Hi Creative Mamas! I am super happy to share with you how to make a cute beautiful embroidered pillow that your kids will love. I have made all my kids pillows like the one in this tutorial and they have been used, loved and kept over the years.
How to make an embroidered pillow
In this tutorial I will show you a step by step method to hand embroider your own pattern into the base cloth and convert it into a pillow.
I will also show you a super easy way to make a personalized embroidery pillow for your kids. They will love you for it and you will be a super popular mom or grandma!
Embroidery pillow tutorial
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For this tutorial I am using the embroidery patterns from the Applique Sewing Binder because its a great way to use these templates to tell little stories and to personalize our fabric crafts. However you can use any embroidery template or pattern that you have 🙂
Equipment and Materials
- Embroidery fabric
- Fabric for pillow lining and pillow back (I used linen)
- Embroidery pattern (I am using a pattern from the Applique Binder but you can use any pattern)
- Pillow insert (make sure to check your final pillow measurements)
- Embroidery thread
- Pattern making paper
- Fabric scraps
- A good sewing machine
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting Mat
Gather your embroidery fabric, your embroidery pattern, the pattern making paper and the pencil and get ready to trace.
Place the fabric on the working table, place the pattern making paper on top of the fabric making sure the color side is facing the fabric.
Place the embroidery pattern on top of the paper and using the pencil draw around the pattern as shown in photo below.
Once you finish tracing the pattern simply lift the pattern and the pattern making paper and you will have the transferred image on the fabric.
Place the fabric with the transferred image onto the embroidery hoop.
Choose the embroidery color threads and get ready to start embroidering.
For this pillow I have used a running stitch, a backstitch and lazy daisy stitch. You can learn how to make these embroidery stitches by reading the embroidery guide here.
Start embroidering the pattern by simply following the transferred lines. A back stitch works best for this type of project. It will last in good shape even if the kids are rough with the pillow 🙂
When you finish the embroidery remove the fabric from the hoop and press it.
Once you have pressed the embroidered pillow cover its time to choose some nice fabric scraps that will match or compliment the colors of the embroidery.
For this pillow I have chosen a maroon woolen fabric and a green corduroy because I liked how the colors matched together. And also there is a bit of green in my son’s room 🙂
Have some fun placing the scraps in different ways. My embroidered pillow cover measured 13 inches (33 cms) by 15 inches (38 cms) so I cut strips of fabric that framed the embroidered part but I kept the original measurements as they were.
Pin the strip of fabric to the pillow cover right sides touching.
Make sure you are happy with the way it looks before you sew it.
Sew in place using your sewing machine.
Repeat with the other side. Note that the top and bottom pieces of fabric were attached on the side while sewing the longer strips of corduroy.
Press the pillow cover. Now you can keep having fun by embroidering more details into the pillow cover.
Using the lazy daisy stitch create a flower in each of the 4 corners framing the embroidery.
This creates a nice little finished corner.
I also embroidered a wipstitch to secure the top fabric onto the pillow cover with the same color embroidery thread.
And this is how it looked once I was finished embroidering the whole pillow base.
Step 6: Personalized embroidery pillow
You can also personalize the pillow by embroidering your kids names. I love doing this and my kids love it too!
The best way to embroider a name is to use a back stitch in a contrasting color thread.
Also I embroidered a nice running stitch on top of the name to finish it off.
So the pillow cover is completed and now we need to convert it into an actual pillow 🙂
Step 7: DIY personalized embroidered pillow cover
I will make an envelope pillow which is super easy because you don’t need any zips and you can remove the cover to wash any time you need to.
The envelope pillow has 3 parts. The front cover and the 2 backs.
Place the finished pillow cover on top of the lining fabric. You need to line the cover because you don’t want to expose the back of the embroidery. Lining this cover is also great for protecting the embroidery.
Using your rotary cutter and your cutting mat, trim the lining to match the pillow cover.
Cut 2 pieces of fabric for the back. You need to make sure that they are the exact same width as the pillow cover but only 2/3 of the length.
Hem one edge of the back pieces by folding it twice in itself and sewing a straight line.
Give them a press. This is how the edges of the back pieces should look.
For this step I ususually use a serger/overlock but some of my readers don’t have one. So, I have used my regular zig zag stitch to go around the edges of all the 3 pieces of this pillow over.
The zig zag stitch will avoid the fabric from fraying (just like the serger/overlocker would)
Place one back piece on top of the pillow cover right sides together.
Then place the other back piece on top and pin in place. This is how the pillow should look before its all sewn in place.
Sew around the whole pillow making sure the stitching line is inside the zig zag line.
This is how the pillow should look on the inside once its been sewn all around 🙂
Clip the corners using good fabric scissors.
Turn the pillow inside out.
Here is the pillow once it was turned. Press it and fill it with a pillow insert to match the size of the pillow.
Insert the pillow insert. when choosing a pillow insert make sure that the insert is bigger than the cover. this will make the pillow look fluffy and round 🙂
This is the embroidered pillow completely finished and being used every day. As mentioned before, the fact that my son’s name is on the pillow has made it extra special for him.
If you enjoy making your own pillows for your home and for the kids check out these other DIY pillow tutorials.
- How to make an applique pillow by embroidering appliques
- How to make an easy quilted pillow cover
- How to make an envelope pillow cover Tutorial