How to sew a DIY pillow: step by step with photo

Do you love creative sewing? Would you like to make something, but you are not very familiar with the sewing machine? Make a DIY pillow: you just need two fabric scraps, a sewing machine, and lots of imagination! In this article, you will find all the explanations. Test yourself now!

Do you have a lot of unused fabric scraps at home and you don’t know how to recycle them? Make a DIY pillow! Besides being easy it is also fun and inexpensive. With a machine to sew you can really accomplish many types of pillows, and why not make creations funny and entertaining for friends.

If you are unfamiliar with the sewing machine, do not worry: below we will explain step by step how to proceed to make a DIY pillow. You just have to get to work!


  • fabric scraps of equal size (35 x 35)
  • zipper
  • grosgrain strips
  • needle, matching cotton thread, scissors
  • cotton padding
  • machine sewing
  • various decorations: fringes, laces, buttons, pom poms
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After having done a quick check of the necessary, let’s see together the various stages of realization for sewing a DIY pillow: cutting, insertion of the zipper, final assembly, and decoration.

Phase 1: the cut

To sew a DIY pillow, cut out two squares of fabric of the same size; you can choose a plain colored cotton fabric, or you can use a patterned fabric and a plain colored fabric with similar or contrasting shades, to make a double face cushion.

The size of 35 x 35 centimeters is ideal for making a square sofa cushion, but you can give your cushion the shape you like best: round, rectangular, or square, the important thing is that the fabric scraps are the same size.

During the cutting phase, remember to add an inch for each side that you will need during the sewing phase to prevent the fabric from fraying. So if your pillow is 35 x 35, each side should measure 36cm.

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Step 2: Sew the zipper

This is the most delicate and technical phase: sewing the zipper may be difficult if you are a beginner, but with a little patience you will see that you too will be able to sew the zip without too much effort.

First, arrange the two fabric scraps inside out and side by side: the zipper must always be placed inside out and in the center of the two fabric scraps. Fold in about 1 centimeter of the fabric that you will then point to your zipper, using the pins.

Before sewing on the machine make a basting stitch to make sure your zipper was fixed symmetrically on either cloth square. Test by sliding the zipper: if there are no wrinkles you can move on to the assembly phase.

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Phase 3: final assembly

After sewing the zipper, place the two scraps of fabric right sides together; Now make a basting seam with a needle and thread that will help you when you need to machine sew. Remember to close the three sides, leaving an inch from the edge.

Before moving on to the sewing machine, check if the edges of the fabric match perfectly. If not, the pillow would wrinkle. It is very important that the two fabrics are perfectly overlapped. Also, remember to open the zipper before sewing on the machine!

Now it’s time to assemble your DIY pillow: with the sewing machine sew a seam with a straight stitch for each side and go over the edges with a zigzag seam, as close to the edge of the edge as possible. This step serves to prevent the fabric from fraying and more will ensure more seam welds.

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Phase 4: the decoration

Your pillow is almost done, but before moving on to the decorations, fold it up on the zipper side, trying to gently pull out the corners of the seams.

For the padding, you can use soft cotton that you find on sale in haberdashery, or sponge, a valid alternative for kitchen cushions.

Now all you have to do is move on to decorate your pillow: you can use any type of material you already have available, such as colored buttons or ribbons and laces, suitable for bows. You can also apply felt decorations using fabric glue or apply iron-on stickers for lettering or prints.

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DIY pillow for the kitchen

The procedure for making the cushion for the kitchen chairs is almost identical to the sofa cushions. But to make it more stable, you can tie it to the chair using two strips of grosgrain or colored ribbons to close with a bow.

Cut a 26 cm strip of grosgrain and fold it in half: you will get a 13 cm strip that you will sew in one of the corners of the cushion, near the zipper. Repeat the same operation in the other corner: tie the cushion to the chair with the two grosgrain strips and close a large bow. Mission accomplished!

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DIY pillow: a gift idea

In addition to furnishing cushions, you can also make small cushions that perfume environments for the wardrobe, perfect as a gift. To the soft cotton, filling add dried lavender flowers, ideal for keeping moths away. You can also sew a small loop to the pillow that can be hung on a hook or hanger. A great gift idea for your friends!

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