Rome Pillow The Prudent Homemaker

Ezrom and I talked about making this pillow for his room a couple of months ago. He chose the image that he wanted. The little pillow will go on his bed.

He doesn’t know I made it for him for Christmas.



Image from the Graphics Fairy

Iron-on transfer paper

Fabric for pillow and cover (I used unbleached muslin)







Sewing machine

Sewing pins

Paper cutter (optional)


My mom printed up the transfer sheet for me on her ink-jet printer (I have a laser printer and the sheets only work with ink-jet printers). I trimmed around the image with a paper cutter to make perfectly straight lines.

I used the trimmed image to meaure tow pieces of fabric. I put the image down on a double layer of fabric and added a sean allowance of 1/2″ all the way around. I cut the fabric out.

I ironed the image on one piece of fabric. After it had cooled, I put the two pieces of fabric right-side together and sewed them closed on three side. Then I turned the whole thing right-side out. 

The instructions for the iron-on sheets say to wash the fabric after ironing on the image, so I washed it, but I did not put it through the dryer. I let it air-dry for a short while, and then ironed out the wrinkles. I also ironed the open edges along the edge of the image so that they would go inside the finished pillow.

I cut a couple pieces of batting the size of the finished pillow, making each long ebough to cover it four times. I folded the batting over until it was a thickness of 8 times, and I put that in the pillow.

I stitched the open end closed by hand.



 It took me around 30 minutes to make the pillow.




I had everything on hand except for the transfer sheets. These were .84 each for the iron-on sheets. I used batting that I was given from my mother-in-law; you could also use batting from an old bed pillow. The muslin was part of the fabric that I received from my grandmother.


Did you make any gifts today? What did you make?

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  1. What’s the trick to turning it right-side out? I made some iron-on transfer pillows for my kids earlier in the year; turned them right-side out and half the image came away too! I decided in the future I’d sew the pillow on 3 sides, leaving a pocket to fit over the ironing board, and then iron on the image before stuffing it and sewing it shut. It looks like a good-size pillow too; mine turned out pretty small.

  2. What a beautiful pillow. I envision using a monochromatic garden scene to make some throw pillows for family members. Thanks for the great idea. I might do this next Christmas if I can remember!

    This weekend I bought some inexpensive fabric and made 4 more infinity scarves. I now have 8 scarves to give as Christmas gifts for various friends (daughter’s teacher & respite worker) and family members. I hope they like them!

  3. If the transfer is coming off when you turn it, you needed to iron it longer, according the instructions that came with the iron-on paper that I used. It said to test edges and make sure that nothing was lifting up after being ironed, and if any part of it was, then to iron it for longer. For a full-sheet, it is 3 minutes of ironing (on the ones that I bought; each brand may have a different time) and you are to use both hands while ironing, and push down hard while ironing. Also, you don’t use an ironing board with it; you use a hard, flat surface, and put a pillowcase down on top of that so you don’t wreck it. I used my sewing room table.

  4. That pillow is lovely. Will you show us a photo of it on his bed? I remember that you purchased new bedspreads for your children’s rooms.

  5. Beautiful! May I ask why you didn’t do this with CitraSolv? I just (like yesterday) bought the CitraSolv to make a bag for my daughter –let me know if that is not a good way to do it! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  6. I considered doing this one with Citrasolv, but I wanted some of the sepia tone to come through with this, and Citrasolv only works with a laser printer (and I don’t have a color laser printer). I also did it this way because of the tiny details in the image. For other types of transfers, I’ll use Citrasolv again (which is also a much cheaper option).

  7. Thank you so much for the Graphics Fairy link! My daughter had been admiring some vintage Alice in Wonderland patterned pillowcases that cost over $40 at Urban Outfitters – no way that was going to happen! But the Graphics Fairy had the exact same graphics for free! I’m going to make a set of Alice pillowcases for her and some with old London maps for my other daughter.

  8. I’m curious as to how your boys have developed such fine tastes. I think it’s great that they are requesting these types of gifts, and am wondering if there was anything you did to influence their tastes.

  9. Ah, thanks! I made mine back in March and I did use a hard surface; but I’m chronically impatient (hence, me making Christmas presents in March) so I probably didn’t iron long enough; plus we got really cheap iron-on transfer sheets off eBay which are probably not the best quality . . . But they sure are a lot of fun to play with!

  10. Andrea, there are numerous tutorials that you can find through Pinterest, but these were the ones that I referenced when making mine:

    I made two with two different fabrics, one of which was an embroidery patterned shear type fabric with a solid fabric backing which is very elegant. Two were made from a knitted sweater type material that has metallic threads running through it. One that I kept for myself was made from a floral patterned shear material, recycled from a blouse that no longer fit. The others were cotton blend fabrics (a tie-dye pattern and a seersucker plaid). You could easily make them by recycling fabric from t-shirts, old sweaters, dress shirts, curtains, table cloths, etc. You could even use scrap pieces to create a pieces quilt look. There are also many free patterns for knitted and crocheted ones as well, but I’m better at sewing. Hope this helps.

  11. Thank you so much! I had Googled to find instructions, but there were so many tutorials out there that I was overwhelmed. I wanted to find a tried and true method 🙂

  12. Brandy, This is lovely. Thanks for sharing. Thanks to your site and posts, I had my sewing machine repaired and am at the place of sitting down in front of it after many yrs absence. Thank you!!!!!

  13. I need suggestions/instructions on using wax seals. I about caught my gift on fire and could not get enough wax on it to press the seal in. I bought it at Hobby Lobby. Do I need a different wax? What brand do you use?

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