How To Make A Pillow 🧵 [Simple Guide]

According to research, sleeping with a bad pillow doesn’t only stop you from getting better rest; it also makes us feel more tired. Michael Breus, a sleep expert and also clinical psychologist, says, “pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep but also how healthfully we rest and recharge.”

Since bad pillows can affect the way you sleep, one of the best approaches to enhancing your sleep quality is by regularly changing the pillows (probably yearly or every two years). You’ll agree that even the simplest pillow styles are sometimes expensive to purchase. Since that’s the case, you can always opt for a better option to make your pillows right by yourself.

DIY pillows can save you money and provide a great opportunity to customize them for your design taste. The following will serve as a guide on the various methods of how to make these types of soft, comfortable additions easily.

Materials Needed to Make DIY Pillows

Several different types of pillows exist out there. However, irrespective of the one you’re trying to create for your home use, one thing is sure, and that’s – you need the right materials for the best results.

That said, here are all the materials you’ll need for your homemade pillow:

  • Fabric (any size, any shape, any kind)
  • Trim (this is optional)
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Pillow form, fluff, stuffing, or filling. Choose whatever you think is best for you.
  • Dressmaker, straight pins, or any simple sewing pins
  • Scissors

What Are the Best Fabrics and Fillings for Your Pillow?

When making a pillow, two of the most important elements you need to be careful of when deciding are the type of fabric and fillings you’ll be using.

Fillings also play a pivotal role in how great your pillow will be. That said, one of the best fillings you’ll always enjoy is feather down. Because they are expensive, most manufacturers often use a combination of downs and feathers. So, if you don’t already have a pillow form, you can always use feather down as fillings for your pillow. Other fillings that you can use for your pillows are polyesters and memory foam.

Your choice of fillings has a lot to do with how you select the best fabric for your pillow. Whether you’re making a throw pillow, bed pillow, or even a decorative pillow, the best type of fabrics you can use are the ones that serve a purpose and meet your overall interior design needs.

One of the best pillows you can consider choosing for your home is microfiber pillows. They contain fine strands of synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester. Furthermore, microfiber pillows are easy to maintain and pretty much inexpensive to purchase. Although you can always choose microfibre materials as your pillow fabric, you need to understand that they aren’t suitable for people who become hot during the night.

Another type of fabrics that you can consider choosing for your pillow is wool and cotton. These two materials are best known for their ability to regulate heat. However, they also have their issues; one of them is that they easily attract dust mites and need regular washing. Apart from that, pillows made from wool and cotton materials also tend to lose their shapes quickly.

Method 1: How to Make Your DIY Pillow

Step 1: Choose your fabric

As earlier stated, your choice of fabric has a lot to do with how durable your pillow will be. If you’re the type that regularly overheats during the night, I’ll advise that you opt for natural fiber materials, such as wool and cotton.

Furthermore, for people that have allergies, your best bet is hypoallergenic-certified materials. Generally, soft cotton materials with a high thread count are perfect for sleeping pillows. As for decorative pillows, you can always use brocade and other decorative fabrics.

Step 2: Cut the fabric

After choosing your fabric, the next thing to do is to start cutting it. To do that, you need to cut the fabric into two squares or rectangles of equal size. For better results, I’ll advise that you add about ½ inch to each side of the pieces, allowing for seam allowance.

Do you have a pillow form you’ll be using for the pillow? If yes, you’ll need to measure it and use the measurements (length and width) to cut the fabric pieces.

Furthermore, before cutting your fabric, you need to check whether or not it’s prone to fraying. If yes, you must serge the edges of the pieces after cutting. And in the absence of a serger, you can always use a zigzag stitch for the edges.

Step 3: Attach the two fabric pieces.

Now, it’s time to attach the two fabric pieces. To do that, all you need to do is place both pieces together right-side-in. After that, use your sewing pins to secure three edges, leaving one edge un-pinned. The unpinned end will be the side you’ll use to turn the pillow right-side-out.

Step 4: Sew the pinned edges

Up next, you need to sew the pinned edges together. To do that, I’ll advise you to use a thread that matches the color of your fabric. Furthermore, add a ½-inch seam allowance and use a straight stitch to sew the edges close by hand.

It’s worth noting that you can also use your sewing machine to sew the pinned edges together. If you’re going to use this option, my advice is to backstitch at the start and end of the sewing.

Step 5: Turn the pillow right side out.

Now, it’s time to turn the pillow right side out. To do that, reach the unpinned end of the pillow, turn it appropriately and use your pen to push out the corners.

It’ll be difficult to turn the pillow accordingly for better results if you’re using a thick fabric material because of its business. In this case, I’ll advise you to cut off the corners of the pillow first before turning it right side out.

Step 6: Folding and ironing

The next step involves folding the raw end of the pillow. To do that, reach to the unpinned or open side of the pillow and fold the edge by ½ inch. After that, what is next is to iron press the folded area, making sure that it’s flat and smooth.

Step 7: Stuff in your pillow form or filling 

Up next, it’s time to stuff in your pillow form or filling. If you’re using a pillow form, all you need to do is to insert it directly into the pillow. However, if you want to use a pillow filling, one of the best materials, as earlier mentioned, is feather down.

You can also use polyester materials. They are readily available at local fabric and craft stores. That said, use enough stuffing, making sure you have the right shape.

Step 8: Sew the opening end.

After inserting your filling or pillow form, the next step, which happens to be the last step, is to pin and sew close the opening end of the pillow. 

There are two approaches for this step; you can either use a ladder stitch or a blind stitch by hand or opt for a topstitch using your sewing machine. 

Irrespective of the option you’re using, you need to pin the open end before running through the stitch. However, ensure that the stitch is right enough, and remember to add a ⅛-inch seam allowance and backstitch (at the start and end) when using your sewing machine.

Method 2: How to Make Your Pillow (DIY Envelope Pillow)

The approach for making a regular pillow is way different from that of a no-sew pillow. Furthermore, a no-sew pillow does not require many materials and a sewing machine.

Here are all the materials and tools you’ll be needing to make a pillow with an envelope pillow cover:

  • Ironing board and iron
  • Scissors
  • Fusible bonding web
  • Non-fraying fabric, such as fleece or flannel
  • Pillow form
  • Measuring tape
  • Matching thread

Step 1: Cut your fabric

The first step to making a no-sew pillow is to cut your fabric. However, before doing that, you’ll need to measure your pillow form to know exactly how to do the cutting.

So, measure the width of your pillow form and add 1 inch to the measurement for seam allowance. For the pillow’s length, you need to multiply the width by 2 and add about 4 inches to it for overlap at the backside.

For instance, if after measuring the width of your pillow form, you have 16 inches. Adding 1 to the value means you’ll have a new width of 17″. As for the length, you’ll have 17 × 2 + 4, which is equal to 38 inches. If you’re using the same measurement as mine, you’ll have to cut your fabric according to 17 inches x 38 inches.

Step 2: Fold and iron flat the seam allowance

After cutting the fabric according to your measurement, the next step is to fold and iron the seam. To do that, you’ll have to fold the pieces at the four edges by ½ inch. However, you need to start folding the fabric from the long ends, ironing them flat immediately. That’s not all; for the shorter end, you need to fold the edges by ½ inch twice – doing that will allow the long sides to become visible.

Step 3: Bond the folded ends using your iron and wrap it

Having folded the necessary edges, what’s next is to bond the ends using your iron and fusible bonding web. To do that, cut two pieces of fusible bonding web. However, ensure that the bonding web has the same size as the shorter ends of your fabric.

Next, place the fusible bonding web in between the folds of the fabric and iron neatly together. After that, pick your pillow and place it right in the middle of the fabric. Next, fold the ends correctly, following the measurement on the ground.

Also, while folding the ends, make sure the fabric overlaps about 4 inches in the center. After that, pin together the overlapping fabric and remove the pillow form.

Step 4: Bond seams and overlapping fabric

Up next, it’s time to bond the seams and the overlapping end of the fabric. To do that, measure the fusible bonding web using the size of the seam. Next, place the bonding web in between the seam allowance and flat until the seam becomes perfectly closed.

As for the small piece of overlap fabric, you also need to bond it using the bonding web. To do that, cut about the same size as the overlapping fabric and attach where necessary.

Step 5: Insert the pillow form

Having bonded the seams and overlap fabric, the next step (last step) is to insert the pillow form. However, you need to be careful while passing the pillow form through the overlapping end of the pillow. Successfully doing that means you’re done making your no-sew pillow.


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