How To Decorate A Pillow. The Best 3 Options To Try

If you’re interested in learning how to decorate a pillow, you have three options to do so. This article will teach you how to directly design the pillow or add ornaments to improve its aesthetic. So those who are looking for a way to customize their pillow, this is for you.

The good news is there are no specific set of rules when it comes to decorating a pillow. You can always let your creativity guide you or find inspiration from where you intend to use the pillow. You can even turn pillow decoration into a fun bonding activity with friends and family.

How To Decorate A Pillow


3 Best Ways To Decorate A Pillow


Option #1. Paint

Perhaps the most straightforward way to decorate a pillow is by painting on it. You’re not limited to using fabric paint because you can also design with markers. The main idea here is directly decorating the pillow and not adding other materials. 

The best thing about this option is you can freely design it on the pillow. However, you might have a smoother time if you stencil on the surface first to avoid mess and errors. Regardless, this is a fun project to try with kids and let them personalize their pillow. 


How to decorate a pillow with paint

Start by removing the pillow cover and then add a piece of cardboard inside it to make it easier to paint. Then, draw your design with a pencil on the surface and trace them with fabric pens and markers if needed. Once dry, you can fill your design with paint using a paintbrush and let it dry again. 

What if you want to paint the pillow directly? You should place the cardboard inside as well to support the liner. If you’re having a difficult time painting on the fabric, check if you need to heat-set the fabric paints that you used.

Besides brushes, you can also apply the paint with a foam pouncer or spray it on the surface. Another good tip is to create your stencil on freezer paper and iron it onto the fabric if you think taping the stencil is not convenient. And finally, you can paint on a decorative pillow, to begin with, and just enhance its details, such as outlines and embroideries. 


Option #2. Overlays

If you don’t want to paint your pillow directly or it’s too messy with the materials, you can decorate the surface with appliques instead. You have so many materials to choose from, ranging from felts and fabrics that will complement your pillow. 


How to decorate a pillow with overlays

You can iron some fusible web interfacing onto a fabric you like and trace the design on the former. Pin your cutouts onto a pillowcase, ensuring that the interfacing is facing the pillowcase. You’ll be done by ironing the designs and removing the pins! 

You can also skip the need for a fusible web interfacing and simply baste your designs onto the pillow with a running stitch. Remember to fold the raw edges underneath the fabric and sew it with a ladder stitch for security. Remove the basting stitches, and it’s finished.

On the contrary, you can apply felt designs with fabric glue if you don’t want to sew. More so, consider adding new designs or decorate your pillow by simply tracing its existing patterns. Some even apply a large piece of fabric onto the cover. 


Option #3. Trims

Decorating your pillows doesn’t mean you have to use two-dimensional designs. You can opt for materials like ribbons and tassels to enhance your pillow’s look and form. Trims are relatively easy and quick to do, and you can use spare materials from your other craft projects.


How to decorate a pillow with trims

A cute look that is Bohemian inspired for a pillow is adding tassel fringes on its edges. You can whip stitch or glue it in place using the seam as your guide, so make sure to get a long enough material for your pillow. 

If you have some leftover lace, you can also attach it to your pillow with some glue or sewing. A flat lace sewn seam to seam with a thread that matches the pillow’s color will look subtle yet glamorous. Speaking of leftovers, some extra fabric cutouts will make suitable ribbons for decorating a pillow. 

The trick is choosing the right pattern, size, or color for your pillow. For ribbons or laces, go for a different shade to add variety. And if you want a tufted look to give dimension to the pillow surface, you can mimic it by adding shank buttons. Sew them into place using different knots to tighten each tuft. 



You can always add some personal touch to your pillows to enhance their look or as a gift idea. What’s great is learning how to decorate a pillow gives you three easy options. For example, the most straightforward way is to stencil on the pillowcase or cover and paint the design with paint directly.

If your materials are challenging to paint, you can also add adhesives using designs cut from felt and fabric. And finally, scrap materials will make tassels and ribbons to enhance your pillow’s finish. Regardless of the method you chose, the main takeaway is to check if it complements your pillow.