DIY Painterly Duvet Cover.

I’m so excited to introduce our newest contributor, Jackie, from Teal and Lime! What I adore about Jackie is that she has vision. She can look at something vanilla and turn it in to something fabulous. She will be bringing you some really creative projects here on 4men1lady but she also has her own blog that you’ll definitely want to check out as well.  Take it away Jackie!…

Blank Doc for Picmonkey

I am a big believer that you don’t have to spend big bucks to achieve a high-end look in your home. I have been making my own pillow covers for years to save money. I think I just found my newest money-saving tip for a gorgeous house…DIY duvet covers.

All those beautiful duvet covers in the glossy catalogs are so tempting, until you look at the price tag. Duvet covers are seriously pricey, with some costing more than the actual duvet. I was not about to spend over $100 on a duvet cover for my son’s big boy bedroom. Instead, I found a way to do a semi-DIY that is as gorgeous as any duvet cover I could have purchased. The big difference is my duvet cover only cost $40!

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover

We recently rearranged my son’s room to improve the layout. The bed got a cozy new home under the window. It is now visible from the door to his room, and the single thin quilt wasn’t making it look so cozy. The light quilt has been great for summer, but sadly we aren’t too far off from cold days ahead. I want my son to have another layer on his bed to keep him warm and make the bed look great.

My son and I have been using Pinterest to plan out his bedroom makeover. We both loved the West Elm scribble curtain panels. The pattern is fabulous. But, we ultimately plan to install velvet blackout curtains, since the bed is right next to the window. We still wanted to bring in the great scribble pattern, and the duvet cover gave us the perfect opportunity. West Elm’s version costs $99 and is only available in gray. I opted to make a DIY version for less than half the price and in the deep blue color we wanted.

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover


  • Basic white duvet cover – we found ours at Target for about $25
  • 12 oz. (3 bottles) of fabric paint – we opted for Tulip Matte fabric paint in Marine Blue found at Michael’s
  • Foam brushes or small artist’s paint brush
  • 2 mil plastic drop cloth

First, I washed and dried the duvet cover and pillow shams on a normal cycle. This is important to remove any sizing on the fabric, before applying fabric paint.

Before tackling the duvet cover, I decided to try out my paint technique on the pillow shams that came with the duvet cover. I lined the pillow shams with wax paper. This prevents the fabric paint from seeping onto the back of the fabric.

With my laptop open and my inspiration image pulled up, I set out to replicate the scribble pattern on the pillow shams. It is basically rows of squiggles overlapping and criss-crossing each other. I lightly “sketched” the pattern with my foam brush loaded with a small bit of paint. I did this quickly across the entire pillow sham.

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover

Then, I went back over each line with a nice thick, solid paint line. I used a small foam brush to apply the paint. I kept several on hand, because after a while they tend to get floppy and messy. I also found a small 1/2″ angled artist’s paint brush worked well and gave me good control, but took a little longer to paint with.

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover

While painting the squiggles, I found it best to take confident and deliberate strokes. The beauty of this pattern is it’s painterly quality. Brushstrokes only add to the look. Embracing the imperfection and stray brushstrokes allowed me to quickly apply the paint. The pillow shams took me under half and hour to complete.

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover

With my process proven on the pillow shams, I moved on to the big (queen-sized) duvet cover. I am going to admit the big expanse of white fabric made me nervous at first. Thankfully, this pattern is almost impossible to screw up, and taking it in small chunks made it totally doable.

To prep the duvet cover for painting, I lined it with a plastic drop cloth. I cut the 2 mil plastic drop cloth slightly larger than the size of my duvet cover. I slipped it inside, top corners first. I used safety pins to secure the corners of the drop cloth in the corners of the duvet cover. I used additional saftey pins to pin the drop cloth along the sides of the duvet cover.

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover

The pins helped keep the duvet cover in place while painting. I also had to work on my duvet cover over the course of a few days, so being able to move the duvet cover with the drop cloth secured inside was helpful.

I worked my way across the duvet cover in small sections. To get started I kept one of the painted pillow shams nearby for a pattern reference. I used the same technique of “sketching” the pattern lightly first, then going back over the lines with a fully loaded brush.

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover

The duvet cover took me a few hours to complete. Put on your favorite TV show and get painting. I split up the work over two days, doing half the cover each day.

The fabric paint I used required letting the paint to dry fully for at least four hours. After which, I could wash it inside out on a normal cycle. The Tulip fabric paint does not require heat setting. I let my paint sit over night and then washed and dried the duvet and pillow shams on a normal cycle.

This new bed layer completely transforms my son’s room from basic to amazing! Even I want to dive into his bed for a cozy nap.

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover

The DIY scribble duvet looks great no matter how his bed is made. In the summer, the duvet will be folded at the foot of the bed for good looks. Since I only painted one side of the duvet cover, I used an accordion fold to keep the pattern facing up. To do the fold, lay the duvet cover at the end of the bed. Fold the top half over the bottom, then fold the top fourth back.

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover

In the winter, the duvet cover will replace the light quilt on the bed. The quilt can layer on top at the foot of the bed.

DIY Painterly Duvet Cover

When we have extra guests come that need to use my son’s room, I can simply swap out the superhero sheets for something less child-like and our guests can enjoy a beautifully dressed bed.

A big thanks to Michelle for allowing me to share this project with you. Please come on over to Teal & Lime and check out all the other DIY projects I have tackled to make a pretty home without spending a fortune.


  1. cool idea

  2. It looks like something you would buy at West Elm, I would never guess it’s a DIY!

  3. Wow! This turned out great! And only $40! Awesome!

  4. The duvet looks beautiful. I love the painterly quality of it. Thanks for sharing a great tutorial.

  5. Wow, that’s amazing! Great job!!
    Jamie @

  6. I love this!!! It turned out great-what a fantastic idea!

  7. I never would have guessed this was done with fabric paint. Love this idea!

  8. I love how it turned out! I’m impressed and it looks great!!

  9. This is so great! And the $40 price tag makes it even better!

  10. Oh my gosh YES! I have a white comforter that I have been dying to dye but this is such a fantastic option! Totally going for it! Thanks!

  11. Love this project! I can’t believe that was actually painted. It looks straight from a store. This really makes me excited for new possibilities!

  12. Pat Asquith says:

    Excellent job! Want to try this technique with some drapes- inspired!

  13. I would use paint to write out huge quotes on white butcher paper for my classroom walls. I, too, found that the key to them turning out well was to brush confidently! And semi-quickly.

    Wow, you cannot beat the price-tag of this project. We just got a new bed for our guest room and new linens will be in order. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for a duvet I can DIY! Thanks for the inspiration, Jackie!


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