Habitat for Humanity’s Upcycle Challenge: The Painted Pillow
The painted pillow! In participating in Habitat for Humanity’s Upcycle Challenge, our biggest obstacle by far, was budget. We were limited to $500 for the entire space. The awesome result of this was that it really challenged us to get our creative juices flowing. Thus the painted pillow was born! First, we came up with this cool paint feature as a focal point for the space.
Please keep in mind that this pillow is not something you want to use for napping or comfort but it looks fantastic and can be customized to fit any color palette! Your design can be as simple or as intricate as you want. We kept it fairly simple and the actual project can be completed in less than a day.
Once our wall was completed, we searched and searched for geometric print pillows to play off of the wall feature. Pieces that would really tie the space together, but we had no luck. As the final deadline for the challenge drew closer, we resorted back to the old adage: necessity is the mother of invention. Since we couldn’t find a pillow we were looking for, we decide to create our own! Off we went to Ikea and purchased their gray Gurli pillow cover for $4! We chose this particular pillow for 2 reasons: it was inexpensive and we thought it would absorb the paint well.
Speaking of paint, we originally wanted to use fabric paint but due to budget constraints we couldn’t. We knew using the exact latex paint that was on the wall would be a risk, but it was one we were willing to take. We also chose to use green Frog Tape over the blue painter’s tape because we’ve found that the frog tape leaves much sharper, crisp lines. The key here is to make sure each piece of tape is secured tightly to the fabric; especially the edges. Running your fingers along the edges will ensure clean, crisp lines. We removed the insert, used the wall pattern as inspiration, and taped out a design.
We painted 3 coats per color using sponge paint sticks (pictured above). The biggest tip here is to remove the green tape about 15 minutes after the final coat is completed. This will give the paint enough time to absorb into the fabric but allow you make adjustments or catch any spots where the paint may bleed through before the it dries. Once you’re happy with how your pillow looks, allow the paint to dry for 4 to 5 hrs. Then re-insert the cushion and there you have it! This was one of the most talked about projects of the whole challenge and we love the way it turned out in our space!
Thinking outside the box to create amazing custom pieces takes vision, trust ours!