Transform Your Boring Pillows Into Video Game Pixel Art With This DIY

If you dream about your favorite video games every night when you go to bed, this pixel art pillow DIY is for you.

Mario and mushroom pixel DIY pillow

But before you get started, you'll need some supplies:

  • One pillowcase for each design
  • Fabric paints in vibrant colors
  • Brushes
  • Masking tape
  • A piece of cardboard (about the same width and length as the pillowcase)
  • Scissors
  • A glass of water (for the watercolor tutorial)
  • Tweezers

diy watercolor pillow supplies

You'll also want to use some pixel art as a guide. You can either use the ones I've created below or create one of your own with a tool like Piskel.


Watercolor Pixel Art

With this tutorial you can use water to get a soft effect on your pixel art. Maintaining your image will require extra steps, but it'll be totally worth it.

mushroom pixel art

Once you know what design you want, insert your cardboard into the pillow case. This will prevent the paint from leaking through to the opposite side.

Next, using your masking tape, carefully mask out your pixel art. Use a pair of scissors for extra precision. In my piece, one pixel was about half the width of the tape, but you can be creative to make your designs your own.

outline mushroom with tape

Next, prep your colors. Mix just a drop of paint with a splash of water to get light pastels.

watercolor paint

Next, using your brush, lightly blot the colors onto your image. Use as many or as few colors as you like to get your desired effect.

watercolor painting mushroom pillow

Now, using white paint, lightly paint around just the edges of the tape, creating an outline. Lift the tape using tweezers and fill in the outlines you've created with the white paint.

finished watercolor paint mushroom

Now let the case dry for an hour or two. Remove the cardboard and it'll be ready to go!

finished mushroom pixel pillow diy


Tie-Dye Pixel Art

If you're more into vibrant, eye-catching colors, you'll love this tie-dye inspired Mario pillow DIY.

Mario two step pixel outlines

You'll notice that I created two sets of outlines for this DIY. There will also be two painting steps. Start by creating the main outline on the case with the masking tape.

creating mario outline with tape step 1

Next, carefully lay down the second outline layer (indicated by red in my pixel image).

creating mario outline step 2

This time, use the brush to dab the pure paint onto the image. Be sure not to dilute with water this time! Use whichever colors and patterns you fancy to make the work unique.

painting in mario

Next, carefully pull off only the "red" sections you laid down in the second step. If you peel up too much, you can place more tape to cover those sections back up.

peeling off contrasting color mario

Fill in the newly peeled sections with colors that contrast the surrounding areas. The wilder the colors, the better.

painting mario pillow with contrasting colors

Last but not least, use the tweezers to peel up the rest of the tape outlines you created and the DIY is complete.

finished mario pixel art pillow case

Just let it dry, remove the cardboard and place around your pillow to enjoy.

finished mario pixel pillow diy


Still have leftover fabric paint after doing this awesome DIY? Click HERE to find out how to use it to create an adorable Pokémon pocket tee.