DIY Pillow Covers with Paint And Stencils

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Earlier this year I made over my basement into a pretty home office and living space for my family and me. And there was one project that I kept meaning to tell you more about, but you know how that goes–one project is done and movin’ on to the next one, right??

DIY painted pillows with stencils - Thrift Diving Blog


It’s those cute little pillows sitting over there in my red thrifted chair–the stenciled pillows. Remember those?








A company called Paint-A-Pillow had contacted me and wanted to know if I’d be willing to try them out.

As a blogger, we love getting product from companies that send us cool stuff, but we also need to make sure that it’s something that’s useful for our readers. And us bloggers have to ask ourselves, “Would we buy this??”


I Was on the Fence About This One…

The concept is really awesome: here’s everything you need in one kit to create amazingly cute, easy DIY pillow covers! Who wouldn’t love that?!

The kit comes with a premium pillow, a stencil, one paint of your choice, a foam roller, and a styrofoam tray. Super convenient.

But I couldn’t get past one thing: the cost.

One kit costs $44.95.

And we all know that you can’t order just one pillow. Who ever makes or buys just one pillow?! LOL So you’d likely want to toss in an extra premium pillow.

Don’t forget shipping for $14.95.

Next thing you know, dude, you’re dishing out nearly $80 for two pillows.

Worth the cost?


Paint a Pillow Painting Kit Review - Shipping Costs

I Went Ahead and Tried It…

I was curious about what a $45 kit would even looked like, so I allowed them to go ahead and send it anyway, not sure whether I would like it or not, or would I even be able to give it high marks here on the blog. I ordered some additional stuff, like rhinestones and a rhinestone setter, and extra paints, since they have some accessories for decorating your pillows and adding in other paint colors.  
DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils - Rhinestone setter head applicator with rhinestones


An extra jar of paint will cost $3.95 each.


DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils

 It Actually Was a “No-Brainer”

So when I unwrapped the kit, I was pretty surprised.

I mean–right out of the box, this is what I got: a pillow cover and stencil clipped down to a piece of cardboard, with everything already in place and ready for paint. I could be the most awkwardly creative person and there was no way to mess this up. HA!

DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils - Comes with a stencil


The roller that came with it was nice and worked well. It comes with 1 jar of paint, so I picked the bright orange.


DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils - Paint roller and orange paint



The kids wanted to help, too. Who can resist cute babies in their Lightening McQueen undies, ashy knees and all??


DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils - Easy enough for a kid to do




DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils2


DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils1


Once the paint dried, I removed the stencil and cardboard insert which prevented the paint from going through to the other side of the pillow cover.


DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils - Remove the insert


I had never used a rhinestone setter. It was fun, but tedious! I couldn’t imagine wanting to do any section larger than what I did. LOL


DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils - Completed


DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils - with studs



I had ordered an extra pillow and did the other one pink, using the same stencil.


Paint a Pillow Review - DIY Designer Pillow - Thrift Diving2414




And oh, man….the pillow inserts really were nice! They use a down alternative, so they felt fluffy once you unwrapped them. They come shrink-wrapped in plastic.


DIY Painted Pillows with Stencils 4


All fluffed up, they really felt great.


DIY Painted Pillows With Stencils - The pillow actually was very nice!



So What’s My Final Verdict??

You know what, guys? These kits are super cute! I think they way I used them, as a craft activities with kids, was cool. And it was easy enough to get them done in probably about 20 minutes or less. No set up required. And the end result looked really good! But the cost still is the only hiccup, especially since I’m a DIY’er a heart, and I know that I could whip up a few pillows for a lot less than $80. However, here’s what I think about who should buy this kit:

This kit is for you if:

  • you’ve got two left hands and you screw everything up, LOL.
  • You have no crafting experience.
  • You have extra $$$ to drop nearly $80 on two pillows.
  • You want to buy it for a kid or as a gift (housewarming, maybe??)

This kit isn’t for you if:

  • You’ve got average crafting and DIY skills and know how to bust out a few of your own DIY pillow covers.
  • You are struggling to pay the bills, much less can pay $80 for pillows.
  • You hate pillows. (HA! <~~Sorry, couldn’t help a little pillow humor…)

 DIY Painted Pillows with Stencils


Cheap Alternatives: No-Sew DIY Pillow Covers

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a true DIY option!

Last year I made these really cute DIY n0 sew pillows just using Heat n’ Bond iron-on tape. I even used my old pillow inserts. So the cost was super cheap!


No Sew Pillows 2.jpg


You can even watch my video tutorial on how to make no-sew pillows here:


If you want to make DIY stenciled pillows, you could also just buy a stencil and use squares of canvas drop cloth that you can buy from the hardware store or on Amazon (and you’ll get a bunch for cheap). Maybe I’ll make some and show you how easy they are to make! 🙂

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Okay, so have you guys ever made DIY pillows or even stenciled your own? Leave a comment below and let’s chat about this!



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  1. Your pillows turned out beautifully, and you can certainly say that they were “custom-made”! 🙂 I’ve been making my own pillows for at least thirty years; I use both new and vintage fabrics. I am always amazed by the prices that both Department and online stores ask for their pillows. $100 to $300 for one pillow? I’d be afraid to display it. I’m outnumbered, three-to-one by the men in my house, and I have dogs. 😉

    1. Pillows are one of the easiest things to make! I did the no-sew version, but sewing them is easy, too. Do you make other styles, like bolster pillows and really decorative ones? Those ones might be more difficult. But yeah, for anyone wanting to make pillows, covering old ones with new fabric and Heat n’ Bond tape will work fine, too! 🙂

      1. Yes, I have made bolsters and decorative pillows; the decorative ones are my favorite. I have always loved “old stuff”, so I keep my eyes open for vintage fabrics and trims. I had a beautiful (but damaged) vintage tablecloth remnant that I up-cycled into cafe curtains. As for the pillows, I always make the covers envelope-style, so that I can remove them for cleaning. “Sew” or “no-sew”, whatever achieves the result you want is so rewarding! 🙂

  2. jackie bethea says:

    it seems you could buy pillows for that price. i like to do things for myself, but i want to save money, too. your kids were so cute helping out, but i would hesitate to have kids working on such an expensive item. even starting from scratch (like we don’t have a ton of stuff in the stash) you could make up a kit much cheaper. btw, you can get very nice pillow forms at joann–i like the home elegance. they really hold up. your pillows do look very nice, though, but i agree with you that they just cost too much.

    just a little note–i have been to many blogs, but you are the only one i have stuck with!

    1. Hey, Jackie! Awww…..I’m sooo happy you have stuck with me!! I have to ask–what it is about this particular blog that keeps you around? I’d love to know, so I can keep doing THAT! 🙂

      I wasn’t worried about the kids working on them. They were that easy to do. It was impossible to mess them up, actually! LOL I felt sure the paint was going to bleed through the edges of the stencil, but it didn’t, which was good. I’m going to have to check out Joann’s for pillow forms! I’ll be starting my family room makeover soon, and some nice pillows (with coupons, of course) would be nice!

  3. Your insight, as usual, is the always the reason for me following your every move. You were spot on laying out the pro’s and con’s of this product and project. While yes the pillows can be bought cheaper, and already done, here is a really fun and useful project. We see who did all the work in the pictures. The stencils my friend and I usually agree on for projects are quite costly. In comparison to this project, this isn’t so far out of line in cost. You can make your own stencils or free hand but that also tells me that this kit is not for you. I liked this project. Not one I would be doing, but I liked it. Possibly adorn some painters pants with the left over beads and paints incorporating the stencil? I dare ya. Perfect blog as always, TK>

    1. Awww…TK, you are awesome :). Thanks for the great comment! How’s your cabin build coming??

  4. Isn’t that just like a boy to walk around in his undies. Mine still do it at 17 and 19. I love your pillows, too!

    1. LOL, well, if they’re wearing boxers, it’s just like wearing shorts! 🙂 Hubby always says for them to “cover up and put on some pants!” But hey, if you can’t let it all hang out while you’re at home, it’s not a home! 🙂

  5. When your son gets older he is gonna kill you for posting him in his under-roos on your blog! Lol. Pillows are cute, too pricey for sure!

    1. He’s my feisty one, so I can imagine him giving me that feisty look, like, “Mom, I can’t believe you did that!” Maybe he’ll never know…. LOL

  6. Those are gorgeous pillows but there’s no way I would pay $80 and THEN have to make the dang things too! They better have a good lookin man come to my house and make them for me………….shirtless……..:)

  7. I don’t think this is a project for me, but I have a few friends that would enjoy this (cause they can’t think outside the box when it comes to imagination and they have extra $$$).
    Can you just buy the stencil and paint? That would be good if you could. The stencils would be good for other projects like adding the pattern to a duvet, curtains, wall or, a doily?

    1. Hey, Jodi! Yep, looks like you can buy the supplies separately. Of course, buying them separately are more expensive as a whole, but I think the stencil is $20, and the paints for $3.95 each…? Not looking it up in front of me, so I’m guessing. Yeah, I agree–for people that want to be creative, but have no clue on doing a true DIY for themselves!

  8. I guess I disagree. I’ve been frugal. I’ was the Mom at Taco Bell with all the friends after church on Sunday’s and my kids were OLD before they learned anything but water came out of a straw!!! But have you ever spent a bit more and people go WOW?!! Those pillows and chairs look soo good. Where did you find those pillows? I think your brown backed chain front pillow is fine but not a wow stand out in your face statement feature. Did you pay $1000 for the chair??? You could have. But I bet you did not so I justify the extra cost. Plus you did allow your boys to help. You have enough paint and the stencil to make a wall picture for your sister for Christmas, Christmas colored pillows you DIY –you have red and green paint!–for them to be Christmas gift for a neighbor. The stencil, paint and roller can be reused. On a shower curtain. A pillow. A dresser front. A canvas art piece. So versatile!!
    The other thing: the tailor I use also makes the pillows for a local interior designer. He got $500 a pillow four to five years ago.
    As for have I made my own? Yes. Square. Rectangle. Bolster. I personally thought those pillows were your wow factor. I’m glad you splurged. I do hope you reuse the stencil for gifts. You’ll have the cost pay for itself quite soon that way????????

    1. Oh, you mean the red chair? I got it from $25 from the thrift store! 🙂

      And yes, the stencil is great! You can also buy the stencil for $20 on its own, I think.

      Wow, $500 a pillow?!?!?! EEK!

  9. You did a beautiful job with the project that you received. But I agree with you on the price point. Wouldn’t it be closer to $105 {(2x$45)for pillow kit + $15 for shipping)}? Now that would REALLY be outrageous! But they do look beautiful in your studio. Would this give you as much satisfaction as paying to have that depression-inducing tree taken down? I suspect that you would have found another avenue to fill the visual void that those pillows do. Excellent product but too pricey for what you received! Thanks for questioning and sharing!

    1. Once you get the kit, the extra pillow insert is $19.99, not a whole extra $45. The pillows ARE very nice, though!! Very soft and plush. I loved them! Not the cheapie things from the craft store. So that’s cool. You could just buy the pillow forms and then make your own cases. But it’s still fun repurposing the old ones for, like, virtually nothing! 🙂

      Thanks, Peggy!

  10. Pamela Mah says:

    I love how these turned out but I’d be a lot more apt to re-use pillows and cover them either with thrifted fabric or for outside cushions, thrifted fabric shower.curtains. I enjoy diy and for me part of the attraction is repurposing and upcycling.

    Love your blog, you do beautiful things and I appreciate the gorgeous photos. Bless your boys. My “baby” boy is almost 15 so I really miss little ones who help with projects in their jammies!
    Take care, Pam

    1. Hey there, Pam! I agree, I love the repurposing aspect, too. That’s what I did with those no-sew pillows that I made. I took the old pillows from my sofa, one of which came from an estate sale, and used fabric to make them myself. Super cheap! I think this product is good for gifts for kids to make. For me, probably not so much.

      Awww….I can’t imagine staring into a 15 year old face! It’s a weird thought to think of them that age. It goes fast, doesn’t it!

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