Want to Know How to Make a Pillow? See 10 Awesome Tips

It is time for some pillow talk, more precisely, how to make a pillow. Pillows are very versatile with their use ranging from decorative purposes, traditional head support pillow to body support pillow. There are just many pillows that you need to make your house feel complete. If you were to buy all these pillows, then you might end up draining your pocket. But did you know that pillows are one of the easiest and cheapest things that you can assemble! So, what is the need to waste money getting store-bought pillows if you can make your own? This discussion is all about how to make a pillow and some tips that you might find helpful.

how to make a pillow

Rectangular and square pillows are the easiest to make. When it comes to a body pillow, the process might get a bit complicated especially when stuffing because of the extra length. This tutorial will focus on the basics of the process followed when making a pillow. The good thing is that as you get acquainted with the process, you will be better positioned to make your improvised creations.

When making a pillow cover, always think out of the box. If you are creative enough, you can easily convert the use of the pillow from one use to another.

Basic Considerations when Making a Pillow

The main consideration that you will need to keep in mind throughout the process of making a pillow is quality. Have you ever used a lumpy pillow? I can almost bet that you did not like the experience. The worst assumption you can make is believing that all fiber fillings are the same and you simply need to stuff it into the pillow cover. We will focus on the process involved in stuffing a pillow to ensure that it looks professional and super soft.

Quality Inside

Undoubtedly, the quality on the inside depends on the filling used. Each filling has its unique texture and firmness. 100 percent polyester is the most common in the market currently. However, there are several other unique fillings from which you can choose.

The filling that you go for is not of major concern as long as you choose quality. Beware, quality does not translate to the one that is most expensive; it is the filling that will last you longer and provide the needed support. Always go by your budget.

​Quality cues when getting the best materials to make a pillow include

  • Washable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Resilient
  • Firm
  • Flame retardant
  • Mite and mildew free
  • Eco-Friendly

Quality Outside

​The quality on the outside of the pillow is dependent on the preciseness. Be very accurate in your seam allowances and cutting. When making a pillow, the accuracy of the cover is dependent on the appearance after you are done stuffing it. Overlooking precision could result in some areas appearing distorted, which is not appealing. You, therefore, should focus on the outside as you do the inside.

​What you will need to follow this tutorial

​For the Cover

  • Fabricii.
  • Scissorsiii.
  • Trim (Not compulsory)
  • Matching threadv.
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • A serger
  • Steam iron
  •  A point turner

For the Interior

The stuffing material that you prefer and is within your budget.

​ii. Stuffing tools that will help you get into the hard to reach cracks, corners, and crevices include:

​- A stuffing stick. An official stuffing tool could be plastic, wooden, or metallic.

​- You could also use some unofficial stuffing tool like a crochet hook, wooden spoon, a chopstick, or a T-pin.

Step by step instructions

​How to make a pillow Cover

Step one: Preparing the Fabric

Begin by selecting the fabric that works best for you. The fabric of almost any type will work depending on how you intend to use the pillow. If you want a pillow for sleeping on, then ensure that you get a soft fabric that will not irritate your skin. On the other hand, if you wish to make a decorative pillow, go for fabric that matches your house decor.

Cut the fabric into two rectangles or squares of equal size. A pillow is simply two different pieces of fabric that are stitched together and then filled with some stuffing. Ensure that these pieces are slightly larger than the size of the pillow that you want.

The extra size is for the seam allowance, which is the fabric that will extend beyond the stitching. If you choose a fabric that is prone to fray, use a zig zag or straight stitch to hem the edges.

Step Two: Stitching the Pillow

Make an accurate measurement of all the sides of the fabric pieces, and use this to determine the amount of thread needed. You do not want to run out of thread while stitching.

Place both pieces together with the right side on the inside. You will turn the pillow inside-out after you are done stitching the sides together.

Stitch three sides of your pillow pieces together. This step can be accomplished by hand or using a sewing machine. Whichever option you choose, use a slip stitch. Also, in this case, you will leave a seam allowance of a half inch.

Next, turn the pillow the right-side-out. By now, you will see the sides of the fabric which you prefer facing out. You have a pocket in which you will add your stuffing.

It is now time to get your steam iron. This step will help remove any wrinkles. It is almost impossible to remove the wrinkles after you have added your stuffing. It is, therefore, important to do it at this stage.

To prepare the opening, tuck in about a half-inch of the fabric on the open edge then iron it flat. Your cover is now ready for stuffing and finishing.

Our pillow cover is now ready! The good thing about making a pillow cover is that it does not take up much fabric and the process is pretty fast. Are you having issues with the sewing and stitching? 

Here are some pro tips that will make the process much easier for you.

  • Choose a high-quality Fabric- A good quality fabric is important as it will give you an easier time stitching. Cotton sateen fabric is the best option for pillows especially if you want one for using in the bed. Go for fabric that is lightweight and breathable because such is easy to stitch.
  • Keep the stitch as short as possible- Keeping the stitch length short is necessary because it helps in strengthening the seams. It also prevents the stitch from appearing on the seams. Consequently, they will not tear up. For a pillow cover, go for a stitch length that is in the middle of your sewing machine’s range.
  • Make it Tight- The size of your fabric pieces should not exceed a half-inch the size of your pillow insert. If you cut pieces that are too large, then you might end up with a baggy, saggy pillow cover. Be keen on this aspect.If you want a plump pillow that will maintain a fluffy shape, use a pillow cover that is one inch smaller than the pillow stuffing.
  • Maintain a consistent pattern- You can make yourself a unique pattern using a pattern making material like a Swedish tracing paper. Trace out a square of the same size as the pillow frame then stitch it leaving a seam allowance of a half inch.
  • Keep all threads trimmed-  There is nothing beautiful about hanging or lose threads on home furnishing. Make sure you clip all the threads to achieve a professional, clean look.
  • Finishing the seams- Professionally, the interior seams should be finished using a serger. However, if you are making a simple pillow at home, you can use a simple zig zag stitch or pink the shears for a perfect finish on the seams.
  • Turn the corners to keep them precise and neat- How you finish your pillow corners is majorly dependent on your taste and preference. Some people prefer rounded corners while others like then crisp and pointed. Whichever your preference, you will use a point turner. Avoid using the tip of a letter opener or your scissors as this could easily ruin the fabric.
  • Taper the Corners-  With a time of use, square pillows tend to become floppy. Trim the corners of the pillow pattern before cutting the fabric to nip these in the bud. Mark five inches on all corners, and do this on both sides. Next, mark a half inch in from all corners. Using an acrylic ruler, make lines between these marks so as to taper the corners. Cut along these marks with sharp scissors or a rotary cutter.
  • Finalize with the steam iron- We can refer to this as the most important tip of all. Pressing your fabric while sewing helps achieve a professional look. Always press a seam using a steam iron once you sew it. Working with neatly pressed pieces of fabric will save you lots of time and energy.
  • Stuff the pillow right- We have clearly outlined the procedure that you need to follow when stuffing your pillow. Always make sure that you use pillow form that is smooth, firm, and of high-quality. To check for the quality of the filling, squeeze it firmly to see if it is of the consistency that you want.
  • Give your pillow cover closure- If possible, use a closure like a zipper or buttons to ensure that your filling is firmly secured and the pillow will stay closed all the time.
  • A blunt object will help you when turning out the corners of the pillow.
  • You can reinforce the pillow corners by making a double row of stitches on each corner. By so doing, you have the guarantee that your pillow will not tear after stuffing and it will remain durable after years of use.
  • You can also achieve an extra layer of detail to your pillow cover by adding coordinating fringe, a flange, piping, or trims on the edges.

How to properly stuff the Pillow

Before starting the stuffing process, have a clear image in mind of how you want your pillow to look. Do you just want a regular pillow or a body support pillow? Being sure about this will be a guide towards how you will stuff the pillow.

In this tutorial, we focus on a regular square shaped pillow. For an unusually shaped pillow, always begin by filling the smaller areas then work your way outwards to ensure that it takes shape as desired.

Let us dive right into the process of filling a basic pillow

1. Start with a small amount of the filling and pull it lose. The whole point is to eliminate any clumps while fluffing up the fill. Repeat the process for like three times before you start inserting it into the pillow cover.

2. Take a portion of the worked filling and start stuffing your pillow. Start with the corner that is the farthest from the opening of the cover. It is always best to work your way out.

3. Whether you are using your fingers or the stuffing material discussed in the materials section, always work firmly but gently. Ensure that the filling gets into every area of the pillow to avoid sagging.

4. In the process of stuffing, always pay close attention to the outside part of the pillow. Then, you can see any indents or lumps forming and work on them before it is too late. Sometimes, adding more filling to the affected area could help. In other cases, it might be necessary to remove the clumped filling and smooth it out. Do the fixing immediately you notice a problem otherwise it might be impossible to solve it later.

5. Once the tight areas and corners are perfect, you can now start adding small amounts of extra filling as you work your way towards the seam opening. By now you need to be sure of the desired amount of firmness. It is recommendable that you do not fill up the pillow too much as it might end up being uncomfortable for the user. Leave for an allowance for the user to have a pleasing feel when using it.

​6. Once you get to the pillow opening, take a final look at the appearance of the pillow on the outside. Make sure that it impresses you because this is your last chance to make any amends.

7. The opening of a stuffed pillow is best hand-sewn. Use a matching thread and make the stitches as minute as possible. The tinier the stitch, the more the guarantee that the stuffing will not poke out of the pillow.

8. Manipulate the filling so that it smooths out the final area. You can do this by sewing the opening partially the adding some stuffing to fill out the area completely.

When you wish to hand-stuff a pillow with a unique or odd shape, then you can use batt and interline the fabric to make the process easier. The step gives a guarantee of an even and smooth pillow surface. Follow the following procedure

  • Cut a layer of interlining and batting fabric of the same shape and size as the two pieces of the fabric used to make the pillow.
  • Layer the pieces in the order of interlining, batting, and fabric so that the interlining and batting are on the inner side of the pillow cover.
  • Now baste all these layers together.
  • Sew the pillow edges together and leave an opening for turning the cover inside out. Trim away any excess batting fabric and just leave enough for the seam allowance. This step will help achieve clean edges and corners.
  • Now follow the procedure discussed above to stuff the pillow. You will have a much easier time now.


There are several types of pillows, all who have a versatile functionality. Buying all the pillows that you need in your home can be very expensive. You do not have to spend all this money on something that you can make. With the necessary materials, you can make several pillows at a very affordable cost.

I love this tutorial because I have always used this procedure to make most of the pillows that I have in my home. The procedure is simple and straightforward. Besides, making a pillow for yourself helps improve your crafting skills.

We have come to the end of this tutorial that is all about how to make a pillow. How did you like the tutorial? Was it helpful for you? Did you find the tips given helpful? I hope that you enjoyed reading it to the end. If you loved it, please share it with your family and friends. Also, leave your comment and views in the comment box. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kristin William

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