How to Make a Pillow: Easy DIY Guide for a Cosy Creation

how to make a pillow

Are you tired of generic, store-bought pillows that just don’t match your personal style? Why not create your own customised pillows with this easy DIY guide? Making your own pillow from scratch allows you to choose your preferred fabric, design, and filling, resulting in a cosy addition to your home decor that’s uniquely yours.

In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of making a pillow, from gathering materials to adding personalised touches. Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or a beginner, this guide is suitable for all skill levels.

Key Takeaways:

  • Creating your own customised pillow allows you to match it to your personal style and preferences.
  • This DIY guide provides easy step-by-step instructions for all skill levels.
  • From gathering materials to adding personal touches, this guide covers all aspects of making a pillow from scratch.

Gather Your Materials and Tools

Before diving into the pillow-making process, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials and tools. Here is a list of items you’ll need:

Materials Tools
Fabric Sewing machine (or needle and thread, if hand-sewing)
Thread Scissors
Stuffing material (polyester fiberfill, foam, feathers, etc.) Pins
Optional: decorative embellishments like buttons or embroidery.

Each of these items plays a vital role in ensuring your pillow turns out as intended. It’s important to select high-quality materials and invest in a reliable sewing machine to ensure a smooth and enjoyable pillow-making experience. If using a needle and thread, be sure to select a type and thickness that is appropriate for your chosen fabric.

Choose Your Fabric and Design

Choosing the right fabric for your pillow is key to achieving your desired level of comfort and aesthetic appeal. When selecting your fabric, consider factors such as durability, texture, and colour. If you’re unsure which type of fabric to choose, consider consulting with a sales representative at your local fabric store.

There are many design options to choose from when making your pillow. Consider adding an embellishment to your pillow to make it unique and reflective of your individual style. Consider using patterned fabric or adding buttons or embroidery to your pillow for an added touch of personalisation.

Before making your final decision, make sure to take into account the intended use of your pillow. For example, a pillow used primarily for decoration does not necessarily require the same level of durability as a pillow used for sleeping.

Overall, taking the time to thoughtfully choose your fabric and design will result in a beautiful and personalised pillow that will add a cosy touch to your home.

Measure and Cut the Fabric

Now that you have chosen the perfect fabric for your pillow, it’s time to measure and cut it to the desired size and shape. Take a measuring tape and measure the length and width of your pillow, adding an extra half inch to each side for seam allowance.

Using fabric scissors, carefully cut the fabric according to your measurements. It’s important to cut straight lines and precise shapes to ensure your pillow looks neat and professional. You can use a ruler or a fabric marker to mark the cutting lines beforehand.

Pro tip:

For a fluffier pillow, cut two identical fabric pieces and sew them together, leaving a small opening to turn the pillow right side out and stuff it. This will give your pillow a fuller, more plush appearance.

Sewing the Pillow

Now it’s time to sew the pillow together! First, make sure that the fabric is facing each other with the right side of the fabric on the inside. Pin the fabric together, leaving a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Next, using either a sewing machine or hand-stitching, sew around the edges of the fabric, leaving a gap of around 6 inches for stuffing. If you are using a sewing machine, use a straight stitch and double stitch at the beginning and end of the seam for stability. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching to make sure it’s secure.

After you finish sewing, trim the excess threads and turn the pillow outside in. Smooth out the corners for a neat finish.

Now it’s time to stuff the pillow!

Pillow Sewing Tip:

When stuffing the pillow, make sure to fluff and distribute the stuffing evenly to avoid lumps or bumps. You can use a wooden dowel or chopstick to help push the stuffing into the corners and edges.

Stuffing the Pillow

Now it’s time to add the stuffing to your pillow. You can use a variety of materials such as polyester fiberfill, foam, or even feathers or down. Make sure you choose a filling that suits your comfort level and desired firmness.

To achieve an evenly distributed filling, start by filling the corners of your pillow first and then slowly work towards the center. You want to avoid overstuffing, as it may cause the pillow to become too firm and uncomfortable. On the other hand, underfilling may cause the pillow to lose its shape and support.

Once you’ve added enough filling, it’s time to close the opening. Carefully fold the edges of the gap inward and stitch them together using a needle and thread or a sewing machine. Be sure to reinforce your stitches to keep the stuffing secure inside the pillow.

Tip: If you want to add a decorative closure, you can sew a zipper or buttons to the opening of the pillow instead of closing it entirely. This will allow you to easily remove the stuffing for cleaning or adjustment.

Closing the Pillow

Now that your pillow is fully stuffed, it’s time to close the opening. You can do this with either hand stitching or a sewing machine.

If you choose to hand stitch, use a needle and thread and carefully sew the opening shut with small, even stitches. Alternatively, if you have a sewing machine, carefully sew the opening shut with a straight stitch. Remember to reinforce the stitches at the beginning and end to prevent the thread from unraveling.

If you want to add a decorative touch, you can use a zipper or buttons to close the opening. Simply sew the closure onto the opening of the pillow before stuffing it, and then close the zipper or button once the pillow is fully stuffed.

Adding Personalized Touches

Now that you’ve learned the basics of making a pillow, it’s time to make it uniquely yours! Adding personalised touches to your pillow is a great way to showcase your style and creativity. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Monograms: Add your initials to your pillow using embroidery, fabric paint or applique. Choose a font and thread colour that matches your decor.
  • Patterns: Create a one-of-a-kind pillow by using a unique patterned fabric, such as floral, animal print or geometric shapes.
  • Embellishments: Add details like buttons, beads, and tassels to give your pillow a special flair.
  • Photos: Use a transfer paper or fabric pen to print a decal of a favourite family photo or image onto the pillow.

Remember, the possibilities are endless! Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different techniques and materials. Your personalised pillow will be a reflection of your creativity and style.

Finishing and Care Instructions

Once your pillow is complete, it’s important to give it a final touch to ensure it looks its best. Trim any excess threads and use an iron to press the seams for a polished finish.

It’s also important to take care of your pillow to ensure it lasts for years to come. Depending on the fabric you’ve selected, you may need to clean it gently by hand or in a washing machine. For spot cleaning, use a damp cloth and mild detergent to gently remove any stains. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as these can damage the fabric or stuffing inside.

To maintain your pillow’s shape and firmness, it’s a good idea to fluff and rotate it regularly. This helps redistribute the stuffing and prevent it from clumping together in one area. If you’ve used natural materials like feathers or down, consider placing the pillow in the dryer on a low heat setting with a clean tennis ball. This can help fluff up the stuffing and restore its shape.

Additional Pillow-Making Inspiration

Congratulations on mastering the art of making your own pillows! Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to get creative and experiment with different designs and techniques. Here are some additional pillow-making ideas to inspire you:

  • Try using different fabrics, such as velvet, faux fur, or even recycled materials like old T-shirts or denim.
  • Experiment with different shapes, such as circular, rectangular, or even animal-shaped pillows.
  • Create custom patterns or designs using fabric markers, stencils, or stamping.
  • Add decorative elements, such as tassels, pom-poms, or beads.
  • Make matching sets of pillows using coordinating fabrics or designs.

Remember, the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating your own custom pillows. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try new things!

Create Your Perfect Pillow Today!

Congratulations! You now have all the necessary knowledge and tools to create your very own cosy and personalised pillow. Making your own pillow is not only a fun and creative activity, but it also allows you to express your unique style and preferences, as well as saving you money compared to purchasing a store-bought pillow.

Follow the step-by-step instructions outlined in this article and experiment with different fabric types, designs, stuffing materials, and embellishments to create your perfect pillow. Remember to take your time and pay attention to details to ensure a professional-looking finish.

Additional Pillow-Making Inspiration

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making pillows in different shapes and sizes? You could make a heart-shaped pillow for Valentine’s Day, a star-shaped pillow for Christmas, or a floor pillow for comfortable seating.

You could also experiment with unconventional materials like recycled fabrics, burlap, or even old t-shirts to create a unique and eco-friendly pillow. The possibilities are endless!

Don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine through and have fun while making your perfect pillow.

Once your pillow is complete, remember to properly finish it by trimming any excess threads and ironing the fabric to enhance its appearance. Follow the care instructions provided in this article to ensure your pillow stays clean and fluffy for years to come.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your materials and start making your perfect pillow today!


Q: Can I make a pillow even if I have no sewing experience?

A: Absolutely! This DIY guide is designed to be beginner-friendly, providing step-by-step instructions for making a pillow from scratch.

Q: What materials and tools do I need to make a pillow?

A: You will need fabric, thread, scissors, sewing machine (or needle and thread), stuffing material, and any additional decorative embellishments you desire.

Q: How do I choose the right fabric for my pillow?

A: Consider factors like durability, comfort, and aesthetic appeal when selecting fabric. You can also explore different design options, such as patterned fabric or adding embellishments like buttons or embroidery.

Q: How do I measure and cut the fabric for my pillow?

A: Follow our guide on measuring and cutting fabric. It provides instructions on determining the desired size and shape of the pillow, measuring and marking the fabric, and emphasizes the importance of accurate cutting.

Q: What are the steps involved in sewing the pillow?

A: Our step-by-step instructions cover topics like pinning the fabric, stitching the seams, leaving an opening for stuffing, and reinforcing the stitches for durability. We provide techniques suitable for both machine sewing and hand sewing.

Q: What stuffing options are available for pillows?

A: You can choose from options like polyester fiberfill, foam, or natural materials like feathers or down. We provide instructions on evenly distributing the stuffing, achieving the desired level of firmness, and avoiding overstuffing or underfilling.

Q: How do I close the opening of the pillow after stuffing?

A: Discover techniques like hand stitching or using a sewing machine to neatly close the seam. This ensures the stuffing remains securely inside the pillow. We also mention decorative closure options like zipper or buttons.

Q: Can I add personalized touches to my pillow?

A: Absolutely! We suggest creative ways to add personalized touches such as monogramming, appliques, or fabric painting. Make your pillow unique and reflective of your individual style and preferences.

Q: How do I properly finish and care for the pillow?

A: Our guide offers tips on trimming excess threads, ironing the fabric, and providing care instructions such as cleaning the pillow, spot treating stains, or maintaining its shape and fluffiness over time.

Q: Where can I find additional inspiration for pillow-making?

A: We provide additional sources of inspiration, suggesting exploring different pillow designs, techniques, or even experimenting with unconventional materials or shapes. Keep honing your pillow-making skills!

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