DIY Series: How to Make a Neck Travel Pillow

Rider Insider
January 15, 2019 / By / Post a Comment

Commuting can free up time in your day to read, catch up on work and emails but sometimes on those early morning trips, all you want to do is catch a few extra Z’s. I found a fun and easy way to make your own travel neck pillow so your daily commute can be a little more comfortable.


Step 1:  Gather Supplies

You Will Need:

Pillow Pattern – See pattern sample below

Fabric – You will need about 1/2 yard of fabric.

Polyester Fiberfill – You can find this at any craft or fabric store.

Sewing Needle – for hand stitching

Thread – This can be found in any craft store

Sewing Machine


Step 2:  Cut out Pattern

  1. Lay out your pattern on the fabric – The fabric should be folded in half and the flat side of the pattern should be flush with the fold of the fabric. Notice on my pattern there is a side that shows “fold” most pattern pieces will have this type of indication.
  2. Pin pattern to the fabric – This will guarantee the pattern won’t move as you cut the fabric
  3. Cut fabric out – Carefully cut around your pattern to get your pattern piece. Be sure not to stretch the fabric while you cut or your piece will come out misshapen.
  4. Repeat. – To make the pillow you will need two U shaped pieces. So repeat steps 1 – 3 to get the second piece.


Step 3: Sew Pieces Together

Now that you have the two U shaped pieces you can start sewing them together

  1. Prep for sewing by laying out pieces – You’ll want to lay out the pieces so the right side of the fabric is on the inside and the wrong side of the fabric is facing up.
  2. Sew together pieces – Time to go to the sewing machine and start sewing your two pieces together. You want to give yourself about 1/4″ seam allowance with your fabric. This means that your stitch will be about 1/4″ away from the end of the fabric.

NOTE: Every time you start or stop a stitch it’s good to back stitch about 1/4″. This will help keep the thread in the fabric, and keep it from pulling out easily

  1. Leave about 2″ of fabric unsewn so you can stuff your pillow – DO NOT SEW ALL THE WAY AROUND! You will have a very flat pillow.




Step 4:  Stuff Your Pillow

  1. Flip your pillow right side out – Now your stitching seam will be on the inside of the pillow.
  2. Use fiberfill to stuff your pillow – Use your polyester fiber to stuff the pillow to your desired softness. Put a lot of stuffing in this pillow for a firm pillow.


Step 5:  Hand Stitch Closed

Once you have your pillow stuffed it’s time to finish stitching your pillow closed

  1. Fold your fabric about 1/4″ to give your the same seam allowance – You will notice your fabric will want to fold into the pillow naturally because of the seam you already made.
  2. Thread your needle – Thread your needle and tie the two ends of the thread together. Using two strands of thread to stitch will add extra strength to your seam.

For this closer you will be using a ladder/blind stitch

  1. Pull the needle up and through one of the folded seams, from back to front, and pull the thread tail completely through. The knotted end of your thread will be hidden on the inside of your pillow.
  2. Go directly across from your last stitch. Push the needle in and then back out of opposite seam crease to create a stitch.
  3. Repeat this process until you get to the end of hole. You will notice the stitch will create horizontal lines between the two pieces of fabric. (kind of like rungs of a ladder)
  4. To finish the stitch, pull your needle through a small amount of fabric on the opposite side of your last stitch. As you pull the thread tight, you will notice it creates a loop. BEFORE PULLING the tread tight, pass the needle and thread though the loop to create a knot.


Step 6: Travel

I hope you enjoy your neck pillow as much as I do! Post your own DIY neck pillow in the comments below!

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