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How to Make a Neck Pillow

If you make your own neck pillow you can adjust the size and shape to fit you perfectly.
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Neck pillows are often U-shaped to provide extra support and comfort for the head. They’re great for traveling, or for relaxing at home. You can choose how firm you want the pillow to be by adding more or less fiberfill or rice. The neck pillow can be made from cotton, or you may want to use a soft, slightly stretchy fabric such as fleece, microfiber or a t-shirt knit. You’ll need a piece of fabric that’s a little over twice as big as you want the finished neck pillow.

Draw a U Shape on the newspaper the size you want the finished pillow to be. Cut it out and test it on your shoulders to make sure it fits the way you want it.

Make adjustments to the pillow shape and keep testing it until you are happy with the size and shape.

Trace the U shape on another piece of paper and add another 1 inch extra all the way around. This is your pattern.

Trace the pattern onto the back side of the fabric.

Cut out both layers of fabric and pin them together.

Sew the layers of the neck pillow together, leaving an opening in the outer edge of the bottom of the U-shape. Leave a 3-inch opening to stuff the pillow.

Cut small slits in the seam allowance around the curved edges of the pillow, without cutting through the stitching. Clipping the curves will make it easier to turn the pillow right side out, and keep the edges smoother.

Turn the neck pillow right side out. Insert the foam, or fill the neck pillow with fiberfill stuffing or rice.

Turn the edges of the pillow opening under, so that the raw edges of the fabric are tucked inside the pillow, and pin them together.

Hand sew the opening of the neck pillow together using a whip stitch.

Things You'll Need:

  • Newspaper
  • Pencil, pen or chalk
  • Fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Stuffing or rice
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand sewing needle


You can heat a neck pillow filled with rice for a short time (about 30 seconds) in the microwave to make the pillow soothingly warm. Be careful not to overheat the neck pillow, or the rice may burn.


  • Use caution when working with scissors, pins, sewing machines and sewing needles.
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