How to Make Your Own Picture Pillows


Picture pillows are just what they sound like -- pillows customized with personal photos. They make creative gifts or can be used throughout your own house. You can create a pillow with numerous photos arranged collage style or just enlarge a single photo to cover the entire pillow. Either way, making picture pillows is easy, fun and doesn't take much time to accomplish.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton fabric
  • Plain pillowcase (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Stuffing
  • Wooden spoon
  • Computer with ink-jet printer
  • Transfer paper
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Decide how large or small you want the picture pillow to be. Use scissors to cut some soft cotton fabric that has been doubled over in the shape of your choice, using a pillowcase for a pattern if necessary. The color of the fabric is up to you, but white and very light colors would work best.

  • Sew the edges of your fabric together using a needle and thread or a sewing machine, leaving about a quarter inch of space for the hem. Stop sewing when the pillow casing (the fabric, unstuffed part of the pillow) is 2 inches away from being completely sealed. Turn the pillow casing inside out through the hole, using a wooden spoon to poke out the corners.

  • Print your color photo/photos of choice (already stored in your computer) using an ink-jet printer onto iron-on transfer paper. Allow the photos to completely dry after they are printed.

  • Use scissors to trim away excess transfer paper around the photo/photos. Set the pillow casing on an ironing board and arrange the photo/photos face down on it. Iron the back of the photos, using the temperature directed on the transfer paper instructions. Carefully peel away the transfer paper, leaving the photo/photos behind on the pillow casing. Allow to set/dry.

  • Push some cotton stuffing into the opening in the pillow casing, using the wooden spoon push it in and evenly distribute it. Be sure to fill the corners. When the pillow is stuffed to your preference, use a needle and thread to hand sew the 2-inch gap shut.

Tips & Warnings

  • Physical snapshots can be used to create the picture pillow as long as you have a scanner to upload them into your computer.

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  • Photo Credit iron image by Robert Grzywaczewski from
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