How to Make Thumbprint Design Envelope Pillows {Great Gift Idea}

Thumbprint seahorse pillow1

Hello, Pretty Handy Girl readers! It’s Cristina from Remodelando la Casa once again happy to share an easy and fun project where kids are more than welcome to give a helping “thumb” :)

Thumbprint starfish pillow2 with tag

Envelope pillows are the easiest pillow covers I’ve sewn and let me tell you, my sewing skills are not that good.  A fabric rectangle is folded to create an “envelope”, four simple straight  lines to sew and your cover is done! No zippers, no Velcro, the envelope holds the pillow really well.


  • Fabric (I used drop cloth material), and all the necessary sewing materials.   If you don’t have a sewing machine, this is a project you can put together using Stitch Witchery.
  • Fabric paint (The one used in this project was Tulip Soft Fabric Paint, the colors: Glacier White, Royal Blue and Marine Blue)
  • Contact paper
  • X-acto knife
  • 17″ x 17″ pillow forms

*Pre-wash and iron the fabric


For a 17″ x 17″ pillow insert, use the following dimensions.

Envelope pillow 17x17

Once the fabric is cut to size (18″x 40″), hem the left and right edges.  (Fold  in ½”  twice, as seen in the picture below.  Iron it flat and hem.)  Do the same on the other side.

envelope pillow side hems

To create the opening on the back, fold the left side over and iron.

Envelo pillow first fold

Do the same on the other side.  These folded lines are a good visual point to help you center the design on the front face of the pillow later on.

envelope pillow second fold

Before sewing across the top and bottom of the cover, let’s work on the design (the fun part!)  Print the starfish and seahorse silhouettes. (for these pillows print at 120%.)

starfish and seahorse silhouttes

Place each design on top of a big piece of contact paper, tape it in place.

starfish profile

Using the x-acto knife, cut through the print out and the contact paper following the outline of the silhouette.

cutting starfish profile out

After cutting, peel off the outer piece of contact paper and center the design on your pillow cover.  Press the contact paper firmly all around the design to prevent paint from seeping through.

contact paper silhouete on fabric

Now it’s time to call all those little artists and give them each a set of fabric paint.

kids thumbpainting

The thumbprinting / painting can begin…

thumb painting

…until the shapes are filled.

thumbprint starfish and seahorse

Let it dry according to the paint manufacturer’s instructions.  After the paint dries you can sew across the top and bottom, making sure the designs are on the inside.

sawing across envelope pillowIf desired, wash and iron the pillow covers. Insert your pillow form.

Thumbprint seahorse pillow front and back

Place it on your favorite chair and enjoy!

Thumbprint starfish pillow1

Our pillows are a present for a special person close to our hearts.

Thumbprint pillows with tag-2

Of course, the artists had to sign it, or thumbprint it! Well, we did both!

Thumbprint pillows with tag

Are you ready to give the thumb printing a try?  Kids love it!  Hint, hint… this could be a nice project for Mother’s day.


  ~ Learn more about Cristina ~


  1. That sounds like a really fun activity to do with your kids. It allows them to be creative and help around the house.

  2. Wow! These will go great down here in Tampa! I love this idea!

  3. These are soooo cute! I am so excited, my kids would love this project! Pinning!

  4. Hannah says:

    I loved the idea, but I couldn’t print it out. I clicked on the “Starfish” link but I could only print out a portion of the starfish arm.

  5. Hannah says:

    Thanks Cristina for fixing the link. I look forward to doing this craft with my grandsons.

    • No problem, Hannah. I’m so sorry about that! Have some extra paint on hand (preferably acrylic paint -less expensive-), they are going to continue finger painting after the silhouettes are all filled up! :)

  6. Crystal says:

    I love it!! Such a sweet and memorable gift idea!! Love it!! Pinned it!!

  7. Lady Delores LeBoeuf says:

    Darling idea……so personal and special……..thnx for sharing, Love & Blessings to you/yours

  8. This design is steller! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  9. What a great project and awesome idea for Mother’s Day! These turned out fantastic:)

  10. I love this idea! Such a great project for my two little ones!

  11. How cool are these pillows! I love the idea of getting kids involved in projects like this and the card you created is adorable! Great job!

  12. May I say, love, love, love. Had a a problem though. When I click on for the images, neither one came up. Help!! I am just so excited to do this.

  13. I love this!! I have to do it with my kids.
    I also really like your pillow cover. I normally do envelope enclosures, but not with just one piece of fabric. I usually do it with 3 (1 front, 2 back).

  14. Oh my goodness! I’m really loving these! I’ve not done any of this before, but I’m certainly going to give it a try! How sweet is this going to be to do with my boy next year (He’s just turned 1) Yipee!


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