DIY Puppy Pillow {free sewing pattern – for a standard bed pillow}



Ever wanted to sew one of those cute pillow animals? Well here’s my version and a free sewing pattern!

I used stretchy fleece, hook and loop tape for the closure, and a big button to hold the pillow folded (in ‘pet’ form).

And the BEST part about my pattern is that this puppy pillow is actually a pillow cover for a standard sized bed pillow. Why? well there are lots of reasons for designing it this way. First, standard sized bed pillows are cheap and easy to find. I found them at Target for only $4.04 – yay! Second, this is a great size for kids to lounge on the bed, the floor, or anywhere. And when the pillow cover needs to be washed… no worries! Just take out the standard bed pillow inside and toss it in the washing machine.

These pillows are 20” by 28”. If yours are a different size, you may need to adjust the cutting dimensions. When the main pieces are sewn together they are actually smaller than the size of the pillow, but that’s okay since fleece is stretchy.

So let’s sew this!

DIY Puppy Pillow ‘Pet’ Sewing Tutorial

You will need:

  • 3/4 yard purple fleece (or color of your choice)

  • 3/4 yard cream or white fleece

  • scraps of black felt

  • black embroidery thread

  • 19” hook and loop tape (velcro)

  • 1 large button, about 1 or 1 1/4” in diameter

  • HeatnBond lite iron-on fusible web

  • polyester fiberfill

  • and of course, 1 standard sized bed pillow

Click to Download the DIY Puppy Pillow Pattern Templates

You will need to tape together the template for the head and appliqué features before moving on.


From the white or cream fleece, cut:

  • 1 rectangle 20” x 29”

  • 2 from the head pattern piece

From the purple fleece, cut:

  • 1 rectangle 20” x 30”

  • 2 from the tail pattern piece

  • 1 strip 2” x 6”

  • trace the ears and muzzle from the head pattern piece, cut them out in purple fleece, and use the HeatnBond lite to fuse them to one of the head pieces.

Trace the eyes and nose shapes, cut them out in black felt, and use the HeatnBond lite to fuse them to the head as shown.


Use matching thread to sew around the fused fleece and felt pieces close to the edge.

Sewing the Head and Tail

1. Sew the two head pieces right sides together with a 1/4” seam allowance. Leave a 3” opening for turning.

2. Turn the head right side out, stuff with polyester fiberfill, and hand sew the opening closed.

3. Sew the two tail pieces, right sides together, leaving the straight edge open.

4. Turn the tail right side out and stuff gently. Flatten the top of the tail, with the seams centered on the top and bottom. Stitch across the top 1/4” from the edge.

5. Fold the 2” x 6” strip of fleece in half lengthwise and sew the long edges together with a 1/4” seam allowance. Turn right side out to make a fleece tube (use a safety pin or turning tool if you need to).

Sewing the Pillow Cover

1. Turn one short edge of the cream fleece rectangle to the wrong side by 1”. Sew it down close to the edge.

2. Pin one side of the hook and loop tape against the hemmed edge on the right side of the cream fleece rectangle. Sew it in place all the way around.

3. Fold the fleece tube in half and pin the ends close together on the right side of the cream rectangle. The fleece tube will form a loop at the center of the short edge opposite the hook and loop tape. Sew the ends in place 1/4” from the edge.

4. Center the tail on one of the long edges. Sew it in place 1/4” from the edge.

5. Place the purple fleece rectangle right side up on your work area. Lay the cream fleece over it, right side down. The purple rectangle is longer, so don’t worry about that. Just line up the short edge with the loop stitched to it against one of the short edges of the purple rectangle.

6. Sew around 3 edges (the two long edges and the short edge with the loop sandwiched in between) with a 1/2” seam allowance. Clip the corners and turn the pillow cover right side out.

7. At the end of the purple fleece that sticks out: turn the sides in 1/2” and fold the long edge over to the wrong side 1”. Sew the edge down (just like on the cream colored fleece).

8. Pin and sew the remaining strip of hook and loop tape to this hemmed edge, but this time sew it to the wrong side of the hem so that it will fold over and attach to the cream piece.

9. Put the pillow in the cover to check the fit, if desired. Sew the button to the center of the purple hemmed edge. Catch the tape under the hem in your stitching once or twice so that the button will be securely attached.

10. Sew the head to the pillow opposite the tail.

This is how I did it:

Attach the thread to the purple fleece about 3” from the edge. Then sew through the back of the head about 3” down from the top. Whipstitch the pillow and the head together for about 1”. Knot the thread.

Stick the needle into the head and come down about 3” lower. Secure the head to the seam between the purple and cream fleece in the same way as above.

When you need to wash the pillow cover, I suggest carefully unpicking the stitches that attach the head so it won’t go into the washing machine. Then you can sew it back on again after the pillow cover is clean.

Note: Removing the head is not necessary for washing. I just don’t like how stuffed animals get lumpy in the wash, and that might happen to the puppy’s head. I actually really like hand-sewing and don’t mind taking the precaution.

Make the pillow ‘pet’ puppy look a little ”tougher” by sewing black french knot whiskers to his muzzle. Doesn’t he look tough now? 🙂

I’m so glad you found my free sewing pattern. Happy sewing!

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. What a great tutorial. Thank you for taking time to create it for us.
    I read the comment about washing and to consider unstiching the head and had a couple questions about that. Do you have concerns about it going through the washer and dryer without doing that? I know how kids are and them laying on their pillow watching tv or playing video games etc. that there is a high probability they will also be snacking so the head could get food spills on it which is why I asked.

    The other thought/question was if you have any comments for us about possibly figuring out a way to use Velcro to put the head onto the rest in order to easily remove it? I know if this is made as a gift and instructions to remove the head before washing could mean the child I make this for may not be allowed to use it as much as I know they’d like to. .

    1. Removing the head is not necessary for washing. I just don’t like how stuffed animals get lumpy in the wash, and that might happen to the puppy’s head. I actually really like hand-sewing and don’t mind taking the precaution.

      Using velcro to attach it is an interesting idea. If you try it, let me know how that works. 🙂

  2. Thanks for this great tutorial. When I get around to making one I would figure out a way of sewing velcro to the head to attach to the body. My niece has twin girls and I thought of making them one each and making 2 different heads, for them to change about 🙂

  3. On my 1st attempt I sewed the head on with my machine before stuffing it for a more stable attachment. I hadn’t considered the laundering issues; although I would wash it inside out. I’m going to try KAM snaps for the next one. Love this pattern 🙂

    1. What I would do is sew the velcro on before the head is attached by sewing one piece to the body and the other piece to the head. However, you would need to either hand sew the head to the body or sew it into the seam after you attach the velcro. Or just use the velcro but make sure to sew the velcro down with the sewing machine do the same on the head before you stuff it and sew it together, you will need to make sure that you have everything lined up so it is centered.

  4. I sewed the head into the seam and my husband suggested that I add paws so I cut some out and penned them on. It looks really cute so I will be attaching them as soon as I put a little stuffing in them. I will have them on the front and the back. Also, I am putting whiskers on the face. I am giving them to all of my nieces, nephews, grandchildren, my sister’s grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in different colors. I will be hand sewing the head down as well because I noticed that it wants to flop when sewn into the seam. This is such a beautiful idea. I believe my adult grandchildren will enjoy this as well. Thank you so much for sharing the pattern.

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