Step-by-Step Guide: Sewing Your Own DIY Throw Pillow at Home

Ever thought about giving your living space a fresh vibe without breaking the bank? Sewing your own throw pillow is a fantastic way to do just that. It’s not only a fun and creative activity, but it’s also a practical skill that can save you money.

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, you’ll find that sewing a throw pillow is a rewarding project. You can choose your own fabric, pattern, and size, making it a perfect fit for your home decor. So, let’s get that sewing machine ready and dive into the process.

Creating a DIY throw pillow is a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your home decor. Choosing the right fabric and pattern that matches your style and the decor of your room is essential. For beginners, a great starting point is this guide by Sew Simple Home on selecting fabrics and basic sewing techniques. For those looking to advance their skills, Gathered’s tutorial provides detailed instructions on more complex designs and finishing techniques. Additionally, for a variety of creative ideas, Martha Stewart’s website offers tips and inspiration for customizing your throw pillows.

Choosing the Right Fabric and Pattern

Venturing into the world of fabrics is exciting, yet it can also feel overwhelming given the endless selection of textiles, patterns, and colors readily available at your fingertips. But, don’t fret. This section is designed to guide you through the process of choosing the right fabric and pattern for your personalized throw pillow, taking into account not just aesthetic appeal, but also durability and comfort.

First, let’s delve into fabric choice, an integral part of your project. You should bear in mind the end use of the pillow. If you intend to use it for decorative purposes, silk or velvet could be your go-to choice; they scream luxury. For everyday use, cotton and linen are robust, easy to work with, and come in a host of shades and prints. Remember, it’s essential to strike a balance between beauty, functionality, and comfort when exploring fabric options.

Now onto patterns. Here’s where your creativity can shine. Do you have a preferred color scheme in mind? Perhaps a recurring motif? Or a love for abstract designs? The joy of sewing your own throw pillow is that every piece can be a unique expression of your taste and style. Floral, geometric, striped, polka dot – the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing your pattern.

When you’re choosing patterns, do consider the existing decor in your space. Going for a spontaneous, varied feel? Mix and match patterns to create a pillow that’s a statement piece. Prefer something more traditional or minimalist? Select a simple, understated pattern that gracefully complements the room.

To make things a bit simpler, here are a few aspects to remember while selecting the perfect fabric and pattern for your throw pillow:

  • The fabric should be durable and suitable according to the intended use.
  • The pattern should ideally harmonize with the existing decor, unless you’re going for a dramatic contrast.
  • Always consider your personal preference and comfort as top priorities.

Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, embark on your throw pillow-making adventure and watch your living space transform with each new addition.

Preparing Your Sewing Machine

Before you dive into the exciting world of DIY throw pillows, you’ll want to ensure your sewing machine is in top form. Like any precision instrument, it needs proper care and preparation.

When setting up your machine, ensure the needle and bobbin are set up correctly. The right needle size and type are crucial for the fabric and thread you’re using. A universal needle, typically the size of 80/12, works well with medium-weight fabrics like cotton or linen. For thicker fabrics like velvet, a heavier needle in the range of 90/14 to 100/16 might serve you better.

Here’s a quick reference for needle sizes:

FabricNeedle Size
Medium fabrics (cotton, linen)80/12
Thick fabrics (velvet)90/14 to 100/16

Next, you need to thread your machine. It’s important to do this correctly as incorrect or loose threading can lead to skipped stitches – a major nuisance when you’re in the flow of your project. If you’re uncertain about how to thread your machine, look up the user manual. It’ll provide step-by-step instructions tailored to your specific machine model.

On the subject of bobbins, ensure you have enough filled with the thread color of your choice. Check how your machine handles its tension, because having too loose or too tight a tension can completely spoil the finish of your pillow.

Lastly, keep in mind to replace your sewing machine needles after every project. It ensures smooth stitches and a professional finish to your beautiful, custom-made throw pillow.

Measuring and Cutting the Fabric

Having prepared your sewing machine properly, the next essential step in creating your DIY throw pillow is measuring and cutting the fabric. Accuracy is paramount at this stage so take care to measure and cut carefully to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.

For a standard 16×16 inch throw pillow, you’ll require two fabric pieces of the same size. To account for the seam allowance – that is, the area of the fabric you’ll use for sewing the pieces together – add an additional inch to each fabric length, making your two fabric cuts 17×17 inches each.

Next, ensure you have a clear, flat surface for cutting your fabric. A cutting mat offers protection for your tabletop and makes it simpler to make precision cuts with a rotary cutter. However, if you don’t have these tools, it’s perfectly okay to use good old-fashioned scissors along with a ruler for measuring.

Carefully align your edge measuring tool along the fabric. Assuming you’re right-handed, this tool should be held in your left hand while your right hand moves the cutting blade along the straight edge of the fabric, ensuring a clean and straight cut. However, do it the opposite way if you’re left-handed.

Pro tip: It’s crucial not to rush, as hurried cutting can compromise the straight edge essential for your throw pillow’s professional and polished appearance. Keep your eye on the blade – not on the ruler – while cutting.

To ensure ideal measurements and cuts, consider the following steps:

  • Wash and iron your fabric before measuring. A clean, wrinkle-free fabric ensures flawless cutting.
  • Mark out your measurements using tailor’s chalk. This allows for adjustments prior to the actual cutting.
  • Check your measures twice before cutting. The old adage, “Measure twice, cut once,” holds true in sewing projects!

By mastering this crucial stage of measuring and cutting, your throw pillow project will be off to a solid start. Remember, perfection at this point sets you up for a smoother ride down the road.

Stay tuned for our next section as we delve into the world of sewing. We’ll discuss how to pin your fabrics together for seamless sewing and how to bring out the throw pillow’s perfect shape.

Sewing the Pillow Casing

After ensuring your fabric cuts are squared up, it’s now time to sew your DIY throw pillow casing.

Start by placing the two fabric squares one on top of the other, ensuring they align perfectly. The right sides, also known as the side you wish to display as the outer design, should face inwards towards each other. Remember slow and steady is the key when pinning your fabric.

Using straight pins, pin the two fabric pieces together around the edges. Be mindful of the seam allowance, usually an inch from the edge. It’s best to start pinning from one corner and work your way around the fabric, leaving an opening on one side for turning the pillow case right side out once it’s sewn.

Once your fabric is pinned, it’s time to do the stitching. Set your sewing machine to a straight stitch, which is usually indicated by the number 2 or 3 on most sewing machines.

Begin sewing from a corner, maintaining the one-inch seam allowance. Go slow and be sure to remove each pin just before the needle reaches it. When you reach a corner, keep the needle down and pivot the fabric to ensure a crisp corner.

Continue this way, around the square, but remember to stop sewing about 4 inches away from where you started, leaving an opening to turn the fabric.

Next, carefully clip the four corners at an angle. This step will ensure your corners lay flat once the pillow is turned. Be extra careful not to clip the stitches while doing this step.

After clipping, use the open edge to turn your fabric right-side-out. Using a chopstick or another blunt object can help push out the corners, giving you a nice looking pillow casing.

With the hard part done, what’s next is to stuff your pillow with your preferred filling, but that’s a task for another section.

Stuffing and Closing the Pillow

After you’ve achieved the perfectly sewn pillow casing, you’re now ready to move on to the next task, which is stuffing your pillow. The type of filling you choose does make a difference in the result. Polyester fiberfill is a popular choice as it retains its shape well and is easily accessible.

Ensure you’ve got your polyfill or chosen stuffing material close by. Start by taking small handfuls of it. Don’t be tempted to overstuff by using large clumps. Overstuffing can result in lumpy pillows! Keep the stuffing in small amounts and be patient to establish a smooth, even fill.

Next, proceed to stuff the corners of the pillow with these small handfuls. Use the blunt end of a chopstick, a pencil, or another suitable tool to pack the stuffing in your DIY throw pillow neatly and uniformly. This aids in maintaining a well-shaped pillow that isn’t deformed by uneven stuffing.

After you’ve filled your pillow to the desired thickness, you’ll need to close the open edge. To do this, fold in the open edges of the casing to match the rest of the seams, forming what we call an “invisible seam.” Pin this folded seam with straight pins.

Once all pins are in place, you’re ready to sew the open end. This time, you’ll be applying a slip stitch (also known as blind or invisible stitch). The slip stitch hides the thread, resulting in a professional and clean finish that matches the rest of the pillow edge.

After you’ve finished this step, your DIY throw pillow is almost complete. Now you can add extra decoration such as appliques or tufting if you want to, but that’s entirely optional and dependent on your personal taste.


With the techniques you’ve learned, sewing a throw pillow is a breeze. Remember, the key to a perfect pillow is in the details – the right filling and the careful stitching. Don’t forget to pack the corners well for a plush, professional look. The slip stitch will give your pillow a clean finish, making it indistinguishable from store-bought ones. And if you’re feeling creative, adding appliques or tufting can personalize your pillow even more. So go ahead, give it a try. You’ll be amazed at what you can create with your own two hands. Happy sewing!

What kind of filling should I use for a DIY throw pillow?

The article mentions that your choice of filling depends on personal preference. A common filling option is polyester fiberfill as it is affordable, non-allergenic and it can easily be packed into the corners of the pillow.

How do I properly stuff a DIY throw pillow?

Begin by putting small handfuls of stuffing into the pillow casing. Aim for a smooth, even fill by packing the stuffing firmly with regular checks on its shape. Pay extra attention to the corners which are often tricky to fill properly.

How do I close the pillow casing after stuffing?

The recommended method to close the pillow casing after stuffing is using a slip stitch. This stitch creates a nearly invisible line and gives the pillow a professional, clean finish.

Is it necessary to add extra decoration to a DIY throw pillow?

The additional decoration, such as appliques or tufting, is optional. It depends on your personal taste and the décor of the room. It could add extra personality and design to your DIY throw pillow.