Dorm Crafts: Easy No-Sew Fleece Pillows

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Dorm Crafts: Easy No-Sew Fleece Pillows

These easy no-sew fleece pillows cozy up a dorm bed instantly. (And you can make three in an hour. How easy is that?). Photo by Jackie Burrell

You've picked out the cozy bedding, gotten the dorm-friendly extra-long sheets and other dorm room essentials. Perhaps you've even made a cozy fleece throw for the bed. Now it's time for throw pillows - because even the most spartan couch or mattress can be made comfier with the addition of a little softness, and depending on the fabric pattern you choose, these soft no-sew fleece pillows can look manly, preppy or girly. And these are probably the fastest, easiest pillows you'll ever make!

Here's what you'll need to get started:

  • A soft, square pillow insert, available at any fabric or craft store in sizes ranging from 14-inches square to 24 inches or more. Midrange - 16-18 inches - is best for a bed or couch. For a soft floor pillow, grab an insert that's 24 inches or more.
  • Two fleece squares that are 6 inches larger than the pillow insert. If your pillow form is 16 inches square, cut two 22-inch squares. For an 18-inch pillow, cut 24-inch squares.
  • Scissors or a rotary cutter.


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Step 1 - Cutting the Fringe for Fleece Pillows

Photo by Jackie Burrell

Making a fleece pillow for that dorm bed? You can use two pieces of identical fabric, or two different prints - coordinating plaids, for example, or two fun solid colors. You can even buy collegiate print fleece emblazoned with the USC mascot, say, or University of Michigan logo.

The first step is cutting the fringe - and a rotary cutter and cutting mat with printed measurements makes this project a snap. Here's how:

  1. Fleece is significantly stretchier in one direction than the other. So place the two squares of fleece on top of each other, making sure they are stretchy in the same direction. Line up the edges and square them with the grid on the cutting mat, if you are using one.
  2. Cut a 3-inch square notch out of each corner, as pictured.
  3. Skipping the notches, cut a 3-inch deep fringe all the way around, cutting through both layers of fabric at the same time so everything lines up. Strips that are 1 inch wide result in a nice, chunky fringe - like the ones on the plaid and yellow pillows on slide 1. Narrower strips are fine too, and will result in a more delicate fringe. (Anything wider than an inch is difficult to tie, and anything narrower than half an inch may tear when you tie it tightly.)


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Step 2 - Assembling the Fleece Pillow

Photo by Jackie Burrell

Your fringe is cut - now you're ready to tie it off and assemble the pillow case:

  • Pull gently on one of the strips to see if it's super stretchy, or barely stretchy at all. Begin tying the two layers of fleece together along one of the two not particularly stretchy sides, by grabbing each pair of fringe strips and tying them in a simple overhand knot. Cinch it tight, and move on to the next pair.
    Tip: It's easier to keep the strips from getting tangled or out of sync if you tie two or three consecutive strips on the left. Then, count off to the middle, making sure that the pair you choose really is the 10th, for example, on both top and bottom. Tie it tight. Then tie a couple of consecutive ones on the far right. Smooth the fleece and square it up again. Now tie all the pairs in between.
  • Flip the fleece square around and start tying off the fringe strips on the opposite also-not-very-stretchy side. Fleece is stretchy, squashy stuff; it's easy for that square to become a rhombus or trapezoid, so square it up again.
  • On to the third side... This one will be stretchy and very easy to tie. Square it up again.


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Step 3 - Finishing the Fleece Pillow

Photo by Jackie Burrell

Almost done! Here's how to finish that cozy fleece pillow, and make that dorm bed or spartan apartment couch that much comfier.

  • Gently stuff the pillow form into the case, making sure the bottom corners plump up nicely. If some of your fringe ties threaten to undo, doubleknot a few strategic ones, to ease the pressure on the surrounding ties. (You could doubleknot
  • Tie off the remaining ends, thinking all the while how glad you are that you left a stretchy side for this purpose!

You're done! Make a set - they're easier each time you do it and adorable in sets. Then toss them atop the bed (on that beautiful homemade duvet, perhaps?) and enjoy.

Psst, got leftover scraps? Use them to make a DIY fleece rug.