Mastering the Art of Pillow Sewing: A Comprehensive DIY Guide

Ever thought about adding a personal touch to your home decor? Learning how to sew a pillow might just be the DIY project you’re looking for. It’s a simple, fun, and rewarding skill to master. Plus, it’s a great way to customize your living space to your taste.

No need to be intimidated if you’re a beginner. We’ll walk you through the entire process, from choosing the right fabric to sewing the final stitch. With a bit of patience and practice, you’ll be creating cozy, stylish pillows in no time.

So, ready to dive into the world of sewing? Let’s get started! Your couch, bed, or favorite reading chair is about to get a whole lot more comfortable.

Key Takeaways

  • Sewing a pillow is an uncomplicated DIY project, perfect for individuals desiring to add a personal touch to their home decor. Users can customize to suit personal preferences in style, fabric, size, and shape.
  • The choice of fabric impacts the final look, feel and durability of the pillow. Opt for fabrics like cotton, silk, velvet, or linen depending on the desired comfort, appeal, and maintenance needs.
  • Selection of the pillow’s size and shape depends on its purpose and the user’s personal taste. A throw pillow, for instance, could measure 18×18 inches, while a bed bolster might be up to 20×36 inches.
  • Having the right supplies including the chosen fabric, thread, sewing machine, stuffing material (like synthetic fiberfill or foam), and other tools like fabric scissors and straight pins is essential for this DIY project.
  • The process of creating the pillow includes steps like cutting and pinning the fabric, sewing the pillow pieces together, and stuffing the pillow maintaining patience and precision throughout the procedure.
  • Pillow stuffing requires leaving one side of the pillow unsewn, filling it to the preferred firmness, and finally sewing it shut. After this, the handmade personalized pillow is ready to use displaying the user’s taste and sewing skills.

Choosing the Right Fabric

Selecting the right fabric for your pillow is a pivotal step in your DIY sewing project. This crucial element aids in determining the final appeal and comfort of your product. Whether creating a lounge room throw pillow or a comfy bed pillow, you have a myriad of fabric options to choose from, each with its unique characteristics.

Cotton fabric stands as a common choice for DIY pillow projects with its easy handling and versatility. It’s ideal for both beginners and experienced sewing enthusiasts alike, predominantly because of its durability and ease of care. Conversely, be conscious that cotton may shrink during the first wash, so pre-washing is often a wise move.

Silk brings an elegant touch to your decor, perfect for a luxurious look and feel. It’s a relatively challenging material to work with, so it may be more fitting for those with advanced sewing skills. Remember, silk pillows require specific care, including hand washing or dry cleaning.

Velvet fabric offers an undeniable plush comfort and a refined aesthetic. This material can be difficult to work with due to its pile, but the end result is often worth the challenge. Keep in mind that velvet often requires dry cleaning to maintain its plush texture.

Linen fabric gives off a casual, airy vibe, making it ideal for summer or coastal themed decor. It’s relatively easy to sew with, and its strength adds to its appeal. However, it wrinkles easily, so frequent ironing may be necessary.

Below is a quick comparison of these materials:

FabricDifficulty to SewCare RequiredBest Used for
CottonSuitable for beginnersEasy / Machine WashableEveryday use
SilkDifficult / Advanced skills requiredHand wash or Dry cleanLuxurious decor
VelvetChallenging / Needs Special HandlingDry CleanPlush comfort
LinenSuitable for beginners / May wrinkle easilyEasy / Machine WashableCoastal / Summer Decor

Choice of fabric is largely a personal decision, based on your style, theme, and level of comfort with sewing various materials. After selecting your fabric, you’re all set to move on to the next step – cutting your fabric and starting the sewing process.

Selecting the Pillow Size and Shape

Continuing with your DIY pillow project, the size and shape of your pillow play an integral role in crafting the perfect accent piece. Let’s dive into the process of making this crucial decision, which hinges on your personal taste, decorating theme, and comfort preference.

To get started, consider the purpose of your pillow. A throw pillow for your sofa, for instance, typically measures about 18×18 inches. On the other hand, if you’re creating bolsters for your bed, you might want something more substantial—up to 20×36 inches.

Have a look at these common average sizes for different types of pillows:

Pillow TypeSize (in inches)
Throw Pillow18×18

The shape of your pillow largely depends on where and how you’ll use it. Square and rectangle shapes are the most versatile and popular choices. They fit well on sofas, chairs, and beds alike. Bolster and round shapes, while more specialized, can add a unique touch to your space.

One rule of thumb while selecting the shape: if it’s a decorative pillow, go for square or round. If it’s for lumbar support, select rectangle or bolster. Don’t forget your sewing comfort. Beginners usually find square shapes easier to handle.

After considering these factors, it’s time to begin cutting. Remember to account for seam allowances—an extra margin of fabric you leave so that you can sew the pieces together without ending up with a too-small pillow.

Gathering the Necessary Supplies

Moving forward, you’ll want to prepare all your materials and tools. Creating amazing homemade pillows is an achievable task with the right set of supplies. As with any DIY project, having everything you need at your fingertips makes the process smoother and more enjoyable.

Start with the fabric. When it comes to choosing the fabric, account for factors such as overall texture, durability, and the color scheme. Cotton, linen, velvet, and silk are all popular choices. However, if you’re a beginner, a robust, non-slippery fabric like cotton or flannel might be your best bet.

Next up is the thread. An often overlooked aspect, picking the right thread is crucial. Go for a strong, high-quality thread that matches the color of your fabric. Having a good quality thread can mean the difference between a durable, long-lasting pillow and one that falls apart.

Moving on, you’ll need a sewing machine. While it’s possible to sew your pillow by hand, a sewing machine will save you time and effort. If you’re just starting, there are plenty of beginner-friendly machines in the market, so don’t be afraid to do some research!

Let’s not forget the stuffing! Depending on the level of firmness you prefer, choose from materials like synthetic fiberfill, foam, feathers, or even buckwheat hulls.

Finally, grab a pair of fabric scissors, some straight pins, a sewing needle, and a ruler or measuring tape.

To make it easy, let’s summarize the list in a markdown table.

FabricCotton, linen, velvet, silk
ThreadMatch color with fabric
Sewing MachineBeginner-friendly ones are available in the market
StuffingSynthetic fiberfill, foam, feathers, buckwheat hulls
Other ToolsRuler or tapeline, fabric scissors, straight pins

Cutting and Pinning the Fabric

Let’s delve deeper into the DIY pillow sewing project. After you’ve chosen the appropriate fabric, it’s time to cut it into a shape that suites your needs. Cutting and pinning the fabric is an important part of the process.

Why is cutting important? Well, it starts the physical creation of your pillow. It gives you the first real sense of your project’s size and shape. Make sure you’ve measured correctly – double-checking won’t hurt! Remember, it’s easier to cut more fabric later than to add it back.

Next, you’ll need to pin the fabric. Pinning is a crucial step in sewing which should never be missed. It holds the two pieces of fabric in place, ensuring they maintain the correct alignment during sewing.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on cutting and pinning your fabric:

  1. Lay your fabric on a flat surface. Make sure it’s properly ironed to ensure precision.
  2. Depending on your requirement, outline the shape of your pillow. Add about 1 inch all around your draft for a seam allowance. Use a ruler or measuring tape for this step.
  3. Once you’re satisfied with the dimensions, begin to cut along the lines. Use sharp fabric scissors for a clean cut.
  4. Repeat the process for the second piece of fabric. Ensure they are of the same size.
  5. Afterwards, align the cut pieces of fabric so that their right sides are facing each other.
  6. Finally, use straight pins to secure the fabrics together. The pins should be around the perimeter of your fabric, but within your seam allowance.

Pro Tip: Always pin at a right angle to the edge of the fabric. This helps in removing them easily while you’re sewing.

All set? Good. In our next section, we’ll talk about how to properly sew the pieces together. Now, you’re one step closer to bringing your dream pillow to life. Don’t worry, you’re doing great! Remember: patience and precision are key in any DIY project.

Sewing the Pillow Together

Now it’s time for the moment of truth—sewing your dream pillow together. Mastering this key step requires both patience and precision, so be sure to take your time.

First things first, pull out your sewing machine. If you’re not familiar with how to use it, don’t fret. There are many guides online that can help you out, so take your time to learn. It’s crucial for the success of your DIY pillow project.

When you’re confident and ready, place your fabric pieces into position. Remember to keep them pinned at a right angle for easy removal while you sew. Make sure the ‘good’ sides of the fabric, the ones you’d like to be on display, are facing each other.

Now you’re ready to stitch. Start by sewing along the sides you’ve already measured and cut. If you’re not sure about the stitch length, sticking to a medium length would be safe for this DIY project.

Maintain a consistent seam allowance. If you’re unsure what this means, it’s simply the distance between the edge of your fabric and the sewn line. It’s often marked on most sewing machines. This will ensure your pillow ends up the expected size and shape.

Remember to leave one side unsewn. You’ll need a gap for stuffing the pillow and to finish up later.

As you’re sewing, remove the pins. Be mindful of the sewing machine needle—it’s best not to sew over your pins to prevent possible damage.

Be patient during this process. Your dream pillow is slowly coming together. In the next section we’ll go over how to stuff your pillow for ultimate comfort.

Preparing for the Next Step: Stuffing Your Pillow

Remember, your work isn’t over yet. You’ve done well with sewing the pillow together, but there’s still more to do. After stitching, trim the corners off your pillow—be careful not to cut too close to the stitching! This helps to give your finished pillow nice crisp corners.

Take a moment to appreciate what you’ve accomplished so far. Your sewing project is gradually taking shape, just a few more steps to go. Let’s take a look at how to stuff your pillow in the next section. Think about the level of firmness you’d like for your pillow as we move forward to the stuffing stage.


You’ve mastered the art of sewing a pillow. You now know how to position your fabric, maintain a consistent seam allowance, and the importance of removing pins as you sew. You’ve learned the trick of leaving one side open for stuffing and the finesse of trimming corners for that professional finish. Pat yourself on the back – you’ve done a fantastic job! Now, with your newly sewn pillow, you’re ready to take on the final step with confidence. It’s time to stuff that pillow to your desired firmness. Remember, patience and precision are key, and with these skills in hand, you’re well on your way to becoming a DIY sewing pro. Keep up the great work!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I position the fabric pieces for my DIY pillow project?

Position your fabric pieces with their right sides together, aligning them perfectly. Be meticulous with your alignments since any inconsistencies could lead to a sloppy finish.

What is the technique to maintain a consistent seam allowance while sewing?

To maintain a consistent seam allowance, use measurements on your sewing machine as a guide. Consistent seam allowance contributes to the overall aesthetics and durability of your DIY pillow.

Why should I leave one side of my pillow unsewn while sewing?

Leaving one side of the pillow unsewn allows space for stuffing. It would be difficult to stuff your pillow if all sides are sewn shut.

Should I remove pins while sewing the fabric together?

Yes, removing pins as you sew helps prevent potential damage to your sewing machine. It can also reduce the risk of injuries and improve the overall sewing process.

Why is trimming corners post-sewing important?

Trimming the corners after sewing helps the edges of your pillow appear sharper and neater when turned right side out. It gives a more polished look to your DIY pillow.

Why is it important to appreciate my progress while sewing my DIY pillow?

Appreciating your progress not only boosts your morale but also keeps you invested in the project. Each step brings you one step closer to completing your DIY pillow.