How To : Paint Zebra Stripes on Cushion Covers in Three Steps

After yesterday’s stimulating pictures of zebra print, let’s get down to do some dirty work today. Once I realized, it wasn’t going to be easy to get zebra stripes-printed cushion covers in Bangalore, I set down to painting one of my recycled cushion covers inspired by this throw pillow.

Zebra Pillow

Zebra Pillow

Things you’ll need:

  1. Pencil/chalk
  2. Brush
  3. A small cup/palette if you have one
  4. Plain Cushion cover in any color, preferably old
  5. Water
  6. Some old clothes if this is your first painting project

A few tips before we start the project:

  1. It’s better to use recycled cushion cover for this project because you wouldn’t want to paint odd looking stripes on a Rs.300 cushion piece and fret over it, would you ? I used one of the recycled covers from this project.
  2. A plain cover of any color will be ideal for this project so that you will have a good background to draw the stripes on. Use contrasting colors for the stripe that gels with your decor. For instance, if your cover is white or ivory then use the natural black or orange or yellow.
  3. Fabric paint can be washed with water. Ensure to read the instructions on the bottle and clean the brush using water after use. In order to preserve the colors for future use, close the cap tightly before putting it away.
  4. If the paint is very dilute, then the results will be blotchy. More often than not, you will see patches on the back of the cover as excess paint from the top layer gets absorbed beneath. Get the correct ratio of paint+water by experimenting on a waste piece of cloth. As a precautionary measure, place a cutting board or something hard inside the cover. This will protect its rear side.

Steps to paint zebra stripes on cushion covers:

  • How good are you at free hand sketching? Don’t sweat if you’ve never attempted one. This project doesn’t require you to be R K Laxman. I would suggest taking a printout of the pattern you want to replicate such as this one and practice it on a sheet of paper before attempting on the cloth. Clip the four ends of the cover to a board before you start sketching. If you are proficient in sketching a new pattern, then of course you know how do it the right way :)
  • Draw the outline on the cloth using a pencil or chalk if it’s a dark-colored cover. Carbon sheets are generally used for tracing on other surfaces but I wouldn’t recommend for a light-colored cloth.
  • Once you’ve drawn the outline, paint the region inside the lines with the color you’ve chosen. For best results, mix the color with a little quantity of water and use a flat brush. Paint from the bottle. which is not thinned, is not easy to apply on thick cotton material. Start from the center of the cloth and proceed outwards. Let it dry for a day. Follow up with another coat if necessary.
  • Where you can use such covers:

    1. Furniture in the sit out or balcony in an apartment is one of the most neglected ones. Using such colorful covers will instantly bring life to the place. Add a few potted plants to the area and you have a perfect setting for having the morning cuppa.
    2. You can also use it as a throw pillow in different colors for lower seating arrangements. Best to avoid in formal settings, if the finish is not perfect.

    Cost of the project: Under Rs. 50

    Painting Zebra Stripes on Cushion Cover

    Painting Zebra Stripes on Cushion Cover

    Image Courtesy:

    1. Zebra Pillow – west elm