How to Make a Microbead Pillow

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Microbeads are often made of recycled materials.
Microbeads are often made of recycled materials. (Image: NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Microbeads are small plastic spheres that are ideal for use as a filling material in pillows. Pillows that use microbeads easily adjust to suit any reclining shape while giving firm support that is otherwise impossible from most filling materials. You can purchase microbeads from any local store that sells materials for crafts. A basic rectangular microbead pillow does not differ significantly from other pillows of the same design. The only real difference is how the pillows are filled up before their final completion.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Iron
  • Microbeads
  • Needle
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Thread

Cut out two fabric pieces of the same size and shape. Make sure that each piece of fabric is bigger than the desired size of your pillow because you'll need the extra room for the seams. About one and a half inches of allowance is ideal.

Use pins to hold three sides of the fabric pieces together. Position the pins so that the lengths of each pin run parallel to the sides of the fabric pieces. Make sure that the pins lie close to the edge to avoid hindering the actual sewing process.

Stitch the three pinned sides together using thread. Give each seam about half an inch of allowance inside the edges. Remove the pins once you're done.

Turn the pillowcase inside out and then use an iron to smooth any creases in the pillowcase. Once that is done, fold a half-inch of the material of the opening in on both sides before using the iron to make them permanent.

Fill the pillowcase using the microbeads. You don't want too little filling because that makes for a lumpy pillow, but make sure you leave enough space for the pillowcase to be closed properly without bursting at the seams.

Stitch the opening together. You can use standard stitching, but that can look crude and is not as strong as it should be. Instead, using whip stitching if you can to close the opening. Whip stitching is where you cluster your stitches so that it ends up looking like you are using fewer stitches than you actually are. If you are unsure how to use whip stitching, refer to the link in the Resources section.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can make microbead pillows with more exotic shapes than other pillows because the microbeads have no problem filling up all the recesses of the pillowcase. Be extra careful in cutting the fabric for more exotic shapes because the more exotic the shape, the easier it is to make a mistake. Print the pattern on paper and then use that as a cutting guideline if your hand is unsteady.
  • Since microbeads are not washable, you should use make a pillowcase for your microbead pillow. Use the same set of instructions, but leave the last side open. Make sure the pillowcase is a bit bigger so that your microbead pillow can fit inside.
  • Because the beads are so small, they are generally not recommended for use by children under 5. Check the bag for the manufaturer's suggestions.

References

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