DIY Project Idea: How to Sew a Cross Stitch Pillow

published Jan 16, 2014
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(Image credit: Rae Nudson)

Rae of Rae’s Days loves incorporating handmade items into her home, and especially playing with proportions or putting an unexpected twist on something traditional. So with that in mind, she created this pillow using some chunky yarn and classic cross stitch. Here’s how you can make one too…

What You Need


  • 13×13 inches of felt (or more, depending on your desired pillow size)
  • 2 13×13 inch pieces of contrasting fabric
  • Yarn (preferably large and chunky so it fills the holes)
  • 12×12 inch pillow form


  • Single hole punch
  • Fabric pencil
  • Large yarn/tapestry needle for cross stitching the yarn
  • Needle (regular size)
  • Coordinating thread


These materials and directions will make a 12″ x 12″ finished pillow. To make a larger pillow, adjust your measurements, making sure to leave half inch seam allowances on all sides. Felt works well for the front panel of this project because you don’t need to finish the edges, and any holes you create won’t fray.

(Image credit: Rae Nudson)

1. Take the felt square and use your fabric pencil to draw a line every half inch to create a grid.

(Image credit: Rae Nudson)

2. Starting about an inch in from the edges, start punching out holes to cover the entire grid. To cut each hole, fold the fabric along each grid line so that your hole punch can reach the marks where the lines cross, then punch on the crease. This part takes the most time (over an hour), so do it while you are watching television or some other mindless task.

(Image credit: Rae Nudson)

3. Now cross stitch whatever pattern you choose for the front of the pillow. Use thick yarn, or double up when using a thinner yarn. Keep in mind that the easier the pattern, the simpler and quicker it will be to cross stitch. Here, the word “hi” is cheerful and basic to create.

(Image credit: Rae Nudson)

4. Place a piece of contrasting fabric behind the cross stitched felt (so you see color behind the punched holes. Then place the other contrasting piece of fabric, right side down, on top of the felt. Pin in place. The felt should be sandwiched in between the contrasting pieces of fabric, each with their wrong sides out.

5. Sew around the entire pillow, leaving a small hole to insert the pillow form. Slip stitch the hole closed, and you are done!

(Image credit: Rae Nudson)

Many thanks to Rae for the idea and instructions!