Stenciled ticket stub pillow cases tutorial


My husband, Scott, and I celebrated our 1st anniversary a few months ago I really wanted to make him something special. The traditional 1st year anniversary gift is paper, so I thought about what I could do with ticket stubs from our Parisian honeymoon. Eventually I decided on pillow cases stenciled with our airline tickets to Paris—this way as we sleep we could dream about flying off to Paris together again (oh the pastries we’d eat!).

This process is a great alternative to screen printing if you don’t have access to that equipment…

copy paper*
scotch tape*
computer with image editing program (like Adobe Illustrator)*
X-acto knife
2 white pillowcases
black acrylic paint
textile medium
medium size paint brush
jar or cup

*If you don’t have any of the first five materials, you can skip steps 1–8 by bringing your ticket stub to a copy center, like FedEx Office, and having them scan and print it to the size of your pillowcase.

1. Scan your ticket stub with a high resolution, and adjust the brightness/contrast levels as needed so you can clearly see all text and the border of your ticket.


2. Open Adobe Illustrator (or your preferred image editing program). You can download a free trial of Adobe Illustrator here.

3. Create a new document the size of your pillowcase, it will be something like 30″ x 20″, but you should measure your pillowcases to be sure.

4. Place your scanned ticket stub image into this new document. In Adobe Illustrator, you can do this by selecting File>Place then choose the scanned file from your computer.

5. Use the selection tool (solid black arrow in the Adobe Illustrator tools window, highlighted below) to rotate and size the ticket image to fill your document.

6. Use the rectangle tool (also in the Adobe Illustrator tools window, highlighted below) to make a solid border around the edge of the file. This is just to use as a guide to line up pages after you print the stencil. You can see the solid black border I added, highlighted in the image below.


7. Print your stencil. Select the “tile” option with a 1 in. overlap (highlighted below). This will print your stencil full size on multiple 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper, like a puzzle.


8. Tape together the pages to create one stencil the size of your pillowcase. The solid border you added will help you align the pages. *Remember, you can skip steps 1–8 by bringing your ticket stub to a copy center, like FedEx Office, and having them scan and print it to the size of your pillowcase.

9. Use an X-acto knife to cut out all of the text from the ticket stencil. With letters that have a “counter” (this is the space inside an “O” or “P”) you’ll have to leave part of the letter, keeping the counter connected to the stencil (see this highlighted in the detail image below). Now your stencil is done!


10. Iron your pillowcases.

11. Center your handmade stencil on the pillowcase.

12. Mix two parts textile medium to one part black acrylic paint.

13. Dip your brush in the paint, then dab onto some scrap paper so there is only a tiny bit of paint on your brush.


14. Holding your brush straight up and down, use a stamping motion to fill in the stencil (rather than a brushing motion). Its OK to not completely fill in each letter, leaving some white space will give a textured/handmade feel.


15. If you’re making a set of pillowcases, repeat all steps for the second pillowcase. If you’re stenciling a pair of tickets from two different people to the same place, your second stencil only needs to be for name and seat number – all other information will be the same so you can reuse the stencil you already made!

16. Let your pillowcases dry completely.

17. Wash inside out to set the paint, and you’re done!

This is a lot of steps, and does take a bit of time, but these pillowcases are a great reminder of a wonderful time in our lives that I get to fondly relive every time I walk past our bedroom. Plus it was fun to see Scott’s reaction when he opened these up—the “how did you do this?” and “they look just like our tickets!” made it all worth it!


My pets refused to move while I was photographing these…

I chose to make pillowcases out of airline tickets, but this concept and process can be used so many ways—concert ticket tote bags, art gallery ticket scarves, movie ticket shirts—what adventures in your life would you want to preserve with ticket images? Share in the comments below!

28. December 2013 by Jessie
Categories: Craft Tutorial | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. these are amazing and so creative! it’s no wonder Scott loves them. i may have to commission you to make some for me :)

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