Washable Bolster Pillows Tutorial
When Little Man moved into his big boy bed (nervous Mum started with a mattress on the floor), there was a gap between his bed and the wall due a column on the wall.
Nervous Mum (bit of a theme here…) was worried that he’d slide down and get stuck, or worse, his cuddly flat puppy might disappear in the middle of the night and parents get called in to search. Since I had lots of fabric leftover from his Transport Quilt Cover, bolster pillows were the way to go.
I love the cosy look they give to the bed. It reminds me of the two foam mattresses/couch that my grandparents had (in very 70s fabric). I know at some point these will be used as a weapon against his little sister (if my kids are anything like me and my brother), but at least there’s three of them, so both kids can be armed.
Since they’re in a little boy’s room, I made them removable (and have already had to wash them a few times!). Here’s the tutorial:
2 strips of fabric 51cm (20”) x 9cm (3.5”) (for the pillow ends)
2x 52cm (20.5”) pieces of Piping Trim (Optional, but helps the pillow hold its shape and looks more professional):
2x 60cm (24”) pieces of Ribbon or bias tape
Pillow form (Size 24, 61cm x 61cm, 24” x 24”):
Sewing Machine, serger (optional), scissors, pins etc
1. With right sides of the fabric together, sew the 6 fabric strips together for the main section of the bolster pillow. (I used my serger, but a sewing machine would also be fine.)
And here is the right side of the fabric:
2. Fold the fabric in half with right sides together, and the long side together to form a tube.
3. Sew the two end sections into tubes, double-checking that they are the same width as the main section (I’m a bit lazy with my cutting sometimes and always like to double-check!).
4. Pin the piping trim to the right side of the fabric on the ends of the main pillow section, lining up the edge of the woven strip of the trim to the edge of the fabric. Overlap the ends of the trim so they taper over the edge of the fabric.
5. Using a zipper foot and a long, straight basting stitch, sew as close as possible to the piping trim.
6. Pin the end piece on top of the piping trim, with the right side of the fabric facing the trim.
7. Sew as close as possible to the trim (which you can feel through the fabric) using a zipper foot. This time, use a normal stitch length and make sure to do a locking stitch at the start and the end.
Note: if you’re feeling brave or lazy, you can combine steps 4-7 and just pin the three layers of fabric, trim, fabric, but it’s harder to keep it all straight and neat!
Open it out and it should look like this:
8. Turn over and press a 1/4” hem on each end piece. Then turn over another 1/2” and press.
9. Sew along the top of the hem, leaving an opening to thread the ribbon through.
10. Using a safety pin, thread your ribbon or bias tape through the casing.
11. Stuff your pillow – I rolled up a pillow form into a cylinder and stuff it into the pillow cover. I found it easiest to leave the plastic on the pillow form to slide it in, and then pulled out the plastic.
12. Pull the ribbon to close the opening, tie a bow, and then tuck the ribbon into the hole (if you want it out of the way).
And there you have a snazzy bolster pillow!
Please let me know if you use my tutorial!
What a GREAT idea and a fabulous solution! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!
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