Studio Saturdays: Turn Your Art Journal into Home Decor

I love working in my art journal, and even though I share favorite pages with friends and on social media, most of the artwork never sees the light of day. So when I saw how mixed-media artist Kim Dellow had turned an art journal spread into a pillow, I just about fell over. How brilliant is that, bringing your artwork to life in such a unique way? I knew I had to try it for myself—and the results were amazing.

I asked Kim to write about her techniques for Cloth Paper Scissors, and—voila—her article is in the May/June 2017 issue! “Artful Home Décor” features her incredible process for taking artwork and using a print-on-demand service to make it into a pillow, then incorporating handmade touches to add color, dimension, and texture. Her ideas inspired me to take one of my art journal pages and see what else it could become.

I started with an art journal page that I thought would be a good candidate for a pillow; it had wonderful pops of color and a lot of visual texture I could build on.

Art journal page as inspiration for a pillow
Who knew an art journal page could be used to make a pillow? Not me, until I saw Kim Dellow’s artwork, featured in the May/June 2017 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.

Instead of uploading it to a POD service, I decided to do an inkjet print onto a sheet of Ranger’s Sticky-Back Canvas in white (the sheets are 8 ½” x 11″). Kim’s article includes tons of great tips on working with POD sites, plus helpful information for using photo-editing software to alter your art journal page if you choose.

Art journal page transfered to sticky-back canvas
I thought this art journal page, transferred here to a canvas sheet, would be perfect for a home decor item.

I trimmed the printed sheet and cut a piece of yellow fabric to size, creating a bit of a border and allowing the yellow in the design to pop. I frayed the edges a bit to add more texture. Bonus tip: To make sure the fabric doesn’t fray too much, machine stitch a line of straight stitches close to the edge of the piece. The art journal sheet was sewn to the yellow fabric, again with a straight stitch. Both pieces would eventually be sewn on top of a pillow sham, which I made out of a heavy brushed cotton duck.

Layers for art journal page pillow
The layers for the pillow include cotton duck for the sham, some bright yellow fabric, and the printed art journal page.

The most fun part of this project was incorporating extra touches into the journal artwork. Kim has fantastic, easy ideas for adding fabric, paint, and textured layers, which you must check out. I outlined a couple of the vines and leaves with machine stitches—but think what you could do with free-motion stitching.

Sewing fabric layers for an art journal pillow
I used my sewing machine for decorative stitching and to sew the fabric layers together.

I then added some hand embroidery stitches (satin stitch and French knots) in a few areas.

Adding embellishments to an art journal page pillow
I built up the embellishments, starting with stitching, adding embroidery, and then beads.

Small beads were also sewn on in a few spots. The effect is so cool—the stitching and embellishments add interest and really bring the art journal page to life.

Sewing beads to an art journal page pillow
Small beads were sewn onto the art journal page design, adding extra visual interest.

I made an envelope closure for the pillow sham, overlapping two pieces about 4″. Everything was sewn with right sides together, and the corners were clipped.

Envelope closure for a pillow sham
I created an envelope closure for the pillow sham.

To think that my art journal page can have a second—or third—life, thanks to technology and my creativity, is a pretty great thing. I printed the page on canvas again, and I think I might sew a tote bag or make some fabric tags. Ah, the possibilities.

This project is too great not to try. The full instructions are in the May/June issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, which is all about making the ordinary extraordinary. You’ll find even more clever ideas in these great resources from The North Light Shop!

May/June 2017 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine
Learn how to turn your favorite art journal page into a pillow in the May/June 2017 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.
Art Journaling Exercises video with Rae Missigman
Get great ideas and prompts for exciting art journal pages in the new video from Rae Missigman, Art Journaling Exercises.
Art Journal Jam video with Jodi Ohl
Get the party started with the Art Journal Jam video with Jodi Ohl, and discover great techniques for unique art journal pages.
Art Journal Primer eMagazine
The Art Journal Primer eMagazine shows you creative ways to work with all kinds of media to create stunning art journal pages.


Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques

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