Craft: stuffed with fun

Turn an ordinary pillow into a special souvenir with this simple iron-on craft.

digital craft- kids' pillow
Digital craft: hand-drawn pirate pillow

By Heather Camlot

What will your children be doing for spring break? Perhaps they’ll be heading to a fun-filled week at camp. Maybe your family will be flying down south for a relaxing beach vacation or will be playing tourists in your own city.

Whatever your plans, turn a holiday highlight into a special keepsake that your kids can treasure for years (unlike the postcards, stickers and novelty toys that will be “lost” in less than an hour).


  • White paper
  • Markers
  • Scanner/printer
  • Cotton or canvas fabric to sew into pillow OR pre-sewn pillow cover
  • T-shirt transfer paper for inkjet printers (available at craft and office supply stores). Be sure to select the right transfers based on the colour of your fabric; light or dark. It does make a difference.
  • Iron with no-steam setting

Step 1: Speak with your kids about the highlight of their break and ask them to draw a picture on white paper to represent it.
Step 2: Scan and save the picture to your computer.
Step 3: Open the image in Word or a photo-editing program and size it to fit your pillow or fabric by dragging the corners. Be sure to flip the image on the computer, otherwise it will appear backwards on the pillow (Picture Tools > Format > Rotate > Flip Horizontal).
Step 4: When ready, do a test-print on regular paper to make sure the size works for your pillow. If it’s not right, resize.
Step 5: When ready, print at high or best quality onto T-shirt transfer paper, following the package instructions.
Step 6: Trim the image as closely as possible. Place the transfer image side down on the wrinkle-free fabric. With the iron set to no steam and the highest cotton setting, firmly press the transfer for the time specified in the package instructions.
Step 7: Let the transfer and fabric cool for a couple of minutes. Slowly peel the paper backing from the transfer. If the transfer lifts, reapply the paper and iron again with a firmer hand.
Step 8: Wash the fabric, sew the pillowcase if following that option, and/or stuff the pillow insert into the case.

Now you have a lovely reminder of spring break for your child’s bedroom or playroom.

First published March 10, 2011, on


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