How to Make Foam Pillow

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Foam can make a comfortable pillow that provides extra support, yet flexes to conform to the shape of your body. Foam pillows work great as bed pillows, head rests, travel pillows and pregnancy pillows. You can find foam pillow forms in a variety of sizes and shapes at many fabric stores and bedding stores. You can also find foam alternatives such as compressed polyester that won’t yellow or mildew, and that are washable and hypoallergenic. If you can’t find a foam pillow form you like, you can make your own foam pillow from a sheet of foam. Foam that is about 1/2 inch thick works best. You’ll need enough foam for about six layers. Read on to learn how to make a foam pillow.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam pillow form or sheet foam
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand sewing needle

Use a ready-made foam pillow form, or cut a piece of foam about as wide as you want the pillow and about six times as tall. (You can also use several pieces of foam, each as wide as you want the pillow.)

Fold the end of the foam over so that the folded area is about the size you want the pillow. Fold the end of the foam over again, the same distance as the first fold. Continue folding until the pillow is as thick as you want. Place a book or something heavy on top of the foam to hold it in place while you make the pillow cover.

Measure the foam pillow from top to bottom and side to side, starting and ending at the center of the pillow’s edges, so that the pillow’s thickness is included in the measurement as well.

Cut a piece of fabric that is 2 1/2 inches longer and wider than the measurements of the pillow. Cut a second piece of fabric the same size as the first. Place the two pieces of fabric right sides together.

Stitch along three sides of the pillow cover using 5/8-inch seam allowance, leaving one end open. (If the foam pillow is rectangular, leave one of the shorter ends open.)

Fold the open ends over about 1/2 inch toward the wrong side of the fabric. Press the folds flat.

Turn the pillow cover right side out. Insert the foam into the pillow cover. Line up the folded edges on the open end and pin them together.

Sew the end of the pillow cover together using a whip stitch or similar stitch.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may want to have the fabric store or upholstery store cut the foam for you, if possible, using an electric knife or professional cutting equipment. This can be less messy and save wear and tear on your scissors.
  • Use caution when working with sewing needles, scissors, pins, irons and sewing machines.
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