How to Make a U-Shaped Neck Pillow

Written by megan allen
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How to Make a U-Shaped Neck Pillow
It's easy to make a U-shaped neck pillow. (sewing image by Lisa Eastman from

Neck pillows are a useful travel accessory in the car or on a plane. They can also support your neck while snoozing at home in your favourite chair. Commercially made neck pillows are often expensive. Consider investing a little time to make your own U-shaped neck pillow. Neck pillows are easy to sew and make thoughtful gifts for adults and kids. You can make the U-shaped neck pillow out of any soft fabric or combination of fabrics. Appropriate fabric choices for a neck pillow are cotton, chenille, terrycloth, flannel and fleece. At some fabric and craft stores you can purchase a ready-made U-shaped form for a neck pillow or simply stuff it with fiberfill.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Straight pins
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Polyester fiberfill or a ready-made form
  • 1/2 yard fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk
  • Sewing machine

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  1. 1

    Buy a commercial pattern or make your own. Draw the U-shape freehand on paper. A paper bag or any other kind of sturdy paper works fine for the pattern. Or, if you already have a neck pillow, place it on the paper, trace around it and add seam allowances of 1/2 inch.

  2. 2

    Lay out your material face down. Place the pattern on the fabric and pin. Cut out the pattern piece with sharp sewing scissors. Or, if you prefer, chalk around the pattern piece and then cut. Remove the pins and fabric from the pattern. Pin and cut out a second identical pattern piece. You can use two different fabrics or colours to make your neck pillow more interesting, one for the top and one for the bottom.

  3. 3

    Place the two pieces of fabric, wrong sides together, and pin. Pin approximately 2 inches from the edges.

  4. 4

    Sew the pieces together with your sewing machine. Sew slowly, taking your time around the curves. Make the seams 1/2 inch wide. Leave an opening for the stuffing about 4 inches wide. Clip the seams on the curved parts of the U-shape. Snip close to the stitching line. This will give the pillow a more curvy shape and keep the fabric from puckering. Turn the right sides out.

  5. 5

    Start stuffing with the polyester fiberfill. Pack tightly so the pillow is firm and will support your neck. Use a wooden spoon handle to push the stuffing into the pillow. Stop filling when you get to within an inch of the opening. The neck pillow should be smooth and firm.

  6. 6

    Close the opening. Fold both edges of the opening towards the inside and pin closed. This will give you a finished looking edge.

  7. 7

    Sew the opening with a needle and thread by hand to finish.

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