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Quick & Cool Holiday Gift: 30-Minute Neck Pillows in Super Soft Minky

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When the weather outside is frightful, minky is sooo delightful. Our neck pillows have been a year 'round favorite project since we first posted the pattern two years ago. We've made them in quilting cottons, and flannel, but never in minky. Combining the comfort of the neck pillow with the buttery, silky softness of minky has to be the ultimate gift for the neck. 

People who make this pillow usually end up making several more for family and friends who won't let go once they try it out.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • ½ yard of minky fleece. Since minky usually comes in a 60" width, you can make several pillows with a half yard. We used Minky Animal Fabric – Cheetah , Minky Dynasty Fabric – Aqua/Expresso , and Minky Monkeys Fabric – Pink; all courtesy of Minky Delight Fabrics.
  • 2 feet of ¾" to 1" ribbon per pillow; this is a good use for ribbon scraps
    NOTE: We tried a black twisted cord for the Monkey Pillow; it turned out fine, but was a bit more difficult to work with.
  • One medium bag of polyester fiber fill to stuff pillow
  • All-purpose thread
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Straight pins

    Getting Started

    1. Download and print FOUR copies of our Neck Pillow Pattern
      IMPORTANTYou must print this ONE 8½" x 11" PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
    2. Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines.
    3. Butt the four pattern pieces together to make one bowtie-shaped pattern piece. Do NOT overlap. Tape in place. 
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    4. Using your assembled pattern, cut three pieces. Pay attention if your fabric has nap (like minky) or any directional print so everything is oriented correctly.
    5. You'll see an * on either end of your pattern piece. Once you have your 3 pieces cut, and while they are all still pinned together, cut a small V-shaped clip, about ⅛" in depth and width. This marks the spot where you stop stitching and attach the center of your ribbon handles. While you can use a marking pencil, I found this V-clip easier to spot while sewing. 
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    At Your Sewing Machine

    This pillow is essentially a chubby triangle, which is helpful to keep in mind as you are assembling – remember you need three sides to create the correct dimension.

      1. Pin two of your three pieces of cut fabric right sides together along one side from one V-clip to the opposite V-clip. Using a ⅜"seam allowance, stitch from the precise center point of the V on one side to precisely that point on the opposite side. The other side remains open. Because of the narrow seam allowance and the curves, sew slowly to assure your stitching line is smooth and accurate. Use extra pins when sewing with minky.
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      2. Loop your ribbon to form a handle and pin on center of each V-clip with the loop facing inside. 
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      3. Place your third piece into position, matching the curves. Stitch your second seam, again from V-clip to opposite V-clip, to include half of the ribbon as shown below. Backstitch over the ribbon to give it strength.
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      4. Pin your remaining open seam as shown: 
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      5. Stitch from one V-clip to about the center of the pillow (again, as you sew over the ribbon be sure to backstitch for strength). Leave open a 3" gap in the seam. This is where you will stuff your pillow with Poly-fil. Then, finish stitching to the opposite V-clip. Be sure to backstitch (back-tack) at both sides of the opening to keep the seam from coming open during the turning and stuffing process. 
      6. Turn your pillow right side out, and stuff the shape until pleasingly plump but not so rock hard that it's uncomfortable. 
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      7. Tuck in the seam allowance at the opening and slip stitch closed. When finished, a comfortably stuffed pillow looks about like this:
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      Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna Sew Fun and the Singer 2259 Tradition.


      Comments (95)

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

      @ Cynthia M - you may have found a similar product - the concept of a bone-type pillow is not unique. But no, this pattern and pillow are of our own design as are the instructional steps and the fabric and tie combintions. We would never claim another's pattern as our own.

      Susuko said:
      Susuko's picture

      Thank you for this great pattern! I discovered it yesterday night and today mornin I finished mine - I´m sure I will sew some more for Christmas! Thank you!

      Andrea Schneider said:
      Andrea Schneider's picture

      it is allowed to use this pattern for commercial (in Germany)?

      Andrea Schneider

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

      @ Andrea Schneider:

      Copyright Terms and Making Items to Sell

      All projects, patterns, photos, etc. on Sew4Home are copyrighted, so the instructions themselves and any associated patterns or pictures can not be reproduced or reprinted in any way. This also means our tutorials cannot be re-printed as a handout for use within a class. It would be similar to copying pages out of a book to share with an entire group. You can make small quantities for sale if you make the items yourself. They cannot be manufactured by others or sold through a third party. We simply ask that on the tag and/ or somewhere within the display or packaging and/or within the sales description online, credit is given for the item being created from a copyrighted design/pattern/tutorial fromSew4Home.com. We also allow people to pick up a photo or two from our articles to use along with credit and a link back to our site. We appreciate this outreach.

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

      @ club - Clip is used here as a verb = to make a small cut. The ribbon is what the handle loop is made of.The arrow is the picture is pointing at the position of the ribbon. 

      Alexandra Kaiser said:
      Alexandra Kaiser's picture

      Found the pattern and made 6 cushions for my whole family! Grandpa and Grandpa use them in their caravan, my sister in law will get one for her 50th birthday this saturday.

      We all love it!

      thank your for the pattern!

      I shared your page on my blog! 


      Robyn123 said:
      Robyn123's picture

      I just made one for my dad! I use fleece that is printed with his favorite football team and 3/4 polyester twill tape ribbon!  :-)  Thanks for the pattern!

      Silveria said:
      Silveria's picture

      I made one for my sister when she was in hospital for gall bladder surgery.  It worked really well to prop up her arm with all the IVs in it.

      Morgan said:
      Morgan's picture

      I am thinking of making a reinforced version and filling it with rice so it can be heated and cooled.  (Broken air conditioning can be quite a muse.)  Thoughts?

      Pat H. said:
      well I just finishe one of these and mine didnt turn out like yours..mine looks more like a puppy (one of my friends comments)...I sure need help learning to cut out and pin the patterns rightll smilies/grin.gifsmilies/grin.gif but thats not gonna make me not want to practice sewing..and I used a serger my mother bought me for my birthday to make this pattern..
      newbie said:
      newbie's picture
      I MADE IT!! smilies/grin.gif

      thank you so much for the super cute pillow pattern. this is my first real project i have made. just bought a sewing machine a few weeks ago and trying not to be scared of it. my pillow does not look nearly as nice as yours do but i am happy with it. i think one of the big differences in the way mine vs. yours looks is that mine looks a bit lumpy. is there a certain way to stuff the pillow that i am missing? i purchased a bag of silky soft (or some name like that) poly-fil and grabbed large handfuls of it, stuffing it inside. am i not supposed to tear the fill into handfuls? i tried to find some info on pillow stuffing online but was not successful.

      thanks again for the great pattern and for making me feel like a real sew-er!
      SharonTriestoQuilt said:
      SharonTriestoQuilt's picture
      Thank youfor this project. I think I made over a dozen of these for gifts this Christmas. The perfect gift for travelers and seniors and those who like to veg.
      quilting nonna said:
      quilting nonna's picture
      Just a quick note...ANYTHING placed in the microwave must be 100% cotton. This includes fabric, thread, stuffing. A synthetic will start on fire.smilies/shocked.gifsmilies/angry.gif
      mwlipari said:
      mwlipari's picture
      I made one of these for my impossible to please mother in law for Christmas. She has severe neck and back pain. She loved it.

      alicia.thommas said:
      Claire'z mom: I hope your sis-in-law likes the pillow! It's been very popular. You can tell her it's also good to place between knees or ankles to take the pressure off if she has to stay in bed for any prolonged period. Best wishes to her for a speedy and complete recovery!
      Claire'z mom said:
      Claire'z mom's picture
      just made one as a surprise for my dear sister in law - she's going through chemo for breast cancer - hopefully this will bring her some comfort! Thanks a bunch for the best web site and tips!!smilies/grin.gif
      alicia.thommas said:
      Susan Jane Griggs-Peterman: Dritz Flat Button Head Pins are my favorite -- easy to handle and if I drop one, easy to find. They are not difficult to locate in most stores that sell notions. You can find them at Fabric.com: http://www.fabric.com/notions-...-pins.aspx Glad you like the pattern too smilies/wink.gif
      Susan Jane Griggs-Peterman said:
      Susan Jane Griggs-Peterman's picture
      Thank you for the pattern...
      I have a question about the pins you used.
      WHERE did you get them...they are just to darn cute.smilies/cheesy.gif
      Debbie Lauzon said:
      Debbie Lauzon's picture
      I imagine you would have to make a couple of channels right in the middle if a person wanted to add rice. However, I think one would need to fashion a removable cover for washing, since you would not be able to wash it with rice inside. Thank you for this pattern!
      alicia.thommas said:
      Cindy PH: You need to print 4 pattern sections so you can assemble your pattern. You tape the 4 pieces together to make one pattern. It's done this way to fit on an 8½" x 11" sheet of paper. Once you tape the 4 pieces together you have a full pattern piece and can then cut your 3 pieces of fabric from it.
      CindyPH said:
      CindyPH's picture
      Why, if this is "a chubby triangle", are we printing out 4 copies of the pattern? Just curious...
      alicia.thommas said:
      Micha: I have never even thought of putting rice into one of these pillows. However, I suspect it would make the pillow uncomfortable and certainly heavy since you'd need to add quite a bit of rice to get that toasty warmth. If you decide to try it, let us know how it worked for you.
      alicia.thommas said:
      Bethie: The pillow looks the same from all 3 sides. There really isn't a "back" to it. In the same way you need 3 sides to make a triangle, you need 3 pieces of fabric to make this pillow. The instructional photos show the step-by-step pretty clearly. I'm not sure what more I can add to make it any clearer. Really look at the photos and note where the seam has been sewn or is still open. There are only 3 seams.
      LCO said:
      LCO's picture
      I sewed one of these in cotton for my daughter this summer. I had the hardest time until I finally figured out how to sew the three sides together correctly. It looked pretty nice when I was done!smilies/smiley.gif
      Bethie said:
      Bethie's picture
      Is there a pic of the back?? I didn't realize what the 3rd piece was for...now, I'm a little confused on how it should look! smilies/cheesy.gif, and I am making this tonigh! smilies/wink.gif
      micha said:
      micha's picture
      Could this be stuffed at least partially with rice to warm in the microwave?
      MakeItMarcelle said:
      MakeItMarcelle's picture
      Loved these pillows, made eight of them as gifts this Christmas. In fact I made most of my gifts this christmas from Sew4home and am already planning birthday gifts. Thanks for the great site, it is a real lifesaver for cash-strapped gifters!
      Rachel C. said:
      Rachel C.'s picture
      I just found your site via Pinterest and Oh my gosh! You are ridiculously talented. I am green with envy. I think when God was handing out talent, you got in line twice and I was in the wrong line all together smilies/wink.gif LOL. Love your work. It's so fun!
      alicia.thommas said:
      For those who asked what the ribbon is for, it helps you adjust the pillow when under your neck. If you don't want to add it, you can omit. I personally use one of these pillows every night and find the ribbon helpful.
      LLL in Texas said:
      LLL in Texas's picture
      I was wondering the same thing as pjwhailtail...what is the ribbon for?
      Simone said:
      Simone's picture
      Just made one of these out of fleece scraps and it turned out really nicely. It took longer than 30 minutes, but my next one will go faster, I think. I couldn't find any suitable ribbon in my huge stash, so I used some bias tape I had leftover from another project. Thanks for the pattern.
      pjwhaletail said:
      pjwhaletail's picture
      Dense question here... What's the ribbon for, exactly besides cuteness factor?
      adenner said:
      adenner's picture
      These are so easy to make and my 7 yr. old grand daughter stitches them shut so she feels like she makes them! Many people are getting these for Christmas this year.
      SugarJo said:
      SugarJo's picture
      Your website is my favorite because of the beautiful projects but ESPECIALLY because of your clear instructions.
      mwlipari said:
      mwlipari's picture
      I just bought minky to make one of these yesterday and suede to make two more. The printed cotton one is all done!