Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bolster Pillow Tutorial

Today I'm going to show you how to make a bolster pillow AKA lumbar pillow, AKA long roundish pillow.
This was pretty easy.The most difficult part was the math, but I've taken care of that for you.
So first, gather your materials. You'll need:
1 piece of fabric 18" x 25 5/8"
2 fabric circles 8" in diameter
1 bag of poly-fil (12 oz.)
sewing machine

To make the circles, grab a bowl, dish or something round that has an 8" diameter. If you have a compass, that would work too. If you don't have an 8" bowl or a compass, you can try this technique by holding your thumb 4" from the point of the pencil, you will end up with an 8" circle.

I traced an 8" bowl and cut it out.

Take the large rectangle and fold it so that the shorter ends meet, right sides together.
Sew along the short end with a 1/4" seam.

Press the seam open

Center the seam and mark the other side of the fabric directly across from it.

Fold one circle in half and mark both ends.

Line up the marks on the circle with the marks on the rectangle, and pin in both places. Make sure the right sides are facing each other.
The top and bottom of the circle will be anchored, and now you can easily pin all the way around.

Repeat with the other circle.
Now sew around the edges of each circle with a 1/4" seam. Sewing curves is pretty tricky, but just go slow and guide the circle through the machine.

This is what you should have now:

After the circles are sewn, notch around the corners, being careful not to clip the stitches you just made.
I forgot to take pictures of this step, so I drew it for you in Paint.
The triangles indicate where to cut.

Now take your seam ripper, and open up the seam down the middle, making a gap just big enough for your hand to fit through.

 Turn the whole thing inside out through the hole you just made.

Start stuffing the pillow with the poly-fil. I used an entire 12 oz. bag. Work it around so it all feels evenly distributed.

Once the pillow is stuffed, sew up the gap with a whip stitch.

And now you're finished!

Optional: Add piping around the edges of the circles! I think I'll try that next time.

Now add your lovely new bolster pillow to your collection!

A note about the fabric: These are repurposed tablecloths and dinner napkins from the Dwell Studios collection for Target. They were on clearance!

I hope you enjoyed this DIY project. Let me know if you have any questions!
I'm linking to Blogger's Pillow Party!


  1. great fabrics! i just made a bolster pillow cover for my dad, and those end caps! i didn't love sewing them :)

    i'll have to keep a mental note to check out clearance fabrics in the form of table cloths and napkins, great find!

  2. Cuuuuute. Wish I had the patience for this.

  3. Cute fabrics, I usually don't care for yellow, but this one is exception!

  4. these are beautiful, and thanks for the tutorial

  5. Thanks for the tutorial! I'll be making a different shape, but round pillow and this helps me see how to approach it!

  6. You saved me! I know so often I blog and wonder if anyone really used my method and so I had to write and tell you your technique worked like a charm and SO easy to understand! Before your site I was on 2 or 3 others I couldn't figure out for the life of me, and then I found you! THANK YOU my kids window seat now has amazing bolsters!! BTW the window seat is made from a Target table cloth what a coincidence!

  7. Thank you for the tutorial!! So easy I made my pillow in under a couple hours! I shared your tutorial on my blog :)

  8. Amy, thanks for the detailed instructions! I am teaching myself how to sew again after 30+ years! I thought you might like to know that I pinned your blog post. You also might like to know about a vintage fabric giveaway I'm hosting on my blog: http://livingvintageco.com/2015/02/sewing-ideas-using-vintage-linens-giveaway/.

  9. Do you have the math formula for using a smaller circle? I would like to make one with a 6 inch circle. ...thank you for being so easy to understand?!

  10. I am crazy about yellow color, so thanks a lot for this little recipe of my own happiness http://bigessaywriter.com/blog/get-your-mark-for-third-person-essay

  11. Your instructions were the simplest. Looks like I can do this. Thank you.

  12. Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! Best Bolster Pillows

  13. Hi Amy, came across your tutorial for the Bolster pillow made with yellow/grey fabric, my daughter loves these colors so I watched your video and enjoyed it, so now I need to find the nice yellow and grey. I haven't made pillows in a lot of years, Thank you for the inspiration.

  14. Thank you so much for your help you were the only one that i could fine to help me with what i wanted.again thank you

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