How To Make A Hand-Sewn Pillow

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about how to hand-sew a pillow closed.  Ever since then, I’ve gotten questions from readers asking if the hand-sewing method I used to close the pillow could be used to make the whole pillow.  I finally realized that readers were interested in knowing how to sew a pillow without using a sewing machine.  So, here’s my video tutorial for how to make a hand-sewn pillow – no sewing machine needed!

Be sure to check out our popular How To Make Pillows page for over 25 pillow ideas, tips & techniques.

How To Make A Hand-Sewn Pillow from

Pillows are such a great way to update your room without spending a  lot of money, especially if you can make them yourself!  So if you don’t have a sewing machine, this tutorial will help you be able to make decorative throw pillows easily.

How To Make A Hand-Sewn Pillow

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Fabric – The amount of fabric needed depends on the pillow size.  The fabric yardage I used for this project was 3/4 yard.
Pillow form – I really like Fairfield’s Soft Touch pillow forms.  Whatever size you would like.  My pillow form size is 18″ x 18″.
Needle – for hand-sewing fabric together.
Thread to match fabric
Straight pins
That Purple Thang tool


I’ve created a video that shows step-by-step how to make a hand-sewn pillow.  I’ve also written out the instructions below video.

  1.  Cut out the front and back sides of the pillow.  Fabric is cut exactly the same size as the pillow form.  My pillow form is 18″ x 18″, so my fabric is cut at 18″ x 18″.  Place a straight pin at the bottom edge of the front and back pieces of fabric.
  2. Pin the front and back sides together – with the right sides of the fabric together.  Wrong sides of the fabric out.  Leaving the bottom edge of the pillow open so that the pillow form can be inserted later.  Start pinning 2″ from one of the bottom corners, and ending 2″ from the other bottom corner.
  3. Thread your needle, and start hand-sewing at the bottom edge of the pillow where your first pin is.  Starting on the bottom side of the fabric,bring your needle up through both layers of the fabric.
  4. On the top side of the fabric, move the needle over 1/8″ and bring the needle back through both layers of the fabric to the bottom side.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, sewing all the way around the pillow until you get back to the last corner.  Stop about 2″ away from the corner on the bottom edge of the fabric.
  6. Knot off your thread by taking a small bite of fabric right next to where your thread is.  Pull your needle and thread through, but not all the way.  Leaving a small loop of thread.  Put your needle through the loop and pull through.  Repeat.
  7. Clip the fabric on the four corners, making sure to not clip your stitches.  Turn fabric right side out.  I like to use my That Purple Thang tool to push out the corners.
  8. Insert pillow form and pin the bottom edge of the pillow cover closed.
  9. Hand sew the pillow closed using the ladder stitch.  My How To Hand-Sew A Pillow Closed post gives step-by-step instructions for how to do this step.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my how to make a hand-sewn pillow tutorial today!  If you have any questions, please let me know.

If you loved this tutorial, you’ll love these sewing tutorials too:

How To Make A Pillow With Video Tutorial from

How To Make A Pillow

How To hand-Sew A Pillow Closed from

How To Hand-Sew A Pillow Closed

make a shirt pillow

How To Make A Shirt Pillow

I’m joining these parties!

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps On The Porch


  1. Beautiful! We don’t have a sewing machine, so this might be more my speed at some point (not there yet though, lol!)

  2. It seems so easy! But I;ll take my sewing machine thank you! My eyes aren’t good enough to see those little stitches anymore!! Great tutorial Jann!

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  4. Hi, Jan, great directions! Since I’m such a novice, I wanted to watch the video as well, but there’s some kind of glitch–after your introduction, there’s an ad, and then your video “how to sew a knife pleat” pops up and you can’t get back to the pillow video. I’ve tried it twice–any guidance would be most appreciatedd. Thanks for a great blog!

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