How to Make Bolster Pillows

Item # X-HT-300427

Bolster pillows, also known as neckroll pillows, are decorative accents that add style and sophistication to your bedroom set or living room décor. Today's video tutorial will teach you how to sew a bolster pillow with two finishing methods: a zipper closure and a hand-stitched closure. We'll also show you how to add decorative fabric buttons to the ends of the hand-stitched pillow for added style and a classic look. Join us in this fun and easy afternoon DIY.

Our finished bolster pillows.

The first step of this pillow project is selecting which size neckroll pillow form you want. We chose a 9 x 20-inch pillow form. Once you have your pillow form size, you can use the Sailrite® Fabric Calculator to determine how much fabric you'll need for this project. The Fabric Calculator does all the work for you. Simply add your pillow dimensions, the number of pillows you want to make, your chosen fabric's width, what type of fit you want — and that's it!

The Fabric Calculator will give you the exact amount of yardage you need. Sailrite sells whole yards of fabric, so round up to the next whole number when ordering. The calculator also shows you a rendering of how to cut out the panels for your pillow form. We encourage you to use our Fabric Calculator for all your DIY projects. It calculates your yardage for cushions, awnings, sail shades, patio umbrellas, canopies, window treatments and more.

We chose Covington Sumatra Platinum fabric for our zippered bolster pillow. This ikat-inspired embroidered quatrefoil pattern adds a chic and modern look to any room. Once we have our rectangle and two circles for the end pieces cut, it's time to sew up the pillow and add the zipper plaque. Watch the video closely to learn how to properly install the zipper plaque, especially the part where we increase the stitch length to make it easier when ripping out the stitches to reveal the zipper.

In our second pillow tutorial, we'll show you how to hand-sew the pillow cover opening closed using the invisible stitch method. This is an alternative closure method if you don't want to install a zipper. For added interest, we add fabric-covered buttons to each end of the bolster pillow for a tufted, classic look. We used Crypton® Home Dalmation Denim fabric (#121895) for our second pillow. This is a chenille-textured fabric with excellent abrasion and stain resistance. Because the chenille fabric is thick, it's a bit difficult to insert the fabric in the Snap Together Button Form. But don't worry. We've got a neat trick that shows you how to cinch the fabric around the button form.

We hope you've enjoyed this video tutorial on how to sew bolster pillows. If you're looking for a bolster or neckroll pillow with a piping edging, check out our blog "How to Make a Neckroll Pillow With Piping" (200632XHT). If you'd rather have a Velcro® closure on your pillow instead of a zipper closure, our blog "How to Make Neckroll Pillow Covers" (200507XHT) is what you're looking for.

Thanks for watching! We hope you've enjoyed this fun and easy pillow DIY. Be sure to post photos of your pillows on your favorite social media site using #Sailrite so we can see what you're making!

Video Chapters:

  • Measuring and Calculating for Fabric — 00:30 min.
  • Cutting Patterns — 2:41 min.
  • Installing Zipper Closure — 3:27 min.
  • Sewing End Circles — 8:11 min.
  • Inserting Pillow Form — 11:21 min.
  • Sewing Invisible Stitch — 12:02 min.
  • Creating & Adding Fabric-Covered Button — 15:42 min.
  • Materials List — 21:45 min.

Materials List:

  • Decor & Upholstery Fabric from Sailrite (we used Covington Sumatra Platinum 55" #106640 and Crypton® Home Dalmation Denim 54" #121895
  • Seamstick 1/4" Basting Tape for Canvas & Upholstery #122065
  • YKK® Continuous Zipper Chain #4.5 White (Coil) #104385
  • YKK® Zipper Slider #4.5 White Metal Single Lock Short Pull (Coil) #104336
  • Thread from Sailrite
  • Supreme Poly-Fil® Soft Touch® Neckroll Pillow Form 9" x 20" #120594
  • Snap Together Button Form 1‑1/8" #100194
  • Twine 5‑ply Waxed Bobbin (81Ft) #29206

Tools List:

  • Tape Measure 120 Inch #102986
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" #102400
  • Rotary Cutter 28mm #139900
  • Scratch Awl Yellow #2354
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler #107040
  • Chalk Pencil Cartridge Set #121669
  • Multiuse Pins 1 1/2" #102985
  • Deluxe 5 1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide #103597
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ‑1 BASIC #300601
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Industrial Sewing Table & Workhorse™ Servo Motor #120931
  • Seam Ripper Deluxe #18104
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" #101017
  • Assorted Long Hand Sewing Needles #100099