How to Make a Pillow Filling

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Things You'll Need

  • Scissors

  • Fabric scraps

  • Old clothing, towels and linens

  • Old foam mattress pad or old couch cushion

  • Large trash bag

Repurpose fabric scraps, clothing and other items for use as pillow stuffing.

Polyester stuffing and feathers are the two most common filling materials for pillows. But you can recycle items found around the house by making a homemade pillow filling. The pillow's density will be determined by the type of material that's used for the stuffing. An all-fabric pillow stuffing will be heavy and dense, whereas a pillow stuffed with pieces of foam from a foam mattress pad will be light and squishy. You can use either a regular foam mattress pad or a foam mattress pad patterned as an egg-crate. If you don't have a foam mattress pad, use foam from an old couch cushion or use only fabric stuffing materials. A combination of fabric and foam will make for a moderately dense pillow.


Step 1

Cut up old fabric scraps from your sewing and crafts projects. Use scissors to cut the fabric into small pieces, no larger than 1-inch in diameter. Use the small scraps that are too small for quilting or other crafts -- the scraps that would otherwise be thrown away.

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Step 2

Cut up old clothing items, towels and linens. Use scissors to cut them into small pieces, no larger than 1-inch in diameter.

Step 3

Cut up an old foam mattress pad or an old couch cushion using scissors. Cut it into small chunks, no larger than 1/2-inch in diameter.

Step 4

Place the bits of fabric and the pieces of foam from the egg crate mattress pad inside a large trash bag. Blow a bit of air into the bag and shake it to mix up the contents. Store the stuffing material inside the bag until you're ready to fill a new pillow.


If using old towels, linens and clothing, ensure the items are washed prior to cutting them into bits for the pillow stuffing. Avoid denim, because it is a heavy fabric that's not well suited as pillow filling.


Avoid using large chunks of foam. They tend to make the pillow appear lumpy.


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