How-To: Make a Pillow Without Polyfill

pillow fold fabric

Fold It

My valence was 42″ long by 12″ wide, but you can really use almost any dimensions you like. My finished pillow was 21″ by 12″ (half as wide as the fabric I started with and the same height).

To get started, press your valence (or dish towel, or hemmed fabric), then fold it in half longways, right sides facing out (like in the photo), press again, and pin. Grab some thread and head to the machine, because you’re ready to start sewing!

Next >> Sewing Your Pillow

10 thoughts on “How-To: Make a Pillow Without Polyfill”

  1. So funny to see this today. I’ve been collecting my tiny scraps to use for pillows since I saw a friend collecting them at the quilt store to make dog beds for the animal shelter!

  2. If you really want to get serious about ammassing a large amount of scraps in a short time, check with a local quilters guild or quilter friends.  You may even be able to find a quilters retreat center if you can have a special bin for scraps only that quilters can put their scraps in. 

    Do you think you could also add rags like worn out undershirts or socks that are cut up?

    1. You could choose to do that, if you wanted to. I don’t think there would be any harm to you in it. You’d likely want to be very mindful of the temperature at which you’re drying your scraps and thread bits, however–it’s surprising how durable insect eggs can be.

      1. Freezing your scraps for a good period of time (say a few days to a week) will kill nearly everything. For extra measure soak in a 50/50 vinegar water wash for another day or two. Then launder, highest temp if possible. I’ve done this with things that moths or silverfish have gotten into and have never seen them return as a result of incomplete cleaning.

  3. We made some of these years ago when my scraps were getting out of control! We called them brick pillows because the scraps make the pillows so much heavier than the polyfill.

  4. I’ve recently been making a quilt style blanket out of tshirts and after cutting those tshirts i wondered what i could do with all the scraps. This is the perfect DIY to use those scraps!

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