Introduction: Make Your Own Lumbar Support Pillow - No Sew!

About: I am a 23 year old grad student studying to become a physical therapist. I have always loved crafting. I find it so hard to get a gift as special as the person I am getting it for so I often make my own gifts…

Back and neck pain are serious issues.  Posture significantly affects them both.  As our culture is changing we are spending more time sitting for our jobs and recreation.  A lumbar support can help you sit in good posture naturally without conscious effort. They are often recommended by doctors and physical therapists for people with low back pain and for prevention.  This pillow is modeled after the McKenzie Lumbar Roll. Robin McKenzie is a famous New Zealand physical therapist who established the Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy method of treating back and neck pain successfully used by physical therapists all over the world.

How it works:

Our back naturally has curves. When we slouch, it reverses these curves causing pressures on our intervertebral disks and straining our back and neck muscles in an abnormal way causing musculoskeletal pain.  Poor posture also affects your breathing, organ function and appearance as well.

A lumbar support pillow realigns the natural alignment of the low back known as the lumbar lordosis.  See how it affects the posture of the neck as well? 

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You can make your own lumbar support pillow with items you probably have around the house! You can even personalize it to match your décor and personality. 


You will need

1. A standard sized pillowcase

2. 2 elastic headbands – you can find these in the hair accessories section of most stores. The elastic ones will work best for this project. You will probably want both to be the same color

3. A bath towel you don’t need anymore

4. Masking tape

5. Ribbon- any medium/wide ribbon will do, preferably something strong and that the adhesive of the Velcro will stick to well

6. Scissors

7. Sticky back Velcro- I used a long strip so that the pillow is easily adjustable to several chairs

Step 2: Make a Secure Towel Roll

First, fold the bath towel in half longwise and roll it up tightly. Then use masking tape and wrap it around the towel roll tightly to secure it.

Step 3: Roll Up the Towel Roll in the Pillowcase

Next, drop the towel roll into the pillowcase making sure it is flush against the short end of the pillowcase. Roll the pillowcase up tightly.

This works best when you push the pillowcase down around the towel roll and then fold the rest of the pillowcase around it.

Step 4: Secure the Pillow With the Elastic Headbands

Secure the pillowcase with the 2 headbands wrapping them around twice each.

Do your best to stuff the ends of the pillowcase under the elastic. It doesn’t have to be perfect. One side of the pillow will be against the chair so it won’t be seen.

Step 5: Add the Ribbon and Velcro

Measure the ribbon to the chair you will be using it in. Wrapping the ribbon around the chair twice should give you a good estimate as to how much you will need. You can take the pillow with you to any chair, so if you plan on using it in several chairs add a little extra to accommodate.

Thread the ribbon through the headbands. If there is a side of the pillow you would like to hide, thread the ribbon through that side.

Measure, cut and stick the Velcro to the ends of the ribbon. If you would like it to be more adaptable, add more length of Velcro.

Step 6: Adjust Pillow Properly in Chair

Place the pillow where the natural curve of your back is. Some people call this the small of their back. If it is too low it will not help your posture, and if it is too high it will be uncomfortable. Sit in the chair and move it around until you find a comfortable position.

To get mine to stay in this position I held my knee against the pillow as I secured the ribbon. You can do that or have someone help you hold it in place while you tightly pull the ribbon and Velcro it to secure the pillow in the correct position.

This is great for your office chair, workstation, carseat oany chair! I definitely recommend taking it with you on long car or plane rides to avoid that backpain from sitting for too long. These make great gifts for anyone who has to sit a lot or with back problems.  Similar ones cost at least $20 aren't nearly as nice looking.

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