Crafts, DECOR, Design, DIY, Fabric, PROJECTS, Sewing
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Making Pillows: Advice For Those Who Don’t Sew Well

I value efficiency and I hate wasting time. Having said that, I have made a few pillows. I am sure you know how to make pillows, so I am not providing a tutorial on how to make a pillow. I am going to tell you what I learned making pillows.

LESSON 1: Listen To Your Mother

It’s not that I didn’t believe my mother when she said, “If you use the stuffing rather than a pillow insert, it won’t look as good.” It’s just that I didn’t find an insert and I settled for the stuffing. So, look harder for the inserts.  Look online and deal with the sizes they come in. I couldn’t find the lumbar insert in the store but they exist and I could have bought one online.

LESSON 2: Practice Cutting And Sewing In A Straight Line

Yes, I can’t cut in a straight line. I have good scissors too- it’s not their fault. I sew pretty straight but sometimes I get heavy on the pedal, and my line gets a little crooked. You can measure great all day long but one bad cut can ruin your project.

LESSON 3: Inserts Are Good Guides

I made two lumbar pillows which are really close in size. My two patterned rectangular pillows are not the same width or height. If you have the inserts you have a concrete guide to make sure you cut out your material correctly.

LESSON 4: Use A Zipper

If I ever make a pillow again, I will use an insert and have my husband sew on a zipper. I have always left a small space open to stuff the pillow and then hand sewn the space up but zippers look professional and much cleaner.

LESSON 5: Always Buy Fabric On Sale or with a coupon

Nothing is worse than messing up a piece of material that you spent a fortune on. Joann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby have 50% sales and weekly coupons. Use them. I cannot imagine messing up a $12 piece of material.

LESSON 6: Inspect Your Fabric

The white fabric I picked out for one pillow sewing projects had spots on the first parts of the roll. I told the person at the cutting counter and she nicely skipped over those damaged parts before measuring out my yards.

LESSON 7: Watch and Make Sure Your Fabric Is Cut Correctly

During a visit to one fabric store, the employee cut my fabric so badly, I ended up with a huge curve cut out of the piece of material. This was before I realized I had the right and ability to tell people when they have done a bad job so I just took the fabric home and worked with it. But don’t do that- you make sure your fabric is cut carefully and correctly.

LESSON 8: Just Buy the Damn Pillow

If you are like me (cutting and sewing challenged) just buy the pillow. I know this is a DIY blog but seriously, I wish I had just shopped around more and I would have eventually found pillows I wanted. Part of my problem is that I am really cheap. But the amount of time and money spent on making these pillows, I could have just spent $30 at HomeGoods.

Dog beds and outdoor pillows are easier to make because they do not have to look perfect. I promise, Caroline (my dog) did not care that one of my seams was crooked. But you want to your sofa and bed pillows to look nice so just buy them.


  1. “I wish I had just shopped around more and I would have eventually found pillows I wanted. Part of my problem is that I am really cheap.” – LOL, this is me, too.
    I use pillow inserts (usually craft pillows) and make covers for them.


    • Yeah, I looked at inserts but that’s a long line that would have to sew by hand or with a machine while fighting the pillow inside. I am really bad at sewing. 😉


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