How to Make a Lumbar Pillow With Piping

Item # X-HT-300003

Lumbar pillows are great for supporting your back in a deep or uncomfortable chair or they can be used for purely decorative purposes to add another color or shape to a pillow arrangement on a bed. Whatever you need a lumbar pillow for, the process of making one is the same and we’re going to walk you through it today.

Patio lumbar pillow with piping

We are making these lumbar pillows to go with the cushions we made in our How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion tutorial (300004XHT). The existing brown lumbar pillows weren’t in bad shape, but they no longer coordinated with our new teal seat cushions. So we used the old pillows for patterning and then borrowed their stuffing. Since our pillows are going to be outdoors, we’re using a Waverly® Sun N Shade fabric, Santa Maria Mimosa. This fabric features 500 hour UV protection and up to 1500 hours of light fastness, which makes it a great choice for patio pillows.

Materials List:

  • Fabric (we used Waverly Sun N Shade Santa Maria Mimosa #677665)
  • Piping cord #1055
  • Polyester Fiberfill #104467
  • Curved hand needle #100100
  • Thread

How to Make Lumbar Pillows with Piping

1. Determine the dimensions of your pillow.

Measure pillow dimensions

2. Transfer those measurements to your fabric. We wanted our pillow’s panels to be the same on both sides and we wanted the main flower of the fabric’s pattern to be centered, so we patterned our dimensions around the focal point on the pattern.

Transfer measurements to fabric.

3. Cut out your panels.

Cut out your panels

4. Lay your panels on top of each other with the right sides facing so that the patterns line up symmetrically.

Lay panels right sides together

5. To make the pillows corners of the pillow fuller, we trimmed a little fabric off the corners. At one corner of your fabric panels, measure down 4” and make a mark. From the corner again, measure over 1/2”. At an angle, draw a line connecting the two marks. Then cut along that line. Do this for both sides of the corner. Then repeat the process on the opposite corner.

Trim the corners

6. Fold over the fabric and use it as a guide to trim the two remaining corners.

Fold over fabric. Use as a guide to trim the remaining two corners.

7. Make bias cut piping to accent the edges of your pillow. Follow our bias piping tutorial (#X-HT-200665) for this step.

Make bias piping

8. Starting at the bottom center on one of your pillow panels, pin the finished piping to the right side of the fabric around the entire perimeter of the panel. Cut a relief notch in the flange of the piping to help it curve around the corners.

Pin the piping around the perimeter of one panel.

9. When you get back to where your piping started, let the piping overlap itself by a few inches and then cut off the excess.

overlap the piping by a few inches

10. Use your scissors to carefully snip the stitching out of the piping flange on one side.

Open the seams on the piping flange.

11. Fold back the fabric so the piping cord is exposed and lay the cord next to the covered, pinned piping.

Expose the free end of the piping cord and lay it next to the opposite end.

12. Cut the exposed piping cord so it lines up exactly with the other end of the piping.

Cut the exposed end of the piping even with the other end

13. Fold the remaining fabric at an angle and then lay the other end of the piping on top of it so the cording ends are meeting.

Fold the remaining fabric at an angle and lay the piping over top.

14. Fold the angled fabric over the top of where the cording meets and pin it in place. Now you’ll have a clean junction point where the piping ends.

Fold the angled fabric over the cording for a clean junction.

15. With your piping or zipper foot still on your sewing machine, sew right next to the piping cord all around the perimeter of your fabric panel, starting just before the piping junction.

Sew the piping junction in place.

16. Now you should have two panels, one with piping and one without.

Two panels, one with piping, one without.

17. Lay your panels on top of each other again so the right sides are facing each other and the patterns are lined up symmetrically. The cording should now be sandwiched between the panels.

Lay your panels right sides together so they are symmetrical

18. Sew around three sides of the assembly, close to the piping cord, but being sure not to sew over it. Leave an opening on the bottom edge of the pillow that’s about as wide as your hand. This is where we will insert the stuffing.

Sew around the perimeter of the pillow, leaving an opening at the bottom to insert stuffing.

19. Trim the excess fabric out of the corners.

Trim excess fabric from corners.

20. Turn the pillow outside right, being sure to poke out all of the corners so they can get filled.

Turn pillow right side out.

21. Start stuffing your pillow. We cut open our old pillow to reuse the stuffing, but you can use new polyester fiberfill for stuffing, too.

Start stuffing your pillow.

22. When it’s good and puffy, fold under the raw, open edge and pin it in place.

Fold over the open edge and pin in place.

23. Using a curved needle, sew a slip stitch to secure the pinned edge. To sew a slip stitch, start by going through the underside of one side of your fabric with your needle and thread. This hides your knot on your thread. Then go back and forth running your needle through a bit of the fabric on the right and then the left sides.

Sew the opening closed using a curved needle.

24. Now your pillow is finished!

finished pillow

You can find all of the materials needed to sew your own lumbar pillow for your home or patio right here at Sailrite.