Knitting pillow patterns are a great way to use your yarn stash, practice new stitches, and create unique accessories to match your décor. In this collection of modern knit pillow patterns, we’ve got everything from simple knit and purl patterns for beginners to advanced Intarsia, Fair Isle, and puff stitches.
Learn tips for choosing the right project for your skill level, what unique supplies you’ll need, and how to modify a knit cushion cover pattern to make it removable.
Supplies for Knitting Pillows
You’ll need the following materials for most of the free pillow knitting patterns below.
The weight of yarn needed will depend on your pattern. For knitted pillows, I recommend choosing a durable, soft and machine-washable yarn. The quantity of yarn you’ll need depends on the pattern and pillow size. Don’t be afraid to combine scraps from other projects to create a one-of-a-kind cozy cushion!
Choose knitting needles that are compatible with the weight of your yarn and the pattern gauge. Straight needles will work well if the pillow is knit flat. Patterns that are knit in the round will need circular needles.
You’ll need a pillow insert corresponding to your knitted cover’s size and shape. These are available from craft stores like Michaels, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby as well as on Amazon.
Pro Tip: I love to buy inexpensive down throw pillow inserts from IKEA because they tend to be high quality for the price.
Tips for Success
Most cushion and pillow patterns are quite straightforward and can be made with basic knitting knowledge. Here are some tips to remember to ensure you’re happy with how your project turns out.
Knitting Pillow Patterns To Make Instead of Buy
If, like me, you can’t resist the throw pillow aisle at every home goods store you enter, this collection of free patterns is for you! Add a pop of color or texture to your living or bedroom with one (or seven!) of these easy knitting patterns for cushion covers.
Chevron Puff Stitch Pillow
1 Hour Chunky Knit Pillow
Tea and Honey Pillow
Easy Two-Toned Pillow
Celtic Knot Pillow Pattern
Embroidered Stockinette Pillow
Modern Monochromatic Cushion
On the Bias Garter Pillow
Customize it to match your home decor by choosing any three colors from the Hue + Me yarn collection. (One of my favorite yarns for big bulky knits!)
Piper Knit Cushion Cover
Arm Knit Lace Pillow
The Pine Forest Pillow
Bobble Sheep Pillow
Knitted Boho Cushion
Pom Pom Pillow Pattern
Bubble Stitch Heart Pillow
Pottery-Barn Inspired Cable Knit Pillow Pattern
Hand Knit Round Pillow Tutorial
Pastel Fair Isle Cushion Cover
Chunky, Festive PIllow Cover
How to Make Your Cushion Cover Removable
Being able to remove the pillow cover for washing will significantly extend the life of your stitches. Here are some general techniques you can use. Each of these will work better with certain pillow knitting patterns more than others.
- Button Closure: Instead of making one square for the pillow back, create two overlapping rectangles. Add buttonholes in the edge of one rectangle and sew buttons to the opposite piece. Just like that, you’ve got a removable cover with some cool button details.
- Envelope Style: In this method, the back of the pillow has two pieces that overlap like an envelope. This is very similar to the button closure, but an actual closure isn’t needed if the pieces overlap enough.
- Zipper: While this option can be more challenging, a zipper can be a sturdy choice that keeps the pillow insert fully enclosed. I suggest pinning the zipper to the knit fabric very securely so it doesn’t slip around while hand or machine sewing.
- Ties or Ribbons: An easier alternative is using ties or ribbons to close your pillowcase. This can add a cute and decorative detail to your pillow. Simply sew ribbons onto the inside edges of your pillow cover and tie them together to keep the cover closed.
How To Knit an Unusually Shaped Pillow Like a Star or Heart?
A basic square pillow form won’t work for every throw pillow pattern. So what’s a knitter to do when you want to make a heart, rainbow or star-shaped pillow? In these cases, I like to use fiberfill to stuff the pillow because it can take on the shape of the pillow.
Pro Tip: When using fiberfil, it becomes even more important that your stitches are dense and close together so the stuffing can’t pop through the gaps.
Don’t Stop at One Pillow!
Knit throw pillows are like the members of a choir. Each one’s great on its own, but when they get together, they really sing! Vary your knitted cushions’ colors, textures, and shapes to create harmony on your bed or living room sofa.
If you’re bi-crafty, try adding macrame and crochet pillows too!
How to Knit a Pillow
- K – knit
- RS – right side
- st(s) – stitch(es)
- Any yarn
- Knitting needles that correspond to the yarn weight
How to Knit a Pillow
Ready to start making your own pillows? Follow these basic steps:
- Choose a pattern: Browse through the free knitting pillow patterns above and choose one that's a good fit for your style and skill level. Read the instructions, to make sure you understand the abbreviations, techniques, and charts used. If you're a beginner, select a simple square so you won’t need to increase or decrease.
- Gather your materials: Assemble all necessary supplies for your pattern. Ensure you have enough yarn and correctly sized needles for your project. Do some quick searching online to make sure a pillow insert in the size you need is available. I’ve skipped this step only to find out later that the size I need is hard to find, which is a huge bummer.
- Knit the Pieces: Follow the pattern instructions to knit the front and back pieces of your pillow cover. Some patterns may have you knit these two pieces separately, and others may be knitted in the round. Check your gauge and measurements to ensure a snug fit for your pillow insert.
- Create the Cover: Once both cover pieces are knitted, weave in the ends, and block them to ensure they’re the same size. You can use a tapestry needle and the mattress stitch or whip stitch to seam the pieces together. If you’re a crocheter, slip stitching is an attractive way to seam. Don’t forget to leave an opening on one side to add the pillow form!
- Insert the Pillow: Slide the pillow insert through the opening. Close the final opening by seaming or with buttons, ribbons or a zipper as described above.