Woven Pillow DIY

Learn to weave your own pillow with this detailed tutorial. Get the full instructions on www.aBeautifulMessWoven pillow tutorial for A Beautiful MessDon’t let the wall hangings have all of the fun!

Once you’ve figured out the basics of weaving, you can make all kinds of household decor. I’ve long been inspired by flatweave kilim rugs and love seeing how so many are repurposed into pillows (like this round woven pillow DIY). So I decided to see if I could make something on my lap loom that would have the same kind of texture.

I used cotton and wool yarns because I wanted something that wouldn’t pill easily and would stand up to being used on a daily basis. I was able to finish this decorative pillow in two long sittings at my lap loom. After finishing this size, I’m determined to obtain a larger loom so I can make a standard 14″ x 14″ or 16″ x 16″ size.

SuppliesSupplies2Supplies:
lap loom or handmade loom. Mine is about 12″ across from peg to peg, but you can DIY your own or purchase a larger loom for a larger pillow.
-cotton yarn for your warp
-natural fiber yarn (cotton or wool) yarns for your weaving
-two cuts of fabric measuring about 2″ longer and wider than the finished weaving. A fat quarter would work really well for the size shown. One layer is to back the weaving so you don’t have Poly-fil poking through any gaps, and the other layer will contain the Poly-fil and be the fabric on the back side that you see.
-Poly-fil or natural stuffing
-tapestry needle
-scissors
-shed stick (optional and not shown)
-access to sewing machine. You can also hand stitch the pillow together but be sure to use short stitches for a more finished look.

Step1Step One: Warp your loom. As always, you can find more detailed instructions on the basics of weaving in this post and more photos on how to create shapes in your weaving in this post.

Due to the size of my loom, I needed to make the pattern something that would work horizontally as a pillow so I had to think ahead with my shapes and colors. I also had to think about how it would look stuffed as a pillow and added a little thickness to the edges since about 1/4″ of the perimeter would be folded under when sewn to the back of the pillow. 

I wove across the bottom of my weaving about 1/2″ to stabilize things and to add some contrast to what I knew would be a colorful top. Then I created my edges in black by weaving ten warp rows in on each side (well, nine on one side. oops!) and then reducing a warp row after every two weft rows. Once I got down to three warp rows, I increased a warp row after every two weft rows. For more details on creating shapes, particularly triangles, see steps eleven through nineteen in this post

My tip for making your edges symmetrical is to do one edge until you run out of yarn and then do the other side. Then switch back to the first side and then to the second until you’re done. It’ll help keep your points lined up! 

After finishing my black edges, I added another 1/2″ of white cotton to the top so that it would match the bottom. 

Fill in your shapes and negative spacesStep Two: I went back and added a diamond in the center knowing I wanted a little bit more color. Had I had the patience, I might have added another smaller diamond on each side of the center one, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted it to be that busy. I did decide to add some rya knots to give it more texture but needed to fill in some of my empty space before I added those.

Step ThreeStep Three: I cut cotton yarn so that I had three strands per rya knot. I ended up with eight rya knots to fill in my space. For more details on how to add rya knots, see steps 17-22 in this post

Step FourStep Four: Once they were in place, I continued weaving and filling in my negative space. I was careful to press each row down to keep things tight and secure as I went. You can do this with a weaving fork or your fingers. 

Counter Soumak stitchStep Five: Before working around my diamond, I decided to add a layer of white to outline it. I just stitched a loop around each warp row as I followed the outline of the diamond. This is a counter soumak stitch. 

Step SixStep Six: Again, I wove in the negative space with more of the blue cotton yarn. I tend to weave counter clockwise around shapes to fill things in but you could also work from the bottom up on both sides and then continue with one of the lengths all the way across the top.

Add more tasselsStep Seven: Once I got near the space on the other end where my rya knots needed to be, I flipped my loom upside down. I wanted my knots to be facing opposite directions and lying flat with the ends pointing away from the center. Flipping it just made it easier to tie them in that direction.

Step EightStep Eight: Once my rya knots were added, I turned it back the way it started. I folded my rya knots over and filled in the weaving down to the row of rya knots. Then I flipped the rya knots the way they were supposed to lay and filled in the rest of the negative space. I trimmed my knots down to keep things tidy, but you can keep yours long and wild if you like that look.

Back of weavingStep Nine: Instead of weaving in my ends on the back side, I just tied them in double knots to secure them. They weren’t going to be adding much bulk and I knew they wouldn’t be seen once I had turned it into a pillow. If you want to stop here and keep your weaving just as it is, I suggest stitching them down the back of a row and trimming them off as in step 36 of this tutorial.

Remove your weaving from the loom and tie knots with your long strands as close as you can to the top of your weaving as shown at the end of this tutorial. Almost finished!

Step TenStep Ten: Cut your two pieces of cotton fabric to measure about 2″ longer and wider than your weaving. I used a printed cotton and a white cotton. 

Step ElevenStep Eleven: Place the white cotton fabric down first and then the printed cotton fabric on top of it with the right side of the fabric facing you. Then place the weaving face down and centered on your printed fabric. Pin them together around the edges of the weaving. 

Step TwelveStep Twelve: Starting near the middle of one of the long edges, stitch along the perimeter of your weaving with the edge of the presser foot running along the edge of your weaving. This will create about 1/4″ of space between your seam and the edge. Stitch all the way around until you get about 4″ from where you started. You can see the seam on the back side above. Cut your corners off but don’t cut through your weaving or the seam.  

Note: If you don’t have access to a sewing machine, you can stitch this by hand. Just make small stitches.

Stuff and Stitch Up-Step ThirteenStep Thirteen: Turn your pillow right side out and poke your corners out with something pointed but sort of dull. Also, make sure your white fabric is pressed up against your weaving. You want to create a pocket to insert your stuffing in so that the stuffing is sandwiched in between the two fabrics, not the weaving and the fabric. Then use a needle and thread to blind stitch your opening shut. 

An afterthought: Throw in some crushed lavender or rosemary along with your stuffing for a lightly scented treat. Just be sure not to add anything that might leave a stain on your fabric or weaving.

Finished Woven PillowTa-da! Fluff your tiny pillow and place it somewhere that needs a little more personality. You’ve suddenly added some magic to your space! 

Woven Pillow DIYWoven Pillow Tutorial for ABMOnce you’ve woven yourself a pillow, you get to cozy up next to it with a good book. Mandatory rest time has never looked so fancy! –Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • Hi,

    I cannot find a source for a 6 ft loom to make the rug in the Woven Art book. Please advice. Thanks!

    Carol Dalglish
    San Antonio,TX
    caroltdal@yahoo.com

  • Beautiful! I was given a loom I have not tried, now I have an excuse to do it.

  • gracias por el tutorial, está muy bonito el trabajo en telar

  • So cute! Love the colors you used.

    Laura
    http://laurahager.blogspot.com/

  • Love the pattern, the colours, the texture AND that it’s useful too! Thanks so much for the in depth instructions – will really help when I try this soon.

  • Love the pattern, the colours, the texture AND that it’s useful too! Thanks so much for the in depth instructions – will really help when I try this soon.

    www.adorablest.wordpress.com

  • Beautiful! I’d definitely buy this!

    Warm Regards,
    Alexandra
    www.littlewildheart.com

  • Amazing! I miss making woven pieces, I’d definitely love to give this a go in the future!

  • Oooh love this zig zag pattern! Super cool. And the colours work really well together!! : D

    Gemma
    www.fadedwindmills.com

  • I love the colors you chose, and I especially appreciate your clear and concise directions. Thank you!

  • This is so cute. I don’t have the patience for this, but you make it look easy 🙂

    xo,
    Seng @ http://www.sengerson.com

  • Looks great! Thank you for explaining!

    http://pinchblack.blogspot.ro/

  • I love that pillow,amazing DIY 🙂

    Valentina from http://fashionwithvalentina.blogspot.com

  • Wow, this looks so good! It’s a great DIY and I love the colour choices. I also love the little cute tassels on either side! I haven’t actually woven before but it seems like the time to try 🙂 I have a lot of wool around my house so can’t wait to try this!

    Neeny x

    http://neenyslittleblog.blogspot.co.uk

  • This looks great! And my favorite with most of your DIY projects, the possibilities are endless.

  • Wow, this is gorgeous! I’ve been super into the southwest bohemian look right now, which this reminds me of. I also love how you put the tassels in the middle of the pillow, instead of the typical look of having them on the outside.

    Cat
    http://oddlylovely.com

  • I don’t know if you know this, but this weird thing has been happening on Bloglovin where everytime you click into an ABM post, the Bloglovin toolbar disappears. Just thought I’d give you a heads up!

  • Wow I really love this! I’m definitely going to bookmark this tutorial (:

  • Beautiful! I just started weaving thanks to your basic instruction blog post! -Victoria

  • Beautiful! I just started weaving thanks to your basic instruction blog post! -Victoria

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.