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How to Make a Crescent-Shaped Zafu

Updated July 20, 2017

Making your own zafu can save you money and better match the style of your decor. While most zafus are round, a crescent shaped zafu provides a different form of support for meditation or yoga, and it creates an eye-catching statement within your home.

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  1. Use the measuring tape to determine the width of your hips when seated. Sit on the floor with the measuring tape beneath you, with the zero end of the tail poking just out from underneath your right side. Look to the lowest measurement you can see from beneath your left hip, and round up. This straight measurement across your backside will determine the length of the crescent from tip to tip to provide you with the best support.

  2. Place your pattern paper on a table or flat surface, and draw a straight line that is the same length as your hip width. Emphasise either end of the line with a dot, and sketch the inside curve of your crescent. At the halfway point in your arch, draw a 6-inch line to indicate the width of your zafu, and give you a reference for where to draw the outside curve. Finish drawing the crescent shape leaving the ends curved like a croissant rather than a moon shape.

  3. Cut the pattern and fold your fabric lengthwise. Use tailor's chalk to trace the pattern onto the fabric, and cut it leaving a half-inch seam allowance.

  4. Pleat the 60-inch fabric strip making three-quarter pleats every three inches. Pin the crescent top and bottom with the right sides of all fabric facing inside.

  5. Sew the crescents to the length of the cloth strip, with the top crescent on one side of the pleated cloth and the bottom on the other. Reinforce the seam with a second stitch along both seams. Leave fabric flaps at the ends of the cloth strip untouched to create an unstitched opening for filling.

  6. Turn the zafu right side out, and fill it with buckwheat hulls until it is as firm as you prefer. Fold the open fabric, and use a needle and thread to stitch the final seam.

  7. Tip

    Cut out a third crescent shape with a fine fabric like silk and sew it over the sturdier fabric top to create a contrast in texture and colour. Ask a friend to help you measure your hip width. Use the lip of a mixing bowl to help create clean crescent shapes.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 yard pattern paper
  • 1 60-inch strip of fabric, 8 inches wide
  • 1 yard sturdy fabric
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Sewing machine
  • Measuring tape
  • Buckwheat hulls

About the Author

Raven Jennifer Demers has more than 20 years experience as a published writer, editor and poet. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Washington. In 2001 she received certification as an Usui Reiki Master and spiritual consultant.

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