This soft and cozy no-sew fleece pillow is easy to make and best of all, there’s no sewing involved. Plus, unlike many no-sew fleece projects, there are also no knots that can be lumpy and uncomfortable. Instead you’ll end up with a lovely braided look like this…
Supplies for No-Sew Braided-Edge Fleece Pillow:
16-in Poly-fil Soft Touch Pillow Insert (or other desired size), 1/2 yard of two colors of coordinating fleece. I like to choose one bright, busy print, and a matching solid to tone it down. (1/2 yard of two different fleece fabrics, will actually give you enough fleece to cover 3 pillows. ) If you want the front and back to be the same, you’ll just need 1/2 yard of one color of fleece. If you’re using a different size pillow, you’ll need to get enough fleece for the size of pillow plus 2 inches. (Meaning for a 20 inch pillow, you’d need to buy a piece of fleece 22 inches long, etc. Fleece typically comes 60 inches wide.)
- Rotary cutter and cutting mat or scissors and tape measure
- sharp tipped scissors
- a paper clip or large crochet hook
- masking tape (optional)
For my 16-inch pillow, I cut out an 18-inch square using my cutting mat and rotary cutter. (Cut your fleece squares 2 inches bigger in each direction than your pillow.) You can also use scissors and a tape measure. If your squares end up a little crooked, you’ll be fine…this project is very forgiving.
The masking tape is not really necessary, but I use it to mark two inches in on each side to make cutting the fringe easier. It’s not obvious in the photo, but I cut out my blue square at the same time. It’s directly underneath the tie-dye fleece.
Cut fringe around all four sides that is 1 inch wide and two inches deep. You’ll cut a 2 inch squares out of each corner. I used the inch markings on my cutting mat, but if you don’t have one, you can estimate. The fringe doesn’t need to be perfect. It is best to cut both layers together, so that the fringe on the front and back of the pillow match.
Next, you need to cut a small slit, about 1/4 inch long in each piece of fringe. Make sure it’s not too close to the end, or it may rip through. If you’re about 1/2 inch from the end, that should be good.
If you have a large crochet hook, you can use that, but since I don’t have one, I find it easier to partially unbend a paper clip to use as a hook.Now you’re ready to cover your pillow. Place one piece of fleece over your pillow and the other piece of fleece underneath. Make sure the softest side if facing out.
Choose of one of the pieces of fringe in the middle of the bottom piece of fleece. Stick the paper clip through the slit and catch the matching piece of fringe from the top piece of fleece. Pull the bottom fringe through the top.
Put the paper clip through the bottom fringe piece that you just pulled through the first, and catch the top fringe piece to the left of the first one. Pull it through.
Continue pulling fringe through each piece, alternating each time between the top and bottom, continuing around the corners.
When you get to the last piece of fringe, cut it in half through the slit, giving you two narrower pieces of fringe.
Use these to tie a double knot around the piece of fringe you started with. Tuck the takes of your knot to the inside of your pillow.
And that’s it! Enjoy your new pillow!
People ask me all the time if this “braided” method holds up. The pink blanket in this picture was made almost 4 years ago and it’s held up really well.
This technique also works great for making single or double-thick fleece blankets. You can see my tutorials for those by clicking on the images below.
~ Polly from Pieces by Polly.
21 thoughts on “No-Sew Braided-Edge Fleece Pillow”
Hmmm…I see some fleece pillows on my Christmas gift list, I think. Thanks for the tutorial!
You’ve captured my gypsy creative side. Playing with my project now. Thank you, the vivid colors and simple directive is perfect.
this is so cute and of course neat and easy …thank you ..looks wonderful
We look forward to seeing your results. Share on Facebook if you would like.
Be sure to add 4 inches of fleece BIGGER than the pillow, not 2. With only 2 inches, the pillow is shoved in so tight that it becomes hard, the strips are stretched so far that the inside pillow is exposed and the braid looks bad. Looking at the picture closer, you can see the pillow inside and the super stretched strips. Wish I would have seen that sooner!
Sorry the measurements were not to your liking. Our family prefers tight pillows, which is why I went with 2 inches, but if you prefer roomier covers then you may want to cut the fleece a bit larger.
Yes, I wish I would have known before too. I have braided it twice now and can still see the pillow through the braids. Making it tighter helped a little. I did add an extra inch onto the square because I have a firm – not soft pillow and did not want it bunched up. If you have any more ideas please let me know. Should the slit be closer to the pillow then? I started them a half inch from the end….??? I was wondering if that would help..? Longer fringe? I would like to make another one, so I need to know what I can do to make it look nicer. Thanks!!
Is the bottom layer of fleece bigger than the top .The strips appear to be longer on the bottom.
Nope. I cut them out at exactly the same time. It might have just been the placement of exactly where I cut the slits to pull the strips through?
Does this only work wirh fleece? Can i use faux suede?
You need to use something that will not unravel. The faux fleece I’m familiar with would not work for this.
I’ve never made a pillow like this. About how long does it take to cut out, stuff and tie?
Tried this and I love the look of the finished pillow, although I will say I’ll add 2 1/2 inch tabs only because I used a very plump pillow. I too had the issue of the pillow showing through. Over all this is a very cute and fun project, and very easy to do. Thank you!
I was wondering too if adding to the length of the fringe would help. The pillow showed through with my firm pillow. I did add an extra inch onto the square tho. But still can see it….??
Love the pillow and it was fun to do, and want to do another.
Another question, if you make the fringes longer, where should the slit be? Would it help if it was closer to the pillow than the 1/2″ from the end?
This pattern is an older one, but still a customer favorite. However, it has been a while since we made one in our studio. We will get one on our samples schedule and get back to you with our recommendations. Meanwhile, anyone who has suggestions or tips to help with this question… please send them along.
I like the idea of longer fringe, but where should the slit be then??
I am SO glad I found this again! I had it saved and then couldnt remember where I saved it. Cant wait to try it. Thanks for sharing it, it looks so pretty!
It’s more than a year later, but I have an answer to your question Marilyn. I did shorter fringe as I did not want it to be frilly on the edge of the pillow. The key to not having the pillow form show is to put the slits closer to the inside. I did one inch fringe and put my slits in the center (so 1/2 inch away from the edge as they suggested, but since the fringe was so much shorter it was 1/2 in away from the pillow form as well vs 1 1/2 in away as in their example). It was sometimes difficult to pull the short fringe piece through the hole, but with a paperclip and patience it worked out. However, I did not get a braided look, it looks kind of spiky, like a stegosaurus. I like it a lot and I can see no pillow form whatsoever.
I love this idea and would live to make floor pillows for my niece and nephew. How do you go about washing them if they are tied/braided with a pillow? I have a poly filled pillow. Thank you
You would want to use a durable fabric that could be easily spot cleaned if you are making floor pillows.