how to make homemade diy pillows on a budget
how to make homemade diy pillows on a budget

Pillows can be a simple and cost-effective way to transform the look and feel of any room in your home. In this article, we’ll share some easy tips and tricks on how to make your own DIY pillows without breaking the bank. From choosing the right fabric to sewing techniques and creative embellishments, we’ve got you covered. So grab your crafting supplies and get ready to add a personal touch to your home decor with these budget-friendly pillow ideas.

Materials Needed

To make homemade DIY pillows, you will need a few essential materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to get started:


The first item on your list should be fabric. When choosing fabric for your pillows, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, you should think about durability. You want a fabric that can withstand regular use and won’t easily wear out. Additionally, you’ll want to select a fabric pattern or design that matches your personal style and complements the overall aesthetic of the room. Lastly, consider the texture of the fabric. Do you want something soft and cozy or more sleek and polished? The choice is yours!


Next, you’ll need stuffing to fill your homemade pillows. There are various types of stuffing available, such as polyester fiberfill, foam, or even recycled materials like old pillows or clothing. Consider the level of firmness and support you desire and choose stuffing accordingly.


Thread is a crucial component for sewing your pillows together. Make sure you have thread that matches the color of your fabric to achieve a seamless look.


A needle is necessary for sewing the fabric together. Choose a needle that is appropriate for the weight of your fabric and is comfortable for you to work with.


A good pair of scissors is essential for cutting the fabric to the desired size and shape. Make sure they are sharp and reliable to ensure clean and precise cuts.

Measuring Tape

Measuring tape will be your best friend when it comes to calculating the fabric and ensuring accurate measurements. Whether you’re making square, rectangular, round, or bolster pillows, having a measuring tape will make the process much easier.


Pins will help hold the fabric in place while you sew, preventing any shifting or misalignment. Choose pins that are long enough to securely hold the fabric together.

Now that you have all the necessary materials, it’s time to dive into the process of making your homemade DIY pillows!

Choosing the Right Fabric

When it comes to choosing the right fabric for your homemade pillows, there are a few factors to consider.

Consider Durability

Since pillows are meant to be used regularly, durability is a crucial factor to keep in mind. Make sure the fabric you choose is strong enough to withstand continued use and frequent cleaning. Materials such as cotton, linen, or polyester blends are often good options for durable pillow covers.

Select a Pattern or Design

The pattern or design of your fabric is a chance to showcase your personal style and creativity. Whether you prefer bold and vibrant prints or subtle and understated patterns, choose a fabric that complements the overall aesthetic of the room where the pillows will be placed.

Decide on the Texture

The texture of your fabric will determine the overall feel and look of your pillows. Consider whether you want a soft and cozy texture, like velvet or chenille, or a smoother and more polished texture, like silk or satin. The texture will play a significant role in how the pillows enhance the comfort and aesthetic of your space.

Now that you have chosen the perfect fabric, it’s time to calculate the fabric needed for your specific pillow design.

Calculating the Fabric

To ensure that you have enough fabric for your DIY pillows, proper measurements are essential. The amount of fabric required will vary depending on the pillow shape and size.

Measurements for Square or Rectangular Pillows

For square or rectangular pillows, measure the length and width of the pillow insert, plus an additional half-inch seam allowance on all sides. Multiply the width by two and add it to the length, then add the seam allowance. This will give you the total fabric width needed. For example, if your pillow insert measures 18 inches by 18 inches, the total fabric width required will be 37 inches (18 inches width x 2 + 18 inches length + 0.5 inches seam allowance).

Measurements for Round or Bolster Pillows

For round or bolster pillows, you will need to measure the circumference and height of the pillow insert, again adding a half-inch seam allowance. To calculate the fabric needed for the circumference, multiply the diameter of the pillow insert by pi (approximately 3.14). Add the height measurement to the circumference, then add the seam allowance. This will give you the total fabric width required.

With precise measurements in hand, it’s time to move on to cutting the fabric for your homemade pillows.

Cutting the Fabric

Before cutting your fabric, it’s always a good idea to create a template to ensure accuracy and consistency in your pillow shapes.

Create a Template

To create a template for square or rectangular pillows, use a piece of cardboard or heavy paper. Cut it to the exact size of your pillow insert, including the seam allowance. This template will serve as a guide when cutting the fabric.

For round or bolster pillows, you can trace a circular object, such as a dinner plate or a compass, onto the fabric to create the template. Make sure to include the seam allowance in your tracing.

Cutting Square or Rectangular Pillow Fabric

Place the template onto the chosen fabric, aligning the edges properly. Use your sharp scissors to cut along the edge of the template, carefully following the lines.

Cutting Round or Bolster Pillow Fabric

Place the circular template onto the fabric, ensuring it is centered and aligned. With a fabric marker or chalk, trace along the template, marking the fabric. Carefully cut along the marked lines to create the round or bolster pillow shape.

Now that you’ve successfully cut the fabric, it’s time to assemble the pillows!

Assembling the Pillow

To assemble your homemade DIY pillows, follow these simple steps:

Pin the Fabric

Lay one fabric piece down with the right side facing up. Place the second fabric piece on top of it, right side down, aligning all edges. Pin the two fabric pieces together along the edges, making sure to leave a small opening for stuffing.

Sew the Fabric

Using a matching thread color, sew the pieces together along the pinned edges, leaving the small opening unstitched. Use a straight stitch on a sewing machine or hand sew with a needle and thread, ensuring sturdy stitches. Remove the pins as you sew, being careful not to snag the fabric.

Congratulations! You’ve now successfully assembled your pillow. Now it’s time to add the stuffing.

Stuffing the Pillow

Choosing the appropriate stuffing for your pillows is essential to achieve the desired level of comfort and support.

Choose Appropriate Stuffing

Polyester fiberfill is a popular choice for pillow stuffing as it is affordable, lightweight, and hypoallergenic. Alternatively, you can use foam for a more structured and firm pillow or consider recycling old pillows or clothing for an eco-friendly option. Select the stuffing material that best suits your preferences and needs.

Stuffing Square or Rectangular Pillows

Gently stuff the pillow through the opening you left unstitched. Use small amounts of stuffing at a time to ensure an even distribution and avoid overstuffing. Continue adding stuffing until the pillow reaches your desired level of firmness and plumpness.

Stuffing Round or Bolster Pillows

Stuffing round or bolster pillows can be a bit trickier due to their unique shapes. Again, start by gently inserting the stuffing through the opening. Use small amounts at a time, making sure to push the stuffing gently into the corners and edges to maintain the desired shape.

Now that your pillow is perfectly stuffed, it’s time to close it up.

Closing the Pillow

Once your pillow is stuffed to your liking, it’s time to close the opening.

Hand Sewing the Pillow Closed

Thread a needle with a thread color that matches your fabric. Use a ladder stitch or slip stitch to close the opening. Make small stitches, barely visible on the outside, and knot the thread securely when finished. This method ensures a seamless and invisible closure.

Using a Sewing Machine to Close the Pillow

If you prefer to use a sewing machine, fold the fabric edges of the opening inward and sew across the opening, close to the edge. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end to secure the stitches. This method provides a more visible but still neat closure.

Congratulations! You have successfully completed your homemade DIY pillow. But why stop there? Add some decorative elements to make your pillows even more unique and eye-catching.

Adding Decorative Elements

Pillows are not only functional but also offer an opportunity to express your creativity and enhance the overall aesthetic of your space.

Pillow Covers and Shams

To give your pillows a fresh look, consider making removable pillow covers or shams. This way, you can easily change the look of your pillows to match the seasons or your evolving style. Choose contrasting or complementary fabrics to create interesting combinations and add a touch of sophistication to your pillows.

Embellishments and Trim

To add an extra dose of personality to your pillows, consider embellishing them with trims, such as pom-poms, tassels, or ribbons. These little details can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your homemade DIY pillows and give them a unique and personalized touch.

Now that your pillows are beautifully adorned, let’s talk about cleaning and maintenance.

Cleaning and Maintenance

To ensure your homemade DIY pillows remain fresh, clean, and beautiful, proper care is essential. Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining your homemade pillows:

Washing Homemade Pillows

Before washing your pillows, always check the care instructions for the specific fabrics and stuffing materials used. Some fabrics may require spot cleaning or dry cleaning, while others may be machine washable. Use a mild detergent, gentle cycle, and cold water when washing your pillows. If your pillows are not machine washable, spot clean them with a mild detergent and a soft cloth or sponge.

Refreshing the Pillows

To keep your pillows smelling fresh, consider using fabric refreshers or sprays. These products can help eliminate odors and give your pillows a pleasant scent. Additionally, regularly fluffing and airing out your pillows will help maintain their shape and prevent them from becoming flat or lumpy.

Storing Homemade Pillows

When storing your homemade DIY pillows, make sure they are clean and completely dry to prevent mildew or odors. Store them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, which can fade the fabric. Using vacuum-sealed bags or pillow storage bags can help save space and protect your pillows from dust and pests.

Taking proper care of your homemade DIY pillows will ensure their longevity and continued beauty.

Additional Tips and Ideas

Looking for some additional inspiration and ideas to take your homemade DIY pillows to the next level? Check out these tips:

Making Pillowcases

If you’d rather not sew the entire pillow, consider making pillowcases instead. This is a great option for changing up the look of your pillows without the need for additional stuffing or sewing.

Creating Throw Pillows with Existing Fabrics

Have some leftover fabrics from other projects or old clothing items? Repurpose them by creating throw pillows. Use interesting textures or patterns to create unique and one-of-a-kind pillows that add a personal touch to your space.

Customizing Pillows with Appliques

For a fun and creative twist, consider adding fabric appliques to your pillows. Cut out shapes or designs from contrasting fabrics and secure them to the pillow using fusible web or hand stitching. This allows you to add personalized and eye-catching details to your homemade DIY pillows.

With these additional tips and ideas, the possibilities for creating beautiful and unique homemade DIY pillows are endless.

Now that you have all the knowledge and guidance needed, it’s time to unleash your creativity and start making your own homemade DIY pillows. Enjoy the process, and have fun transforming your space with these cozy and stylish decorative elements!

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Amanda Bryant
Hello! My name is Amanda Bryant, and I am thrilled to be your go-to Chiropractic and sleep expert here at With years of experience and a passion for helping individuals achieve a restful night's sleep, I am dedicated to providing you with insightful tips and techniques to promote optimal sleep health. As a respected chiropractor, I have earned the trust and credibility within the industry. I hold numerous prizes and awards, recognizing my expertise in the field. With a deep understanding of the crucial relationship between quality sleep and overall well-being, my goal is to empower you with knowledge that can transform your sleep habits and enhance your life. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of assisting countless individuals in their journey towards improved sleep. Through my dedication and commitment, I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact that a good night's rest can have on one's physical and mental health.