DIY Project Profile: Pillows of the Western Canon

famous people pillows sized

Little Known Facts:

  • Jane Austen makes an excellent headrest.
  • William Shakespeare provides superior back support.
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky is very on-trend this season.
  • Virginia Woolf compliments any color scheme.
  • Marcel Proust is an inspired conversation-starter.
  • Anaïs Nin will seduce your guests.


Given these truths, turning your literary heroes into trendy graphic accent pillows only makes sense. They’re witty, they’re stylish, and — unlike the authors themselves — they’re machine washable. Make a one for a subtly bookish touch, or design a few and transform your living room into a round-the-clock literary salon.

1. Pick Your Author(s).

James Joyce would look great on your futon, but then, so would Jonathan Franzen. Anyone works, as long as you can find a relatively high-resolution image of them. For the purposes of this project, let’s re-create the Shakespeare pillow, because a classic is a classic.

2. Find Your Picture.

Using our “web photo search” feature, find an image of your literary icon. To get full Shakespearian coverage, we selected “stretch-to-edge,” which ensures maximum Bard.


(Pro tip: Not all images will be high enough resolution to give you best results — but we’ll let you know if the pic you’re picking isn’t working.)

3. Tweak Your Picture.

If your tastes skew toward the contemporary but you still want the black-and-white look, our Aviary photo editing tools can do the job in one click.

4. Select Your Backing Color.

To choose a cream backing or a black backing, that is the question. (We chose cream for Bill and black for Jane. This was a somewhat arbitrary decision, but we feel good about it.)

5. Add to Cart.

Wait. Your pillow(s) will arrive shortly. In the meantime, go read a book or something.


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