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DIY Triangular Wedge Pillow for Keeping Your Body at Higher Angle

If you have ever had a cold or the flu and find you cough like crazy when you lie down, then this triangular cushion that keeps the upper body at a higher angle is going to help. It also helps those with chronic respiratory problems. Slip it under a pregnant belly for support when you sleep on your side, or use it to elevate your feet at the end of a busy day. It is also great for working in bed on your laptop.

diy triangular pillow

I love the pockets on the sides for a phone, a pen and notepad, or whatever other small items you need right with you when working or watching TV from bed. Learn how to make this washable, zippered cover with our visuals and step-by-step tutorial.

homemade triangular pillow closeup of pocket

Below you will find my step by step written tutorial with VIDEO instructions for all the visual learners.

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How to make a Wedge Pillow

Triangular Wedge pillow Supplies and tools

  • fabric (main) –  upholstery home décor fabric or 100% tightly woven cotton – 1 yard of 54″ (140cm) wide fabric
  • fabric (lining) – interlining or light cotton – 3/4 yard of 54″ (140cm) wide fabric
  • zipper – 20″ (50cm)
  • polyester filling– I used about 18oz (500g) but the quantity will depend on how stiff you want your pillow
  • matching thread
  • scissors (or rotary cutter and a cutting mat)
  • ruler or measuring tape
  • iron and ironing board
  • sewing clips or pins
  • hand sewing needle and thread

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How to Sew a Triangular Pillow

Watch the diy triangular wedge pillow video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
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STEP 1: Cut the fabric

For this triangular cushion you will need a strong cotton fabric or light upholstery fabric, and interlining or lightweight polycotton to create the insert, as well as microfiber stuffing.

how to cut the fabric for the wedge pillow

From the upholstery fabric cut:

  • Front 20 x 22″ (51 x 56 cm)
  • Back 20 x 18″ (51 x 46 cm)
  • Base 20 x 13″ (51 x 33 cm)
  • Sides and pockets (2) 13 x 18″ (33 x 46 cm)

From the interlining cut:

  • Front 20 x 22″ (51 x 56 cm)
  • Back 20 x 18″ (51 x 46 cm)
  • Base 20 x 13″ (51 x 33 cm)
  • Sides and pockets 13 x 18″ (33 x 46 cm) – NOTE: For the insert you only need one piece cut diagonally.

STEP 2: Prepare the sides and pockets

cutting sides and pockets

Take the 2 pieces for the sides and pockets, place them right side to right side and using a ruler and a rotary cutting wheel, cut diagonally from corner to corner so you have 4 triangular pieces.

STEP 3: Cut the fabric for the pockets

cutting the pocket pieces of the DIY triangular wedge pillow

Set two triangular pieces that face each other aside for the moment.

Take the next set and measure 7 inches (18 cm) up from the short side of the base, along the longer side and make a mark. Move the ruler across and measure 7 inches (18 cm) up from the base along on the diagonal and make a mark. Join the two marks and cut with a rotary cutter. Keep the two base pieces and open them out.

Step 4: Fold and press

folded and pinned pocket tops of the DIY triangular wedge pillow

On the top side fold over 3/8 inch (1cm) and press, then fold over 3/8 inch (1cm) again and press.

Step 5: Sew

Stitch a seam along the fold over 1/4  inch (6mm) from the edge on both pieces.

Step 6: Pin pockets to side pieces

Take the set of triangular pieces you set aside earlier and open them out with the right sides facing upwards. Place the two pockets pieces over the triangular side pieces so they line up with the base and along the sides. Pin in place.

Step 7: Sew

sew pockets to the sides pieces of DIY triangular wedge pillow

Stitch along the base and sides of the pocket pieces 1/4  inch (6mm) from the edge.

Step 8: Sew back piece to the front

front back and base of the DIY triangular wedge pillow

Lay the back piece of the cushion right side up on the worktop and place the front piece over it, wrong side up, lining up the edges – the one edge will be 4 inches (10 cm) shorter on one side. Pin in place and then stitch 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the edge along the one side opposite the longer front piece.

Step 9: Sew the base to the front

sew together front base and back

Lay the base piece on the opposite side to the one you just stitched and pin in place then stitch along 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the edge.

Step 10: Press the seams

press seam allowances of the wedge pillow

Open out the long rectangular piece you have created, place wrong side up on you ironing board, open the seams and press.

Step 11: Sew the side pieces to main

sew sides of the triangular pillow to the long rectangle piece

Lay the long rectangular piece on your worktop, and place the side pieces with the pockets on the front piece, which is in the middle. Make sure the base of the pockets face the base of the cushion. Pin both pieces in place on opposite sides of the front, then stitch from seam to seam 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the edge. Where the seam has been pressed open at start and finish, simply lift and stitch right to the seam line.

Step 12: Sew Sides to the back

side seam of triangular pillow

Now pin the back piece to the sides. Stitch 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the edge along the length but stopping 2 inches (5cm) from the end that is nearest to the base.

Step 13: Sew base to the sides

pinning sides to base

Fold the base piece up to the side piece that has not been stitched yet and pin in place. Repeat on the other side of the cushion. When you stitch 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the edge stop 2 inches (5cm) from the end nearest where you left the gap in the previous step.

Step 14: Finish the raw edge

finish the edges of the DIY triangular wedge pillow

Zig zag or serge (overlock) the two open edges.

Step 15: Pin the zipper to the pillow

sewing triangular pillow cover

Lay the cushion down, still inside out ,but with the right side where you zig-zagged or serged the edge uppermost and pin one side of the zipper to the fabric, the right side of the zipper must face the right side of the fabric. Pin the other side of the zipper to the right side of the fabric.

Step 16: Sew the zipper

Using the zipper foot stitch along the edge of the zipper.

pinned zipper of the wedge pillow

Step 17: Turn around

Open up the zipper and turn the cushion the right way out.

Step 18: Topstitch around the zipper

topstitching zipper of the DIY triangular wedge pillow

Stitch along the edges, top and base of the zipper to ensure the fabric lies flat and the zipper is secure. When you need to turn leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot, swing the fabric 90 degrees, then depress the presser foot and continue sewing.

Step 19: Close the gaps

stitching gaps for the wedge pillow

Closing the gaps at the ends of the zipper comes next. To do this turn the cushion inside out again and line up the fabric across that  2 inch gap you left on either side, Pin in place and stitch closed. Remember to leave the zipper open when you do this so you can turn the cushion the right way out again.

Step 20: Sew the lining

Time to sew the cushion lining.

DIY triangular wedge pillow lining fabrics

Follow the steps above, except you won’t need to make the pockets or insert the zipper. You will simply sew the back, and front together. When you sew the base to the back leave a gap in the middle of the seam to enable you to insert the stuffing material.  Insert the sides and stitch up as you did for the cushion.

Step 21: Stuff the triangular pillow

DIY triangular wedge pillow lining

Once the lining material is all stitched together insert the microfiber stuffing, making sure it is full and firm before closing the gap with hand stitching, after turning in the edges.

Step 22: Insert into the pillow cover

All that remains is to slip the insert into the triangular cushion cover and put it behind you when you work on your computer or watch TV in bed. It supports you back so much better than traditional pillows that tend to slip down. If you enjoyed this tutorial with the step -by-step instructions and visuals that make the process easy to follow then do subscribe so you never miss out on another of our exciting projects.

diy wedge pillow

You’ll wonder how you ever coped without the triangular cushion. It keeps the body at a higher angle so if you are feeling ill the coughing doesn’t keep you awake all night. It also helps those with chronic respiratory problems. Slipped under a pregnant belly the triangular cushion gives comfortable support when sleeping on your side. The best use for this is to support your back when sitting in bed working on a laptop or watching TV. The handy  pockets on the sides keep your cell phone close, and a pen and notepad for jotting down lists and ideas. Our visuals and step-by-step tutorial make this an easy project.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 20 comments
Christine Krause - July 23, 2022

I intend on making one of these, if not more. About how much fill does it take? I don’t see that in the supply list.

    Helen - July 25, 2022

    That would really depend on how stiff you want it. I’ll add the stuffing to the supply list

Shirley Driscoll - July 25, 2022

Would 2m of main fabric be enough?

    Helen - July 25, 2022

    How wide is your fabric? I used less than 1m of fabric 150cm wide (with plenty of leftover)

Kim Carberry - July 26, 2022

This looks fantastic. I think it would be great for when I want to be laying a bit higher up in the bed. The pockets on the side are a great addition. x

    Helen - July 26, 2022

    It’s really comfy and I use mine all the time!

Yvonne - July 29, 2022

I will be making one of these in colors to match our spread as I love to read in bed before falling off to dream land! It would be really great to have when cold season strikes and one is coughing at night.
Thank you Helen for your instructional video and well written instructions with step by step photos. I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into your blog.
Thank you

    Helen - July 30, 2022

    Thank you so much Yvonne! It’s a great pillow, well worth the effort

Gee Cee - August 5, 2022

I wish I could understand the instructions. I have been sewing for about 100years (+/-) and am having huge difficulty putting this cushion together.

    Helen - August 5, 2022

    Hey Gee Cee,
    Watch the video (just under the supplies and tools section. It shows everything step by step
    Hope that helps

Pam - September 12, 2022

what a great pillow! And the fabric is really lovely.

Melynda - September 14, 2022

Very pretty!

Michele Morin - September 18, 2022

Both pretty and practical!

Rhondda Mol - September 20, 2022

I love my triangular wedge pillow – I need one for sleeping all the time. This would make a lovely gift for so many people. Thank you for linking up at our weekly Link Party! You are being featured at our Wednesday Party #469 this week. Here’s the direct link to the post in case you’d like to share your feature:
Hope to see you again next week! Rhondda

Laurie - September 22, 2022

This looks like such a detailed tutorial for making this practical pillow. I’ve not seen one like this before. I like how it fills the gap in the sofa.

Thank you for sharing this at the Homestead Blog Hop 410


Kerryanne - September 22, 2022

Such a useful pillow for every home Helen.
Thank you for sharing your DIY triangular wedge pillow at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I’m delighted to be featuring it at the party this week and pinning too.

Stephanie 139a - September 22, 2022

Looks great – and love the print. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

Gail P - November 14, 2022

Is there a pattern for the wedge pillow, or just follow the video?

What is the total yardage needed for the pillow?

    Helen - November 16, 2022

    Hi Gail, Just follow the video and print or write down the cut list
    I’ve updated the article to include the yardage. You will need 1 yard of at least 54″ wide fabric from the main fabric and 3/4 yard of lining fabric

Lora Hyatt - December 17, 2022

Thank you! Love this! I have a triangular pillow for medical reason and it didn’t come with a decent cover. So thanks I will be making some pillowcases for it now! Beautiful work!


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