DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow – Tutorial

Bring an easy-going summer vibe to your front porch with this DIY Boho bleach denim pillow!  The bleached designs and fluffy cotton fringe remind me of music festivals and laid back days at the beach.

This post originally appeared on Bombshell Bling.  

DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow - Tutorial

I made this boho bleach denim pillow to freshen up my front porch, which was in dire need of some design attention.  I added in some new covers for the chair cushions and some potted plants to finish it out.  Now my porch has an updated summery look!

DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow - Tutorial
I started my boho bleach denim pillow with some wonderful denim fabric that someone gifted to me a while.   You can’t beat free!  I was able to use the denim – along with a bleach pen – to create a custom fabric design for these Boho accent pillows.
DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow - Tutorial

Read on to see how to make a DIY Boho bleach denim pillow!

I love how the design on the pillows coordinates with the print on the pillow covers.  And can we talk about that fringe?  I bought some for this project and loved it so much I bought more to finish off a tie dye beach blanket that I made for my daughter.  Tie-dye gives the fringe a whole new look!

The bleached design is easy to create, but it does require some lead time.  It takes several hours for the bleach to do its magic, and then you’ll need time to wash and dry the fabric.  I made my bleach design the night before I planned to sew the pillows.  Luckily, the pillow covers themselves are easy to sew, so once you’ve got your bleached denim fronts you can sew them up in 30 minutes or less.

Supplies (for each pillow)

Denim:

– 1 piece, 13” x 17” (pillow front)

– 2 pieces, 13” x 11.5” (pillow back)

12” x 16” pillow form

26” cotton fringe trim

Bleach pen

 

Make the bleach design

Before you start your bleach design, lay out some old newspapers, paper grocery sacks, or other scrap material to protect your work surface.  I actually used an old piece of posterboard.

Lay the 13” x 17” denim piece (pillow front) out on your work surface.

Use the bleach pen to create a simple geometric design down both of the short edges.  Scallops, zig zags, dots, and stripes are all good shapes to work with.  There are no do-overs with bleach, so plan your design out ahead of time.

DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow - Tutorial

Let the bleach set for at least an hour.

DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow - Tutorial

When it has bleached out to the color you like, rinse the bleach out with cold water.  Then, wash by hand with detergent.

Let your bleached fabric dry.

Some things to keep in mind when creating your bleach design:

  • Bleach reacts differently to different dyes. Test the bleach on a scrap of your denim to be sure that it bleaches out to a color you like.
  • The bleach will bleed out a bit so don’t create super detailed designs.
  • Don’t expect perfection! The bleach might come out a little blobby from the pen – that’s okay, that’ll just give the design charm.  I had a huge blob come out on one of my designs, and I was convinced I had ruined it.  In the finished product you can hardly notice it.

 

Sew the pillow cover

Now that you’ve got your pretty custom bleach dyed denim front, let’s sew it into a pillow!

My fringe trim had some extra detail that frayed when cut, so I had to hem the ends.  If your fringe frays like mine, cut it into 2 13” lengths, fold ½” to the back at the ends, and stitch in place.  If your fringe doesn’t fray, you can just cut 2 12” lengths.

DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow - Tutorial

Baste the fringe trim to the ends of the pillow front with ¼” seam allowance, centered across the 13” sides with fringe right sides together.

DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow - Tutorial

To keep fringe from getting sewn into the side seams of your pillow, you may want to pin the fringe back at each side away from the edge of the pillow.

Take one of the pillow back pieces and fold one 13” side ½” to the back and press.  Fold another ½” over and press again.  Stitch close to the folded edge to create a double fold hem.  Repeat with the second pillow back piece.

DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow - Tutorial

Place the pillow back pieces on the pillow front, right sides together and raw edges aligned.  There will be a section in the middle where the back pieces overlap.  That is good.  We want that to happen.

DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow - Tutorial

Sew around all 4 sides with a ½” seam allowance.

Clip corners and turn right side out.  Insert pillow form through the overlap in the back of the pillow cover.   You’re done!

DIY Boho Bleach Denim Pillow - Tutorial

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