Vintage image transfer to a pillow

Vintage image transfer to a fabric pillow Hi there! It’s Shannon from Madigan Made again and after last month’s baby blocks, I thought I’d show you another fun Mod Podge project I made for our daughter’s nursery.

Did you know that it is really easy to make a custom pillow for your home with an image transfer? You can buy a plain pillow cover (or sew your own like I did with my easy envelope pillow tutorial) and decorate it in so many ways. My new favorite approach to decorate a pillow is to transfer a graphic onto the fabric using Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium.

I found this adorable vintage dress image from The Graphic Fairy and knew it would coordinate with some of the other vintage elements that I planned for the nursery. With a few simple steps, I was able to take that image and transfer it onto to my pillow. Let me show you how.

Vintage image transfer to a fabric pillowTransfer a Photo or Image to a Pillow

Supplies needed:

  • Plain, white pillow cover
  • Mirror image photocopy of desired graphic
  • Cutting mat
  • Craft knife
  • Brushes
  • Wax paper
  • Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium
  • Squeegee
  • Sponge or rag

How to transfer an image onto fabric:

Vintage image transfer to a fabric pillow

Get a photocopy of your desired image made. (It is important to use a photo copy of the image OR print it using a laser printer. Ink jet printed images will not work well.)

Use a craft knife and carefully cut out your image. Do your best to trim off any excess white around the edges, otherwise it will also transfer to the fabric.

Vintage image transfer to a fabric pillow

Protect your work space using wax paper. Also, lay a sheet of wax paper inside the pillow cover so that the back of the pillow cover is protected.

Brush a thick layer of transfer medium over the ink on your image and lay the paper glue-side down on the fabric where you desire it.

Smooth out any bubbles in the glue using a squeegee and clean up any of the medium that extends beyond the paper.

Allow the glue and paper to dry for 24 hours.

Vintage image transfer to a fabric pillow

Using a damp rag, moisten the paper. After about a minute, use a damp sponge or rag and gently rub the paper off in a circular motion to reveal the image below. The key is to work slowly and carefully so you do not tear or rub the image off.

Once all of the paper is rubbed off, you can add a pillow form inside your cover and enjoy your newly decorated pillow! The fabric cover can be washed cold and hung dry.

Vintage image transfer to a fabric pillow

The little dress on the pillow is a sweet addition for our baby girl’s room. We plan to use the pillows as décor only and will pull them out of the crib when she is sleeping in there. I love how the dress image coordinates with the other pillows we have in her room.

Madigan made
About the Podger: You might call Shannon the Clark Kent of craft blogging. By day, she is a pharmacist and by night she shares simple ideas for crafts, décor and much more with her readers. She also craves chocolate, loves a thrifty find and tries (often unsuccessfully) to avoid glue gun burns. You can find Shannon on her blog, Madigan Made, and on FacebookTwitterGoogle + or Pinterest, too.


  1. mar says

    Looks gorgeous! One quick question – any thoughts on how to seal it so it can be washed (hand washing is fine, just know that my kids will make washing a necessity!)

    Thank you!

    • says

      You can – just follow the washing instructions on the bottle (which I don’t have here to look at for you).