house pillow diy how to

I literally have the slowest internet on the planet.

Maybe even the universe.


In the time I spend waiting for pictures to upload, e-mails to download, blog posts to pull up, trying to read posts….

….I could have written the sequel to war and peace.

And even with the slowest internet on the planet, it only took me thirty minutes to make this pillow.

Easiest. DIY. Ever.

Need a present idea for the house (or the person) who has everything?

This is the project for you.

make a pillow of your home

This is such a fun way to personalize a gift.

What about a house or farm that has been in the family for generations?

What about a newlyweds’ first home?

What about a lake house or beach house or tree house or house that has special meaning?

Why not make them into a one-of-a-kind-special-you’ll-look-so-creative-and-amazing-and-it-will-only-take-you-thirty-minutes kind of gift?


To begin you will need to start with a picture of the house.

This was a picture I took earlier this year.

Back when the trees had leaves.

Thistlewood watercolor image

Using the Waterlogue app on your phone make the picture look like this.

If you don’t have an i-phone or i-pad you can also use PicMonkey.

Using the free version click on the second tab and then click on Posterize.

It creates a very similar effect.

supplies for project

After you transform your photo, you want to print it out onto a piece of transfer paper.

I’m transferring it to a cream pillow case (I found these at IKEA), so I used the light transfer paper.

You can find this paper at Wal-Mart or craft supply stores.

house picture diy

After you print it out it will look like this.

You can trim it to fit if there are any edges without printing on them.

Then flip it upside down and iron onto your pillow.


Follow the directions on the package.

Make sure you turn OFF the steam function and make slow 20 second passes over your paper.

Repeat until the paper has adhered to your pillow.

house pillow diy project

Let paper and pillow cool for two minutes.

Then slowly remove paper backing.

It’s almost like Christmas.

The image appears right there on your pillow.

house pillow diy

Here’s the finished pillow.

My house smiled and told me thank you.

Now I’m off to wait on a few blogs to load. 🙂

PS  Happy day and CONGRATULATIONS to Barbara Thiessen on winning the candle prize package!

PPS  If you missed the candle giveaway, but still want to order one….we just re-stocked them in the shop. 🙂

I also just posted some fun last minute Thanksgiving table fluffing tips over on the Lamps Plus blog today.  You can check them out here.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    I absolutely love this! Your blog is one of my favorites- I really enjoy your sweet posts, lovely photos and your great sense of humor! All the uploading time it takes to create your blog is totally worth it! :)

  2. Image for Sherry Sherry

    I have to walk down the road past my nearest neighbor to send text w/pic. Love your comment about war and peace.

  3. Image for mary beth mary beth

    Pinning for later. I think I'll do this with my daughter's pretty rental house and when she and her boyfriend (they live together) get engaged, I'll give as an engagement gift. Memories! Thanks so much Karianne for the tutorial.

  4. Image for Teri Teri

    This is a FAB gift idea. I plan to try to do one for my sister and her husband, who have spent the last 15 years restoring their old Spanish house. Now I hope it's as easy to do as you claim it will be :) Thanks!!

  5. Image for Leslie Leslie

    My daughter and son-in-law just bought their first home- this would be a darling Christmas gift. The app makes an unremarkable home, 2 story brick colonial, remarkable! Love this idea!! Thanks your posts AND your sense of humor too!

  6. Image for Karen Karen

    Hi KariAnne! What an awesome idea! I love it and soooo totally doable! I do have one more idea on this - use your computer's feature to "flip" the image so when you print it and turn the image over on the transfer paper you actually have it facing the right way - so many farm houses have a multilevel where the left or right is two story and the other end is a one story so the picture will match! :)

  7. Image for michele michele

    the pillow is lovely....I just wanted to write and let you know how much I look forward to reading your posts...they can always make me smile ,just wanted to say thanks!

  8. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    Totally a great idea. I will have to do this for Christmas gifts. Would even be good with family pictures or Family Reunion gifts…Thanks!!! Love your house too.

  9. Image for Barbara Bussey Barbara Bussey

    That is so cool! I have had a package of this kind of transfer paper for about five years, wondering why I had it. Now I know! Hope there isn't an expiration date on it!

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Carol, I've flipped it with the printer before and I've flipped it as an image box in Word. I found this article that explains several different ways: Hope this helps! karianne

  10. Image for Susan Susan

    Oh, this is truly beautiful, KariAnne, and I like that it is simple enough that even I might not be able to screw it up...we shall soon see...hehe! This will actually make a really awesome gift for my best friend who will be moving from his longtime abode next summer...a kind of daily remembrance of the old homestead, you know? If I had a home as beautiful as yours, I'd be transferring its picture onto everything I own...seriously!

  11. Image for Stephanie Ray Brown Stephanie Ray Brown

    Love this and hope to do with Memory Keeper Farm. Still need to explore Picmonkey bless you for mentioning it! My internet matches yours!! So funny!!! That is why I got to bed get up at midnight to do blog seems like it is a bit faster then! Bless you for all you do despite Internet ills sweet girl! Enjoy that sunshine today!

  12. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Well, even though you have the slowest Internet in the Universe you still manage to get done more than ten. You are just a dynamo!! I love the idea -- what a great present to give or to make for yourself. I guess you're like the Energizer bunny -- your ideas just keep going and going. Sending big hugs!

  13. Image for Jessica Jessica

    This is the cutest idea ever! I have done the heat transfers before, but turning them into a watercolor of your home is just adorable. What a great holiday present for family. I might be making one of these for my grandmother of the house she grew up in!

  14. Image for Mary Ferguson Mary Ferguson

    great idea, thank so much for the DIY instructions. Perfect for the person that has everything. Have a great weekend. Mary

  15. Image for lisa at celebrate creativity lisa at celebrate creativity

    Hi Karianne, beautiful gift idea. This reminds me of our watercolor picture framing you did a while back. I think this would also be a lovely idea to apply to a canvas tote and fill it with house-warming gifts for a new (or old) homeowner too. Nice. Enjoy your day!

  16. Image for Pam Clark Pam Clark

    JoAnn Fabrics carries a paper backed fabric in standard 8 1/2 x 11 that you can run through the printer and skip the iron. You just peal the paper off after it's printed and proceed. I made a coordinating fabric border to make my pillow bigger than the paper sized piece of fabric. And I LOVE waterlogue!

  17. Image for Marie at The Interior Frugalista Marie at The Interior Frugalista

    Oh my goodness KariAnne, thanks to you I now have the most fabulous gift idea for my son who built his first home this summer and a friend who is saying goodbye to her home of 20+ years as they retire out-of-province. Thank you so much for the inspiration!!!

  18. Image for Beth Beth

    A suggestion is to flip the image horizontal to make it appear as you see the house/image. If you don't flip then it will look backwards, especially if you have any numbers or letters. I love the suggestion of PicMonkey posterize. I use picMonkey all the time but haven't used that feature. Fabulous idea!

  19. Image for Patricia Krank Patricia Krank

    I've played with my Waterlogue app but I've never created a beautiful pillow like yours! Oh the possibilities! Right now I'm thinking that I might grab my dogs for a photo shoot and have their portraits on pillows for the couch in the den. You are brilliant my friend. Blessings, Patti

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