DIY Themed Accent Pillows

I like the idea of doing a theme in kids’ rooms without it being overbearing or matchy-matchy.  When I decorated my son’s “big kid” room a couple of years ago, I went with a car/truck theme in blues and greens.  In order to tie the bedding into that theme, I “made” a couple of accent pillows.  “Made” is in quotes because you should know by now that I don’t do well with sewing machines, although maybe that will change in the future!  So no sewing machine required for this project!



  • Premade pillow covers and pillow inserts
  • Printed outline of your choice (train and bus in this example)
  • Contrasting fabric of your choice (navy used here)
  • Iron-on adhesive
  • Needle & thread if finishing stiches desired

First, I chose a couple of pillow covers I liked from Hobby Lobby.  They have an awesome (and affordable!) selection of pillow covers in really cute patterns.  I chose an 18″ x 18″ green chevron and an orange cover for a pop of color.  The green chevron is no longer available, but they have other cute colors like this blue one ($7.99).  You can also buy the inserts there ($9.99).

Next, I searched for outlines I liked and wanted to replicate on the pillows.  Go to and search for “___ silhouette” or “___ outline.”  I went with a train outline and a bus outline (it’s actually fully detailed, but I liked the lines of it the best).  I printed each outline as big as I could on a piece of paper and cut it out.

To prepare the contrasting fabric (mine is navy), I followed the first step of ironing on the iron-on adhesive to the back side (if there is one) of the contrasting fabric.  Heat N Bond works great for this.

Then, I traced the cut-out paper outline on to the contrasting fabric.  Make sure to trace where the Heat N Bond is applied, and keep in mind which way the outline will face on the pillow.  After tracing, I cut out the traced image on navy fabric.

I followed the second set of steps for the iron-on adhesive to apply the navy cut-out to the pillow cover.  Be sure to read the laundering instructions for the pillow cover, and go easy on the heat if needed.  I kept a towel between the iron and the fabric to protect the pillow cover.

It sounds like a long list of steps, but I just put a lot of detail in there.  I promise it’s not that hard, and it looks really cute!

To ensure curious hands don’t try to pull off the outline (speaking from experience here!), you can quickly hand-stich around the contrasting fabric.  That extra detail looks nice too!  My pillows lasted almost 1 1/2 years without any stitching, but once little hands got some corners loose, they quickly started to go downhill.


I just recently hand-stiched around the outlines, and they look good as new!


I like adding hand-crafted elements to the room, and these really round out the bed!

Accent Pillow Collage.jpg