Heart Denim Pillows

January 18, 2023



These pillows are made of both new and old fabric. Why not reuse old jeans into something new! The red heart is made in chenille technique, which gives it a nice raised surface. These pillows get better every time they get washed!

What you need:

  • Denim fabric 22”x22”(55x55cm)
  • Discarded jeans for heart applique and the back of the pillow
  • Metal Zipper length
  • Thread in contrasting color (the same as topstitching on jeans)
  • Topstitch needle.
  • Red fabric, use solids, not printed fabrics.
  • Red sewing thread
  • Heart-Denim-Pillow-Template.pdf


1.Print out the PDF pattern and tape it together. Trace the outlines of the hearts on paper and cut them out.

2. Cut out hearts from different denim fabrics, you can use the wrong side of fabric for more variation.

Heart-Pillows-step2a copy.jpg


3. Cut out the front fabric pieces (one for each pillow) and draw a line with chalk or erasable pen ½” (1,5cm) from the edge  on all four sides.



4. Place the heart applique pieces, using the pattern as a guide.  Remove one of the hearts, which will be substituted with a red chenille heart later in the process.

 Heart-Pillows-step4a copy.jpg


5. Pin the other hearts in place and topstitch them in place about ⅛” (3mm) from the edge using denim thread in a yellow/brown color. 


Making the chenille heart applique

6. Trace the removed heart to red cotton fabric. Use only red dyed fabric, not printed, the printed fabrics may leave a “white” edge around the edges.color variation adds more interest. Use 6 layers for each heart and stack them on top of each other. 

Heart-Pillows-step6 copy.jpg

7. Lay the stacked hearts on top of a red bottom layer that extends at least 1” (2,5cm) around the edges. Draw a line at a 45 degree angle of straight gran =true bias.

Heart-Pillows-step7a copy.jpg    Heart-Pillows-step7b copy.jpg

8. Topstitch through all layers with straight stitch and a short stitch length (about 1,5mm) start and stop at the edges of the heart and backstitch to secure the seam.

9. Make parallel stitching lines about ⅜” (1cm) apart on the whole heart.

Heart-Pillows-step9 copy.jpg

10. Cut between the stitching lines with a special slash cutter or sharp scissors. Do NOT cut through the large fabric piece in the bottom layer.

Heart-Pillows-step10a copy.jpg   Heart-Pillows-step10b copy.jpg

11. When finished cut around the edges, and put the heart in place on the pillow

Heart-Pillows-step11a copy.jpg   


12. opstitch around the edges about ⅜” (3mm) from the edge. Stitch also in every other line of stitching across the heart. (Image showing wrong side of pillow)


 Heart-Pillows-step12 copy1.jpg

Making the back of the pillow

13. Measure the  size of the pillow and cut off the  jeans legs with a little extra fabric. You probably need at least two legs for one pillow

Heart-Pillows-step13 copy.jpg

14. Cut the leg pieces at one of the seams (the one without topstitching)

Heart-Pillows-step14 copy.jpg

15. If you have problems to get the fabric lie flat you may need to cut into the fabric and overlap the edges like this:

Heart-Pillows-step15a copy.jpgHeart-Pillows-step15b copy.jpg   Heart-Pillows-step15c(1).jpg

16. Make the long edges straight with a ruler and rotary cutter or scissors.

Heart-Pillows-step16a copy (1).jpg 

Heart-Pillows-step16b copy.jpg

17. From scraps of denim fabric cut two strips the same width as the zipper and about 6” (15cm) long. 

18. Sew one on each end of the zipper and fold out.

Heart-Pillows-step18a copy.jpg   Heart-Pillows-step18b copy.jpg

19. Sew the zipper to the straight edge of the jeans leg one piece on each side. Press and topstitch close to the edge and about ¼” (7mm) away from the edge.

Heart-Pillows-step19a copy.jpg   Heart-Pillows-step19b copy.jpg

20. Place the heart you removed earlier and stitch it in place somewhere near the zipper.

Heart-Pillows-step20 copy.jpg

Heart-Pillow backside(1).jpg

21. Open the zipper halfway to make turning right sides out easier later on in the process

22. Place the cushion front on top of the back, right sides facing and pin in place around the edges. Cut out close to the edge and sew together using a ½”(1,5cm) seam allowance.

Heart-Pillows-step22a copy.jpg


23. Turn right sides out and press.

Your pillow is now finished. To get a more worn look you can use a brush to make the edges of the hearts softer. Brushing on the chenille heart will also make a more velvet-like appearance  The fraying will be more visible after washing and drying (tumble dryer gives most effect)

Heart-Pillows-last image copy.jpg