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DIY Dog Bone Pillow Pattern | Headrest Pillow Tutorial (VIDEO)

The only downside of relaxing on the couch or in bed and reading a book is a stiff neck. No matter how you set that pillow behind your head, somehow it doesn’t do much good and your neck ends up hurting anyways.

Well, I got sick of that, so I found a solution to the issue! I designed a dog bone pillow pattern that sews up in a flash as it has just 3 seams. So I made a bunch of comfy headrest pillows I gave away as gifts!

headrest pillow dog bone shaped

This therapeutic neck pillow is shaped like a dog bone for a reason, not just for appearance. When you put it behind your neck, it gives you good support and keeps your head in the right position. That means no more neck pain for you!

Everyone needs a headrest pillow like this one, so I decided to show you how to make one. Here’s are the step-by-step instructions.

dog bone pillows side view

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 dog bone pillow

Supplies and tools

dog bone pillow pattern and supplies

DOWNLOAD: dog bone neck pillow pattern (Free PDF file)

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How to Sew a Dog Bone Pillow

Watch the diy dog bone neck pillow video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
Please enjoy and don’t forget to Like and SUBSCRIBE over on YouTube to be kept up to date with new videos as they come out.

Dog Bone Neck Pillow VIDEO TUTORIAL


STEP 1: Prepare the dog bone pillow pattern

To make this headrest pillow, you’ll need to use a pattern. We have prepared a free downloadable one for you to make things easier.

Finished dimensions of the pillow are (L x W x H): 14 1/2″ x 7″ x 7″ or 37cm x 18cm x 18cm

Download the pattern and print it out in 100 percent size (US letter or A4) . Then out the template and get rid of all the excess paper.

You’ll notice that the pattern is shaped like half of a bone. You will need the entire bone shape to complete the pattern. To get this, just cut out two pieces of the pattern and tape them together at the short straight edge.

If you don’t like taping together a pattern, you can transfer it onto a folded paper and cut it out like that to get a whole template from one piece.

dog bone neck pillow pattern on top of the folded fabric

STEP 2: Cut out the fabric

Fold the main fabric in half, and place it onto your workspace. Set the dog bone pillow pattern on the fold and cut around it through both layers. Unfold the fabric – you’ll end up with a dog bone shaped piece of fabric.

Repeat two more times to get three identical pieces of fabric.

dog bone neck pillow - all three fabric pieces cut

STEP 3: Transfer the V-shaped cuts

Transfer the marking from the pattern, the dot near the junction of two curved lines, onto both sides of each piece of fabric. You can either use a fabric marker or cut small V-shaped cuts instead.

making the v cuts according to the dog bone pillow template

STEP 4: Stack the layers

Place the fabric piece onto your workspace so that its right side is facing up.

Put another fabric piece over it, with its right side facing down this time. Align all edges and pin the two layers together halfway from one V-shaped cut (marking) to the next.

stitching the fist two fabrics to make the dog bone pillow

STEP 5: Stitch the first two pieces

Now you’ll need to sew just one side of the pillow. Start your seam at the marking on one end and finish it at the marking on the other end of the fabric piece. Use a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance.

STEP 6: Pin the third fabric piece

Once you finish sewing, fold the loose top layer over to the stitching line so that you get the right side of the fabric facing up.

Set the last fabric piece on top of the fabric sandwich with its right side facing down. Align the edges and pin the third piece to the remaining raw edges of the other two fabric pieces.

Leave a 3 inch gap for turning along the middle part of the bone.

stitching lines for making the bone shaped neck pillow

TIP: I also fold and clip the piece I stitched previously to get it out of the way and so that I don’t sew over it by accident.

STEP 7: (Optional) Add handles

If you want your neck pillow to have hanging loops on either side, this step is for you. If you don’t want them, go ahead and skip this step.

Cut two pieces of ribbon of about 8 inches each and fold it in half. Tuck the ribbon between the fabric pieces. The raw edges of the ribbon should sit right on the V-shaped marking you transferred from the pattern. The fold of the ribbon should go towards the center of the fabric piece. Pin the ribbon in place.

You can put two ribbons on the pillow, one on each side or you can just put it on one side, it’s your call.

dog bone pillow melting the ribbon

Tip – If you don’t have a ribbon but you still want a loop, worry not! Cut a strip of about 8 x 2 inches big and fold it vertically in half and press it flat. Unfold it and then fold each side to the crease. Fold the entire strip in half vertically one more time and press it. Sew along the entire strip and voila! There’s your ribbon!

STEP 8: Stitch

Sew around the dog bone pillow and leave the gap unstitched. Start stitching from one end of the gap all the way around to the other end of the gap using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end, and also over the part where all three fabrics connect. This part is subject to a lot of wear and tear, especially if you decide to make handles, so reinforce it now.

STEP 9: Clip the curves and turn it inside out

Clip the curves about 1/2 inch apart allow the pillow to form properly later on. Turn the pillow inside-out through the opening you left earlier.

bone shaped pillow turned right side out

STEP 10: Stuff

Now use the poly-fill to stuff the pillow to your desired firmness. It takes a LOT of stuffing, probably more than you imagine at first.

The important thing about stuffing this pillow is how hard you’ll stuff it. The ends should be filled so that they are firm, but the middle of the pillow needs to be soft.

That way, your head will be secured in position when you put it on the pillow because the ends will hold it in place. At the same time, you won’t feel uncomfortable because the center is soft and fluffy.

stuffing the dog bone neck pillow

STEP 10: Finish the therapeutic neck pillow

There’s only one thing that remains and your new pillow will be complete. Close the opening shut.

Take a needle and a thread and sew the opening by hand with a whipstitch (if you are in a hurry) or with a ladder stitch (if you are a perfectionist like me and want your stitches invisible).

finishing up the ladder stitch of the dog bone neck pillow

Congratulations, you’ve finished the dog bone neck pillow!

dog bone pillow pattern - finished product hold by the hanging loop

What did you think about our therapeutic neck pillow tutorial? Did your new headrest pillow turn out well? Go ahead and make a few for your loved ones as well, they make great presents because everyone loves them! Enjoy your painless relaxing with your new pillow!

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How to sew a dog bone neck pillow - pattern and tutorial

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 18 comments
Shelbee on the Edge - April 5, 2021

This is fantastic! And I agree, we all need a dog bone pillow! Such a great shape for maximum comfort and super cute, too. Thanks for linking with me!


Sarita - April 7, 2021

What are unique idea! Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop!

Rhondda Mol - April 8, 2021

You make sewing seem so easy! I need a new dog bone pillow and I am going to share this with my MIL (who sews frequently) to see if she will give it a go for me!

Thank you for linking up at our weekly Link Party! You are being featured at our Wednesday Party #393 this week. The post will be live on April 7, 2021. 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

Alexandra - April 10, 2021

This is so awesome! You’re so right around needing that little bit extra of support. My husband definitely needs one of these – adding to my list.

Eva - April 10, 2021

You’ve inspired me to start sewing again. I love the bento tote bag too.

Linda - April 12, 2021

First time I have heard of a dog pillow, what a great idea. Love the fabric too. Thank you for sharing on the Classy Flamingos blog party.

Melynda Brown - April 15, 2021

Hello, this is one of my personal favorites for last week’s Encouraging Hearts and Home. I hope you stop by and say hello, this post has also been pinned to the Encouraging Hearts and Home board! Thank you for being a part of Encouraging Hearts and Home, we appreciate all that you share. Have a great week ahead!

Rose Zajdler - April 21, 2021

How can I print the tutorial?? Thanks

Nurse Dar - April 28, 2021

So Neat!!! I’m Not A Sewer, BUT I Can Use Hot Glue!!! Thank You So Much For Sharing Your Creativity, Skills And Pattern!!!

Sandy - January 15, 2022

Thanks for this tutorial-love this idea. Think I’ll be making a couple, one for me watching tv in bed and one for my husband who loves to use my decorative pillows for his naps. Can you please tell me the approximate length and width of this pillow? Thanks so much.

    Helen - January 17, 2022

    Hi Sandy, thank you for the lovely words. The finished dimensions are approximately (L x W x H) 14 1/2″ x 7″ x 7″ or 37cm x 18cm x 18cm

      Sandy - January 31, 2022

      Helen, thanks for getting back to me with the dimensions. I upcycled one of my husband’s flannel shirts for his pillow. (It’s a very easy project). At first he was skeptical and asked why I made a dog pillow when we don’t have any dogs?! Now he uses it for his naps and remarks how comfortable it is. Thanks again for the idea and instructions. I see many more in my future as gifts for friends who have dogs.

        Helen - February 1, 2022

        That’s awesome feedback, Sandy! Thank you so much for sharing your experience making this pattern. I’m so happy to hear both your husband and you loved it

Deb - April 7, 2022

I looked years for this pattern. Thank you for sharing and making it so easy.
Will work on the plane.

    Helen - April 7, 2022

    I’m so glad you finally found it here. Enjoy your new pillow

Sharon Gardner - April 9, 2022

I love this. Years ago I bought one for my dad dad when he was in the hospital and just couldn’t get comfortable—until he used the dog bone! Are there printable instructions?

Winny - April 19, 2022

I wonder if it would also make a good holder for my iPhone to lean on, when I’m reading it in bed.


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