Silhouette Pillow DIY

This idea arrived in my brain when I was trying to think of a way to introduce a graphic element into my mother’s livingroom.  Who doesn’t love a silhouette? I will say that this is my first attempt at writing a DIY so if you make this and get frustrated with my instructions please let me know! It can be a DIY that turns into a DIT (do it together).

Step one: purchase fabric. Ha. You will need two contrasting fabrics and interfacing. Oh, and thread and piping.

how to make a profile picture into a silhouetteTo create the silhouette begin by photographing your subject in profile. It will help if you can place them against a contrasting background to their skin tone. White works great.

In a photo editing program you will want to tweak the picture:

high contrast

delete the background

darken the subject

to save ink in your printer erase the interior of the silhouette

resize for your purpose


I purchased an interfacing fabric that irons onto one surface (the silhouette fabric). You may choose one that irons onto both surfaces (the silhouette fabric and the pillowcase fabric) or (if you’re crazy) you can choose one that doesn’t attach to the fabric but is simply sandwiched between.

step two in silhouette pillow diyAttach the interfacing (or not) to your fabric and then, using your silhouette pattern, cut it out. My fabric is a cream cotton corduroy.

Using your pillow measurements, cut out the fabric to be used for the pillow. Mine is a black cotton velveteen.

I am making a pillowcase to cover existing pillows but you may choose to make something more permanent with some sort of closure.

Next comes practice, practice, practice. Take a chunk of the silhouette fabric with interfacing and cut some face shaped curves into it then sew it onto a chunk of your pillow fabric using a zig zag stitch. Use a pressure foot that allows you to see the edge of the silhouette where the needle hits the fabric. I used a zipper foot. Play around until you achieve the width of stitch and space between stitches you desire. Practice making those tight curves. Have everyone in your house send good thoughts to you as you maneuver around eyelashes and noses and lips. If those get messed up everyone will think you just sewed a bunch of strangers onto your pillow.

pinning-on-silhouetteDecide where you would like your silhouette to be on your pillow and pin it on using plenty of pins. Take a deep breath and slowly, prayerfully, sew.using zipper foot to sew on the silhouette

a completed silhouette pillow

a pile of completed pillowcases

To make this into a pillow I hemmed the ends that would create the pillowcase, added piping in my side seams and Viola! a beautiful silhouette pillow!

a great Mother's Day diy

pretty sweet!

Guess who knows how to spell “silhouette” now.

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