You know those extra long lumbar pillows that everyone loves? The ones that are a couple hundred dollars on fancy decor sites? We made one for half the price and the main material may surprise you. Hint: It’s not your standard fabric! Bet you can’t guess what material this pillow is made out of before clicking through. Or maybe you can? Click through to see if you’re right!
This extra long lumbar pillow is perfect as a decorative bed pillow or as a statement on a long sofa / seating area. It would also look cool in a reading nook or window seat…or even on a modern cot like this one. So what’s it made out of?! It’s a woven flatweave rug!
Still with me?! Yep, it’s a rug that was turned into a pillow. What so you think? The idea behind using a rug as an extra long lumbar pillow was two fold. 1) It’s the perfect (super long) size at five feet long. 2) It’s a great, luxe looking textile because it’s a woven flatweave – similar to Kilim pillows, which can be very expensive. I recently saw one that was $208 for the cover alone (no insert included) and it was cotton backed, meaning the higher quality textile didn’t wrap all the way around the pillow.
So, I’m feeling pretty good about the fact that all the materials for this pillow were under $100 (including the inserts) AND the material wraps all the way around. That said, you can totally get the cost down even more if you find the right rug. Additionally, you can
How to Make an Extra Long Lumbar Pillow
I decided to use the BACK of the sale rug I bought for this project because I liked the pattern better (more minimal) on the back. Always check the back of those woven flatweave rugs when you find them on sale because the pattern is usually very different on the back – it’s good to have options. ALSO, this 3×5 rug was on mega sale (in-store)…50% off the original price and then an additional 20% off of that, which brought the cost down to $60 (from $149).
A 5 ft long lumbar pillow is best suited for a queen size or kind size bed because of how long it is. BUT this idea would be a really cool headboard for a full size bed also. Just add some leather straps, loop them around the pillow (one on each side) and nail the loops into the wall. A similar technique to my DIY curtain rod, but with the lumbar pillow instead of the dowel rod and a longer strap / loop of leather.
- 3×5 woven flatweave rug
- needle and thread (choose similar color thread to rug color)
- two 20×30 pillow inserts OR one 20×60*
- large clips or clamps
*The closest I could find to a 20×60 pillow insert was this 20×54 insert from Bed Bath and Beyond (it’s only $10). If you nee the insert to be the full length though, I’d recommend using two 20×30 inch pillow inserts to get the full 60 inches.
Step 1: Fold and clip rug to desired size for lumbar pillow.
To make a lumbar pillow, fold over the rug to your desired size. I folded the ends over each other to about 14 inches (see photo), but in hindsight, I think I could have gone a little shorter – maybe 12 inches. Depends on your preference. Then use clips or clamps to keep the rug in place, while sewing by hand. It really helps to keep that straight line if you use clips.
Step 2: Hand stitch the length of the rug to create the pillow pocket.
For sewing, use an overhand stitch running the length of the pillow, where the pieces fold over.
Step 3: Stuff the pillow.
Next, stuff the inside of the lumbar pillowcase with pillow inserts (or one big long one instead). I used 2 separate pillow inserts because I already had them. Two of these 20×30 lumbar pillows from Pottery Barn were the most affordable ones I could find before hitting publish on this post – at $20 each. And this is the 20×54 insert from Bed Bath and Beyond if you’re okay with something slightly smaller.
*If you do go with the smaller insert, I’d recommend sewing the sides in closer to the insert length (you can tuck the rug sides in and then sew OR cut the sides down and then sew).
Step 4: Sew up the sides with a basic stitch.
Lastly, use a basic stitch to stitch up the sides after the insert or inserts are in. Then it’s ready to use!
*We left the tassels exposed for an extra detail, but if you don’t like the look, you can fold them in before sewing up the ends. I wouldn’t recommend cutting them off though because it may unravel the weave of the rug.
Sewing by Casey Harper
Did you guess that this lumbar pillow was made from a rug before clicking through for the answer? Let me know in the comments below!