How To Make A Travel Pillow. The Best 2-Step Guide

Did you know that you can learn how to make a travel pillow in just three steps? Before you go on that vacation, why not get some fabric, needle, and thread, and make a personalized travel pillow? You don’t even have to be an expert tailor to get started!

Those who have experienced sewing a pillow by hand can apply a similar concept to make a travel pillow. The only difference is that you are making a U-shaped travel pillow instead of a traditional rectangular bed pillow. However, don’t let this design variation deter you because you can get started right below. 

How To Make A Travel Pillow


DIY Guide For How To Make A Travel Pillow

Each time we travel, we usually neglect sleep. Not anymore if you make a travel pillow in two easy steps! After all, everyone must consider a travel pillow as a must-have accessory for every ride and flight. 

While travel pillows can come in different shapes, the most effective form would be U-shaped. This way, it’s versatile for multiple uses, and it can support your head and neck when your sleep upright. It will also be more comfortable to carry around compared to bed pillow-like travel pillows.


Step #1. Design

Like other pillow types, the first and the most crucial step in making a travel pillow is preparing everything. You can use any fabric you like as long as it’s comfortable and durable. However, be mindful of the fabric’s design when you cut the pieces you’ll need. 

You should get two U-shaped fabric pieces according to the dimensions that will complement your body type. Furthermore, remember that you’re making a travel pillow, so keep the size suitable for easier portability. You may also have an easier time cutting the pieces if you use a cutout. 


Step #2. Construction

The second and final step before you finish your travel pillow is constructing it. You can sew by hand or use a sewing machine depending on what’s more familiar. Then, pin the two fabric pieces with the wrong side facing up and their right sides together to make sewing easier. 



You can stitch around the pillow liner with seam allowance in mind. For this U-shaped travel pillow, you can allocate ¼ inches of the seam allowance to achieve a clean look. Another useful tip to ensure a durable finish is to backstitch at about ¼ inches each time you’re starting and stopping.



As you go around the travel pillow, leave two inches open for turning and stuffing. Flip the liner right side out until all edges are pushed out, and start filling with your chosen material to achieve the firmness and form you desire. Finally, fold the seam of the gap and close the pillow with a ladder stitch for optimal security. 



To make a ladder stitch, pull your needle from the back to the front of one of the seams. This way, the thread’s knotted end is hidden inside the pillow. Then, push the needle inward and backward of the opposite crease, directly across from where you stitched until you completely close the gap. 

Afterward, you should end up with a ladder-like stitch because of the two fabrics’ horizontal lines. You can then grab a small amount of the material on the opposite side with your needle. Lastly, pass the needle on the resulting thread loop to create a knot. 


Types Of Travel Pillows

Now that you know the basic way to make a travel pillow, you can apply the methods for making other travel pillow variations. 



The sample above is a traditional U-shaped travel pillow. This shape is excellent for keeping your posture in check while sleeping upright. You’ll put it around the neck, so all the sides are supported and you can avoid deviations in the spine. 



Another travel pillow option is the J-shaped type. You’ll hang it over one shoulder so that you can rest your head on the pillow. However, this variant is not as common, and J-shaped pillows are typically marketed as body pillows. 



For more extended travels, perhaps you’ll be more comfortable with a rectangular pillow. While reminiscent of the typical bed pillow, rectangular travel pillows are more portable. They are smaller and lighter but provides better comfort for those camping and backpacking who are actually going to lie down. 



If you find U-shaped travel pillows bulky, consider travel wraps. They look more like scarves with built-in support for your head when you tilt. However, some people might prefer something fluffier. 



For longer rides, you might like hourglass travel pillows. You can use them to support your neck, but you can also have them for back and knee support because of their shape. The only negative with this shape is it doesn’t offer multi-directional neck support like U-shaped pillows. 



Gone are the days where you have to sacrifice sleep while traveling. In just two steps, you can quickly learn how to make a travel pillow and be more ready for your rides and flights. To start, cut two U-shaped pieces on your chosen fabric.

Lay them with their right sides together and sew all around, leaving a gap for turning and stuffing. After you turned the liner, stuff it with your desired filling until you achieve the ideal firmness. Finally, secure the gap with a ladder stitch.