Make Your Own Healthy, Toddler Travel or Bed Pillows

DIY Idea

Approx Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty Level: Moderate (crafty person)

In my search for the perfect pillow for my toddlers, I’ve noticed there are not many affordable, natural options out there. Most pillows are made of synthetic fillers like polyester and memory foam, which can cause health issues. We have made a commitment at our house to keep harmful chemicals to an absolute minimum.

Cotton and wool pillows can be found online, but they are priced upwards of $50 (and if they aren’t, you should ask to see the materials label).

I wanted to find a pillow that can be fluffed and washed as needed, so the only answer was to make my own, naturally!

A quick search on my favorite online retail site gave me the few tools I needed:

1. Toddler sized, cotton pillowcases (I bought the pillowcases in sets of two, in my kids’ room colors.)

2. Organic cotton (I chose combed cotton that is washed and rolled up, so it’s nice and fluffy already.)

Doesn’t it just look like a puffy cloud of softness?!

3. Needle & thread (essential tools to have on hand for any mama whether you sew regularly, or not), but if sewing is not your thing, I suppose you could also use an iron-on hem tape. A sewing machine would save some time, but might not be worth the hassle– this doesn’t take long!

To make a pillow, I flipped one case inside out and stitched it 7/8 of the way closed, and flipped it back to right side.

Then I filled with the desired amount of cotton (pulling and fluffing a little at a time to get the desired comfort level), then stitched the last bit closed with a basting stitch.

Pulling and stretching the cotton.

{A basting stitch is a loose, wide stitch that just keeps the fabric closed, but it’s not meant to be a seam. I chose this type of closure to be able to access the cotton at a later date for fluffing or refilling.}

Then I used the second pillowcase in each set for the actual pillowcase.

This pillow is 100% cotton inside and out, so it is washable in any fashion. You could take off the pillowcase and wash it, and you could throw the actual pillow in the wash (I’d recommend gentle cycle and low heat in the dryer just so it doesn’t break down the fluff too much). Some re-fluffing and fabric straightening may be necessary over time, but you will have a clean pillow.

By contrast, you could not wash a wool filled pillow, as it would shrink badly (trust me, I’ve had this unfortunate experience once when I accidently washed L’s first pillow in a disguising clump of sheets).

So there you have it– a soft, clean, cool, healthy pillow that is free of chemicals.

It’s an easy, quick project!

Baby brother helping Mama (and also working on his grasping skills)!

If you make one for your Little, please share a photo with me!

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