How to Crochet A Throw Pillow – Free Pattern & Tutorial
Learn how to crochet a pillow with an easy and free crochet pattern! The Serenity Pillow features velvet yarn, knit-look stitches, and a modern design on the front. Make sure to stick around for the whole article, because I’ll also show you the 4 types of pillow construction and go through lots of tips for creating your own!
An Easy Crochet Throw Pillow
The Serenity Pillow is easy to make with minimal sewing (it is made in the round!) This is a great pillow to make if you want a flexible pattern. I’ve included adjustment tips throughout the pattern so you can actually make it to fit ANY size pillow form!
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How to Crochet a Pillow (In Any Size!)
Before we get into the Serenity pillow pattern, let’s walk through how crochet pillows are made step by step. When you actually understand the ins and outs of how to crochet a pillow, you can also try creating your own custom designs!
Step 1: Choose Your Method
The first step in crocheting a pillow is to pick the method you want to use. Check out the graphic below to see a visual representation of 4 common pillow constructions (and read more about each below).
2 Squares: this is the most common way to crochet a pillow. Just make 2 squares, line them up together, and sew up 3 sides. Stick the pillow form in, and sew up the last side.
A long rectangle: Make a long rectangle (at least double the size of your pillow form), fold it in half, and sew up the sides. Insert the form and sew up the last side. Alternatively, you can make button loops and attach buttons so that the pillow cover can be removed.
In the round: this is the construction we’ll use for the Serenity Pillow! If you hate sewing, you’ll like this method. Start by making chains or fsc, then join them together to form a round. Make sure this round fits comfortably around the pillow in either the width or length (you can work lengthwise or widthwise, depending on how you want the finished pillow to look!) Keep working in the round, then insert the pillow form and sew up either end.
Circle pillow: To make a perfect circle pillow, the method is the same as the 2 squares method. Just make 2 circles, sew partially around, then insert the pillow form and sew the rest of the way around.
Step 2: Choose a Pillow Form Size
After you decide on one of the methods above (or another—I’m sure there are other creative ways to make pillows!) you need to choose a size. Always buy the pillow form before making the pillow.
Trust me on this one. It’s always better if you can measure as you go and make sure the cover you’re making will fit comfortably with the form.
Step 3: Choose a Stitch Pattern
You’ll also want to plan the stitch you’re going to use for the whole pillow. When choosing a stitch, make sure you consider how stretchy it is. This will impact the size you need to make your cover (more on that in a second!)
Step 3: Crochet the Cover
Once you have your pillow form in hand and your stitch chosen, you can start crocheting!
When it comes to the size of your cover, it all depends on the size of your pillow form and the stretch of your chosen stitch. You’ll want to think about negative/positive ease.
Some crochet pillows are made with negative ease, which means the pillow cover is SMALLER than the pillow form. This is best for stitches with a lot of stretch.
On the other hand, pillows may be made true to size, or with positive ease. The Serenity Pillow is made true to size, meaning the pillow cover is the same size as the pillow form. Velvet yarn doesn’t have a lot of stretch, so negative ease doesn’t work for it.
Pillows made with positive ease will have a more relaxed fit; they won’t “hug” the pillow form as much.
Step 4: Sew it all up & embellish
After your cover is done, the only thing left to do is insert your pillow form and sew it up! You also have a few options here:
You can completely enclose the pillow, or you can add buttons so it can be removed and washed.
You can also add embellishments, like appliques, borders, flowers, or duplicate stitches. This is the time to get creative!
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Serenity Throw Pillow Crochet Pattern
Without further ado, let’s get right into the easy crochet throw pillow pattern!
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Explanation: Meet the Serenity Pillow, an easy crochet pillow with minimal seaming and maximum softness! This pillow is made with velvet yarn for a luxurious finish, and the calming blue hues give it an extra relaxing feel.
- Bernat Velvet Yarn (100% Polyester, 315 yds / 288 m, 10.5 oz / 300 g) 2 balls in the color Softened Blue and Navy
- H/5mm crochet hook
- 12” by 11” Pillow form (or a 12” by 12” can also be squeezed into the cover if need be)
- Pattern can also be modified to use ANY pillow form (following “adjustment tips” throughout instructions)
- Yarn needle
Not necessary, see finished size measurements. It is too much trouble to make a gauge swatch since this pattern is worked in the round and is extremely easy to adjust.
- Pillow is worked in continuous rounds. There will be no joining at the end of rounds.
- The stitch used throughout this pillow is the Waistcoat stitch, which involves working into the CENTER of single crochet stitches. See page 4 for a tutorial.
- The pattern on the front is made using the duplicate stitch. This stitch uses a sewing technique and a contrasting color to mimic the “v” of the stitches already made. See page 5 for a tutorial. You can feel free to get creative and make any design on the front that you want!
- No matter what size pillow form you use, your finished cover should measure the same as the form. Velvet yarn doesn’t have a lot of stretch to it, so we don’t want to make a cover with negative ease.
12” long by 11” high – or adjust to ANY size you’d like
Note: Use the adjusting tips throughout the pattern to get the exact size you want.
Abbreviations/Stitches Used (U.S.)
Chain – ch
Foundation single crochet – fsc
Slip stitch – sl st
Single crochet – sc
Repeat – rep
Stitch(es) – st(s)
Round – rnd
Fsc 54. Being careful not to twist, join with a sl st to first fsc. Note: to make the size listed in this pattern, this round should be 11” long when laid flat after joining. Add or subtract fsc to get this size.
Adjusting Tip: You can use ANY size pillow form to make this pattern! If using a bigger form, add more fsc to this first round. The size of this round laid flat should be the same size as the HEIGHT of your pillow form. So if you have a long rectangle pillow that measures 12” high by 18” long, for example, make sure this round is 12” laid flat. Square pillows are easier since the measurements for height and width will be the same. You can also slip the finished round over the pillow form to make sure it fits nicely.
Rnd 1: Sc in each st around. DO NOT JOIN. Place stitch marker in last st of the rnd. (54 sc)
Rnd 2-4: Sc in the center (between the vertical bars) of each st around. (54 sc)
Adjusting tip: After round 4, try fitting the rounds you have made over your pillow form. Having 4 rounds done will help you determine sizing better. They should fit snugly but not pinch the sides too much. Also, measure again and make sure the size is the same as the beginning (if your pillow height was 12”, your rounds should still be measuring 12” laid flat). If it fits well, you can proceed! If not, you can always go back and add or subtract fsc on the first round.
Rep rnd 4 until you have a total of 49 rounds, or until your cover measures the same as the width of your pillow—and the form fits snugly inside, with a little extra on each end to sew it up.
- Use the whipstitch or your seam of choice to sew up each end of the pillow.
- Fasten off and weave in ends.
- Use the duplicate stitch to make a design on the front according to the picture (or to your own liking; feel free to get creative!).
Crochet Pillow Tutorial
Making the waistcoat stitch:
Insert your hook in the center of the sc stitch, between the two vertical bars (1 & 2). YO and pull through those 2 vertical bars (3). YO, pull through last 2 loops like a regular sc (4 & 5).
The pillow should have a little bit of excess when you’re ready to sew it up:
Tip: Plan where you want your duplicate stitches using strands of yarn of your second color:
How to make duplicate stitches:
Dupliate stitches are a great way to customize the front of your pillow! When making these stitches, you’re basically just laying the new color over the v from the sc. There are multiple ways to do this, but here is the method I use:
- With a long strand of your contrasting color, insert your yarn needle in the center of the stitch BELOW the one you want to duplicate. Pull yarn through.
- To start the stitch, insert around the stitch ABOVE the stitch you want to duplicate.
- This is what it looks like with the yarn pulled through.
- Insert your needle down into same space at the very beginning—at the base of the duplicate stitch—then UP through the duplicate stitch itself.
- Pull the yarn through—your first duplicate stitch is done!
- To make the next stitch, once again insert your hook around the stitch ABOVE the one you want to duplicate.
More Questions on Crochet Pillows
Before we end, let’s talk about more questions people ask about crocheting pillows.
How much yarn do you need to crochet a pillow?
The amount of yarn you need for a pillow depends on the size of the pillow and the pattern you choose! Generally speaking, pillows can be crocheted from a few skeins of yarn. The Serenity Pillow calls for less than 1 skein of velvet yarn. However, larger pillows will need more yarn.
How do you crochet a pillow out of chunky yarn?
The steps for crocheting a pillow out of chunky yarn are the same for lighter weight! The advantage to using chunky yarn is that it goes faster and may be easier to keep from being see-through.
How long does it take to crochet a pillow?
Again, the time investment for a crochet pillow will depend upon the size. If you’re using a chunky yarn, you will be done faster. But either way, you’re probably looking at a week or few week-long project.
How do you crochet a bolster pillow?
Bolster pillows are a little more complicated to crochet and involve a different construction. They are usually made from 3 pieces: a long 3D circle, and 2 flat circles that go on either end.
Crochet pillows are super fun to make and great for household decoration. When you learn how to crochet a pillow, you can even start making your own custom designs that match your home! Familiarize yourself with the 4 common types of pillow construction, and you’re sure to be a pro in no time!
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