Things You'll Need
- Sturdy cardboard, enough to create four triangles 11 inches wide by 9 inches high
- Pencil, pen or marker
- Square throw pillow, roughly 13 inches by 13 inches
- Fabric of your choice that coordinates with the pillow
- Glue or tape
- Cotton batting
- Heavy sewing thread (e.g. upholstery or carpet thread)
- Tapestry or other strong sewing needle
- Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
A book holder pillow offers readers a way to comfortably position a book. It can be used while lying in bed, while lying prone on the floor or while standing at a counter. Book holder pillows are popular gifts for book lovers and for those who are bedridden. However they generally cost $25 or more, depending on the materials used and the vendor. It is possible to make a book holder pillow at home, using a square throw pillow and cardboard.
Forming the Pyramid
Using the cardboard, draw four equilateral triangles measuring 11 inches wide at the base and 9 inches tall at the apex.
Apply glue to one face of the triangles and cover them with fabric, being careful to smooth out air bubbles. Wrap excess fabric around the edges and glue to the back face. Trim excess fabric. Allow glue to dry thoroughly before proceeding.
Glue or tape the triangles into a pyramid shape. If using glue, allow it to dry thoroughly before proceeding. You may need to hold the pieces in place until the glue sets. Make sure bottom edges are even.
Insert cotton batting into the pyramid, being careful to not overfill it.
Assembling the Pillow
Place the pyramid on the center of the pillow. Trace around it with pen, marker or pencil. The lines will resemble a picture frame.
Thread the needle, doubling the strand and knotting the end. Using a running or back stitch, sew along the lines you drew on the pillow, pulling the thread as tightly as possible.
Make a second set of "picture frame" lines, 1/2 inch closer to the edge of the pillow.
Sew along the second set of lines as you did with the first set. Pull the thread as tightly as possible. The result will be a slight "trough" that will be used to hold a book in place.
Using the hot glue gun, attach the pyramid to the pillow on the lines you drew in Step 1 of this section. Allow the glue to cool.
To use the pillow, insert the book's cover into the trough and allow the book to lean back against the pyramid. The outer edge of the pillow will help to hold the pages in place while you read.
When choosing a pillow, the flatter the better. If possible, find one with a sewn border seam or cord border. This will help hold the book in place.
Choose a lightweight pillow if it is to be used by someone who is bedridden. This will help avoid placing undue pressure on the chest, abdomen or legs.
If you use glue or other chemical adhesives, follow all safety instructions carefully to avoid injury and/or damage to clothes and furniture. Keep them out of reach of children. Use caution when using hot glue to avoid burning yourself or others.
Laura Brestovansky is a Michigan-based writer with more than 25 years experience. Her work has appeared on countless websites as well as in local newspapers such as the Oakland Press, the LA View and The Michigan Catholic. She has an honors degree in journalism from Eastern Michigan University.