Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tutorial: Sprocket Pillows


These are my favorite new pillows. They are fast and unbelievably easy to make…and I hope you love them as much as I do. I did my best to simplify the instructions/pattern so they are beginner friendly, and super fun to make. If you’ve never worked with a template or curves, and your nervous about it…these pillows are a perfect place to start. The only problem with them is that you can’t make just one…trust me …I tried.


There are pattern templates for two sizes:



Click the link below to download the pattern templates

*For best results, print the templates directly from google docs (click file on the left and print). If you are using explorer or firefox….make sure you hit "fit to printable area", or "print actual size" in the printer preferences.
** Please do not re-post the link to these templates on your own website! Thank you!

You will also need:

Large fabric scraps for the top wedges, a 5" x width of fabric strip for the middle (plus a little extra for the large size), a fat quarter for the back, a bag of poly-fill stuffing, and a button and thread for the center.

Let’s get started!!!!

1. Cut out the template for the size pillow that you are making. Using the template cut out 12 wedges.


2. Arrange the wedges how you like them. Sew the wedges into pairs, right sides together. Sew from the tip to the end. Use a 1/4" seam allowance while constructing the pillow top.
3. Press and arrange the pairs. Sew the pairs into two halves.
collage 2

4. Pin the edges and center seams of the halves together. Sew the halves together, slightly pulling or easing the fabric as necessary to get the edges and center to match. Don’t worry if your center seams don’t match perfectly…that’s what the button is for. Press well.

collage 3


5. Make the pillow back by folding the backing fat quarter, and the circle top in half. Line up the folds, trace, and cut out the back.


6. Cut the strip for the pillow center. The strip sizes are:
Large Pillow: 5" x 50" strip
Small Pillow: 5" x 43 1/2" strip

Sew the ends of the strip right sides together using a 1/2" seam allowance and press. You’ll use a 1/2" seam allowance from here on out.


7. Pin one edge of the strip to the edges of the pillow top. Start anywhere and work your way around, easing or slightly stretching as necessary. If you have too much excess, pin all the way around except for the last 6” or so and pinch the extra together and sew it together. If you don’t have enough strip and you can’t slightly stretch it larger…you can either cut and sew another small strip on, or pin the strip 1/8" or so in from the pillow top edge.


Remember that you can’t use too many pins!


8. Sew along the edge using a 1/2" seam allowance.


9. Now pin the other edge of the middle strip to the backing, right sides together. Do it the same way you did the front.


10. Again, sew along the edge using a 1/2" seam allowance…but this time leave a 4" hole for turning and stuffing.


11. Turn the pillow right side out and stuff with your poly-fill. I like my pillow to look full but still be really cushy…that way when you add the button it sinks right in.


12. Sew up the hole either by hand or machine.
13. Get your button, needle and thread ready. If you want to make a fabric covered button like I did…you can buy kits at any fabric/craft store….they are super simple and take about 10 seconds. I recommend using thick thread like embroidery thread to add the button….but I didn’t have any for the tutorial so just ignore the thread I’m using in the photos.
Knot the end of your thread and put the needle through the center back of your pillow and push it to the front center.


Loop the thread/needle through your button a few times and put the needle back through the front to the back.


Pull the thread until the button is depressed in the front enough for your liking, and knot the thread in the back of the pillow. You can cover the back knot with another button…or just leave it.


And there you go. Aren’t they fun???!!!! Now you can make more in no time!



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Pamela Nevins said...

Thank you for posting this tutorial. I love the pattern. I have made two thus far. My points aren't meeting up exactly but with a button in the middle or an appliqued heart like I did the last one, a person would never know. I just sent the link to a friend who loved it and wants to makes these for charity. God bless you. I enjoy your sight.

Pizzazz said...

Hi, I'm Angela from Italy, your tutorial is great! It was so fun to make it !

Diane said...

Your pillows and tutorial are terrific! Thanks for sharing!

Amber said...

Thanks for lovely tutorial and sharing your wonderful ideas. I love this Accent Pillows its nice and easy way.

Regina said...

love these pillows...i'm moving into a new house so i'm excited to make some for my bed!

Gloria said...

Thanks for another great tute .I will be making a few of these cute pillows. Fun and easy it. Even have a few newbies to sewing trying some tutes.

Sue B said...

Wow, I have seen a few of these on blogs and loved them, thanks so much for the easy to follow tutorial I now have another item on my must make list.

Kate B said...

My friend has pillows almost IDENTICAL to this, but she paid a ton of money for them at Urban Outfitters! Good on you!

MOLLIK said...

thank you for a great tutorial :)

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

I am in pillow love! Serious swooning ...

And serious pinning.

I need to make me some sprocket pillows ...

I'm just as excited about this pillow as I was when I first saw the Pom Pom pillow on another blog and ran out and made me one of my own!



Inspire Me Heather said...

I love your pillows - they're gorgeous! I've got this linked to my pillows post as well today, for inspiration!

Muns said...

Just loved them! Thank you for the turorial!

rebekah @ justfordaisy said...

This is fabulous! :) I'm printing the pattern today and will make a few of these tonight for my daughter's playroom! :) Thanks so much for sharing your pattern/tutorial! :)

craktpot said...

Thanks for a great tutorial! I made one last night for a swap (I have to run out for a covered button.) FYI, I quilted the top, only stitching out 1/4" from the the seams on all sides, and I really like the way that looks and feels (I always put a layer of batting close to the outside fabric so it's nice and smooth with stuffing. :) Thanks again!

Patricia said...

Thanks for the great Tute! thought i would share what my Little Man thought of it all! he loved sewing from your pattern! and is very proud of what he made when raiding my fabric stash

decoguy said...

wow what a great tutorial and idea! thank you =)
i see that you used a machine, how long did it take for you to finish a pillow? and would it be possible to use silk or satin like fabric to create this pillow?

Hannah said...

So adorable!!!! I couldn't help but make one, and I can't wait to make more!!!! If you want to see mine, it's here:

Thanks again!!!

Mª Rita H. Fagundes said...

Sou fã de seu site, e agradeço pelos moldes e tutorial, as almofadas estão lindas!!Parabéns pelo trabalho!!
Tomei a liberdade de coloca-las em meu blog com seu link...voc~e me dá autorização?
Mª Rita(Janelas e Caminhos)

Petite Puck said...

A big thank you from Holland!
So sweet of you, sharing this on your lovely blog!

Margaret said...

What beautiful pillows! Love the fabric you used. Thank you for the tutorial. I made two today!

Allie said...

I can't wait to make this pillow!! So cute!

Just because... said...

Saw this this morning, baby slept twice and this afternoon it is finished - woohoo!!! Thanks heaps

chiddada said...

VERY FUN. I'd like to make a big giant huge one and stuff it with fabric I'm tired of looking at;)

Susie said...

awesome tute! Thank you!

MamaLadyBug said...

I really love these pillows! Thank you for sharing this tutorial!

Val said...

I just love this pillow. Thanks for the tutorial. I have just pinned it.

Julia said...

I made two sprocket pillows since I've discovered your amazing tutorial and both turned out beautifully! Thank you for sharing this.

dsc said...

loVE THESE!! I remember my grandmother having some when I was a kid!!

The Chickens' Auntie said...

These pillows are great! I can't wait to make them -- thanks for the instructions.

Jan said...

These are adorable. Thank you for the tutorial. : )

lyulala said...

this tute is really lovely and the results are gr8 even to me, that i'm just a beginner.
u really rule!
do u mind if i give u a little 'trick' i used:
quen you put on the butto, and u pass the thread from the top to the bottom, it' is very useful to pass another small transparent or matching button, to prevent the thread to break the fabric because of the pressure.
it's just a little trick, but might make ur pillows last longer ! :)

Valery said...

I really like this colorful pillow.I like its shape very much!

Lisa Van Dam said...

Just totally fell in love with these and am off to make a few of my own!! thanks for the great tutorial - I don't think I would have tried it just looking at the picture : )

CurlyGirlMom said...

Oh my goodness... I'm so excited to give these a try. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR TUTORIAL!! :)

Christine Welsh said...

Gosh these look really nice! I am inspired to make some myself! Thank you for sharing! :)
- ChrisW Designs

Annette said...

Thank you. These look really pretty & I will try them.

.emiliana. said...

Great tutorial. Thank you very much from Slovakia(Europe). I really like your blog and tutorials. I wish you all the best :-)

Nanske said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I made 5 pillows and it was very fun to do...

Jules said...

How awesome, just back to sewing after quite some time, so the middle is not looking so great, but with a button I'm sure it will be fine. practised on really old scraps so looking forward to making another with prettier material. managed to do it over two days which is pretty good for me! thanks for the inspiration.

Donna Laster said...

I love the pillow. I am working on some similar I have a pattern for but I like your pattern better. Patchwork pillows are so pretty. Love your choice of colors. Thanks so much for posting the tutorial.

Donna from

Deana Tankersley said...

Wow..these are fabulous..Great tutorial..thank you so much..can't wait to try it..=D

Luanne Pang said...

Love this pillow! I must try this one. But first I have to find lovely fabrics.

Bunga said...

Thank you for the sharing idea.I just bumped onto this pillow at the mall and just thought of trying it.

Nancy Reinke said...

Hi Allison! I want to thank you for this tutorial. It led me to make sprocket pillows for my grandchildren for Christmas. I just finished yesterday and blogged about the three pillows. You can see them here: I also included a link back to your tutorial. The pillows turned out so cute. Thanks, again! Nancy

anam said...

This tutorial was by far the best and so easy.your pillows look amazing.
I just had to make these the minute i saw the tutorial. I posted the pictures of my pillow on my blog. Heres the link
Plus i mentioned you in it aswell because without your tutorial i doubt i could have made it. So Thankyou

Dragonlady said...

I guess I am coming to the party a little late, but I just had to say how absolutely lovely the pillows are! I am definety going to make these!

Shahnnon Hawkins said...

I just made the larger version of this pillow as my first true sewing project! It turned out really well, and I intend on making a set to serve as decor. Thank you very much for this free pattern! I wish there was a way to share a picture of it with you.

Kelli Marshall said...

Allison, these pillows are great! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! Our followers love your book so i'm happy to show them more of your great works! Thank you!
Kelli Marshall

Kelly @ Lucy's Daughter said...

A few years after you posted this tutorial and it's still being made and loved! I'm not a fan of sewing circles - they scare me! - but I made the smaller version of this pillow tonight and, you're right, you can't make just one! I'm going to start another one tomorrow!

Naomi Holt said...

These are gorgeous cushions,I'm in the middle of making a black and white themed fabric one right this minute,can't wait till it's finished.
Thanks for sharing your patterns and tips :)

Alcira Ramirez Cardona said...

acabo de terminar el cojin, me quedo precioso. después de res años,y seguro que seguiran haciendolo. gracias muchas gracias. felicidades

Deni said...

WOW this blog its wonderful! thank you for sharing such wonderful projects!
I have so much fabric left over from Quilting that I need these ways to use them up and I can see I will end up with a lovely gift to give away
Thank you again

Jacqui Copeman said...

Hi! Thanks for the tutorial, they are great cushions! I've started making an unmatched pair for my Mum, I'm terrible at finishing projects though, so I thought I'd say thank you now, rather than waiting until they are done! There's a couple of photos of my progress here :)
Thanks again!!

DoubleL said...

Wanted to acknowledge and say thanks. I have used your tutorial to make myself two sprocket cushions to match a quilt for my bed. All worked perfectly and I love them. Thank you so much. I will send you a picture

Ägyptische Rezepte said...

Thank you so much for this great tutorial--- I have made 3 sprocket pillows already (large template) and they turned out perfectly. I can really recommend it. I used scraps from my children's old clothes. One only from denim and it's really nice. I will make many more, but some even a bit bigger , as floor pillows. Thanks again, also your quilts look super! Greetings Wera

Sewing Shop said...

Hi, thanks for this wonderful tutorial! I linked to it from my blog, you can see it here:

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