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DIY Fleece Rainbow Pillow

Free Sewing Patterns | Pillows | Sewing

Create the cutest rainbow pillow using fleece and the free pattern! The pillow features an adorable cloud and fun, colorful ties on the side of the pillow.

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DIY Rainbow Fleece Pillow with Free Pattern

Hello! Today I’m sharing this sweet DIY fleece rainbow pillow! This was such a fun project to work on and it turned out super cute. This pillow was created with a mix of machine sewing, hand applique/embroidery. The best part is it uses forgiving fabrics like fleece and felt and just two basic hand-sewing stitches.

The fleece ties on the side of the pillow add a little extra fun! I did something similar on my fleece unicorn pillow and wanted to try it again on this rainbow pillow. Happy Sewing :)

How to Make a Fleece Rainbow Pillow

Supplies Needed

  • Free pattern – Grab the free pattern by filling out the purple form at the end of this post.
  • 16″ pillow form
  • Fleece (pre-washed)
    • 1/2 yard: light blue
    • 1/4 yard: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and white
  • Embroidery floss
    • In colors that match the fleece (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and white)
    • Plus a light pink and black
  • Felt – small pieces of black and light pink for the cloud’s face
  • Interfacing:
  • Sewing Notions like fabric scissors, straight pins and clear ruler.

Step by Step Tutorial

Step One: Cut out the pillowcase from blue fleece.

  • Front piece: Cut one piece measuring 18 x 18″ (includes 1″ seam allowance)
  • Back pieces: Cut two pieces measuring 18″ x 11″ (includes 1″ seam allowance)

Mark 1″ seam allowance on all three pieces.

Black cutting mat, ruler and sharpie lay on blue fleece with a square outline drawn on the fleece.

Step Two: Create the cloud! Print the free printable pattern and connect the pattern pieces using tape. Use the pattern to cut out the cloud shape from white fleece. I did not add any seam allowance to my cloud.

Next, use the reversed pattern and lay a piece of fusible web interfacing over it, paper side up. You can now trace the cloud’s facial features using a pencil. Bubble cut around the pieces leaving a small border. 

A sheet of see-through interfacing lays over the pattern and the cloud's facial features are traced.

Iron the interfacing pieces to felt on the wrong side. Use black felt for the eyes and mouth and pink felt for the cheeks. Let them cool, then cut the shapes out on the line.

Interfacing pieces are ironed to scraps of black and pink felt.

Iron the felt face pieces to the front of the cloud using the pattern as a guide.

White fleece cloud with a felt smiley face on it.

Appliqué the pieces using coordinating embroidery floss. I used a backstitch going in a spiral to attach both of the cloud’s cheeks. For the cloud’s mouth and eyes, use black embroidery floss and a small backstitch.

Pink felt cheeks and black smiley face appliquéd to the front of a white fleece cloud.

Step Three: Time to make the rainbow! Use the reversed pattern to trace the rainbow colored strips onto fusible interfacing (the kind that is only fusible on ONE side). I chose to use interfacing for the rainbow stripes so they wouldn’t stretch out while I was sewing. The interfacing will help them keep their shape.

The reversed pattern makes it easy to just lay the fusible interfacing directly over the pattern and trace the lines. I started by tracing the red, yellow, blue and violet colors. By tracing every other color of the rainbow, I left enough room to add 1/4″ seam allowance to each side. Be sure to label each color!

The picture below isn’t the best (rainy day!), but you can see my colors traced onto the fusible interfacing.

Rainbow pieces are traced onto fusible web interfacing.

After adding seam allowance to each side of the colors, cut them out of fusible interfacing. Iron each piece to the wrong side of the coordinating color of fleece and then cut them out.

Red, yellow, blue and violet rainbow pieces cut from fleece.

Repeat the process for the orange, green and indigo colors.

The rainbow colors cut from fleece.

With all seven colors of the rainbow cut out and interfaced, it is time to stitch them together! I chose to sew my rainbow together by machine and then hand-stitch the entire rainbow to the pillow by stitching on either side of my seams. I tested out a few different ways for attaching the rainbow to the pillow and settled on this one because I love that the colors are not overlapping, which would have created lots of bumps. Another plus to attaching the rainbow this way is no blue sky will peek between the colors of the rainbow like if I had stitched each color on before connecting them!

To stitch the rainbow together, start by stitching pairs of colors together using the 1/4″ seam allowance you marked on each piece prior to cutting them out.

Rainbow pieces sewn together in pairs; red and orange, yellow and green, blue and indigo.

Then stitch the pairs together and add the violet!

Rainbow created from colorful fleece.

Here is a back view of my rainbow after it was stitched together. Press the seams open so they will lay flat against your pillow.
The back of the fleece rainbow showing seam allowances.

Trim the seam allowance from the outer edges of the rainbow – the red and violet sides that are not attached to anything.

Violet seam allowance is trimmed away from the fleece rainbow.

Pin the rainbow to the pillow following the pattern as a guide. I stitched the ends of the rainbow in place along the 1″ seam line of the pillow cover.

Fleece rainbow stitched to a square piece of blue fleece.

I marked where the cloud would be and then machine-stitched the rainbow down as far up as I could where my stitching would be covered by the cloud. You can see my machine stitching in a picture coming up showing the finished embroidered rainbow. I did place my cloud so the bottom edge would be hidden inside the seam allowance. 

White fleece cloud laid out at the end of the fleece rainbow.

Pins mark the outline of the fleece cloud.

Pin the rainbow and start stitching it down. I used a running stitch on either side of the seam lines. Start with violet and work out towards red. This will allow you to smooth the rainbow outward as you move from color to color. After each color, I smoothed and re-did my pins to avoid bubbles. Iron the rainbow after you have finished your hand-stitching.

Violet and indigo parts of the rainbow handstitched with a small running stitch in matching floss.

Fleece rainbow is hand-stitched to the blue fleece.

Step Four: Add the cloud! I used a small running stitch and white embroidery floss.

Pink felt cheeks and black smiley face appliquéd to the front of a white fleece cloud.

Step Five: Cut two 1″ strips of fabric for all seven colors of the rainbow. I made my strips super long and ended up trimming them quite a bit. You could cut your strips 6″ long and trim to your desired length after the pillow is sewn. Pin both strips of fleece to their coordinating color. I had to push some of my strips together to make them fit exactly.

Strips of rainbow fleece are pinned to the edge of the rainbow pillow.

Stitch them in place along the 1″ seam line, then pin the strips of fleece so they will stay in place while stitching the pillow.

DIY Rainbow Fleece Pillow with Free Pattern

This pillow has an envelope pillow closure – an easy way to create a pillow case without any zippers! Start by laying one of the pillow back pieces on the pillow front piece – right sides together. The edges of the pillow with multiple layers of fleece will be thick but should still go through your machine.

Back of the pillow is pinned to the front of the pillow around the edges.

Pin the other pillow back piece over the other one. Stitch around all four sides following the 1″ seam allowance lines marked on the back of the pillow front piece.

Both back pieces are pinned to the front of the pillow around the edges.

Step Six: Carefully trim the corners and flip the pillow inside out. Remove the pins holding the strips of colorful fleece in place. Tie the strips of colored fleece in knots as shown below.

Edge of the pillow; the rainbow strips of fleece are tied in a knot.

So pretty!! I love the little knotted ties of color coming off the pillow.

Rainbow pillow with strips of rainbow fleece tied into knots along the edge of the pillow.

Trim the knotted ties. I chose to trim them pretty short. This allowed each color to be visible and the ties wouldn’t bother anyone resting or leaning on the pillow.

Rainbow pillow; the strips of fleece are cut shorter.

The pillow is finished and I love how it turned out! This is definitely the most cheerful pillow I have ever created, making it the perfect craft for my newly renamed blog :)

More Fun Pillow Tutorials

Rainbow Fleece Pillow - free pattern.

Happy Crafting! -Kim

Get the Free Rainbow Pillow Pattern!

Fill out the purple form below with your first name and email address! The free file will be sent straight to your inbox! If you have already filled out the form below, don’t worry – you won’t be added to my list twice! This freebie is for personal use only. I hope you enjoy crafting something special. Please let me know if you have any questions :)

This free pillow pattern is made to fit a 16″ x 16″ pillow form. As always use your own discretion on safe places to use the pillow. This pillow is intended to be used as a decorative pillow, not for small children and should never be placed in a crib.

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