Eyeball pillows to make your life cushier and creepier

05 Jul

Eyeball pillows on chaiseI have been dying to do justice to the eyeball-pillow concept ever since my list of decorating tricks for Halloween. Judging by the Wife’s obvious discomfort in their presence, my eyeball pillows were having the intended effect, but they weren’t practical for actual use as pillows. I like to prop up my head with a few pillows at a time; the tiny eyeballs would only have worked after some severe head-shrinking on my part. Solution: I needed BIGGER eyeball pillows.

Pillows are easy to make, as you’ll see. I had plenty of white fabric from old t-shirts and gray fabric from hemming some Ikea curtains, so I decided to make reversible pillows: eyes on one side, plain fabric on the other. That way, I could appease the Wife occasionally by flipping them over and thereby keep them in the living room all year long rather than just during October.

Closed eyeballsEyeball comparisonEyeball pillows on recliner


♦ Fabric: White for the eyes, any color/pattern you like for the back.

♦ Freezer paper: You can find this at the grocery store. It is wax paper with one side of the paper coated in plastic. When ironed onto fabric, the plastic side will stick, making freezer-paper stencils extremely effective on fabric.

♦ Black fabric paint: If you’re using a bottle of paint, you’ll need a brush of some kind. As an alternative, I recommend the pump bottles of fabric paint that let you spray your paint over a stencil rapidly.

♦ Pillow stuffing (aka “fiber fill”)

♦ White thread

♦ Needle (sewing machine also recommended)

♦ Clothes iron

♦ Knife or scissors


Fabric circles1) Use a large, circular object to trace and cut out your initial fabric circles. I used two layers of t-shirt fabric because it is often thin and somewhat transparent; I used two layers of gray fabric because I had a lot of gray fabric. The extra layer will make your pillows more durable, too.

2) Pin your circles together with the intended outside of the fabric on the inside (pillows start their lives inside-out), and sew around the outer edge (see dotted line). Make sure each stitch goes through every layer of fabric. Stop sewing with at least two inches to go to leave a hole. Pull the inner layers through the hole to turn your pillow right-side-out.

3) Take a sheet of freezer paper that covers your entire pillow and cut out a circle in the center to act as a stencil for the pupil; make your pupil as small or large as you like by using your pillow as a guide. Place the stencil over your fabric with the shiny side down and with the hole centered on the white face of your pillow. Iron the stencil into place.

Pupil stencil4) Slide a piece of paper inside your pillow to prevent any paint from seeping through the layers of fabric, and paint the entire pupil black with fabric paint. Blot off any excess paint so the fabric is flat and evenly coated. Let the paint dry for several hours and then peel off the stencil.

Stuffed unfinished pillows5) Stuff the pillow with your preferred stuffing material through the hole you left in the side. I recommend overstuffing your pillow a bit since the filling will compress over time, gradually making it less fluffy. When your pillow is filled to your satisfaction, sew the hole closed. It may take some practice to close the hole without leaving visible stitches.


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  1. McCaul

    07/14/2011 at 3:50 pm

    HA!! LOVE IT. Reminds me of PeeWee’s Playhouse.

  2. andrew

    08/22/2011 at 6:01 pm

    You need a picture of Calvin being eaten by this couch with a stuffed tiger sitting on top…