Friday, August 19

DIY Mud Cloth Pattern Pillows

Hi all! I'm enjoying having this extra post per week as it means I get to share all the fun little projects I get up to between illustrations. 

Seeing at it's the summer holidays, I've been anticipating a visit from some of my family who would otherwise be at school and have been prettying up our spare room ready for their arrival. I've gone for a vibe that's completely different to the rest of the house and made it a bit more fun (sorry Sam... we're fun but we're not 'teenage' fun). I've gone heavy on the Pinterest inspo with all-white decor and pops of girly colour. One super Pinterest-y decor feature that I've had my eye on recently has been the very trendy and versatile Mud Cloth Pillow Cases that seem to be popping up all over the place. I couldn't find a set that weren't £45 apiece and so decided to DIY some of my own!

First and foremost I just want to say... Obviously, if you can, please do support the African artisans who work tirelessly to create their beautiful bespoke cloth. Their creations are pieces of art. Mine are nowhere near that level (I did initially try and embroider mine but very quickly gave up), and although they're hardly comparable it's always good to remember the originals and credit the inspiration. Anyway!

1 - Source 2 - Source 3 - Source 4 - Source

These beautiful authentic mud cloth pillows were my inspiration and so with a head full of inspo I set to task.

Firstly, I needed some plain white cushions. I bought these from Dunelm, and they did the job as they were only £3.99 and they came with covers and inserts. If I were to make them again, I would probably make the effort to track down some undyed linen covers for a more authentic look, but I wasn't sure it was going to work out anyway and was in a rush to get the pillows done before my guest arrived. Another idea would be to dye the bleach-white fabric a more natural hue if linen covers wound up being hard to come by. A quick pink rinse or even a tea staining would probably have taken the edge off the blinding white.

The other supplies I scavenged together were:  A new dish sponge, a pen, a pair of scissors, and fabric paint. This Dylon one was really easy to use, dried quickly, and was easy to set in place. I've not washed the pillows yet so we'll see whether the colours run later down the line, but for now they seem pretty secure.

I had read a few tutorials online and seen several people using a carved-out sponge (or potato) to make their print and so for the first pillow I gave that a go. For me, the results were a bit too 'freeform' and so I had to go and fill in quite a bit and define the shapes. For the second pillow, I just went in with a square-tipped brush and was able to achieve a lot more precision whilst still giving scope for some artistic defections. 

Left- Sponge, Right - BrushOverall, I think they're quite cute. The pillow I dislike is the one that everyone else seems to prefer and so I can't complain. It was a quick, fun DIY that took probably 15 minutes from start to finish (if that), and it's opened a realm of possibilities for me to consider in the future. Definitely worth a go :)
Until next time, sweet dreams!Steph


  1. Ahhh these are so lovely! Even better than your inspo if you ask me :) Glad you commented on my blog so I could find you!

  2. Hooray!! Haha we've been all over each other's social media today, I'm happy I found you too 😘😘

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