Painted Cabana Striped Pillows {Incredibly Easy ~ No Sew}

Painted Cabana Striped Pillows {Incredibly Easy ~ No Sew}

I’ve been eyeing up a few pillows for my front porch rocker ever since the warm weather decided to appear and stick around. I’ve seen many that I have loved but I can’t seem to see spending anywhere from $30-$90 for a set of three pillows, especially when they most likely will need to be replaced again next year. I decided to nail down a few designs that I liked and make my own. I have to say that these have to be the easiest pillows I have ever made {not to mention the most inexpensive}.

No Sew Cabana Striped Pillows
Materials Needed:Muslin Fabric {I used just under two yards for three pillows}
Stitch Witchery
Painters Tape
Americana Acrylic Paints
Americana Fabric Painting Medium

I decided to make my pillows out of muslin fabric for two reasons; {1} it is incredibly inexpensive. {yes, you are reading that bolt right, 50 cents a yard!} {2} I already had this fabric on hand, as I bought this entire bolt last year for a party canopy. For the three pillows I used a total of 66 inches {just a little under two yards}

Begin by cutting a 21 inch square, using the folded edge as your top seam, so you have a double layer.

You could sew these pillows using a straight stitch, but I decided to use one of my favorite products, Stitch Witchery. This can be found in your local craft stores in the sewing section and runs about $2. It comes in a roll and is a fusible web that permanently bonds fabric simply using the heat from your iron. Quick and super easy!

Using the diagram {above} you want to apply the Stitch Witchery to the two open sides, lining it up right with the edge of the fabric. Follow the package directions for applying as each brand may be a little different. In general, place Stitch Witchery between fabric layers and cover with damp press cloth. Set iron on “wool” setting and simply press for 10 seconds. Once you have sealed the side edges, turn your fabric right side out.

Using a ruler and a t-square, you are now ready to create the guidelines for the cabana stripes. Regular painters tape works very well for this step.

Each Cabana Stripe will measure three inches wide. {Your fabric is already cut to 21 inches so measuring your stripes should be a cinch} The only tricky part is making sure that you tape within the measurements for every other stripe; meaning you only need to make guidelines for the stripes that you will be painting. Measuring from the top of your fabric down, the diagram above gives you the measurements for placing the tape.

Once the tape is in place, you are ready to paint! Americana Fabric Painting Medium by DecoArt is a clear liquid that you can mixed with any color of Americana Acrylics to produce a washable, permanent paint for fabrics. The medium improves the color penetration and bonds to the fabric helping to prevent, cracking, peeling, and fading. I love the fact that this can be used with the array of acrylic colors I already have instead of going out and buying fabric specific paints. In keeping with my Americana outdoor theme I used Prussian Blue and Berry Red on my pillows.

You mix two parts acrylic paint to one part medium and paint away. Let the paints dry for 24 hours, then to make permanent, place a paper towel over dry painted area and iron {heat set} each section for 20 seconds. {Reverse your fabric and do the same to the back side as well} It sounds like a lot but you actually fly through this process once you get going.

To make ‘sealing’ the pillow a little easier, finish off the rough edges of your open side by using more Stitch Witchery to create a hem. Now you are ready to stuff! I recycled a body pillow that I already had; just cut it open, re-fluffed the ‘stuffing’ and packed it into my my new pillows {I made these three plus still had some left over}. Since I will be using the pillows outdoors, I really could not see purchasing ‘new’ inserts ~ this works just as well.

To ‘seal’ place another strip of Stitch Witchery between the two hem and iron shut.

The third pillow I made a monogram to go with the cabana stripes. I printed off my letter in word and cut it out. Using the painters tape I traced around the letter to give me a good outline. This is definitely the ‘homemade’ way to do this, but it works perfectly and you don’t have to worry about cutting a stencil.

I’m just lovinโ€™ the three of these together!

I may pick up some outdoor fabric guard to give them a little protection from the elements, but considering they were very inexpensive to make I’m not sure if it would be even worth it.

The sky is the limit with colors and patterns. Using the fabric medium really opens up your options.

I can’t wait to make a few more of these for my deck! Enjoy!


  1. oh wow, i love this!! Super cute. i think im going to visit my fabric store to get some of that tape. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. do you have to use Americana acrylic paint with the fabric paint medium? Or can you use pretty much any?

  3. Very cute! I want some new pillows for my front porch, but outdoor pillows at the store are either way too expensive or way too ugly:) Thanks for the step by step instructions!

  4. Love Love Love them ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. You had me at “no sew”! Love the idea of using the Stitch Witchery for this project.

  6. Those turned out great. Thanks for sharing the how-to.

  7. Stephanie, these are so cute I have no words! This is my favorite project you’ve done because I love pillows and especially stripes! Now, I think I could even do this! Thank you for sharing. You are amazing. I am a happy, happy camper!


    Sheila ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Those are so cute and nautical! I love the way they look!

  9. Beautiful Stephanie Lynn! Muslin is one of the most under-appreciated and versatile things around.

  10. Such adorableness, you make me want to craft all the time ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Oh my how cute! And you can make them any color that works for you. I am just about to make some new pillows for my porch. I might just try this idea! Thanks, Lisa~

  12. Love these!

  13. Stephanie Lynn… these are awesome! I like me some… no sew pillows!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Very cool!!

    Kendra @ Creative Ambitions

  14. love your pillows and the fact that they were so easy to make but dont have a cheap look to them.

  15. They look fabulous and what a great tutorial. Love them. Hugs, Marty

  16. I love these! And it’s even better that you didn’t have to sew them!

  17. OMG, those pillows are awesome!

  18. So awesome!!! I am dying to make some now!!

  19. Those pillows are sooo great for summer and so perfect for the 4th!! No sew and inexpensive seal the deal for me : )

  20. Thank you so much for the great detailed tutorial {especially like the detailed stripe part…that always CONFUSES me}! No sew is the best! Great job!!!!!

  21. Wow, so cute!! Great tutorial!

  22. What a FUN idea!! I love that they are no-sew, too. Thanks, Stephanie!

  23. They are gorgeous! Love the L.

  24. I love the pillows! Great idea and I learned a thing or two. Thanks for posting!

  25. These are beautiful! Great job.

  26. Very nice job!! Love the pillows~

  27. Great project Stephanie! You just blow me away!


  28. you are such the clever one!

    perfect colors for the next couple of weeks, too!

  29. I love it! I have been thinking of doing something similiar. Have you ever used freezer paper vs painters tape? I just bought a huge roll of it to try.

  30. Oh I forgot! Im visiting you from New Friend Friday at the girl creative! ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Thanks for the great comment and for linking up at our new link party. WE are very excited about teaming up. So fun! Love this project too by the way. I have been wanting to make new pillows for my living room. I should make one with a J. Have a great weekend. Tara

  32. Excellent tutorial! I used the fabric medium and paint to “redo” a large wicker chair with fixed cushions.I could not remove the cushion to recover them, so I painted over them…first with a white to “prime” then with a brilliant yellow green. This chair is on my covered patio…and the color still looks good…even after 3 years of wear and tear…and weather.
    Jane (artfully graced)

  33. ooooo Love them!! Especially like the L!! Fabulous job!

  34. That is just so cool how you did that monogram…love it! Thanks for sharing this neat idea! I’m having a COASTAL GIVEAWAY…hop over and check it out…I think you will like it.


  35. Stephanie Lynn, these are awesome!! I JUST handpainted some handmade placemats (Sailcloth) with a nod to nautical….:) These pillows are fantastic! I might have to try these too!

  36. Here from NFF – hope to see you at Dropped Stitches!

    xo Erin

  37. Great Tutorial! – I need to read more. I am a new follower from New Friend Fridays!

    also subscribed to your feed..

  38. THESE are absolutely and completely FABULOUS!!! They look like you paid big bucks and had them custom made! YAY!!!! I LOVE THAT! Great tutorial too!

  39. Gorgeous pillows!

    I have an award for you over at Pittypat Paperie :o)

  40. No way – you painted them, huh? They look fabulous!

  41. wow those are so cute! I can’t even sew a button so I’m loving anything no sew ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I’m following you back ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Love them and the fact that they are no sew!

  43. Your pillows look beautiful! Thanks for the DIY instructions and the inspiration!

  44. These are fabulous! I love the colors and the look of them. And the tutorial is awesome! Thank you!! I really want to make some pillows and you make it look easy. Thank you!!

  45. Most excellent and they look fabulous! I’ve been painting pillows for awhile, yes they are cheap and easy and lots of decor punch for the effort.

  46. Great project!

  47. Stopping by from The Shabby Nest I love pillows and I love YOUR pillows! I have used a stencil, paint and medium for pillows before but I love the simplicity of the bold stripes. I wish I could find muslin here for that price. The cheapest I have found is $5 a yard, but I’m reinspired to keep looking. Thanks for sharing

  48. These are soooo fabulous!! You’re so creative! they’re just perfect all summer long! Great job!!

  49. that is sooo great! i am gonna have to use this idea. i love it!

  50. Oh my . . . these are so genius! I think you have as much talent in your little pinky as I have in my entire body. Amazing!

  51. This is AMAZING and so creative! I have featured this on my blog!

  52. I am SO glad I stumbled on this post! I’ve been planning on painting some pillows because I can’t find the right fabric I want but I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. Thanks so much!

  53. Those stripes are PAINT?!? Oh my gosh. I would have never guessed that. These are amazing. So nautical and fun!

    Love your stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚


  54. What a fun & brilliant idea!

  55. Absolutely stunning! Thanks for a great tute to go along with your fabulous project. Wow. Still drooling here.

  56. Thanks for the solution to fixing my pillow goofs. I had tried putting velcro at the open part of my pillows. I made 3 pillows with a really cute material that I bought at “Off the Bolt”, a local upolstery fabric discount place. Well the day of my mom’s party the velcro was popping off the pillows. How embarrasing!! If anyone saw them probably thought..well it’s the thought that counts. I’m going to get some of that stitch witchering and use my new iron to fix the pillows. I’ll post pictures soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Brilliant. Thanks for this tutorial!
    dolcecapecod dot

  58. Great tutorial…they look fantastic. Thanks for sharing!


  59. Wonderful! The pillows look great!

  60. “L” for LUV! These pillows are fantastic, summer-fresh and totally fun!
    Victoria @ DesignTies

  61. Oh, my! I love your pillows and you are truly the most creative one! They look fantastic!
    Be a sweetie,

  62. Oh my goodness, these are absolutely fantastic. I love the use of red, white and blue in the summer. My deck needs a set of these!

  63. Now this is a gorgeous pillow! You are amazingly talented!

  64. I love these! They look so summery and fun…I’ll have to try this one out! Thanks!

  65. What a great project. I am adding this to my list of things to do. I’m gonna be a busy girl!

  66. i LOVE that this is no sew and uses stitch witchery. do you have a preference over that vs. steam2steam?

  67. Hi Stephanie, I made the pillows yesterday and they turned out great!!! Thanks for the great idea!

  68. Stephanie – these look great! You’re so inventive and inspiring!

  69. I am adding this to my favs.


  70. I love how easy they are and they have so much impact. Thanks so much for the how-to, I’ll be linking.

  71. I made these this weekend and it was super easy! I had two Ikea AINA cushion covers laying around (in Bleached) and used those instead of no-sewing my own pillows. They worked great!

    Here’s the link to the covers:

  72. I’m so doing these pillows! No sew and paint! Can’t beat that!

  73. I really love these!! I was thinking about ordering placemats in this cabana stripe and doing it that way but this seems so much more personalized!! Great job!

  74. what a great project! thanks for the ideas. I’ll be doing this in the very near future.

  75. what happens if the pillows get wet outside?

  76. Thank you for this great idea!


Speak Your Mind