Turn A Drop Cloth Into A Rae Dunn-Inspired Pillowcase With This Clever DIY

If you love the simple, rustic farmhouse style of Rae Dunn's artwork, this drop cloth hack is a genius way to create DIY pillowcases without breaking the bank. While actual Rae Dunn pillows aren't too expensive, you can probably make your own for a fraction of the cost. For example, two Rae Dunn throw pillows can go for around $30 on Amazon, while a 4-foot by 5-foot SuperTuff canvas drop cloth is under $8 at Home Depot and should be enough to make at least one pillowcase, depending on the size. If you want something larger, Harbor Freight has a 6-foot by 9-foot canvas drop cloth for $10.

To get that signature Rae Dunn look, you'll want to add simple lettering to the front of your pillowcase once it's finished. This can be easily done with a Cricut machine. Still, if you don't already have one, you might consider embroidering your word onto the pillow, using an iron-on transfer, or even using a stencil and a fabric pen or paint. At Michaels, you can find alphabet iron-on transfers for around $6, allowing you to put any word you want on your pillow and make this project easy. These DIY drop cloth pillowcase shams will look cute and help you decorate your home on a budget

Prepping to turn a drop cloth into a pillowcase

Drop cloths are great for painting and the easiest way to protect your countertops during a kitchen renovation, but the sturdy fabric is also perfect for decorative pillowcases. To start this project, you'll first choose a pillow you want to cover to know the measurements for your case. For a regular envelope-style pillowcase, start by laying your pillow over your drop cloth and covering it with the fabric so that the material overlaps in the center of the pillow. This should show you how wide and long to make your pillowcase. The overlapping material in the middle will become the opening where you insert the pillow. 

Since most drop cloths already have hemmed edges, cut your fabric in such a way that you don't have to sew a hem on every edge. Create a ½ seam along your short edge that doesn't have one already, and lay out your drop cloth. Fold one side over to the center of your fabric and then fold the other side so that it overlaps your first fold in the middle of your drop cloth. Make sure that your seams face out once folded so that you're sewing the inside of the case. Sew along the two short ends of your folded pillowcase, leaving a ½-inch seam. When you're finished, turn it inside out. YouTuber Lorrie Nunemaker has a wonderful tutorial for making drop-cloth pillowcases.

DIYing a Rae Dunn-inspired drop cloth pillowcase

Alternatively, you could cut three pieces of drop cloth to make your envelope pillowcase, but with wider edges for decoration. For the front of the case, cut a piece that is 2 inches bigger on each side than the pillow. This will give you extra room for your edges. Now, cut the back piece to the same height but about 4 inches wider than the front, then cut it again down the middle. This will create two separate pieces that will act as the opening to insert the pillow. Pin the two back pieces to the front, ensuring that the sides are even and the back pieces overlap in the middle. Sew around the perimeter to enclose your pillow case and go around again to create a wide seam (about 2 inches) for your decorative edge. 

Now, you can make your design with a simple word, such as "cozy" or "comfy," to emulate Rae Dunn's style. If you already know how to embroider, this project could be fun, though it will take longer than other options. For iron-on transfers, arrange your letters or image on the fabric and follow the directions on how to heat them. With a Cricut EasyPress, you can make your own heat-transfer design on the computer and use the Cricut to apply it easily. For a stencil, line it up and secure it before applying fabric paint.