Fabric Paint Cushion Craft- Upcycled pillowcases

Upcycling old pillowcases into fabric painted cushions is a super fun cushion craft for kids! These cushions are fantastic for teaching basic sewing skills making it an ideal first sewing project. Creativity will flow and the best part of all is producing something useful when it is complete. This fabric paint cushion craft produces adorable cushions which make the perfect accessory for dolls and toys or to decorate their beds with!

Our girls are now 4 and 6 and they both thoroughly enjoyed making the fabric painted cushions. I knew Miss 6 would love this activity as she adores anything to do with crafts but Miss 4 was equally as focused and VERY excited to be able to test out the sewing machine! They were both very proud that they could decorate, sew and stuff their very own cushions.

We all have them, that stack of pillowcases that never get used! This year one of my aims is to declutter which doesn’t always go well with a family who loves to craft. This project, however, is a step in the right direction, or maybe a side step as we now have little cushions floating around our home. A simple project that is relatively mess-free (big bonus) and the kids are happy having little cushions for their toys and to display on their beds so I’m calling it a win!

Fabric Paint Cushion Craft- Upcycled pillowcases

You will Need:

  • An old pillowcase
  • Fabric paints. We used Tulip Slick Fabric Paints. Make sure to read the directions on your fabric paint as some may require heat setting.
  • Stuffing
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors



Cut a corner from the pillowcase, alternatively cut a square, rectangle or any other shape from the pillowcase. You need a back and front and to allow approximately 1cm extra for the edge where it will be stitched together. If you have zig-zag scissors these are ideal otherwise standard scissors will do.


Take the cut-out cushion shape and decorate using the fabric paints. The fabric paints we have don’t require the use of a brush but they take a little getting used to for younger children. The last project we did with fabric paints Miss (then) 3 struggled a bit and ended up with blobs of paint everywhere but a few months later at 4 she has learned to slow down and gently press the tube to get the correct quantity of paint out. This requires quite a bit of patience and coordination so a paintbrush could be required for young children.

I wrapped our fabric around a book to make it easier to decorate. Older children will be able to use one hand to pull the fabric tight. The book technique worked well with the corners of the pillowcases but not so well with the smaller fabric scraps, experiment to see what works best for you.

Let them be creative and paint on any pattern or image they like. We had such a variety of different designs and the girls were very focused on getting their ideas exactly how they envisioned them onto the cushions.


Once the fabric paint has dried it is time to sew them together. Using a sewing machine sew around the edge of the cushion leaving a gap of a few finger spaces (larger for younger children) where the stuffing will be inserted. It is possible to hand sew the entire cushion together but I would suggest making smaller cushions!

Stuff the cushions with stuffing. We broke open and used an old pillow as we didn’t have any stuffing on hand. Once stuffed hand sew the opening shut. Miss 6 loved this part and ended out doing all of the cushions. She would have been very happy to skip the sewing machine and do the whole thing by hand. Miss 4 tried to do the hand sewing but quickly got frustrated and gave hers to her sister to do, however, she LOVED the sewing machine.

Completed, Fabric Paint Cushion Craft- Upcycled pillowcases! My girls loved this activity so much so that we will be repeating it. If you try this fun craft we would love to hear all about it.

For more fun kids fabric painting ideas read this article from Kiwi Families. 

Follow this link to find out how to make a pillowcase bed. 

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