Get Botanical with this DIY Tropical Leaf Pillow

Get Botanical with this DIY Tropical Leaf Pillow

I'm craving the tropics lately, after making this fun tropical leaf tablecloth. And now, I'm finding other ways to repeat this pattern in my home, like this tropical DIY pillow idea. It's really easy to make, requires very simple sewing, and you'll only need a few supplies from the fabric store. Bonus: It's an organic shape, which is a nice balance amongst the sea of square or rectangular pillows that are so common.  Want to make your own?



Photo: Jeran McConnel

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/2 yard natural, unbleached 100% cotton fabric
  • 1/2 yard green 100% cotton fabric
  • 1/2 yard iron-on pellon (the strongest bond - ask the folks at the fabric store)
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • pins
  • fiber fill or batting (12oz bag)
  • iron
  • Tropical leaf template - download it here!


1. Start by ironing the 2 fabrics, so that there is no creases.

2. Cut a piece of pellon to to the size of the green fabric.  Using an iron with no steam, iron the pellon to the back of the green fabric, paper side up.  

3. Peel of the paper backing of the pellon, once it's attached to the fabric.

4. Print off the tropical leaf pattern I made for you, and tape the two pieces together.

5. Pin the leaf pattern to the top of the green fabric.

6. Using a good pair of fabric scissors, cut out the leaf shape.

7. Cut the natural fabric in half.  Center the leaf on the natural colored fabric, pellon side down.  Then, using a no-steam iron, iron the leaf shape onto the fabric. Make sure all the edges are adhered well.  

8. Place the two pieces of natural fabric on top of each other and cut about 4 inches all the way around the leaf shape.

9. Place the good sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam allowance all the way around the pillow.  Leave a 3-4 inch opening.  Turn the pillow right side out, and iron seams flat.

10. Fill the pillow with the batting.  I used a whole 12oz. bag for this pillow.  It made a nice tight, firm pillow.  When the pillow is full, stitch the opening closed.  You can do this by hand with a needle and thread or you can just top stitch it shut with the sewing machine.  

Photo: Jeran McConnel

I love how this little pillow adds a splash of green and that mid-century vibe that I love so much.  And this is a plant for my home that I can't kill.  So, do you have a sewing machine sitting in a closet collecting dust?  It's time to get that bad boy out and put it to work.  This simple pillow is a great place to start.   

Photo: Jeran McConnel
Photo: Jeran McConnel

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