How to Sew a Zabuton Pillow

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 yards cotton fabric

  • Cotton stuffing

  • Measuring tape

  • Straight pins

  • Sewing machine

  • Matching thread

A zabuton is a large, comfortable floor pillow often used with a zafu, or round meditation cushion, in Japan. A zabuton helps protect the knees from the hard floor. You can make several zabuton and use them as floor pillows when watching TV or as extra seating when you have guest visiting.


Step 1

Fold your fabric in half and pin it together. Measure a 32 inch by 28 inch rectangle on it. Cut it out making sure to cut through both layers of fabric. Remove the pins and flip the two fabric rectangles so that right sides are together. Pin it together along all sides.

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Step 2

Sew around the edges of the rectangles leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance and a 4 inch opening along the middle of one side. Make sure to begin and end you stitching with a back stitch so the thread will not pull out. Trim the corners, then reach through the opening and turn the zabuton right side out.


Step 3

Begin stuffing the zabuton with small bits of the cotton stuffing, no bigger than a ping pong ball. Stuff these into the opening until the zabuton is as full as you want it to be. By doing it this way you will avoid making a lumpy, uncomfortable pillow.

Step 4

Stitch the opening closed. There are two ways to do this. The first is to tuck the seam allowance inside and hand stitch the opening closed. The second way takes a bit more time but the former opening will be invisible once you are finished.


Step 5

Tuck the seam allowance inside as in the first method, then pin it to keep it from shifting. Stitch around the entire edge of the zabuton 1/4 inch from the edge. You can do this by hand, or if you are skilled with a sewing machine and have a large table to place it on you can do it that way.

Step 6

Snip any long threads and fluff your pillow to finish.


You can use a spray stain guard to keep your pillow looking fresh.

When washing the zabuton in the washing machine, thread a large needle with yarn and run it through the pillow and knot as though you were tying off a quilt.
Do this a few times. This will keep the stuffing from shifting and clumping in the wash and you can just clip and remove the yarn afterward.