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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.

      Section: 

      Comments (89)

      Nisreen said:
      Nisreen's picture

      hi there!

      thank you very much for sharing this with us!

      i made a lot of gifts and they were highly appreciated and comlemented! 

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @Nisreen - thank you so much - we love hearing success stories like yours.

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @Donna - because cars have such a wide variety of seats and headrests, we don't really have one good option for you. With the positioning loops to either side, it would probably be easiest to simply have your passenger adjust it as needed behind his/her head. We wouldn't suggest it as something for a driver. 

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @Nancy - They make it easier to hold on to and adjust the pillow when it's under your neck.

      Nancy I said:
      Nancy I's picture

      Thanks for the respond. I thought so, but just had to ask.

      Kathy Shields-Roeter said:
      Kathy Shields-Roeter's picture

      Thank you Liz!  Mom has memory issues and has pieces of fabirc cut out but does not remember how to sew them together.  We did not even have a finished pillow I could refer to for construction.  You are a life saver.

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @Kathy - You are so welcome! Being a life saver is one of my favorite things 

      Donna said:
      Donna 's picture

      I can't begin to tell you how much I love this pattern! 

      I just LOVE making it and giving it as a gift.

      i didn't realize how much my family loves it too until I had a recent visit with my daughter and her family. My granddaughter informed me they all need new pillows (this one) as theirs is all worn out.

      when I told my husband- he said he too needs another!

      Thank you again and again-I LOVE this pattern- more important- my family does!! 

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @Donna - Thank you for such a sweet note. This little pillow if one of our most popular patterns ever. So glad you... and everyone in your family, agrees! 

      Roseanne Stewart said:
      Roseanne Stewart's picture

      It was very easy, I made 4 with faux fur, for gifts. Thanks for a great, simple project!

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @Roseanne - Wonderful - and you are so welcome. If you are on Facebook (sew4home) or Instagram (sew4home_diy), post a picture of your beauties for all to see!

      wekebu said:
      wekebu's picture

      Just made my first one and love it.  My hubby will be in the hospital soon and I'm going to make him one too!

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @wekebu - Excellent... it's likely to the first of many 

      echrisball said:
      echrisball's picture

      Hi!  Do you think these pillows would be washable??   Thanks, Chris

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @Chris - as with most pillows, spot cleaning is usually the first recommended method, but if you exterior fabric is washable and you use a standard polyester filler as recommended, you should be able to launder on the gentle cycle. Air fluff would likely be best for drying - then allow it to air dry to finish. It's really similar to trying to wash a stuffed animal. 

      Sarah C. said:
      Sarah C.'s picture

      Coming back to this pattern again. Now, I'm going to make a few for friends who are expecting or nursing.  These are great when you're up with the baby or rocking a sick toddler. The only adjustment I'll be making is to the handle.  A single length, less than 5 inches, with a reinforced square of fabric at the end (like a zipper end square) so the baby can't get into trouble with it if it's left on the ground.

      These were a big hit for my neice and nephews a few years ago. I had large fabric scraps from the window valances their mom made. I used the scraps to put a central panel on a body pillow cover (bought a pillowcase, cut in half and inserted the biggest scrap.  There was enough left over to use their fabric as one or two panels and an accent fabric for the rest of the neck pillow.  One nephew had no leftover fabric, but a hunting theme, so his was hunter orange and camo polar fleece.  

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ Sarah - Glad to hear these have been such a success for you!

      Sew in Germany said:
      Sew in Germany's picture

      Thank you for the pattern and tutorial. I just made a few of these for Christmas presents. I am quite pleased with the results.

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ Sew in Germany - That's great news - I know they'll be loved as presents! So glad your results were awesome.

      Genness said:
      Genness's picture

      Have you tried stuffing any of these with the micro beads? Would make them very squishy & hold the weight of the head & neck w/o any lumps. 

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ Genness - we haven't done any with the micro beads as we've always suggested a firmer shape to cradle the head, but they would be an interesting option. If you make one with this filler, let us know how it turns out. 

      Sharon Rose said:
      Sharon Rose's picture

      Am I the only one who can't use the bead filling? I have tried them and wind up with nothing under my neck and a smothering of fabric and beads covering my face.

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ Sharon Rose - as we mentioned above, we haven't tried and don't really recommend the bead filling for this project. You're right there isn't much support.

      Wendy In Vermont said:
      Wendy In Vermont's picture

      Just made one for my trip to Italy.  I finished it in under 30 minutes.  I am making one for my husband as well.  I didn't use the printer, I drew it free hand, and it came out well.  Thank you for the pattern and directions, they were superb, easy to follow.

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ Wendy in Vermont - thanks for letting us know your project was quick, easy and turned out great! Have a wonderful time in Italy.

      Babajeza said:
      Babajeza's picture

      This may be the time to sew a pillow for myself: I found my favourite book at the thriftstore and feel like reading. However, sewing first. Thank you for the pattern. 

      Regula

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ Babajeza - It's definitely time to make a pillow for yourself. These are super fast and easy and so comfy!

      yvette56 said:
      yvette56's picture

      thank you very much for this tutorial, I made some for christmas gifts :

      http://elllebrode.canalblog.com/

      I find the ribbon useful, to carry the pillow for instance, on the outside of a bag when you have a train journey or just to take it to the car.

      thanks again for this nice DIY

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ yvette56 - thanks for sharing your results. I like the red ribbon against the black and white fabric.

      Fayted17 said:
      Fayted17's picture

      Do you only need the v clip if you intend to add a ribbon handle, or does it serve another purpose?

      CarrieMTimlin said:
      CarrieMTimlin's picture

      I had one of these that I bought years ago at a yard sale. Well, my husband stole it!  Last Christmas I made him one of his own.  Now he uses them both, one downstairs, one upstairs.  I will be making more this year!   Eventually I will have one to use for myself again, lol.  
      Thank you for the pattern.

      Lila B said:
      Lila B's picture

      My  husband had one to use while receiving cancer infusion (chemo) in Duluth, MN.  The nurses put a pillow case over it and keep it in the infusion room for patients to use.  He liked it so well that I came home, saw your posting on Pinterest and made one.  I made it from cotton so it is cool in hot weather.  He likes it under his neck when he's reading in the recliner.

      Katharina F. said:
      Katharina F.'s picture

      Hi Liz.

      Just came across this great neck pillow and really wanna sew it myself. Quick questions before starting: what is the actual size of the pillow. I'm Austria and looks like my printer (A4 instead of US letter size) is not printing it in the right size. What are the ribbons for? Just for holding?

      Thank you so much!!

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ Katharina F - there is a scale on the pattern to check printing size. The square is 1". The pattern is (measuring along the top straight edge) 8-3/4", which translates to about 22.22 cm. There should not be a problem using A4.

      Katharina F. said:
      Katharina F.'s picture

      Thank you for your quick reply, Liz. Will try again. ;-)

      EllyMae Haverstick said:
      EllyMae Haverstick's picture

      i made one last night for my dad whos recovering from a heart attack and following a stroke........this is going to help him bc he cant control the neck muscles as well and this will help stabilize his head and neck. Thankyou so much for this pattern and tutorial. very easy to follow directions.

      Caitlin said:
      Caitlin's picture

      I just wanted to comment to say that I've made several of these for myself, my husband, and friends and family but the best use I've found is for propping various parts of myself up in bed at 8 months pregnant! It's been so difficult to get comfortable but these are small enough to maneuver easily and contoured well. I currently shuffle 3 around myself at night! Wouldn't sleep the same without them! A fantastic gift idea for your favorite expecting mom!

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ Caitlin - thanks for letting us know about this great use for the pillow!

      Jsandas1 said:

      Hello, the 1 inch square on my pattern piece measures 15/16.  Is this close enough?  I don't have the ability to change the printer settings from my iPad but maybe I could try printing from my husbands laptop.  Thank you

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ Jsandas1 - that should be close enough. You could always make your seams just a tiny bit smaller, but 1/16" is within reason on the pattern size,

      Cynthia M. said:
      Cynthia M.'s picture

      Just a question about your copyright terms: I bought one of these pillows at Walmart about 10 years ago. It is the very same pattern. I made my own pattern from the Walmart pillow. Is your pillow the Walmart product? How can it be copyrighted by you if there is another pattern out there?

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ 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

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

      Andrea Schneider

      Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

      @ 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:

      @ 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. 

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