Dena Fishbein, SHNS
This pillow project doesn't require a sewing machine and the finished product can be as simple or as embellished as you like.

'Tis the season for soft and cuddly fleece.

I love this pillow project because it doesn't require a sewing machine, and the finished product can be as simple or as embellished as you like. The secret is using knots to tie the front and back fabrics together, because fleece fabric doesn't need to be hemmed.

This project creates one 14-inch-by-14-inch pillow, but you don't need to stick with squares. Once you understand how the pillow is made, you can create a heart, circle or custom shape. Personalize your fringed fleece with embellishments such as felt, buttons, ribbons, embroidery and reverse applique for a huggable gift.


Two 3/4-yard pieces of coordinating fleece

Scissors or pinking shears

Fabric marker




Needle and thread

Fabri-tac glue


1. Cut one 22-inch-by-22-inch square from each of your fleece fabrics. One fleece will be the front, and the other will be back.

2. Lay the squares' wrong sides together. Using the ruler and fabric marker, draw a line 4 inches in from all the edges of your top fabric. Keeping the pieces together, cut out the 4-inch squares in the corners along the marker lines.

3. Cut 3/4-inch strips 4 inches deep into both fleece squares, stopping at the marker line, around all 4 sides.

4. Tie knots close to the blanket edge to create the finished fringe edge. You'll see that the back fabric ties to the front. Leave half of one side untied.

5. Fill the pillow with fiberfill and tie up the loose ends.

6. Embellish your pillow with pieces of old jewelry, fleece flowers, charms and more.

This project is perfect for a child's birthday party. Simply have the squares of fabric with fringe pre-cut and ready to decorate. Have plenty of embellishments and glue on hand, and everyone can decorate their own, tie up the ends and leave with a pillow.

Go to a fabric store to see what types of fleece it sells. Sometimes you can find a remnants bin with cheap scraps of fleece that are the perfect size for pillows.

Dena Fishbein is the designer and artist behind many home, gift and paper products found at your favorite stores. To ask her how to embellish anything, visit her blog at