How to Make a Floral Pillowcase with Photo Transfer

Create a custom pillowcase printed with a fun flower pattern with just a few inexpensive materials. This project can be modified for other fabrics and doesn't take much time or money!

Pillows come in many shapes and sizes, yet even with so many options, it can be hard to find the one that fits your style perfectly. By making your own pillowcase, you can create a design you love and save some money along the way. Here, we show you how to transfer a print or pattern onto a blank pillowcase using little more than transparency film, a spoon, and an iron. When you see it done, it's like magic! See below for step-by-step instructions on how to make the pillowcase, and read our full tutorial for how to photo transfer for bonus tips.

What You Need

  • Printer
  • Transparency film
  • Pillowcase or fabric
  • Spoon
  • Iron
  • Foam brush
  • Fabric sealant

Step 1: Cut Pattern

Print your desired image on a sheet of transparency film and cut out the pattern. We chose a watercolor floral design because the soft edges will blend in nicely with the white pillowcase. When printing your image, you must use an inkjet printer. This allows the ink to sit on top of the transparency film and be easily transferred to another surface. Photo transfer will not work with a laser printer.

Editor's Tip: Remember to print your image in reverse (mirror image). Once you transfer the image, it will no longer be backwards.

Step 2: Wet Fabric

Dampen fabric lightly with a wet sponge, then lay the transparency sheet, ink side down, on fabric. You only need to wet the parts of the pillowcase that you plan to use for the transfer. 

Step 3: Transfer Print

Transfer the image to fabric by burnishing it with a spoon using even pressure. Be sure to get all of the edges of your design. It is difficult to go back over the print if the first transfer is done incorrectly. 

Step 4: Iron

Remove the transparency sheet cutout and iron your design immediately on a high (cotton) setting to set the ink and prevent color from bleeding. Expect a little spreading, which results in a watercolor look.

Step 5: Seal Print

When dry, use a foam brush to apply clear fabric medium over the image. Let dry, then add a second coat to make the image durable.

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