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Stenciled Pillow Covers

Add sew-easy charisma to seating with urban-inspired pillows made from a canvas drop cloth. Each bold graphic comes from our free downloadable stencils.

Bridge-pattern stenciled canvas pillow

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

Few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Measuring tape
  • Straightedge
  • Masking tape
  • Crafts knife
  • 1" artist's brush
  • Sewing supplies and matching thread


  • 4' x 5' canvas drop cloth #197749
  • Shelf liner #58932
  • Super 77 spray adhesive #41209
  • Valspar Signature paint, Mark Twain House Ombra Gray #4004-2A

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Stencil the Canvas

Step 1

Spread a washed and ironed canvas drop cloth on your work surface and anchor the perimeter of the canvas with masking tape.

Step 2

Use a measuring tape, a straightedge, and a pencil to mark three 19" x 37" (includes 1/2" seam allowances) rectangles on the canvas.

Step 3

Download the pillow stencils. Print the stencils to fit on one half of each rectangle to one side or the other.

Step 4

Cut enough shelf liner to cover the area you plan to stencil on the drop cloth. Peel the backing off the shelf liner and adhere the liner to the front of a drop cloth rectangle.

Step 5

Lightly cover the back of one stencil print with spray adhesive and press into place on the liner. Use a crafts knife to remove the sections you wish to paint.

Good to Know

Carefully apply only enough pressure to the crafts knife to cut through the stencil print and the shelf liner, but not into the canvas. You'll feel and hear the difference as you cut through the stencil and shelf liner, signaling when it's time to release pressure as the knife blade contacts the canvas. If necessary, practice cutting papered shelf liner on canvas scraps.

Step 6

Use the artist's brush to apply gray paint from the outside edges of the stencil toward the center of the image to prevent paint from bleeding beneath the stencil edges. Remove the stencil; let dry.

Step 7

Dome-stencil drop cloth pillow

Repeat Steps 4 through 6 for each of the remaining two pillow covers using different stencils for each.

Sew the Pillow Covers

Step 1

Cut out each of the three 19" x 37" -- this allows 1/2" seam allowances -- canvas rectangles you marked in Step 2.

Good to Know

To close an opening with a whipstitch, fold under the raw fabric edges, press, or pin. Insert the pillow form, and use small, closely spaced overcast hand stitches to complete the bottom of the pillow cover.

Step 2

Statue of Liberty stenciled pillow

For each 18" x 18" pillow form, fold one rectangle in half to cover the stencil and make a double thickness of canvas 19" x 18-1/8". Stitch down two sides of the pillow using 1/2" seams and leave the end open. Turn the cover inside out, insert the pillow form, and hand-sew the opening closed with a whipstitch.