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How to Make Shibori-Style Pillows (with a Sharpie Shortcut!)

updated Dec 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Hot for Houses)

Shibori usually requires dye baths, lots of fabric manipulation, and often a great deal of mess. Reader Lin of Hot for Houses figured out a way to get the great look of this traditional Japanese technique, without the lengthy process. It’s a quick project to boost your style this summer.

(Image credit: Hot for Houses)

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What You Need


  • A plain white or off white throw pillow cover (like this one from IKEA)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol


  • Sharpie
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Piece of plastic


(Image credit: Hot for Houses)

1. Using your straight edge and pencil, trace a design on your pillow cover. To do a classic Shibori geometric pattern, measure lines equidistant from each other and keep drawing lines across and diagonally.

2. Before you go any further, insert plastic into the pillow case to prevent bleed.

(Image credit: Hot for Houses)

3. Next, use the Sharpie to draw over the lines you just traced.

(Image credit: Hot for Houses)

4. Dip a Q-tip into rubbing alcohol and dab the Sharpie lines to create a blurred effect.

5. Let the pillow case dry.

For a lot more photos, tips and information, head on over to Hot for Houses and say hello to Lin!

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