Personalized DIY State Pillow

Posted on Feb 5 2015 - 9:22pm by Monica
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DIY State Pillow Tutorial

DIY State Pillow Tutorial – You could do this for any state to make personalized gifts!

Oh my goodness! I’m in LOVE with this fleece pillow featuring the state of Illinois! It’s just so soft and touchable… it makes me want to cuddle up with it! I made it for my friend Laura’s birthday. We live in Tennessee but she moved here from Chicago and I knew she was missing home. I knew if I made something I’d want to cuddle with, she’d want to cuddle with it too! And boy, was I right! She loved her personalized gift!

How to Make a Personalized DIY State Pillow

You’ll Need:

  • For a 16″ pillow (which is what I made), you’ll need about 1/2 yard of the base fabric. I used a charcoal fleece.
  • Fabric for the state – should be less than 1/4 yard. I used a white fleece.
  • A zipper to match your fabric color a couple of inches less than your pillow size.
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Pins
  • Pillow form or stuffing
  • Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive


Normally I’m really good about taking photos along the way. This time I wasn’t… I was in a hurry to get the project done because I had a birthday party to attend! So please forgive the lack of in progress photos!

Make the State

First, cut a piece of fabric a little bit bigger than you will be cutting your state. I cut mine to 12″x12″. Then, iron on your Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive to the back of your fabric according to the instructions on the adhesive.

Next, cut the state out. I cut mine out with my Cricut Explore. I used this free state dingbat font to get the state shape and sized it to 11.5″ tall. Then, I adjusted my Cricut settings to cut fleece and cut away. I had the adhesive side down on the mat.

Alternatively, you could also print the state shape out on your computer, pin it to your fabric, and cut it with scissors.

Attach the State to the Pillow Front

Iron on your state to your pillow in the middle. I didn’t measure, I just eyeballed it. Since I was using fleece, I also stitched my state on to my pillow front so that it wouldn’t come off later. This isn’t an exact science, I just put it in my sewing machine and went really slowly and turned my fabric a lot! If I were using a cotton fabric, I probably wouldn’t have done this.

Close up of the stitching around the state

Close up of the stitching around the state

Sew Your State Pillow Together

Since I’m TERRIBLE at hand stitching to finish pillows, I’ve started making them with zippers. It’s so much easier than I expected and it looks SO much better! I follow Lia Griffith’s Easy DIY Pillow Cover Tutorial every time. I like that it’s all in images and is easy to follow.

Pillow Zipper Tutorial

Here’s a close up of the pillow zipper


That’s it! You’re finished!!

Here's another view of the zippered state pillow!

Here’s another view of the zippered state pillow!

Go cuddle up with your new and cozy pillow or give it as a gift! And, as always, if you make this project, please share it with us in the comments! We love to hear from you!

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