DIY Floor Pillow: How to Make a Floor Pillow With Tufted Edges
Floor pillows are a great way to add extra seating when you don't have room for chairs. They also add a cool, boho vibe to your living space. Can't you picture this chic velvet floor pillow in a bedroom, living room or even a college dorm for extra seating? Don't buy floor cushions when it's so easy to make your own! Join us for this fun and easy DIY floor pillow tutorial.
We chose one of our soft, plush velvet upholstery fabrics for this project. We thought the velvet added a touch of sophistication and elegance to the floor pillow. But you can use whatever type of upholstery fabric you want! Just keep in mind that if you use a fabric with a pattern, it will be a bit tricky to match up the pattern or design on the panels and boxing. You might end up having to purchase additional yardage if you want the pattern to match up and look seamless. We have a blog, "How to Join Patterned Fabric" (#300205XHT), that shows you how to match up patterned fabric.
Our floor pillow's finished measurements are 30 inches square with a 6-inch height for a squishy and comfortable pillow. We're sewing on the Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ Sewing Machine, but this project can also be sewn on a home machine. Ready to get started? Below is a complete materials list with everything you'll need to sew this floor pillow.
1. Cut two fabric panels 31 inches square. The extra inch is for the 1/2-inch seam allowance on all four sides. Cut two strips 7 inches x 64 inches for the boxing. Refer to the cutting diagram below for how to cut your fabric pieces. Save your leftover fabric for the buttons you will make in a later step.
2. Sew the two boxing strips together first. Layer your strips together with right sides (the plush velvet sides) facing each other. Sew both short ends together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance, creating a big loop of fabric. Reverse sew at the beginning and end of each strip to lock your stitches in place.
3. Next, take one pillow plate and pin it to the "top" long loop of your boxing with right sides together. Make sure your two boxing seams line up with two corners of the top plate. You want your boxing seams to be in two corners of the pillow.
4. Sew your top plate to the boxing strip with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Reverse sew at the beginning and end to lock your stitches in place. When you reach each pillow corner, bury your needle. Lift the presser foot, rotate your fabric, lower the foot and keep sewing.
5. Repeat this process for the second plate, pinning it with right sides together to the other long edge of the boxing. However, this time leave a 5- to 6-inch opening on one pillow side for inserting the stuffing. Reverse sew at each end of the opening to lock your stitches in place.
6. Turn the pillow right side out. Reach inside with your hand to push the corners out. Stuff the pillow with as much stuffing as you desire. We used over half a bag of 10 lb. fiberfill. As you're filling the cushion, make sure you thoroughly push fiberfill into the corners. This will make the tufted edge look nicer. The fiberfill will condense over time, so when in doubt we suggest stuffing the cushion more fully than you think you need.
7. We hand-sewed the opening closed using the invisible stitch and a curved needle. The invisible stitch is also known as a slip stitch. You can also sew the opening closed with your sewing machine if you prefer.
Watch this segment from our "How to Sew a Throw Pillow" video (#300186XHT) to see how to sew the invisible stitch.
8. Use some of your leftover fabric to make 10 buttons. If you need help assembling the button form pieces, we have a blog on how to do it. Reference our "How to Make Snap Together Fabric Buttons" blog (#300424XHT) for a helpful video tutorial.
9. Once your buttons are made, we're going to add five buttons to each side of the pillow. Measure and mark the exact center of the pillow. Measure approximately 8 inches in from each side and mark each button location. Repeat this process for the other side.
10. Thread a long hand sewing needle with a long length of thread and knot the ends to create a closed loop. Pierce through the center of the pillow and come out at the other marked center, but don't pull your thread all the way through. Leave about half the length of doubled thread on the side you pierced through.
11. Thread one of the buttons through the needle and go back through the pillow and out the other side, offsetting by about 1/16 inch — you don't want to pierce directly through the center again. On the side without the button, make sure your needle exits 1/16 inch away from the center mark.
12. Thread a second button, and then take the two ends of thread (one with the needle, one with the end of the thread loop) and tie a three-twisted granny knot. Cinch the knot tightly until you are happy with the amount of tuft you've created. Next, tie several knots to keep the buttons cinched and in place. Trim the thread at the edge of the button. Repeat this process for the remaining buttons.
How to Tie a Three-Twisted Granny Knot
With the two ends of the thread in each hand, tie a regular granny knot but do not cinch it yet. With the granny knot still loose, take one thread end and wrap it through the loop two more times. Now cinch the knot tight till you achieve your desired look.
13. Finally, it's time for the most visually stunning part of this floor pillow — the beautiful tufted edges! By picking a thread color that closely matches your fabric, the thread blends in when you hand-stitch the edges.
14. With a hand sewing needle and long length of thread knotted at the end, insert your needle about 1-1/2 inches from the top pillow edge. Come out about 1-1/2 inches down from the edge seam. Move the needle over about 1/2 to 1 inch and insert, coming out at the top about 1/2 to 1 inch over from where you started. Repeat this all the way around all four sides. We hand-stitched approximately 6-inch sections to keep a consistent tension around the pillow edges. When one side is done, flip it over and repeat for the other side. To hide any thread ends, we recommend threading them with your needle and burying the thread in the pillow.
Watch our short video showing how to hand-stitch the tufted edging. Here's a tip: Measure and use pins to mark the 1-1/2-inch edging placement.
How do you like your new floor pillow? You could easily adjust the dimensions and turn this into a rectangular bench cushion, a cushion for a porch swing and more! This is just one of dozens of pillow and cushion tutorials we have. Explore our collection of DIY blogs and get inspired for your next project! Sailrite has all the DIY supplies you need in stock and ready to ship! Post pictures of your finished pillow in the comments section below or on social media with the hashtag #Sailrite. We want to see your creativity!