Lets Start with supplies: -old pillows or pillow forms -plain fabric of some kind -sewing machine +needle and thread -freezer paper -knife and cutting mat -iron -craft paint -textile medium -butterfly, bird, branch, or animal copy of your choice (website link at bottom of this post)
I started with a really old curtain... had kind of a linen texture and my cheapo-used-up throw pillows that probably could have been burned, but they didn't stink:) Since my curtain was a little yellow I tried to give it a more vintage/old look and tea-stained it first. (to do this: take 6-8 tea bags with 10 gallons of water or so depending on the size of your fabric, fill a bucket with really hot water and make a tea bath... remove the bags and soak the fabric over night... then wash on cold and dry the fabric)Next you need to measure your pillows. Mine were 16 inches so I cut 16.5 inch squares. I cut 8 squares and doubled up my layers because I didn't want those ugly stripes coming through. Stacking all four layers for each pillow sew a 1/4 inch seam in 3 sides of the square. Then set aside and get ready to create your pattern/stencil. For this step you will need Freezer Paper (not wax paper), tape, a knife, and mat. The link for the butterfly pattern above is at the bottom of this tutorial. First tape the pattern to the mat and then tape down the freezer paper with the shiny side down. Next, very slowly and carefully begin cutting on your pattern. I only used the general shape of the butterfly and found it was easier to just free-hand the inside... okay, this takes a bit so put on some country music, make some hot tea and enjoy the mindless activity:) For the other wing, un-tape your pattern ( not the freezer paper stencil, set that aside) and flip it over. Tape it down and then place a second sheet of freezer paper on top with the shiny side down... oh and make a second cup of tea. Your almost to the fun part... So you should have two stencils that look like so...
For the next step you will need paint of your choice and textile medium. The textile medium will allow you to wash or accidentally wet the painted area without damaging your design. The textile medium isn't a must for this project because you probably won't be washing your pillows however if you use this technique for a t-shirt or something you can wash it and the paint stays in place... great stuff...sold at Hobby Lobby.
Quickly take a hot iron(no steam) to your pillow case and smooth out any wrinkles.