I don’t know if it’s the fact that I just had a baby or that I’m just getting in touch with my whimsical side. But I’m really obsessed with oversized, playful pillows right now. And today I’m sharing a tutorial for a giant DIY monstera leaf pillow!
I love the playfulness of the finished piece, but it also feels elevated and stylish for any home. Not just for kids. Would make a great gift for the holidays too! Bonus…you can easily make a smaller (more responsibly sized) option too if you’re tight on space…or don’t have a use for a giant pillow. Haha.
How to Make a Giant Monstera Leaf Pillow
- linen fabric
- matching thread
- needle (for hand sewing at the end)
- poly fil
- sewing machine
1. Begin by putting the right sides of two large pieces of fabric together. These can be any size, based on the desired size of your finished leaf. But to give you a guide… The final dimensions for our pillow (when it’s completely finished) are as follows: the leaf itself is 30 inches long (at longest part) and 19 inches wide (at widest part). And then the finished stem is roughly 10 inches long and 2-3 inches wide.
Draw out the shape of a monstera leaf onto your fabric, along with a long stem (that is separate). Note…For the leaf shape, you’ll also want to draw the curved parts in the leaf that will be cut to create more of a monstera shape.
2. Measure and 1/8 inch seam allowance all the way around the leaf and stem shapes and make sure the fabric is doubled up before cutting. So you’ll end up with two pieces of leaf shaped fabric that are exactly the same and two pieces of stem shaped fabric that are exactly the same.
The seam allowance is really tiny for this one because you want the least amount of excess fabric as possible so that it rests as flat as possible when it’s flipped inside out.
3. Sew along the drawn line of the leaf shape, almost all the way around. Leave a small opening for stuffing the pillow and attaching the stem (around 4 inches is plenty of space). Then sew along the line of the stem shape, again leaving a small opening for the stuffing.
4. For the leaf shape, once sewn, you’ll want to cut slits on the seam allowance when necessary, without interrupting the sewn line (especially at the inner notches of the leaf) to allow enough give for the fabric and loosen up any tension, when it’s flipped right side out.
5. Next, flip both pieces right side out (the leaf and the stem). If necessary, use a pen or dowel rod to push the stem and the leaf tips out all the way so you can see the full intended shape. And stuff them each with poly fill.
Quick tip for poly fill…If you pull apart pieces and fluff it before putting it inside, it will result in a much less lumpy pillow. Learned that the hard way a few pillow projects ago. And have been doing it ever since. Works like a charm.
5. Hand sew the opening by using an invisible stitch. And done!
With a little less poly fill (and maybe some more sewn lines on top of the leaf sections to flatten it out a bit more), the giant version would make a cool play mat for a baby too. I had Hayes try it out and he seemed pretty into it. If you go the play mat route, obviously be sure to supervise baby while it’s in use.
Photos by Amelia Lawrence and Brittni Mehlhoff
Can you think of any other shapes that would work for giant pillows like this one? What do you think of the monstera leaf?