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Friday, August 27, 2010

Fire Truck Pillow Tutorial

fire truck pillow tutorial

My oldest boy was obsessed with anything related to trucks and vehicles. Do you have a little one that is into all things fire fighter related?  I couldn't resist making him a pillow for his car and truck themed room. This fire truck pillow makes the perfect addition to a wee one's vehicle inspired bedroom and since they take a relatively short amount of time to make, you can whip  one up for a birthday or Christmas present with little fuss.

Here's how you put this adorable fire truck pillow together:

fire truck pillow tutorial


Free Fire Truck Pattern

1/2 yard main fabric

1 yard lightweight fusible interfacing (optional)

scraps for window/wheels/ladder

poly fiber fill



Step 1:  Prepare Pillow Pieces

The first thing you'll need to do is to print your fire truck pattern piece.  You can find a nice graphic that you like on the web and work from there or draw a picture free hand. *Update* this template is now available as a free PDF pattern.  Click here for the pattern.

You'll want to cut 2 pieces of the main shape which will give you the front and back of your pillow. If you notice in my picture, the truck shape has a 1/4 inch border around it.  This is my seam allowance.

Then cut a long strip of coordinating fabric (here's a great chance to use some of your scrap pile).  I cut mine to be 2 1/2 by 80 inches.  I ended up using 4, 20 inch pieces and sewing them together like you would if you were making continuous bias binding.  If you're not sure how to do this, click on this post.

If you want a stiffer pillow fuse interfacing to each of the three fabric pieces (2 truck shapes and the long strip)  I think if you use enough stuffing this isn't necessary, just a matter of preference.

Step 2:  Applique Truck Front

Cut the window, ladder and wheel shapes from your pattern and use them to create your applique decorations from fabric scraps.  Before cutting the fabric, make sure to apply your Steam-to-Seam or other heat and bond product. 

I used wool felt for the wheels to add a bit of texture. 

To cut the rungs of the ladder, simply fold the fabric in half, once you've applied the Steam-to-Seam, and cut out each window.

Now follow the manufacturer's instructions to fuse the pieces onto your truck front and use a decorative or zig-zag stitch to sew them on with a contrasting thread color. 

Step 3:  Sew It Together

Take the front truck shaped piece and long strip piece and put them RIGHT sides together.  I started with the top left because I felt it would be easier to start with a straight place.   A 1/4" in from the edge, stitch all along the edge of the truck using a 1/4" seam allowance.

I'm still building my curvy seam sewing skills so I went extremely slow from this point on. 

Now do the same thing to sew the back on.  Make sure to leave a little hole at the end as an entrance for the stuffing.  The smaller you make the hole the less hand stitching you'll have to do, which in my case is a very good thing.

Step 4:  Stuff the Pillow

Turn the fabric RIGHT side out and stuff the pillow.  Your decision here on how full you want your pillow.  Then fold the ends of the fabric into the truck and use a whip-stitch to sew the opening closed.

Now it's time to go ahead and make a little car to go with it because they sure do look adorable sitting next to each other.  Hop on over to Noodlehead for a tutorial on how to make the car.  Anna's great tutorial was my original inspiration to give the fire truck a try.


  1. Great tut! I updated my blog post with a link to it so my readers could come over and see it with the pics! I made a School Bus pillow...come check it out! Thanks for the inspiration! C ya!

  2. So, Z saw this over my shoulder and now it looks like I have to add it to my to-do list. Though your version is way cuter than anything I could come up with. In fact, you'd make a much much better one that I ever could. And Z's birthday is today, so you'd even have an excuse. Did I drop enough hints yet? I know you don't have a single thing going on to keep you from making stuff for overbearing friends.

  3. Very cute!!! I linked to your tutorial over on Craft Gossip Sewing:


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