DIY Reindeer Christmas Pillow

Christmas pillows elude me, friends. It is on rare occasion that I find one I love that doesn’t cost more than $15. Because of our budget and the fact that I’m only breaking these pillows out once a year for a couple of months, it’s not worth it to drop $40 on a single pillow. This year, though, I got motivated and decided that even if I had to make them from scratch, I was going to have some fluffy pillows for Christmas that I loved, and thus, the idea for a DIY Reindeer Christmas Pillow was born.

I made this in less than an hour (including taking photos) and I am not a stellar seamstress, so don’t be discouraged if you’re like, Wait, I can’t sew. You don’t have to know how to. Honestly, you can make these without a sewing machine, too, though you’ll have to be a little more careful. Just take the tutorial below and replace all of the “sew here” portions with “secure with permanent fabric tape”. I have a toddler, though, so sewing won out because I need durability.


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Patterned fabric (I used this)
  • Solid fabric (I used white duck cloth)
  • Printer
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Fabric pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Ultra Hold Fabric Adhesive


The first step is to cut out your fabric. For an 18″ x 18″ pillow insert, you’ll need a 44″ x 20″ piece of material. This allows for a 1″ fold on either long side of the fabric and a doubled over 1″ fold on the short sides as well as a 4″ overlap where your pillow will be inserted. {I hate math.}

Lay out the fabric and fold in an inch on both long sides and fold over twice on both short sides. It helps to iron these folds, but you can pin them as well. Sew a straight line down the double-folds.


Once the two double folded sides are sewn, lay the fabric flat, pattern side up, and fold in the sewn edges. I allowed for a 4″ overlap in the back. Your fabric will look like this.


Sew along both sides. When you’re finished, flip the pillow cover right side out and lay flat.

Print out a reindeer (or any other shape you’d like) on printer paper. I decided on a reindeer head that was 11″ tall. I then used transfer paper to trace the image onto my white fabric, the same method used here. You can also cut out the image and trace around it onto your accent fabric if you don’t have transfer paper. Then cut around the shape on your fabric.


Once your shape is cut out, use that as a template to trace the image onto the back of the fabric adhesive and cut that out as well. Following the instructions on the adhesive, use an iron to adhere the fabric to the adhesive cutout. Peel off the backing and iron onto your pillow cover.


The instructions said to iron in one spot for 8 seconds. I did this a couple of times, though, to make sure the deer head was well-adhered. Let the adhesive cool for a minute or so, then put your pillow insert into the pillowcase.



I just love how this turned out, don’t you!?! I plan to make a few more and will be using felt for the detailed shape this time around so the ends don’t fray and the gingham won’t show through as much, but I’m still so happy with it. May this make your home decor a little more merry and bright!



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    1. Yay! So excited for you to try it! I just googled “deer bust” and picked an image that I liked (it was on the first page) then resized it to my preferred height and width. I’ll see if I can track down the actual link for you!

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