Pleated Pillow done + Tutorial

I finally finished up my pleated pillow yesterday and wanted to show you how I made it.

First I measured my thrifted pillow - mine was 17 x17 inches. So I cut out the following:

1 back piece 18in x 19in in yellow linen (I added 1 inch all around for 1/2 seam allowance and an extra inch to the height to add a zipper)
1 front piece 18in x 36 inches in yellow linen
1 front lining piece 18in x 18 in in muslin (this is just to stabilize the pleats and won't be seen)

Back piece :

To attach the zipper I cut horizontally where I wanted the zipper to go - I placed it 1/4 of the way from the top. (make sure you cut the long side not the shorter side of the back piece)

Then I attached the zipper using this tutorial and 1/2 inch seam allowance. Now the back piece should be square.

Set back piece aside.

Front piece:

On the two long sides (starting 2 inched from the top and bottom) I measured every 1/2 inch and put a small mark in the seam allowance. This will make 1 inch pleats. If you want smaller or larger pleats you will need to adjust accordingly.

Now the tedious process of ironing out the pleats. I used a lot of pins and a lot of steam to make them as visually perfect as possible. Keep pleating until the front piece is square and the same size as the muslin lining.

Pin the back of the front pleated piece to the muslin matching corners. Lift up each pleat and top stitch the front linen to the muslin close to the fold. Once the pleat is lying back down you should not be able to see this stitching. It will keep the pleat folded even when the fabric is pulled taut and filled with a pillow.

Now the Muslin should be attached to the front and the front and back pieces should be the same size - 18x18inches.

Open zipper. Pin right sides together. Stitch all 4 sides at 1/2 inch seam allowance and clip corners. Turn right side out. Press. Insert pillow.

And now you have a gorgeous new pillow at a fraction of the cost.

Front view:

Back view:


  1. It looks great. Thanks for the tutorial. Next time I need a pillow, I want to try one like this.

  2. Anonymous6.11.09

    That is really cool! I had to make my pillows by trial and error ((I made them a few years ago!)) but this would have been handy! I really like the pleats, and I think I have some spare cushions lying around!

  3. That pillow is lovely!! The pleats add interest without being too overwhelming.

    I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  4. looks great! i love those tipe of pilows
    i'll defenatly use your tutorial

  5. This. Is. So. Cute. looooove it.

  6. Really nice. So simple and yet very lovely.

  7. I would like to add this to my blog on facebook. tallat2009sew4home@blog.com

  8. This tutorial has been very helpful..and I have enjoyed practicing with it.
    Thanks, tallat2009sew4home@blog.com

  9. Wow. This is a stunning pillow!

  10. Hey - stopping by from All This Penny - and really like this pillow case. Must keep it in my ideas file and recreate. Looks fab!

  11. Thanks for the tutorial - I just finished using it to make my own pillow and it turned out great!

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  13. Anonymous4.1.11

    I made two for my bed. Mine are bright yellow, they definitely add a modern punch to the whole room! Thanks for the great tutorial :)

  14. Angie4.1.11

    I've always avoided zippers because I didn't know how to sew them, and it was intimidating to me. Your tutorial was super easy, and my pillow turned out great! Thanks for sharing your tricks.

  15. Nathalie16.2.11

    This is a gorgeous pillow, and what an easy to follow tutorial! Do you think instead of muslin, you could just iron interfacing to the back of the pleats to keep them in place?

  16. Hi there! I love this idea...it's so darling...and I was hoping that you might add it to my Easter and Spring Linking Party to share with my readers. If you are interested, you can go here http://bakedbyjoanna.blogspot.com/2011/04/easter-linking-party.html to enter. Thanks!

  17. Do you girls have How About Orange on your blog list? This just came up on my reader: http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2011/04/diy-tutorials-for-home.html. Featured on How About Orange! I'm so jealous. :)

  18. Thanks for linking up!

  19. ooh (i found you through how about orange as well) and glad i did. love this idea....regular pillows are so boring! love the idea of adding a little intrigue with the pleating.

  20. Is this pillow for sale? I would love to buy it from you

  21. I loved it....!!! I'm going to do it. thanks in advance for sharing step by step....

  22. I really want to learn to make one! Thanks!

  23. Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have  silk bed sheets twin