Easy Appliques for Pillows Using Upholstery Fabric or Screen Print Designs…

Creating Pillow Appliques out of Upholstery Fabric {The Creativity Exchange}


Cut out a Screen Print on a T-Shirt and Turn it into a Fun Applique for a Pillow {The Creativity Exchange}


I hope you all have had a great weekend!! I’ve been thinking about your guys getting covered in snow up in the Northeast and hope you all are staying warm! Brrrr….

Ever since I posted my master bedroom revamp a couple months ago, I have received several emails and comments asking how I made the linen pillow on my bed:


Create an Applique for a Pillow with Upholstery Fabric {The Creativity Exchange}


I have promised several of you that I would do a tutorial on my pillow applique project and I thought I would share that with you today. This weekend, I also created a fun foiled heart pillow from a t-shirt using the same technique, so since both projects were done basically the same way, I thought I would share that project as well:


Cut out a Screen Print on a T-Shirt and Turn it into a Fun Applique for a Pillow {The Creativity Exchange}

Making appliques for pillows are so easy. I have done many of them because most of the time, it’s impossible or too expensive to find pillows with exact color combinations for a room. What better way to make sure a pillow is going to match than creating a applique from a fabric in the room.

For my linen pillow, I used the a piece of the same fabric that I used to reupholster my chair:


Reupholster Parson's Chair- DIY- Instruction- Accent Chair


How to recover chairs- Upholstery- DIY- Interior Design


For the foil heart pillow, I used an $8.00 Circo t-shirt from Target that I just picked up this weekend. I am in love with all of the gorgeous gold foiled t-shirt screen prints that have been coming out but I haven’t seen any on pillows or canvas totes, so I decided to make my own. By the way, this t-shirt is in the girl’s section and they have four different gorgeous bright foiled designs to choose from! I got the shakes when I saw them they are so fabulous!


Source: Target {Circo T-shirt}

Source: Target {Circo T-shirt}


For both appliques, I used the product Steam a Seam 2 as my applique backing/adhesive:


Steam a Seam 2- Ideal for Appliques


I like to use Steam a Seam 2 better than any other product because if you want to use your sewing machine to finish off the edges of the applique, this product is designed not to gum up a needle.

I always like to attach a sheet of Steam a Seam to my fabric or t-shirt first.  I cut more than I need for the applique, peel back the paper and attach to my fabric and then cut out my design.  Because upholstery fabric will fray, I go ahead and quickly swipe over my fabric attached to the Steam a Seam (other side of paper is still on) and let cool.  This allows me more precision in cutting and it keeps the fabric from fraying too much.


How to Make Appliques with Steam a Seam


I did the same thing with the heart on the t-shirt.

How to Create Appliques with T-shirt Screen Prints {The Creativity Exchange}



For my upholstery fabric, I wanted to create a chain look, so I cut along the chain pattern.  Geometric prints are great for appliques because all you have to do is cut along the patterns:


How to Create Appliques for Pillows Using Steam a Seam {The Creativity Exchange}


make a pillow applique from a t-shirt



After I have cut out my design, this is what it looked like


How to Create Pillow Appliques with Steam a Seam {The Creativity Exchange}


Notice that it still has the paper on the back.  When I am ready to attach it to my fabric (after I have figured out positioning), I remove the paper and heat up the iron with the steam setting on and iron with steam for about 15-20 seconds:


How to create appliques for pillows using Steam a Seam {The Creativity Exchange}


for the screen print heart, I covered the design with a pillow case so I didn’t melt the design onto my iron.  It worked perfectly:


Create pillow appliques with screen prints from t-shirts


Next, I let my applique cool at least 10-15 minutes.  For the linen pillow, my friend Jane did a quick hidden stitch around the edge of the applique to give the applique edge a clean finish (after it cooled):
Create an Applique for a Pillow with Upholstery Fabric {The Creativity Exchange}
Creating Pillow Appliques out of Upholstery Fabric {The Creativity Exchange}
I didn’t need to do that to the t-shirt because the applique edges looked just like it was screen printed on to the fabric:


Turn a t-shirt screen print into a fun applique for pillows or canvas totes {The Creativity Exchange}
Cut out a Screen Print on a T-Shirt and Turn it into a Fun Applique for a Pillow {The Creativity Exchange}


If you don’t sew, you can always cut your pillows, add your applique and then drop your pillow and stuffing off to a local alterations person to finish your pillows for you.  Keep in mind that that this t-shirt technique is also a great way to create fun appliques for totes too using foil screen print designs!  Wouldn’t this heart be fun on a canvas tote?

Thanks for hanging out with me today!  If you happened to miss Friday Favorites, Favorite Paint Treatments for Walls, you can go back to that post by clicking the image directly below:

Favorite Paint Treatments for Walls {Friday Favorites} The Creativity Exchange

Have a great day friends!!



Sharing this post with:
Home Stories AtoZ {Tutorials & Tips Party}
Somewhat Simple {Thanksgiving Link Party}
Skip to My Lou {Made by you Mondays}
Savvy Southern Style {Wow Us Wednesdays}
Shabby Nest {Frugal Friday}
Tatertots & Jello {Weekend Wrap Up Party}
Under The Table Dreaming {Sunday Showcase}

TDC Before and After


This entry was posted in DIY, Do It Yourself Projects, Pillows, Sew. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Easy Appliques for Pillows Using Upholstery Fabric or Screen Print Designs…

  1. Bridget says:

    Wow, thank you for sharing this tip. I need some new throw pillows and haven’t been able to find anything I like. This opens up so many possibilities!

  2. Megan says:

    I love these ideas! Especially the shirt from Target! Love it. Megan
    Megan recently posted..Pottery Barn Inspired Easter FlagMy Profile

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks sweet Megan!! Meant to tell you that I loved Rob’s “Hey Girl” sayings! Too funny girl! Good luck on your kitchen project, I can’t wait to see how it all comes together!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Great ideas. I would have never thought to use the design from a t shirt. I think design you used in your bedroom would make a great table runner. I can just see it with red dishes for valentines day!

  4. katherine shauger says:

    Hi Cyndy…I see you snuck a little navy into your bedroom, just like me in Portland. Looks great with all brown tones. Think any girl’s tee design is great way to make pillows, great idea! Are you into green yet? Looking for large wicker basket for tree in living room, they are spendy… I’m looking for round and about 16″ wide. Do you have good source? May have to hit consignment/antigue stores. That pashamina color is fabulous. Keep up your excellent ideas. I always enjoy your site, you’re my fav… Katherine in Portland… PS are you a Bruno Mars fan?

  5. Ashley H says:

    Hello – where did you purchase your upholstery fabric used on the pillow and chair?

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