City Lifestyle

DIY Sharpie + Rubbing Alcohol Pillowcases

Get Creative with Colors, Texture and Line Thickness

Article by Audrey Kuether

Photography by Audrey Kuether

I needed some new pillows, but struggled to find the colors and designs I was looking for, so I decided to make my own. This DIY sharpie and alcohol pillowcase is a super fun, easy, and affordable project.

I’ll walk you through the steps. Let’s go!

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Gather your supplies:

  • Permanent markers (from your local craft store)70 percent isopropyl alcohol
  • Spray bottle (not required)
  • Cotton pillow cases – I used these smooth ones and these textured ones and they both worked very well
  • Pillow inserts (I used extra pillows I already had on hand)
  • Ruler (not required)
  • Iron or dryer (to set the color)
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1. Plan your design. I’ll start off with a simple dot one. You simply make dots all over the pillowcase. The dots can be any size, but the larger they are the more the color will spread. I’ll show you a larger dot option next.

2. Once your pillow case is covered in dots, simply pour your alcohol on the dots. The color immediately starts to spread and spreads more over time. TIP: You’ll want to put down some foil or another item to protect your countertops from the permanent marker.

3. Once the pillow case dries (usually in about 2 hours) you’re done, but for this one I decided to add more dots in different colors to see what would happen. I added dots in a turquoise and a dark blue color to the bottom of the pillowcase, and then poured more alcohol on them exactly as I did previously.

4. I let dry and then once I was happy with the design, I ironed the pillowcase. The heat from the iron sets in the color and gives you the ability to wash them in the future with less bleeding.

Here’s how they turned out. As you can see, the ink in the dots really spreads out over time, and one spread out so much it took on the appearance of flowers. So fun! 

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Now it’s time for one of my favorites…in more of an organic batik look.

1. Take a ruler and draw 4-5 vertical lines—they don’t have to be perfectly spaced. Next draw four to five horizontal lines. I intentionally let my marker sit on the fabric in some areas to mix up the thickness of the lines and to make it more organic and less perfect feeling.

2. Now you will want to draw angled lines in each square. I started off drawing a line going one direction, then alternated directions until each square was filled. Again, these shouldn’t be perfect lines (unless you are wanting that look).

3. For one, I used a spray bottle full of alcohol for a different look. Dumping the alcohol makes the ink spread much further and lightens the color, and spray is a little less dramatic. Spray over all of the lines and set aside to dry. The ink spreads nicely as it dries.

Here’s how they turned out. I absolutely love it, and want to make more in different colors. Another one I did using simple horizontal lines and the alcohol dumping method. Very subtle. I seriously don’t want to stop making them. I need to order more pillowcases, ha!

Follow Audrey Kuether @ohsolovely_blog

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