DIY watercolour cushions

Brighten up a couch or chair with this sweet painted cushion DIY. Photography by Nathalie Marquez Courtney, styling & DIYs by Lesiele Juliet

Looking for a new DIY project? Add some colour to a bedroom or sitting room with this DIY cushion.

You'll need:

  • Cushion cover or white fabric (if the fabric is new, wash before use)
  • Spare pieces of white fabric for testing watercolour paints. It’s very important to do some testing and trial the technique beforehand.
  • Watercolour paint set. We used dark blue, light blue, orange, pink, yellow and green from The Works, €6,
  • Assorted brushes
  • Bin bags or a dropcloth for protecting your table or floor
  • Old jam jars, sauce bottles or drinking glasses for rinsing your brushes
  • An iron
  • Top tip: You can use old pillowcases, cut into 50x50cm squares, and simply fill and sew the top across when you’re done.


    Step 1: First, prep your space. Get your containers, water, brushes and paints ready, with one glass of water for rinsing out cool colours (blues, greens etc) and one for warm colours (reds, pinks etc).

    Step 2:For the tie-dye rainbow effect, use circular strokes to create patches of colour, using heavier patches for some and lighter ones for others, adding water to help the colours bleed into each other. Feel free to leave the top unpainted, to show the lovely edge of the watercolour paint.

    Step 3:Repeat the process for the two-tone cushion, using both long and round strokes to overlap the orange and pink paints.

    Step 4:For the ombre style, use just long, straight strokes to create rows of colour, starting heavy and gradually getting lighter and lighter.

    Step 5: After you have finished painting, leave your cushions to dry overnight then iron your fabric on both sides to set the watercolour paint. The heat from the iron will complete the look and tone of your colours – you’ll see a huge difference after this!

    Finished product:

    Photography: Nathalie Marquez Courtney

    Styling and DIYs: Lesiele Juliet

    This article appeared in the June 2018 issue of Irish Country Magazine.

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