4th of July Crafts – DIY Stars and Stripes Pillows

4th of July Crafts – DIY Stars and Stripes Pillow

4th of July Crafts are always a very fun and great way for family and friends to come together and celebrate the Independence of our great nation! Learning a specific craft, such as a Do-it-yourself patriotic stars and stripes pillow, is especially nice, as you will be able to replicate this process and product over and over, and actually have a potential heirloom finished good to pass down to the next generation . . . not to mention, a new skill-set to craft a functional and decorative pillow! This will be a skill and new-found talent that you will enjoy for many years to come, and that you will find great enjoyment in.

This DIY feature will take you through the very simple process (and products required) of producing  a stenciled patriotic pillow for July 4th, and which will be a welcomed addition for your Independence Day home and celebration decor.  These 20″ x 20″ patriotic pillows can be used and enjoyed indoors or out, and they will certainly add a nice celebratory flare to the festivities of July 4th! What’s more, these 4th of July Crafts are simple stenciling of a pillow cover, which will allow you to remove the holiday-specific cover once done,  and store it for the next Summer’s July 4th display.

As this simple DIY craft requires only two 20″ x 20″ panel pieces of 10 ounce cotton duck fabric it might be wise to purchase additional yards of this cotton duck as you are undoubtedly going to want to make more pillows once this  first one is completed! You may even decide to pass this along as a gift of some sort. So, if you stock up on extra yardage of this fabric, you will have what is required to make the next ones, such as more gifts, or Halloween pillows and Thanksgiving pillows during the Autumn season.


stars and stripes stencil
Stars and stripes stencil

Supplies and Materials that you will need:

  • White or natural canvas fabric material – 20″ x 20″ are the specs of this pillow
  • Sewing machine (or needle and thimble) and thread
  • Painters tape for setting painting lines
  • Star punch to cut out star designs
  • A 20″ x 20″ insert – Down and Feather Throw pillow insert
  • Foam brush
  • Ruler
  • Sewing pins
  • Iron for heat pressing the canvas fabric material
  • Heavy card stock (this will be your stencil once cut upon)
  • Fabric paint in red, white and blue
  • *Optional –  In lieu of natural or white canvas and fabric paint, you may want to consider a red canvas and navy blue canvas that you would then cut and sew onto the white canvas, and to form the red horizontal stripes and the navy blue square that you would paint your white stars onto. This would eliminate the need to have to paint these colors on your white or natural canvas fabric.
Stars and stripes stenciling
Stars and stripes stenciling


American Large Star Pillow
American Large Star Pillow
  1. With your ruler and rotary cutter, accurately cut (2) 20″ x 20″ canvas fabric “panels” or pieces from your selected cotton canvas yardage.
  2. Make a large star stencil using your star punch and heavy card stock (depending on the size of the central star, you may need to trace the large star on the 10 ounce cotton duck canvas material).
  3. Important note: you’ll want to have the top and the bottom of the pillow begin and end with red striping (red stripes), so make this allowance in your design.
  4. Insert the cardboard piece into and between the cut 20″ x 20″ pieces the pillow covers – this is a critically important step that will prevent the paint from seeping through to the other side of the canvas fabric material.
  5. For this single American large star pillow, attach/ place the painters tape in the shape of a large star.
  6. When you use your foam brush, it is important to dab (and not brush) the paint onto the canvas fabric material. This ideally ensures that the paint adheres and seeps into the canvas tightly woven fibers/ threads.
  7. Using your ruler and pencil, mark every two inches up and along the canvas panel piece. Use your painters tape, and run the tape horizontally side to side along those two inch marks. Start from the top, and paint red, then skip every other two inch white space
  8. Remove tape immediately and let dry completely.
  9. Now, on to the hemming and sewing. First, we are going to start by hemming the back piece/ canvas panel. Take the 20” piece and fold it over 1/2″ on the side, then iron it in place. Do this for all 4 sides of each panel.
  10. Now, to keep the two pieces aligned perfectly on top of one another, pin the two pieces together with your sewing pins.
  11. Once you have folded all the edges over and carefully pressed with the hot iron (and hiding the raw edge inside), stitch the hems all the way down with a 1/4″ seam. If you have a serger, then you can finish the outside edges with it and create a very durable tightly seamed edge. If you do not have a serger, go all the way around with a zigzag stitch.
  12. ***Before finishing the top edge, insert the Down and Feather Throw pillow insert, then complete the final and 4th edge with your serger or zigzag stitch.
Inserting cardboard protects back side from paint seepage
Inserting cardboard protects back side from paint seepage


4th of July Crafts
4th of July Crafts
  1. To produce the American Flag 4th of July Crafts star pillow just like the image above, repeat all of the preparation steps as detailed in the above section for the Patriotic Stars Pillow/ American Large Star Pillow Crafting Instructions
  2. However, in this process, you will paint a 10″ x 10″ navy blue square in the top left corner of the front white canvas panel piece. Then, attach the star stencil that you made in the upper left corner over the navy blue with painters tape.
  3. Then attach painters tape to the rest of the pillow to create the upwards angled stripes.
  4. With your fabric paint, paint the stars white and the stripes red.
  5. Remove tape immediately and let dry completely.
  6. Continue the hemming, sewing and the insertion of the 20″ x 20″ down and feather pillow insert.
Cut out stars from heavy card stock
Cut out stars from heavy card stock

As previously detailed, an optional process to create these 4th of July Crafts patriotic Large Star and American Flag pillows would be to use your red and navy blue canvas, instead of the fabric paint. This would require you to cut five 2″ tall x 20″ wide strips from your red canvas. You would then need to sew these horizontal strips of red canvas on and across the white canvas from panel. You would also need to cut a 10″ x 10″ square out of your navy blue canvas, and then stitch this in the top left corner of the front white canvas panel. You could then paint the white stars onto the navy blue square using your star stencil.

All in all, this is a fun and easy 4th of July Crafts project that will bring enjoyment to all who are involved. Even better, at the end of this process, you will have a finished product to be proud of, to relax upon, and that will add just the right celebratory flare to any outdoor or indoor space… and what better way to celebrate Independence Day than relaxing with friends and family while resting on your new DIY patriotic pillow?!