Introduction: Monster Pillow

About: I've always been happy making things. It started with macrame back in the day and went from there. Quilts are my mainstay, but now that I am retired I just pretty much go with what feels good. If I can upcycle…

This is a really fun addition to your child’s bedroom. The zipper opening is an easy way for kids to store their pajamas or any other item they want to keep safe. Use your imagination for designing your own little monster. You can add ears, a tail, omit the arms and legs or just follow these directions. There are a lot of photos included and I hope they will make this easier to understand.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You will need:

½ yard of fabric for monster’s body and limbs.

Fat quarter for mouth and pillow lining or piece of fabric 13” x 16" .

Fabric scraps for soles of feet.

9” x 12” piece of white felt for teeth and eyes.

Black felt or fleece for eye irises.

12” zipper for mouth opening.

Iron adhesive like Heat ‘n’ Bond for eye appliques - you can also use school glue.

The usual sewing implements - sewing machine, pins, scissors and/or rotary cutter, etc.

Step 2: Cut Out the Pieces

Face - 5 ¼” x 13” (cut 1)

Belly - 7” x 13” (cut 1)

Arms - 6 ½” x 3 ½” (cut 4)

Legs - 16” x 6 ½” (cut 2)

Back - 13” x 13” (cut 1)

Lining- 13” x 13” (cut 1)

Sole of foot - 5 ½” x 3 ½” (cut 2)

Mouth opening cut from lining fabric- 1 ½” x 13” (cut 2)

Teeth, from white felt - 1 ½” x 11 ½” (cut 2) on the fold.*

Eyes- Ovals cut 2 from white felt, Irises cut 2 from black felt or fleece.*

*Note: Remember the mountain ranges you used to draw as a kid and free-hand draw the teeth, or use a ruler to draw them. I used an empty thread spool to trace the irises and drew an oval for the eyes.

Step 3: Attach the Zipper

With the right sides facing, stitch the edge of the zipper to the edge of the fabric. Repeat for the other edge of the zipper.

When you fold the fabric away from the zipper, there should be no visible seams.

Step 4: Assemble the Front of the Pillow

Position the top and bottom teeth on the edge of the zippered mouth piece, right side up. Lay the face piece right side down and line up the top edge. Pin in place and stitch. Use a ¼” seam. Do the same with the body piece.

Attach the eyes. When you are happy with your placement secure the eyes onto the face of your pillow. I used a ruler to measure an equal distance from the center of the face.

I have Heat ‘n’ Bond leftover from other projects, so I use that. You can also use school glue or any other stitchable bonding product. Or if you are feeling particularly brave, just pin them in place. It’s the applique that will hold them in place.

Applique in place.

Step 5: Attach the Lining to the Pillow Front

Sew the inner lining to the front of the pillow on all four sides. Make sure you sew both pieces right side up. You won’t be separating these pieces. Use a ½” seam.

I used two different pieces of fabric for the lining and the mouth opening. I liked the floral for the inside and the solid blue for the mouth.

Step 6: Create the Arms

Sew the arm pieces right sides together, leaving one short side open for stuffing. Use a ¼” seam.

Turn the arm pieces right side out and stuff with poly-fil stuffing.

Stitch the open end closed.

Step 7: Front and Back Attachment

With right sides together, sew the top edge of the back to the front using a ½” seam.

Do this first to help add accuracy when you attach to arms to the body.

Step 8: Create the Legs and Attach Them to the Front of the Pillow

With right sides together, stitch the side seam of the leg together. Leave the right sides together and attach the sole of the foot piece to one of the open sides of the leg piece. Use a lot of pins and be patient. It’s difficult to get these pieces to join without some puckering, I usually give up trying and add a few discrete tucks in the legs.
Stuff the legs with poly-fil, close the top opening and stitch. The closure is folded together like a paper bag that approximates the width of the foot. This way, the legs will provide a sturdy base for your pillow.

Position the stitched end of the legs to the front pillow piece, right side up. When you are happy with the placement, stitch them in place. Use a ½” seam.

Step 9: Attach the Arms

Pin the arms to the pillow just below the mouth.

Lay the back piece on top of the front piece, right sides together.

Pin in place and stitch one side together at a time. Use a ½” seam,

Stitch the bottom end to the edge of each leg. This will create a much easier way to close the bottom opening in the next step.

Step 10: Stuff Your Pillow

You will now have 3 connected layers of your pillow. Place poly-fil in between the lining and the back piece. When you are happy with the amount of stuffing, stitch the bottom edge together. You should have a natural crease from the 1/2" stitching you have done when attaching the legs and the front and back. All the stuffing makes it difficult to pin the pieces together and since you are looking forward to the finished product, this should be as easy as possible.

Step 11: Finished

That's it, you're done.

Open up the mouth of your pillow and put something fun inside as a special surprise for a child.

Zipper Speed Challenge

Second Prize in the
Zipper Speed Challenge