

We let it sit overnight to dry, then inserted the pillow. I hot glued velcro strips to the opening and then it just velcros shut!

faux watercolor pillow fabric markers and tote bag

And so we can FINALLY bring an end to all of my homemade Christmas gift posts (see Episode 1 and Episode 2), I thought I’d share what my kids received from their cousins for their homemade gifts!

My daughter received this super cool pen and pencil holder from her cousin, Andy! She has grand plans to set up an art station in her room and use this for her brushes too!

recycled jeans art holder

I apologize now for the next picture. It’s a terribly annoying song to have stuck in your head, but a pretty cool gift to get from your cousin! He made this wooden sunglasses rack  for my son to hang on a wall!

wooden sunglasses wall rack

And, of course,if you’re a pre-teen boy, it must be displayed in conjunction with your 5-year supply of Axe!

wooden wall sunglasses holder with axe

And lest you think my husband doesn’t get involved in all the homemade gift making madness, here is what he made for my brother-in-law following Mom 4 Reals tutorial! It doesn’t look like much, but we printed off pictures of Jess’s completed project to accompany it so he can see all the garage tool organization goodness that can happen once you have one of these babies!

garage organization storage tower