Crafty Monday: Pillow with piping tutorial

Note: Before you read through here, you need to be aware that I’m using a new WYSIWYG editor, and it’s not working the best for me. It’s better than the default editor, but I’m not an immediate fan like I am for other WordPress plug-ins.


Pillows are easy projects, and they needn’t cost much. The pillow I made for my nephew has piping. Piping just makes a pillow looksharp. Don’t you agree? My kids certainly noticed when I showed them this pillow.

If you haven’t used piping before, here’s how I did it. When compared to making a non-piped pillow, it really doesn’t add much time at all.

Because my nephew likes Star Wars, Legos, and football, and because the fabric doesn’t have Star Wars or Legos fabric, I went with football fabric. This is polar fleece because there were no suitable quilting fabrics.

Because I was making a 12″ square, I put focal points of the fabric pattern in the center of the pillow. I know this is somewhat wasteful of fabric, but scraps can be used to something that needs to be firm rather than soft (like a stuffed doll or animal). Or you can toss them in the trash. I didn’t have very much waste, so I tossed it.

You will need:

materials for pillow with piping
  • fabric
  • black piping, football fleece, pins, and rotary cutter
  • coordinating piping (look by the bias tape display at the store if you aren’t making your own. I didn’t buy my own.)
  • polyester stuffing or a pillow form
  • scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • sewing machine or needle for hand stitching
  • thread (not pictured) and straight pins

I knew that I had polyester stuffing on hand for up to a 12″ pillow (most of a 340g bag). Snag a pillow form or bag or two of stuffing when they go on sale at the store. I almost always have some in the house. 

two squares
Here are my two squares of fleece. You can see my clear ruler and gray cutting mat. They make my cuts very accurate. I got them on sale a looooooooong time ago. They older ladies behind me at the cutting counter congratulated me on getting such a good deal.
If you are using scissors, I suggest using a measuring tape and drawing lines with a marker on the reverse side of the fabric, especially with a large print pattern or solid.
trim the pillow 1
Overlap the ends. I’ll show another picture of this further down.

Now to make the pillow special with piping — just lay the piping on the right side of the fabric. It sticks to the fleece, so no pins necessary. Just pick one square of fabric (one side of the pillow), then stitch it in place, as close to the piping as possible. I think my presser foot was on top of the piping. Maybe a zipper foot would help you.


Now check your stitching to be sure the piping is snug against the fabric. The first time, mine was not, as the photo shows. I have a big gap between the piping and the fabric. That would look funny when finished, and my nephew deserves better than that, so I did a ‘do-over.’

piping bestThis looks much better. Piping looks right. On to making a regular pillow case!

sewing RST
Remember to keep an opening for the stuffing!

To finish the pillow, I laid the second piece of fleece over the piece with the piping, right sides together (RST) and stitched them up. Again, sew as close to the piping as possible. I thought I felt as though I was sewing ON the piping, but it looks fine. This is the “pillow case.”

polyester stuffing polar fleece pillow piping
Almost 340 g of stuffing will fit into my 12 x 12 inch pillow

Leaving a gap in my stitches allowed me to stuff the pillow. All that’s left now is to hand stitch the gap!

 ends of piping are inside the pillow

Here is a close up of the ends of the piping. They are crisscrossed inside the pillow, which looks funny. Outside the pillow, the ends are barely detectable.

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