Make : Vintage French Fabric Cushions

I love hunting around in the French brocantes for vintage French style fabrics and white linen sheets are my all time favourite finds. If you like a rustic French interior then these easy to make slip covers are an ideal upcycling project for your old sheets to bring a little cottage charm to your decor. This project assumes you are already ok with making simple things on your sewing machine like pillow cases, here’s how I made these in four easy steps…

1. Choose A Pretty Stencil

French style fabric stencils

I was given this lovely Annie Sloan stencil at Christmas and couldn’t wait to try it out at home. Cut your fabric to size, hem and then add masking tape to the edges of the stencil before you start blotting on the paint. If you’re making a pillow back, make sure you cut the back piece large enough to make room for the opening. For a fab tutorial on sewing basic cushions see here.

2. Dampen the Fabric

Painting Annie Sloan on fabric

This is a really important step when you paint on fabric with Annie Sloan chalk paint or any other acrylic based paint. I use one of these Evian facial mists this time and found this gave just the right amount of water so that the paint can soak through the layers of the fabric. The problem with skipping this stage ( I have no patience either ) is that the fabric just sits on the top so when you wash it, it fades dramatically or even comes off altogether. So, listen up – do this stage without fail!

3. Apply the Paint

Louis Blue Annie Sloan on fabric

I chose to use Louis Blue by Annie Sloan which is a lovely fresh cornflower shade of blue for my cushion. It’s a really versatile colour and looks quite different on fabric than wood or plastic when you finish it with the dark wax as you can see from this enamel light shade I recently painted…

Original French enamel lightsPainting light shades with Annie Sloan paint

More about that soon! So, using the least paint possible, dab onto the stencil, allow to dry and repeat.

Painting fabric with Annie Sloan paintThen, take a piece of greaseproof paper and once the paint has dried, place the paper over the newly painted stencil and iron on the paint. It’s best to turn off the steam function on your iron for this and press the fabric rather than iron as such.

4. Sew your Cushions

Painting vintage French linen with Annie Sloan Paint

I added a zip at the bottom of my cushions but I hate putting them in ( skills way beyond me ) so I would recommend making just a pillow back on your cushion – much easier to get the cushion pads in and out for washing etc. For a great sewing tutorial see the beginning of this post.

Et voila…

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