Making your own pillows is a great way to learn to sew and a fun way to personalize your living room or bedroom. Ready-made pillow forms are easy to use but there are a variety of other materials you can use to stuff pillows.
Pillow batting is polyester stuffing that comes in boxes or bags. It is inexpensive and makes a light, fluffy pillow. The biggest drawback to "poly fill" is that it tends to get matted and lumpy.
Crumbled foam is harder to find than polyester batting but makes a firmer pillow. Foam can be purchased in bags at some fabric stores.
Microbead pillows have gained popularity in recent years. Microbeads can be purchased in bags at many fabric stores. Microbeads make a soft, squishy pillow and give the pillow a unique texture, especially when used with stretchy fabrics.
Buckwheat can be purchased by the pound at many health-food stores. Buckwheat pillows are firm and flexible at the same time. Many spa-like pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls.
Pillow stuffing can be made using scraps of fabric, yarn, or old clothing. For best results, cut the fabric into small pieces. A pillow made with recycled stuffing will be less fluffy than one stuffed with other materials.
Goose down or a combination of down and feathers is popular for store-bought pillows. Down makes a very soft, fluffy pillow. Down is difficult and expensive to purchase for homemade pillows but you can find down pillows at yard sales or thrift stores and recycle the stuffing.