Free Animal Pillow Pattern

Kids will absolutely love these cute and cozy little pillows from this free animal pillow pattern!


These fun, easy to make pillows are the perfect size to use fat quarters, or material left over from other projects. Embroidered (or painted) facial features mean these pillows remain cozy to snuggle with.  These pillows close up with a ladder stitch for a clean finish. Not sure how to sew a ladder stitch? Fear not! This tutorial will show you how it’s done.

This tutorial is only a baseline to start with. Get creative! Play around with different facial features. Embellish your pillows with ribbon or lace. Use yarn to give them hair or add a bow. Make them look like zombies (for the boys!). Whatever your heart desires!


To download your pattern pieces and full tutorial, click here:


  • Quilting cotton (or any other woven fabric similar in weight) is perfect for this project
  • Poly-Fill (stuffing)
  • *Optional: Ribbon, lace, embroidery floss or fabric paint (for facial features)

3/8in Seam Allowance included

Preparation – Use the provided pattern pieces as a guide to cut out your material. The butterfly, kitty and bunny are all cut on the fold. The bird is not. You will need to cut 2 of each piece– a front piece and a back piece (mirror them for the bird). Be sure to transfer markings for facial features and openings as well.

Tip: To transfer the eyes, use an embroidery needle or the tip of a seam ripper to poke holes along the lines. Place pattern into position on fabric piece and color with chalk or a fabric marker. Remove pattern piece and connect the dots. If using a marker, I recommend doing this on the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric so your makings don’t show up on the final product.


STEP 1 – Decoration

The sky is the limit, you can decorate the pillows as much or as little as you want. Here’s some ideas of how I did the ones on the cover of this pattern.

1.1 Start by embroidering your eyes & nose.

I’ve used a simple backstitch to embroider the eyes and nose, but you could use whatever your favorite stitch is. Or even paint them on with fabric paint (following manufacturer’s instructions).

Note – The butterfly does not have any embroidery markings.

1.2 For the Bird: If adding tail feathers for the bird – Cut a length of ribbon approx. 18in long. Loop the ribbon 3 times and use a pin (or baste) to hold it together. Pin the ‘tail’ upside down on the front of the bird piece according to the pattern markings. Baste into place.

1.3 For the Butterfly: If adding lace – Run a strip of lace down the middle of the butterfly and sew into place.

1.4 For the Butterfly antennae – Cut a piece of ribbon about 7in long. Tie knot on both ends. Fold ribbon in half.

Optional – Singe the ends of the ribbon with a lighter to keep them from fraying.

Pin upside down to the top, center front of butterfly.

STEP 2 – Assembly

2.1 Pin your back piece on top of your front piece, right sides together.

2.2 Sew, using a 3/8in seam allowance. Start from one end of the opening and work around to the other end of opening.

TIP – Be sure to tuck in bird feathers so as not to sew them into the seam allowance.

TIP – To get a nice, clean point, I find it easier to sew an ‘X’ rather than sewing a continuous line and pivoting.

2.3 Clip your seam allowance around the curves and on the points (take care not to cut through your stitching). Fold right side out and press.

STEP 3 – Fill and Close

Use Poly Fill to stuff your pillow to desired ‘fluff-ness’.

Use an invisible ladder stitch (also called a blind stitch) to close opening. If you’ve never done a ladder stitch, don’t worry it’s super easy. Here’s how:

3.1 Thread your needle with matching thread and tie ends together in a knot.

3.2 Now, insert needle up through the seam allowance. This will keep your knot hidden inside the pillow.

3.3 Bring needle directly across to the other side of the opening. Insert your needle and run through the fold of your seam allowance about 1/8 of an inch. Move needle to opposite side again and run through seam allowance 1/8 in. Pull tight. Notice how it resembles a ladder? Repeat until you reach the end. Tie off your stitch and run the excess thread through the inside of the pillow to hide the knot.


To download your pattern pieces and full tutorial, click here:

Fancy trying a zombie version of the Cute Animal Pillows? Check out Amy’s zombie version on her blog!

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