Shabby French Pillow Tutorial

Shabby French Pillow Tutorial - The Graphics Fairy

Today I’m so thrilled to be sharing this Shabby French Pillow Tutorial submitted by reader Victoria Ramsey!! Victoria is sharing all the step by steps for her gorgeous pillow, you will find her instructions in her own words below. Enjoy!
Shabby French Pillow Tutorial

On a cold windy day in TX I needed a project to keep me inside and occupied, otherwise I would sleep the day away on the sofa. I decided to recover the throw pillows on my bed. I eventually went with a Shabby French style with French typography and shabby flowers. I liked the flowers so much I have used them on a lampshade and hair accessories for my grand daughters. Have fun, this project couldn’t be simpler.


Step 1) I looked through my fabric bin and decided to make covers for the summer pillows on my bed. I chose tones of off white to brown to move my decor thru Fall and Winter. I selected fabric in a linen look-alike for the covers in coordinating colors. I then chose scraps of cotton duck fabric, burlap, twine, and misc. scraps.

Step 2) I love The Graphics Fairy for many of my transfer projects, thank you Karen, so I decided to go for a French theme as Paris is one of my favorite cities. I used several of her French transfers and printed directly onto the fabric. If you have never tried this it is so simple and there are several different techniques. (You can find tutorials for printing on fabric HERE) I like to use the easiest, which is to spray adhesive spray onto a sheet of computer paper, stick it down to my fabric of choice, smooth it out and cut it to the size of the paper. I then insert this fabric adhered paper into my printer. You will have to decide on your printer which way to insert it as printers vary.

Step 3) I selected the designs I wanted (Antique French Letter, French Ephemera and Stamp) chose the size I wanted and pushed print. It was that simple. When I had printed all of the designs I wanted… I got down to sewing. I measured the pillows, cut my fabric, laid it out on my table and laid out my design. I used an iron-on product to adhere the cut out prints to the pillow cover to hold it in place. I machine stitched around the edges to secure it to the pillow cover. When happy with the design I sewed the pillow cover, slipped in the pillow form, and hand stitched the opening closed.

How to Make Fabric Flowers

Step 4) Oh no, this wasn’t enough. I had noticed several shabby fabric flowers online and decided to try my hand at this. I traced a bottle top onto fabric (I used scraps of drop cloth) and cut them out. I chose my fabric for my shabby flowers and ripped it into strips. I then cut these strips into squares of three different sizes, you will need to decide the size for your flowers. I pulled threads on all four sides of these squares to give them a frayed appearance. I folded and pinched the squares into “petals”, fabric glued the tips and adhered them to the circles I had cut from the dropcloth. I layered the petals of different fabric, alternating the placement onto the top of the previous layer of petals. When finished with the flower there is a place in the middle to add a button if you want to finish the flower this way. I just squeezed and glued the last petal in place here

How to Make Fabric Flowers

Step 5) I glued jute twine to the back of the flower to resemble a vine and glued the flowers to the pillow. Voila! I entertained myself for a couple of hours and did not spend a penny. I decided I liked the look of the flowers so I have made smaller ones to attach to barrettes and headbands for my very “girly” grand daughters.

Shabby French Pillow Tutorial

I hope you guys enjoyed Victoria’s fabulous Shabby French Pillow Tutorial as much as I did! I can’t wait to try out her handmade fabric flower technique too!! Thanks so much for sharing this gorgeous project with all of us Victoria!!

Do you have a project that you would like to submit, using one of my graphics? Pop on over to the submission page HERE and you might see your project featured too!


Hello! Are you new to The Graphics Fairy?
Welcome, I’m so glad you’re here! Browse around to find thousands of Stock Images that you can use in your projects or designs! I post new Vintage images every day, as well as projects and DIY’s too! You can subscribe via email so that you don’t miss a single post, just click HERE to sign up! Need more info about my site? Try my FAQ page.


  1. Fabulous, thanks for sharing

  2. I Absolutely LOVED the way your Tres’ La Chic Shabby French Pillows Turned Out !
    This is Fun and Fabulous ! Heck I might just turn my car into this .. I already have curtains hanging inside my Prius… Now I can have it All burlapped and Shabby Flowered n Frayed Out inside adding the comforts of home in the comfort of my Auto ! Thanks Again.. ❌⭕️❌⭕️

  3. Karen, I love this! Thank you, for the inspiration!

  4. Can we get a picture of the pillow in the background too?? Looks very cool….

    • Karen Watson says:

      Hi MJ, these were the only photos that Victoria submitted of her project, so I’m afraid not. It does look pretty though doesn’t it?!!

  5. Beautiful pillow! I love the way the graphics and flower are layered together.

  6. Love it. I’m going to make it this weekend. Thanks for your wonderful inspirational ideas.

  7. Just wonderful work. Love the pillows.

  8. Such wonderful ideas I love anything French

Leave a Comment


The Graphics Fairy is a resource for Home Decorators and Crafters. Find over 4,500 FREE Vintage Stock images, Illustrations, Old Pictures, Antique Graphics, Vintage Printables, to MAKE craft projects, collage, DIY, scrapbooking, etc! DIY and Craft Tutorials, and Home Decorating Ideas are offered as well. Daily vintage image downloads since 2007. Most are Jpegs, or PDFs, but there are some Vectors as well. As far as I know these are all Royalty Free Images that are in the Public Domain. However I cannot guarantee that. Please see my Faq page to find info on copyright laws in your country.