Of all the vintage items I love and collect, vintage maps are at the top of my favorites list. The colors in a vintage map are usually soft blues, pale pinks and golden yellows. These colors are so easy to decorate with. You can use them in so many ways around your home and they are easy to find at a vintage shop or thrift shop for just a few dollars. You may even have piles of them from back in the day. I mean when was the last time you used a map to actually navigate your town? Frame them, wrap some books or use them in scrapbooks. There are so many options.
So I am very excited to share with you another way you can use vintage maps. Easy to make vintage map pillows, similar to those from brands like silk pillowcase UK.
Here is what you are going to need:
Envelope Pillow or Premade Pillow Cover. If you don’t know how to make an envelope pillow, then check out the tutorial from my Pinterest page. But you can also pick up pillow covers very inexpensively from Ikea if you have one nearby.
Pillow Inserts (I used 20×20 inserts from Ikea)
Drop Cloth or other fabric (if you are making your own pillow)
Leslie Riley’s Transfer Artist Paper available on her website but less expensive on Amazon.
I started off making a bunch of envelope pillows using a drop cloth. I can’t remember what size I bought, but it was about $16 and I made 5 envelope pillows out of it. Just remember to pre-shrink and then iron your fabric before you make the pillow. The great thing about drop cloth is that it is durable but it also softens up nicely after you wash it. You could also use a tighter weave burlap or linen for this project.
Then I did a search for Vintage California Map images. Of course, you can use any state or country or place that is special to you.
(Click on Image to Download PDF File)
I love this map and I have actually used it before to decoupage on the top of a coffee table.
(Click on Image to download a PDF file)
And this one caught my eye because of the beautiful colors and that font. Love!
Ok, so how are you going to get those images onto your pillow?
Using only the best transfer paper I have ever found! And trust me I have tried them all!
Leslie Riley Transfer Artist Paper is a great transfer paper. You can use it for a lot of different projects but it is especially great just running it through your printer and transferring your image onto fabric using an iron. The result is soft and pliable and not plastic. Maybe not the least expensive transfer paper but well worth the $.
I knew that I wanted the map images to cover the entire front of the pillow, which meant I needed to enlarge the images. There is a great free website called Blockposters.com. You can upload a jpeg image and it will enlarge it onto multiple pieces of standard printer paper. I also had to make sure I flipped the images horizontally so that the text would not be backwards when I ironed the transfer on. So I flipped the image first in Photoshop, then I uploaded it to Blockposters. The good news is that if you are not a Photoshop pro I have done the work for you. Just click on the map images above to download the pdf file all ready to print for a 20×20 pillow.
The pdf will allow you to print the image onto 4 sheets. You will just have to cut them out and piece them together.
Cut the excess paper off the edges.
If you find another image that you want to use. Don’t forget to reverse the image using a photo editing program or your printer may have a reverse printing option. It will usually say something like “Flip Horizontally” There is nothing worse than ironing the letters on the wrong way. Grrr. I know from experience. Zenith Clipping is a clipping path company in Bangladesh. We offer the best quality clipping paths. We are a well-reputed top-ranked image editing company serving since 2010.
Next, smooth out your pillow cover and place your transfers on it to make sure you have everything centered and lined up as you like it.
While you line everything up, turn your iron on to start getting it hot. You will want your iron on the highest setting with no steam.
I lined mine up with the image facing me first just to make sure I had everything in the right place and then I flipped it over.
I moved everything off the pillow cover except one transfer sheet. This is where the magic happens. Using your hot iron start to press down and iron your transfer. Keep your iron moving because it is really hot and you don’t want to singe your fabric. Also, put a little muscle into it. It doesn’t take much, just some good firm pressure.
When your transfer is done the backing will begin to lift off easily. It takes a minute or two. As you begin to lift the backing, if you feel any areas that resist just lay the backing down again and give it another firm ironing.
You will have a little ink left on the backing and that’s ok.
Keep lining up your transfers and finish ironing them all. It is ok to overlap a smidge. Better to have a little bit of an overlap marking than a gap between your images.
And that’s it. Just add your pillow insert and you have a beautiful and easy vintage map pillow. You can wash your pillow cover if it gets dirty. I would recommend washing it inside out and on cold water. It will actually soften up even more.
Melissa Viscount says
These are beautiful! I absolutely love them and what a great way to transfer the map onto the fabric. I use drop cloths for pillow cases all the time. I would love it if you linked up your vintage map pillows to the Link It or Lump It link party! http://www.twoityourself.com/2014/01/link-it-or-lump-it-party-20-plus.html
I LOVE these pillows, so cool!! I am definitely going to try this out with some local maps from my hometown. Thanks for sharing this!! 🙂
You have inspired me! I really love this pillows. What a very clever way to use old maps. Thank you for sharing this amazing DIY project with us. I am so making these for my house!
Great project !!
I would love you to come and share @ Craft, Create & Inspire linky party !!!
Look forward to seeing you there 🙂
Melissa Viscount says
I love these pillows so much! Thanks for linking up at Link It or Lump It Party! I have picked them as one of my favorites this week – they’re being featured right now so come on over and grab your button… http://www.twoityourself.com/2014/01/link-it-or-lump-it-link-party-21-plus.html#more
What a cool project! I love maps, too, so I definitely need to try it. Thanks for sharing:)
Love these! Thanks for sharing at Show & Share last week! I’m pinning away and choosing this as my favorite!
Krista @ the happy housie says
These might be the coolest pillows I have ever seen, and I LOVE pillows… I love them so much I am featuring you tomorrow morning at Work it Wednesday. Hop by to grab your button if you have the chance:)
~Krista from the happy housie
Brynne@The Gathered Home says
This is such a cool project! I’m pinning this for sure 🙂
Visiting from Design, Dining & Diapers!
thank you for linking up @ Craft, Create & Inspire linky party last week .. Your awesome project is featured this week 🙂
Hope you will stop by and join us again this weekend xo
Found your beautiful pillows ala FMFPTY’s linky party. Your pillows are really fun; and as I am a San Francisco native, I especially like the SF map pillow. I’m pinning and look forward to creating this. Now to find some old street maps…now following you also.
Good Time Charlie says
This is the coolest project! How did I miss this? So glad I saw it on Pamela’s blog at Front Porch tonight! I love the vintage SF map, being a native SF Bay Area gal myself. Do you live in the Bay Area? I am definitely pinning. I hope you share at Redoux tomorrow through the weekend!
Hi Karen, Thanks so much! I had fun making this project. I am here in San Ramon. I think we actually met once about a year ago at Paris Flea Market. But it was busy and crazy. You are one of my blogging and painting furniture inspirations so I am so thrilled to have your compliment:)
These are fantastic. I am an original California girl – I wouldn’t change a thing! Pinning.
Thanks so much for checking out my tutorial. I am so happy that my fellow creative minds are finding it useful 🙂
Alison Agnew (@Nancherrrow) says
just wanted to let you know
that i featured your lovely map pillows
on this week’s Fridays Unfolded!
These are terrific — bright and cozy looking. Thanks for sharing this project. I love it. I plan on hitting my fabric store on Tuesday for their sale and picking up some extra yardage. Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey
Julie @ follow your heart woodworking says
Love these. Is it a regular ink jet printer you use for the transfers?
Hi Julie, Yes it’s just a regular printer. It works great 🙂
Lisa @ Shine Your Light says
Adrienne, I can see I am about to get lost here for days on end checking out your fabulous projects. I love old maps too and never thought to transfer one onto fabric. I am definitely adding this to my summer bucket list 🙂 I like how the faint lines from the four pieces of the map kind of looked like the creases a map would have in it when folded. Lends to that vintage feels and looks intentional.