Have you ever seen that long and narrow pillow that uses cotton, fiber or down as the fillings?
That is a bolster pillow.
It comes in a cylinder shape.
You can use the bolster pillow as an arm support or even as your back support-it’s a firm pillow so it comes in handy.
The same way you can use floor pillows to decorate a room, bolster pillows can be used to achieve the same decorative purposes.
It may look out of place when you place it on the coach, but would look perfect when placed across the bed.
It looks even better if you place it on across the bed in front of several Euro pillows or other types of decorative pillows.
The bolster pillow does not have a standard size or shape it is supposed to keep.
What is common with the pillow is its enclosure.
It can have a zipper, a loop or even a hook.
Most bolster pillows will however have the popular size of 20’’ by 7’’ and also most of them take the diameters of 12’’.
Some bolster pillows have a foam to give the pillow additional support.
What are the steps of making a bolster pillow?
First, let us look at the materials you will need:
- Depending on the length of the bolster pillow you desire, get fabric approximately 1 yard.
- 1-yard trim
- A bolster pillow form, 30 inches
- Pencil to make your markings
- Scissors to cut the fabric
- Sewing machine
- Sewing tape measure to take your measurements
- Straight pins
- All-purpose cotton thread
Measure the form and cut the fabric:
- Get the measurements for the diameter, the width and the circumference you will use for the bolster pillow.
- Start by cutting a piece of fabric in rectangular shape, for the width and the circumference.
- You will need to leave room for seam allowance, so it is advisable to add a ¼ inch on all sides.
- If you have a salad plate, use it to get a perfect 30’’ bolster form.
Pin and sew the bottom seam:
- Take the bolster pillow form and then take the rectangular piece of fabric. Wrap the fabric around the pillow form and let the wrong side face out.
- Check where the seam ends meet and pin that. You will need to check at the center and leave 15 inches unpinned. That opening will help create space where you will insert the pillow form when the pillow cover is done. You can then close it by your hand.
- You will need sharp scissors at this point to cut off any excess fabric. Follow along the pin lines on each side of the pillow form and sew along those lines. When you are done, remove the pins.
Note that you do not need a lot of fabric for this project, because the pillow does not require much of that.
It is a great opportunity to make use of the old clothing you have stored, cutter quilts or even table linens.
Pin and sew trim:
- The next step will require you to turn the right side out of the pillow. You will then need to pin trim each side. Make sure you have the right side down. Also check that the raw ends are facing the same direction.
- Check where the trim ends meet and trim that. You will need to leave room for seam allowance, therefore, leave a ½ inch overlap for that.
- Let the raw edges face up, and pin those edges together. Do the same on the other side.
- Check where the trim ends meet, sew that and remove the pins.
- The next thing to do is to sew the trim to the pillow cover, and then remove pins.
Want a better look? You can use piping or cording and avoid the pleated trim or cording.
Pin and sew ends:
- Take one end of the pillow cover, and put it inside out on the pillow form. Take a piece of circle fabric and pin it to cover, making sure you have all the raw edges facing out. Also make sure that the trim is tucked inside.
- Remove the cover and repeat the process on the other side.
- The next thing is to remove the cover. Check both ends and sew them, then remove the pins.
- Take the whole cover and turn it right side out. Next, insert the pillow form.
Pin and sew closed
- Check the raw edges of opening inside of the pillow cover and fold them. Next, pin in intervals of every few inches.
- In this stage, your needle and the coordinating thread will come in handy. Use them to whipstitch the seam closed. The next thing is to remove the pins and check for any loose threads and trim them.
- If you are looking for a bolster cover you can wash, do not stitch it closed. Instead, consider using a tie, a Velcro, a tie or even a zipper.
Now you have it all together.
Take the finished bolster and place it on your bed.
Step back and take all your time to admire it, applauding the work of your hands.
How to make a bolster pillow with tied ends
If you want to keep your bolster pillow simple, then its time to make one with tied ends.
The materials you will need include:
- 7 by 16-inch bolster pillow form.
- Rectangle shaped cotton fabric. Recommended measurements are 36 by 23.5 inches.
- A cutaway stabilizer that is soft.
- An embroidery thread, -40wt
- Get your preferred embroidery thread.
- Get two yards of cotton and cut them in half.
- Use your preferred method to find the center of your fabric. For example, you can check for the halfway length of the fabric and fold it in half. You can then check the width of the fabric, then unfold and fold the fabric again width-wise. Check the center of the fabric and press another crease right there. You will notice that the two creases you have created will provide you with the visual of the center of the fabric, when you unfold the fabric again.
- The next step is to decide on your desired embroidery design, get a print of the same, then pin it where the center of your fabric is.
- Take care of the extra fabric when you are embroidering by making sure it stays out of the way. You do that by rolling it away as you pin it, so that you keep it contained as you hoop the stabilizer and fabric.
- When you are settled on your design, load it into the machine.
- The next thing is to check the hoop and slide it into the machine, rest the needle at the center and remove the design template of the embroidery.
- You can let the embroidery thread and the bobbin thread colors instead of using plain ones. This will work well especially if your embroidery design is lightweight. When that is done, embroider the thread.
- Take away the hoop and remove any excess stabilizer.
- Put the rights together, check the halfway length of the fabric and fold then pin it.
- Take the length of your fabric and sew ½ inch seam along it so that you form a tube. Then press your seam open.
- Next, take the ends of the wrong sides of the hem, about ½ inch and fold them together, then press. That sets you ready to end one end of the tube. Take another ½ inch and fold it again, enclosing the raw edges of the hem. Press the fabric and pin it.
- Keeping close to the open edges, sew all around so as to finish the tube end. Do the same with the other end of the tube. Turn the right side of the fabric out.
- Take the ribbons and pinch them at the center as you fold them in half.
- Take the center of a ribbon, hold it 5 inches from the edge of the tube and tack it. Do the same with the second ribbon on the side of the fabric tube.
- Take the fabric tube, and center the pillow form in the tube. Take the ribbons and tie them at each end.
How to make a bolster pillow cover
It’s a great idea to have bolster pillows as a source of décor for your home.
First, they are easy to make, and wont cost you a leg and an arm.
However, it gets boring to see the same décor over and over again in your home.
You don’t want to do boring in your home!
That is why you need separate covers which can help you change your home outlook from time to time.
You can make a variety of them so that you keep changing.
Here is how to make them:
What you need:
- Your bolster pillow inserts
- Rubber bands
- Two to three safety pins
- Any creative material to use as your pillow cover, for example, a scarf or fabric remnant.
Take the fabric and fold it around your bolster pillow inside out.
Make sure every part of the pillow is covered.
Take the excess fabric one at a time and hold it securely with the rubber band.
It is complete when you are done.
It will be looking like a tootsie roll.
Remove the cover and take its right side out.
The ends that are bunched will eventually end up in the cover and seem to disappear in it.
Take the cover which is at this point turned inside out, and replace your bolster pillow.
Ensure the bolster is completely covered, and take care of any lumps and bumps by smoothening them out.
It will make sure that the excess fabric in the cover does not show.
Take your safety pin- or several of them and secure the loose edges of the seam.
If you are not a fan of the pins, you can use alternatives such as fabric glue or use a hot glue gun and spread it along the entire seam.
Congratulations, your bolster pillow cover is complete!
Now that this is achieved, next time will learn easy DIY ways of making a boppy pillow.