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ABC Pillow

Help your toddler develop fine motor skills and learn to spell his or her name with this clever alphabet pillow.




Children acquire skills at an astonishing rate, and even more so when they can benefit from the guidance of adults. In fact, many of the activities parents undertake with their children are not only entertaining, but also educational. This easy-to-make pillow -- cleverly embellished with buttons and felt letters -- provides a perfect way to help toddlers develop their motor skills and learn how to spell their names.



  1. Step 1

    Download and print the template, and select the letters your child's name comprises. Pin a letter to a piece of felt, fold the letter in half lengthwise, and snip the buttonhole. Unfold, and cut out the letter. If your child has a very long name, reduce the size of the letters before printing. (You can also help your child learn the alphabet by printing all the letters out, cutting them from felt, and creating a pouch. To make the pouch, sew two smaller pieces of felt together on three sides.)

  2. Step 2

    Create a slipcover, measure the pillow, and add 2 inches to the width and length. Cut a piece of felt to these dimensions. For the back of the slipcover, cut two pieces of felt to the same length as the front piece and half as wide plus 2 inches.

  3. Step 3

    Pin the front and back pieces together, and sew around the perimeter, leaving a 3/4-inch seam allowance.

  4. Step 4

    Mark the position of the buttons (they should be about 2 3/4 inches apart). Use a sewing pencil and ruler to make a mark where the center of each buttonhole will sit. Sew the buttons on very tightly, using a doubled length of the strong thread. You can also add a button and buttonhole in the back to hold the opening closed.

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Reviews (19)

  • Linsala 14 Nov, 2010

    I have never sewn anything in my life and made one of these with my son's name. It turned out so well, I'll be making another for my daughter.

  • tutujoy 4 Apr, 2010

    Great idea, however the pattern should include lower case letters because children should not be taught to recognize their name in all capital letters.

  • Tejana 11 Jan, 2009

    How do I reduce the size of the letters before printing?

  • veliachavez 28 Sep, 2008

    It seems to me that buttons would be a safety issue as button eyes on a stuff bear. ZigZag sewing may be best.

  • skyeyes 27 Sep, 2008

    The font for the alphabet is terrific! I plan to use it (without buttons) for personalizing the comforters I'm sewing for my sister-in-law's new blended family. The alphabet for the pillows is stylish enough for everyone! If they like the comforters, I will make matching throw pillows from their recreation room. :-)

  • dottikins 27 Sep, 2008

    I think this would be a great baby shower gift--something that would be in use for years to come! Great idea Martha!

  • agthomas57 27 Sep, 2008

    I would sew the buttons on with dental floss, which is nearly indestructible. We use it for items intended for a child, or the dog.

  • pelican66 27 Sep, 2008

    i would do this in the heaviest felt made since little fingers will be taking these letters off and on repeatedly and the buttonholes will get alot of wear and tear!

  • jackie_d302 27 Sep, 2008

    This will be great for a birthday banner i am planning on making. Using triangels and lining them up and putting a letter on each one. With the button [filtered word] I can rearange the letters for different events and holidays.

  • Tinasquirrel 27 Sep, 2008

    Quinncrem16 - It looks like the felt that Martha is using is wool felt, as opposed to the acrylic craft felt that you can buy in craft stores. Wool felt is a lot more expensive, but it is so much nicer to work with and looks beautiful. You can also buy 30-70 wool felt which is still nice to work with, but cheaper than the 100% type.

  • noles 27 Sep, 2008

    I like educational toys for my new Grandson. I am going to make this, but instead of buttons, I plan to use velcro. I am concerned about the buttons. I plan to use this to teach him not only the order of his ABC's, but the sound each letter makes. Also, in addition to a pillow, these can be mounted on a felt covered board. Then, he can take his letters off, and eventuallly spell words on his own small felt covered board.

  • KimStrut526 27 Sep, 2008

    quinncrem16 ,
    you should be able to get the felt used, at any Joanns or Hancock fabrics. It is a softer felt than the kind used for crafts, which is stiff and sold in 8 x 11 sheets.
    the felt you are looking for will be sold on a bolt i believe.

  • quinncrem16 5 Sep, 2008

    Can anyone tell me where to get the type of felt Martha used on her pillow. The colors seemed so much nicer than what I seem to be able to find in my local Joanns.

  • reneecamello 20 Aug, 2008

    I just picked up travel pillows on sale at our local Walgreens for$1.99 ea. They are the perfect size. When they are not on sale they are 2 for $5.00 or $2.99 ea. Still a great deal.

  • praline 11 Aug, 2008

    Can't wait to make this for my nephew who will be here in 10 weeks!

  • rlevin 3 May, 2008

    I have made two of these pillows for my two granddaughters. I think if you use velcro rather than buttons it is easier for the child (some little ones do not have the buttoning skills yet). Also, sew the velcro to the pillow so it does not come off.

  • lirpnickelson 26 Dec, 2007

    I made 3 of these pillows (names only, not the whole alphabet) for my daughter and 2 neices. They all 3 loved them. I used buttons to reflect each girls personality. Horses, princesses, and flowers. Each girl felt special to have their names on something so soft and snugable. Thank you Martha.

  • WDG48 11 Dec, 2007

    This is going to be a great gift for my grand daughter

  • tds930 10 Dec, 2007

    I would suggest using extra large buttons or hook and loop tape. Smaller buttons can be a choking hazard.