Introduction: Sound Effect Minesweeper Pillows

About: My name is Britt Michelsen. I am a chemical engineer from Germany especially interested in computational fluid dynamics. To balance all the theoretical work, I like to make stuff in my free time

In this instructable I'm going to show you, how to make your own set of minesweeper pillows. I guarantee you, that you will have a lot of fun, seeing your friends jump up, after they made themselves comfortable on the wrong pillow.

If you don't know how to sew, don't worry you don't necessarily need to.

Step 1: What You Need

  • pillows
  • light grey fabric for the pillows (You can of course use finished ones, but bear in mind that if you are planning to applique with a sewing machine it is going to be harder) The amount of fabric you need depends on the size of the pillows you are planning to make.
  • stuffing (if you want to make the pillows yourself)
  • zippers (optinal)
  • green, blue, red and black fabric (The amount you need depends on the size of your pillows, just take a look at the next step)
  • thread in the above colours (optional)
  • fusible web e.g. Heat N Bond or Steam a Seam 2 (I've used Steam a Seam 2, because it was easier for me to get)
Stuff for the sound effect
  • at least one audio recording and playing device (check out the second picture)
  • litz wire
  • a push-button
  • hot glue
  • Duct Tape
  • something to house your device in (I've used an Altoids tin, but if you have something that is not conductive, you should use it)
  • a plastic container (take a look at step five)
  • Velcro (optional)
  • fusible interfacing (optional)


  • sewing machine (optional)
  • scissors
  • soldering iron

Step 2: Design Templates

I've attached the vector file for the flag and the numbers.
In order to open it you need inkscape (amazing freeware tool). If you don't have it, you can download it here:

The proportion between the grey background and the numbers/ the flag is the original one. So just scale the pictures according to your pillow size.

Step 3: Applique

The first thing you will have to do is to outline your template on one paper side of the fusible web. Remember that your drawing has to be inverted. If you are using inkscape you can do that by selecting the image and pressing "H". You can of course use a set square in order to draw the template.
Now you will have to remove the other paper side of the fusible web, press the template onto your fabric and cut along the lines. Remove the second paper side and press it onto your light grey fabric. If your are happy with the position iron it on according to the instruction of your fusible web.
I've used a straight stitch to secure the template.

Step 4: Sew the Pillow Cases

If you've bought finished pillow cases, just skip this step.
Else, you will now have to sew them, if you don't know how to do that watch the following video. Sam Lewis made a very good video on how to make a pillow case with a zipper.

Step 5: The Sound Effect

There are many ways to make the sound effect work. I decided to use a very simple one with a finished module, but can of course build it yourself.
First drill two small holes in the Altoids tin for the push button and the speaker and use tape to insulate it. The Velcro helps to hold the recording parts in place. Everything else is glued to the tin with hot glue.
Because the fabric of the pillow inlet is to thin the plastic container supports the push-button from behind and is glued to the inside of the pillow as you can see in picture number 5.

The tape that you can see in pictures number 4 and 5 prevents the fabric of the pillow from fraying.

It bothered me, that the push buttons could still be seen through the pillow case. That why I ironed fusible interfacing to the inside of it.

You are done, organize the pillows on your sofa and have a lot of fun, but make sure that nobody gets a heart attack...