Are you planning a plane trip or long car ride? Make yourself a soft, comfortable DIY travel pillow to make your journey enjoyable and memorable. These neck pillows can be made in under 30 minutes and are a great beginner sewing project. DIY travel pillows are great to give for gifts and can be made in colorful fabrics that coordinate with luggage.
DIY Travel Pillow - Supplies
- FABRIC - ½ yard (0.45m) of cotton fabric - Choose a soft fabric that will breathe and not make you sweat. I used a soft quilting cotton. Since this will be next to your face, make sure you prewash the fabric before you start sewing. This will eliminate shrinkage and remove any chemicals the manufacturer may have added.
- STUFFING - Polyester stuffing is best. This is the kind you use for stuffed toys.
- SEWING MACHINE
- NEEDLE - Hand needle and thread
- PATTERN - Your DIY travel pillow pattern. Download the free pattern. (Link will open in a new window). Just trim the boxes and stick the 2 pages together.
DIY Travel Pillow - The Video
Hooray! There is a video to go with this tutorial. Like all my videos, it is just a few minutes long, so grab a piece of chocolate and relax for a short while. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more weekly videos.
>> PRESS PLAY BELOW
DIY Travel Pillow - Instructions
Step 1 - Cut Fabric
Place your pattern on the fold of your fabric and cut 2 pieces. One will be for the front and the other for the back. If you have larger scrap pieces use one color for the front and another for the back
Step 2 - Stitch
Put the fabric pieces with right sides together and stitch all the way around, leaving a 1 ½ inch (4cm) gap on the outside as shown. Use smaller straight stitches. I recommend using a 2.0 length. If you are new to sewing curves then read my article >> Sewing Curves
Step 3 - Clip and Turn
Clip the curves, leaving the gap unclipped. Turn your DIY travel pillow to the right side through the gap.
Further Reading: Sewing Clipping
Step 4 - Stuffing
Give your pillow a good press and start stuffing. I made mine fairly hard but you can stuff it as much or little as you find comfortable. Keep in mind, the stuffing will squash down once you put your head on it.
Step 5 - Stitch Gap
Close the gap with an invisible ladder stitch. This stitch goes through the fold and if you use a matching color thread, it will almost be unnoticeable.
Further Reading: How to Sew an Invisible Stitch
DIY Travel Pillow - In Conclusion
Your DIY travel pillow is all ready for a trip! I hope you are going somewhere exciting and have an amazing time.
More Pillow Tutorials
If you enjoyed this DIY travel pillow tutorial, you might like to sew some more pillows and cushions. Transform your house with some bright fabrics.
- Pillowcase Pattern
- How to Make A Pillowcase (with border)
- How to Make a Cushion Cover – Envelope Style
- Make a Cushion Cover with Piping
- Zippered Cushion Cover
- DIY Neck Pillow
- DIY Star Pillow
- Pom Pom Pillows
- Patchwork Cushion
- Reading Pillow Pattern
- Pillow Patterns
- DIY Christmas Pillows
- Sewing Basics Sewing machine, needle, thread, scissors
- Fabric ½ yard (0.45m)
- Polyester Stuffing
- Download the free travel pillow pattern. Cut the fabric.
- Put the fabric pieces with right sides together and stitch all the way around, leaving a 1 ½ inch (4cm) gap on the outside as shown.
- Clip the curves, leaving the gap unclipped. Turn your DIY travel pillow to the right side through the gap.
- Give your pillow a good press and start stuffing. Close the gap with an invisible ladder stitch.
Hi Beth, the gap works anywhere. I did it on the side as the seam is a little straighter so easier to close up at the end. Thanks for reading.
I'm in the process of making a neck pillow using your pattern. Thanks for the excellent instructions. I have a question. Is there any reason not to make the closure spot at the back of the pattern instead of on the side? I'm thinking that it might be easier to stuff from the back as well as easier sewing it closed since it seems like the curve is a bit flatter at the back. Your thoughts? Again thanks for making the pattern available and for the detailed instructions.
I just made this pillow - ultra easy! The stuffing was the biggest portion of the half hour duration! Lol! Thank-you for the pattern! Ooh! And I put a fabric loop on the back part so I can hook it on the tv tray latch on the plane 😉 or on a carabiner for on my carry on.
I made this for my grandma for Christmas, and she absolutely loved it!!
You can print the pattern and scale it down on your printer. Try 80% reduction.
Thank you for this pattern and tutorial! Do you think you'll have a pattern for child size anytime soon?
Hi Beverly, there is a link in the article above for the printable pdf. Thanks for reading.
how do i get your pattern
It is 3/8 inch (1cm) or the dotted line on the pattern
Could you please tell me the seam allowance? Thank you
I used fabric of dogs in sweaters, very cute!
This is very cute! I am planning to make them for my family as Christmas presents. However, thick thread will work much better than thin.
I'm sure they will love that you made it for them.
My grandchildren often travel to visit us. I wanted to give them a personalized DIY gift to welcome them. I hope they will enjoy the pillows on the trip back. Thank you for the pattern and the video..
Hi Diana, I appreciate the suggestion. I'll look into that.
I’m not able to print this from my phone. If you could add a print button it would greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much for sharing this. It is awesome which is why I featured it in my 10 awesome travel accessories post which you can check out here https://whatsnanamaking.com/travel-accessories-to-sew/ Beautiful fabric BTW