Easy Hand Painted Pumpkin Pillow

October 24, 2016



Hand Painted Pumpkin Pillow

This weekend, I went on a fall crafting binge and whipped up a few items to decorate my house for the upcoming autumn holidays and the season in general. Since I'm very frugal when it comes to home decor and very lazy when it when comes to creating, all my projects were cheap and easy ~ including today's DIY ~ a hand painted pumpkin pillow.

Now wait.

Before you go screaming away from the page. It's easy, easy, easy, requires no formal painting experience and can be accomplished even if you have no artistic ability whatsoever.

I promise.

Although, I hate saying that, because everyone has some artistic ability, regardless of what they think, but that's a conversation for another day.

I have been in love with those hand painted (looking) pillows that are all the rage now, for a long time. I just didn't love the price. Being a can do kind of crafter, I figured I could probably make one on my own for free and gave it a shot.

This was my inspiration piece.

In 1999, I took a freebie class at my library and made this pretty fall slate. It was my first attempt at pumpkin painting and I just love it. I did a great job.

Hand Painted Fall Welcome Slate

Of course, I didn't think so when I left the library. In my mind, it was rough, unprofessional and it definitely did not look like the teacher's work. I guess it was a common observation in her classes, because she was prepared for the grumbling.

She told us not to despair, that we "should all leave it in the car tonight and when we go fetch it in the morning, it will have been visited by the trunk fairy who will have cast a spell of beauty on it that could only be seen in the light of the new day."

A little corny, but you know that lady was right.

The magic of perspective is a wonderful thing. Separated from everyone else's version, and my own critical eye for a few hours, my artwork was actually amazing. It's a lesson I try to keep in mind when crafting.

And you should, too.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

And we are our own worst critics.

Smart lady.

Anyway.

Enough storytelling...back to the pillow.

To start, I grabbed, a piece of white cotton fabric from my bin and measured out a 17 inch square. My pillow form was 16 inches, so I left half an inch on each side for a hem. I wanted my pillow to be poofy, so if it ended up a little smaller than 16 inches when finished, it was ok.

Ironing fabric before painting pillow cover

When my square was drawn out on my fabric, I ironed it to make sure it was totally smooth. Painting over wrinkles is never a good idea.

Pumpkin pillow painting supplies

Next, I grabbed some artwork as a guide, my fabric paint and drew a pumpkin on my fabric with a pencil. If you are hesitant to do this, you can practice first on paper, or you can print out a pumpkin shape and transfer it on to the fabric.

There are tons of methods out there to do this. Of course, the easiest is to turn your printed pumpkin paper over, cover the back with pencil, then place it right side up on the fabric and trace over the pumpkin, pressing down firmly as you draw.

Making a pumpkin pillow

My pumpkin is hard to see, because it's light and it should be. You don't want too much pencil showing through. It'll be hard to cover with paint.

Now. This is the most important step.

Remember when you were in school and you would draw pumpkins at Halloween and color them in, because they were basically an orange ball and hard to mess up, but also because it was fun?

Well, hold on to that feeling, dig into your paint and have fun. Real pumpkins are not perfect and your painted one should not be either.

Freeing, isn't it? ;)

Painting a pumpkin pillow by hand

I applied paint with a bristle brush in long strokes, moving from top to bottom. The paint did not cover all areas and that is ok. I also left some linear brush strokes on the pumpkin without smoothing them out on purpose. The strokes and spaces create definition and interest.

Hand painted pumpkin pillow diy

I added details with a bit of brown and yellow paint. I added yellow wherever I thought the light would hit the surface of the pumpkin and I added brown to create the vertical lines and shading wherever darkness would be. I didn't get too crazy with my shading and depending on your own design, you don't have to add any at all.

Up to you.

Sewing a pillow cover

When I was satisfied with my design and it had completely dried, I once again ran the iron over the fabric to set the paint. I have to say that I have done that with all of my projects and it works. They have washed very well.

I stuffed the form in, closed up the bottom and voilá.

Custom made, hand painted, pumpkin pillow for fall.

DIY Hand Painted Pumpkin Pillow

It was essentially free, since I had all the supplies on hand, took me all of about an hour to complete and adds a bit of fall to any room of the house. 

Hand Painted Pumpkin Pillow Cover

And I didn't even have to put it in the trunk.

I guess that fairy makes house calls, too.

Thank goodness. 

Have you tried hand painting? 



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66 comments:

  1. Hi Kim, oh you did a wonderful job with the pumpkin painting both now on your pillow and on the slate in your class years ago. You are so talented!! This just made me smile when I read what your teacher said. I used to tell my students something similar but it did not include a trunk fairy. lol
    Your creations look beautiful in your home in all the ways you display them. Thanks for sharing.
    October is National Painting month from my Society of Decorative Artists and I love seeing lots of painting going on. Have fun and a great week.

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    1. Thank you so much, Celestina Marie, compliments from you, especially about painting, make me smile from ear to ear. I hold them in high regard. :)

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  2. Very sweet! You did a great job free handing your pumpkin. I know the pillows you are talking about....I got a Pottery Barn one last year for $2 at a thrift sale. I should have bought the other one too! Also while at a flea market this weekend I saw 4 white fan blades. I debated a second and then put them back....I knew I wouldn't paint them this year and I didn't want to store them till next year.

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    1. Two dollars??? Now that is a super thrifting score! I am pea green! :)

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  3. Very interesting and fun. What kind of paint did you use? Is it acrylic or a fabric paint? Would really love to do this!

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    1. Hi Linda! I used fabric paint. Hope that helps and good luck!! :)

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  4. A lovely job, as usual. I have never painted anything like that. Really, why not? I have a paint canvas laying around, and it's only for cutting up, so - let me go find a pillow form and cut out two squares. In true Kim tradition, perhaps I'll paint one square with a pumpkin and the other side something wintery. I must think... perhaps a tree - black spruce, my favorite - with snow on it? Hey! It can happen!
    You are a never-ending source of inspiration!

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    1. Nancy, and you are a never-ending source of kindness...thank you my friend. And yes, the back...I need to think about the back! ;)

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  5. Your pillow is so pumpkin is so pretty, why don't you sell them?

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    1. Maybe someday, "Andy", but for now my passion is writing about the crafts and empowering others to try them! :) Thanks though, I am very flattered! :)

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  6. Really fun post . . .
    Love your pumpkin pillow . . .
    And your encoragement . . .
    Really true to sleep on it for a night,
    Pull out your art, away from all the others
    and realize . . . "I did it!"

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    1. Yes, Lynne...you are so right!! The "I did it" looks so much better in the light of day in your own home. :)

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  7. Amazing, Kim...you have definitely opened up a door (and a crafty door) for me! Thanks for sharing your great humor to another project we might all find doable!

    Jane

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    1. Thanks Jane. I am glad I could make you laugh....and craft! That's my goal! Glad to hear it's working! :)

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  8. love your projects.
    but your writing about art here is wonderful.
    its beauty is always in the eye of the beholder!
    and she was a wise teacher indeed. ♥

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    1. Tammy, you are super sweet. I am glad you enjoy the writing. Truth be told, that is my favorite part and my true passion.

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  9. Love the pillow (and that red wall). If someone doesn't have a sewing machine handy, you can use FabriTac glue or some iron on Stitch Witchery. This year I bought two pumpkin placemats to make a pillow.
    Myrna

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    1. Great tip, Myrna! I forgot to mention that. Thank you for pointing that out, I bet there are a lot of non-sewers out there who will appreciate the tip!! :)

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  10. Kim, the pillow is so pretty! You did an amazing job. Now you have me wondering if I can do it. :) I have never been very good at drawing.... Great inspiration, Kim!

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    1. I know you could do it Maria!! I have seen your crafts. I have faith! :)

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  11. You made it look easy and it turned out great! I love how it looks on the bed :)

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    1. Thanks Karen...and it really was easy. Worth a try, for sure!

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  12. I lovew this pillow Kim. And what you said is so true, we should not try to copy each other exactly but express our personality in art. Pinning and sharing this beauty.

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    1. Why thank you, Mary...I love being pinned! :)

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  13. Well first off, I love your fall slate! It's fantastic and you should bring it out every year. And I love your pillow! Good tip about going over the paint with the iron to set it. Love the sweet white pillow you have next to your pumpkin pillow. It looks like a rose. Pretty!

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    1. Thanks Lisa!! I love that rose pillow, too…Marshall’s. I love that store!! :)

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  14. Love this Kim. It is super cute. You go girl with getting your craft on!!!!!
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris!! I have been having a ball! :)

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  15. Its does look awesome and I have wanted one for awhile. And like you the price is to high. If i thought my could look this good I might give it a try! Want to make me one LOL!

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    1. You could definitely do this, Cathy, I have faith!! :)

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  16. Kim, great job. I did try drawing a pumpkin on the blackboard by hand and it turned out better that I thought it would, so maybe I could do it. I'll let you know..Your's looks so good, and such a cute idea..Happy Tuesday..Judy

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    1. Try it, Judy. You could do and I know it would be great!! :)

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  17. That is so pretty! I love the wonderful pop of color in the bedroom. You definetly have talent!

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    1. Thanks Lynn...it all comes from trial and error! :)

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  18. Hi,
    I am working on a Halloween craft right now. But my life took a turn of busy, crazy and unexpected events....so I hope to get it done by the weekend.
    Thank you for more inspiration my friend.
    Carla

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    1. I hope you get your craft finished up and crazy, busy and unexpected are all behind you now!

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  19. What a great project Kim! I may give this a try, though I would need to buy some orange paint I think! It would make a sweet hostess gift as well!

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    1. It so would, Deanna!! Now you have me thinking about holiday gifts....hmmm...trees perhaps. I mean after all, they are just triangles! ;) Thanks for the inspiration!

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  20. Kim,
    This is beautifully done. I love it and so easy to make. Thank you for sharing and hope you have a great week.

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    1. Thanks Vanessa! It really was easy and I am glad you enjoyed taking a peek!! :)

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  21. Hi Kim, I love your beautiful painted pumpkin pillow! It's just perfect for the fall and looks just great in your home. :)

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    1. Why thank you, Julie! It’s been on my list for awhile now. I am glad I gave it a shot! :) Happy Halloween!!

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  22. That is so cute, Kim, and you did a great job! I adore that tray you painted...talented! Maybe I should pop myself in the car trunk and let that fairy do her thing!

    Warm hugs,
    Carol

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    1. Haha...wouldn't that be wonderful, Carol? ;) No need for nips and tucks, just a few hours in the trunk! You just made me laugh out loud!! Thank you for that!! xo

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  23. I took a watercolor class years ago, and I remember being so despairing of my efforts then at that class. Now, when I look at the things I created, I wonder "how did I do that?" LOL... you are right, perspective is amazing, and we are own worst critics... you did a great job with that pumpkin, and it looks amazing on your bed.. have sweet pumpkin dreams my friend :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Marilyn and yes, perspective is wonderful isn’t it? Sneaky little painting fairies! ;)

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  24. Great project, you have such creative ideas Kim! I am sewing some tiny applique pumpkins at the moment...maybe I should try painting them on too:)
    Happy Fall!
    Helen xox

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    1. Oh, your appliqué pumpkins sound wonderful, Helen. Your sewing is truly outstanding and always makes me smile. :)

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  25. I love this, Kim! I can't believe you came up with this in just an hour. I'm afraid anything I tried painting would need more than just one night in the trunk. LOL

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    1. Haha!! That is so funny, Susan! Believe me, even this needed a night out of sight!

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  26. You are amazing. Period. End of story.

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  27. Hi Kim,
    What a great tutorial and I love what you said about comparison being a thief! That is so true!!
    I have been missing crafting lately with renos and getting settled...but you've inspired me!
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend friend! Hugs, Kimberley

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    1. Thanks Kimberley and have fun getting your craft on again! :)

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  28. Very pretty! You may think crafts like this are easy, but there are those of us out there (I'm one of them!) that can't do anything crafty at all and think that something like this isn't easy at all. ;-) Especially when I saw your sewing machine, then all bets were off. I don't have a sewing machine...admittedly, I can barely thread a needle! I don't even know how to sew a button back on a garment, lol.

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    1. Thank you, Melanie! I get it, I totally do. I try to break the crafts down so that those who think they can't or never have before could give it a try and be successful. That said, I cannot use power tools or make a soufflé and I have friends who tell me that it's "soo easy"...and yeah, it's not. Everyone has their own talents. I actually have a post ready to go on this very topic. I hope you'll read it when it goes live and let me know what you think! : )

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  29. Your pumpkin is perfect! Your perspective, subjective. As it should be; we are wired when it comes to personal taste. So, enjoy your painting, and for goodness sake, stay away from the trunk!

    Poppy

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    1. Thank you, Poppy…and haha…yes, that trunk! ;)

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  30. Comparison is the thief of joy--I loved that quote, Kim, and your painted pumpkin pillow!

    And I just went back and listened to you talk about your kitchen--delightful! My husband was in the room and asked who that was talking and I said, a blog friend. He said "She has a nice voice." High praise indeed!

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    1. Dewena, you just made my day!! Like most people I am not a fan of hearing my own voice on tape and usually the only comments I get about it are something like, "Mom, you're talking so loud!" Kids. ;)

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