DIY : a patchwork lumbar pillow

Hey guys! We’ve received so many emails about this original post {a little confusion regarding fabrics, and the location of the actual tutorial} that I decided to combine the two originals, and re-post it here for you guys to enjoy. Links to fabrics are below!


I’ve really been loving all these dramatic, long, super comfy-looking lumbar pillows I’ve been eyeing everywhere lately.



via the nester-with even more inspirational photos…

LOVE this via Emily Clark…

whether its on a sofa, a bed…or even on the floor-these guys look awesome.

this bed = swoonage

these colors = more swoonage

I want to run and jump on this sofa…Its official. I’m going for slipcovered. But that’s another story.


what a cute little man. (Nothing sweeter than kiddos in their PJs.)

I showed you all those fun photos, to show you the inspiration behind what I’ve been up to lately. I wanted to freshen up our bedroom space with a lumbar pillow. Not only a lumbar pillow, I thought to myself, but a patchwork lumbar pillow. I decided it was time to up the ante on our bedding situation in terms of shots of color for the summer. But I wanted to challenge myself with materials. So I used only pillows that already existed in my home, and fabric I already had on hand from other projects.

The only thing I purchased = a body pillow for the filler. Total {relative} cost : 20 dollars. I must say, it’s so comfy, I could very easily slip into lumbar-constructed-from-body-pillow-overload. I’ll go missing, and a year later they’ll find me. Buried in lumber pillow heaven. Just sayin’. Does this pillow look a little familiar? It’s like a giant version of one we kind of already did…{see fun post with Layla, here.}


‘Seamstress, I am not’ is a constant disclaimer that I mention here. So you’re in good company if you don’t sew. I don’t really ‘do’ patterns. So I guess if I can figure it out, then anyone can. I find myself constantly making up my own little system to see what works best for our home, and I roll with it. But for my official remix, I took the basic pattern of a simple pillow, and expanded it from there.

I wanted to challenge myself by only using other pillows: literally tearing them down, and building them back up into something large and in charge for our bed. So this project was composed solely of older pillows + our dining room table cloth, with my only purchase: a body pillow at its center for a nice, fluffy filling.

First things first: I cut them up into varying widths of little slivers, once I had a basic idea of what would look good, where. Here it is in the middle of that process. I usually play on the floor to figure out what I’m doing. My oldest walked in while I was working away, quite traumatized that I messed up all the pillows I always ask him to treat nicely. {read: stop form tackling from second story heights}. He really wanted to know what I was doing with “all my nice pillows.” It was funny to me that my five year old was so disturbed by such a sight.

I attached each piece of fabric, one by one, as anyone would a pillow. It varied, depending on what I was attaching, but it basically included putting each piece of fabric, right sides together {or facing each other with the wrong or plain sides, out} sewing on the appropriate side, and then flipping the new piece back over to join the ‘design crew.’ The photo above is an example of what I mean by right sides together. I’d hemmed the edges first, so please dismiss my temporary insanity. I then caught on to the fact that I could be lazy, so I stopped bothering, and simply attached, one by one with the raw edges.

Here’s a photo of it on the reversed side. As always, iron that back side, to give it a smoother finish.

For the extra, frayed strips, I simply pinned them down as seen on the far right portion of the photo below {prevented my two year old from stepping on them} and did a top stitch to attach it.

I then continued with my little system, to cover the exposed, attached edge by once again, putting the next piece of fabric (right side in, face to face, wrong side out) + sewing the correct edge. I flipped it back over again, and that step, over and over again, is how I created my patchwork pillow.

Once they were all attached, I realized that each piece would need to be leveled out (I was kind of rolling with it since these were created from salvaged pieces.) I evened it up with a piece of scissors. So I placed my pillow in the middle, and leaving plenty of space for hems, trimmed around.

After doing the same with my back piece, I hemmed each end of each side. This was four hems, total.

Next, it was time to make the ties that would go at each end of the pillow. When I decided on the width I wanted it to be, I made a small cut in the linen-like material I was working with and simply tore it off in generously thick strips. I liked the frayed edge approach, so I left them as-is. (read: I’m lazy) With two per side, per hem, I had eight ties total.

I then took the sides that were not hemmed without ties: the top and bottom of the pillow, and sewed them together. This included taking the top layer with all the patchwork, and the bottom, solid rectangle (linen-like material layer) facing them inward, with their right sides together. Just like your regular ‘ol basic pillow.

I sewed both top and bottom sides together, and turned it right side out. Stuffing my body pillow on the inside for a secure fit…

TADA! My remix: a patchwork lumbar pillow was complete.

It’s not perfect. Nothing I ever do, is…but I do love it. I think that the beauty is in the not-so-fabulous-perfectness. A touch of color for our summer bedding.

**Curious about what fabric I used? Try the Waverly + Premier prints lines at, along with Thomas Paul {one of my fave designers = the orange fabric used in the pillow-probably available at Calico.} Again, these were scraps, so they may not all be available, but this should give you a nice lead on where to start. Hope it helps!

See my original post at Me Sew Crazy, and be sure to check out her entire pattern remix series, while you’re there, with some oh-so brillz seamstresses! Hurray for pattern remixes!

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Responses to DIY : a patchwork lumbar pillow

  1. That is quite a sizeable piece and an amazing one at that! I love the tiled look and it looks very comfy. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I love it! Love the pillow style and love the fabrics. Great idea recycling your pillow fabrics too – brilliant result. :-)

  3. Love this idea!!! It is fabulous and so cute too!

  4. Love it. Definitely makes me want to do something similar for my guest bedroom!

  5. Briana Campbell says:

    I LOVE this!!! Where is your blue damask bedding from?

  6. Annie says:

    Love the blog, and love this project! I’ve been searching for a long lumbar pillow like that but to no avail. Do you remember where this one is from?

  7. sharla says:

    K what is awesome about this is that I have the same shams and bedspread! But you did with it what I could not- which is making if fabulous! I still have this bedding, but I use something else. However for spring/summer, I might have to “copy” your cute cute idea. You seem to turn anything ordinary into something fabulous! Thanks for inspiring us!

  8. Bev says:

    Love this…… can someone make this for me ?????

  9. zuheira says:

    I’m from oman your work is fantastic