Photo Fabric Pillow

Have you ever heard of photo fabric before?

I may be way behind the times, but I think I first read about it in a Country Living magazine a few months ago and starting searching around for it a few weeks ago when I had a specific project in mind.  I found it at my local Joann’s for about $12 for a package of 6 sheets.  Of course, you can use a 50% off coupon {which I did} and get it for $6. I thought that was a pretty good deal.  I’ve also seen it on Amazon if you aren’t near a Joann’s.  Anyway, they carried three different fabrics, but I went for a simple cotton poplin and sewed it to some leftover gray fabric I had from our slipcovers.

This project was a gift to a family that I adore in New Zealand.  I actually was blessed to live with them for a couple months while I student taught in New Zealand in college {a great story for another day}.  I wanted to make something meaningful for them and came up with a cute and heartfelt idea.  Remy, the youngest child in the family, and I were fast buds.  She was 8 when I was there so our friendship revolved around playing outside with their pets {including a possum!} and taking long walks in the country, along with the occasional Shrek viewing on my laptop in bed.  One of our other favorite hobbies was looking at maps.  I think we were both fascinated by how far apart we lived and how large the world is, yet we somehow found each other.  I thought creating a map pillow with a small symbol of where we both are today would be something that Rem would love.

I started by finding a map of the world that I liked.  Then I opened Picnik {which we all sadly know isn’t going to be around much longer} and added a couple small red hearts on New Zealand and Indiana.

Then it was time to print.  I will admit I was a little nervous about messing this up so I started by testing a plain piece of copy paper first.  I made a small dot in the corner and ran it through so I would know which way to insert my fabric.

Then I printed it on the copy paper to test it, and finally printed on my fabric paper.

Then I referred back to the package directions.

Once the ink was dry, the directions said to peel the backing away.

Aren’t I a good little direction-follower?  The next step was to wash it under running water until the water ran clear.

I grabbed my iron and a towel and ran a dry iron over top to dry it.  It took about 10 seconds to be completely dry.

Then it was time to attach it to my pillow.  To be honest, I would probably do it differently next time.  I think it would have been cool to inset the map into the gray fabric instead of sewing it on top.  You live and learn.  Anyway, I ironed a hem onto the map fabric.

I cut my gray fabric to size and then pinned the map in the center.

And then finished sewing my envelope pillow {can you tell I’m on a pillow kick lately?} and inserted the pillow.

That’s it.  A happy world filled with love:)  Well, at least on my pillow.

And hopefully Rem will love it as much as I do.  I might make one for myself, just so we can match.


Have you ever used photo fabric?  Think you will now?  The possibilities are endless.  You don’t even have to have a fancy fabric printing machine to make your own, unique pillows now!


  1. Love ideia!

  2. Sharon Siebert says:

    Very neat, didn’t know there was anything out there like that! You continue to amaze me! Love ya, Sharon

  3. I noticed you are from Bloomington also, so I thought you might like a onesie I made a few months ago that reminds me of this pillow project:

    You can use any fabric, but I liked the vegetable garden since Indiana is an agricultural state. And of course the design would work easily on a pillow too. :)

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