DIY Watercolor Sharpie Pillow

DIY Sharpie Watercolor Pillow

Please bear with me and my bird obsession.  I had so much fun playing with Sharpies and alcohol.  Rubbing alcohol that is.  Funny aside, I went out for a drink with another mom the other night.  Between the two of us we spent $23.50.

I feel like by the time I had figured out the best ways to do watercolor with Sharpies and rubbing alcohol, I had run out of pillow space to play on.  Truth be told, this pillow isn’t my favorite thing ever, but it was very fun to make.

Here’s what you need:

Sharpie Watecolor Materials


Rubbing Alcohol


Makeup Sponges (the triangle ones)

Plain white pillow (like what you would use as an insert)

Step 1:  Practice.  I used a papery, plastic backed table cloth to practice on.

Step 2:  Choose your favorite method of applying the Sharpie color to your practice surface.  First I tried drawing a design (a bird) onto the practice surface and then dabbing it with an alcohol soaked Qtip.  You will notice as you practice that when you dab the alcohol onto the material, the color spreads. Keep that in mind as you are dabbing.  You don’t want to dab right up to the edge of your design if you don’t want a lot of bleeding past your outline.

Bird Collage

When you are done with the general shape of the birdie (or whatever you choose to draw!), you can add some detail with your black Sharpie.

Birdie Closeup

The second method I tried for applying the sharpie color to the pillow was different and a lot more fun.  I used the makeup sponges.  I dabbed the flat rectangle end of the sponge with the sharpie, then I dipped that into the rubbing alcohol.  That’s how I got the overall watercolor effect on the entire pillow. Once the sponge was saturated with color and alcohol, I dapped and swiped it onto the pillow. This took a lot of Sharpie color and a lot alcohol, fyi.


If I were to do this whole project again, and I might!, I would have used this method to draw the birdies and then outlined the details with the black.  I think I would have preferred the look of that.  Maybe I’ll do an update!

Step 3:  Take the plunge and start painting on the pillow!  Map out approximately where you want your designs to go and just jump in.  Don’t forget that as you dab with the alcohol that your color will start to bleed outward, so if you don’t want a lot bleeding over your outline, dab towards the middle of your design.Bird Pillow with Sharpie and Rubbing Alcohol

You *could* stop there and not do the whole watercolor all over effect.  But if you are like me and you just don’t know when to say when, start dabbing the pillow using the makeup sponge method!  I will say that the all over watercolor effect did hide some of my little mistakes with over-bleeding.

Step 4:  Pop your pillow in the dryer to set the color.

That’s it!  I would so much love to see what someone else comes up with for this!  If you try this, please send me a pic of your finished DIY Watercolor Sharpie Pillow!






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