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Fall Decor Ideas: Falling Leaves Pillow

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Hello Hello…the sun is finally shining around here which is so nice after all the rain we received here on the east coast last week. I have my windows wide open and there is a slight breeze blowing in. I am loving it. I also love finding fall decor ideas and have one for you today. I made a colorful falling leaves pillow using felt and burlap.

The leaves on the trees here are still bright green and probably won’t start turning until October arrives. The only place that it is becoming fall-like is in my house. I made this Falling Leaves pillow to “autumnize” my favorite chair.

How to make a falling leaves pillow for fall decor using burlap and felt. Step by step photo tutorial

When I was in Maryland last week, I stopped in a Pier One Imports and saw a pillow with rounded flaps of colorful fabric adorning the front.  It reminded me of a felt craft that I learned when I was a kid in Girls Scouts.   Was anyone else a Girl Scout when they were growing up?  I was from 2nd grade to 6th grade.  I am on the far right in the photo below. My twin sister Carol is on the other side. We were always used as bookends in photos  :)   Donna and Doray lived next door. Their mom was our troop leader.


It was so much fun being part of this all girl group. I loved acquiring badges, especially the creative ones – like Sewing, Dabbler, Drawing and Painting, and My Camera.  I wish I still had my sash filled with all of them, but have no idea what happened to it. I did find one of the handbooks pictured above at a yard sale. I bought it just to reminisce.


One of the craft projects we made were felt leaves that we layered with different colors of felt.  We made Christmas ornaments using the same technique.  I didn’t make a pillow with my leaves back then – we hung them from a wire hanger with yarn to make a falling leaves mobile.  Once it was hung the breeze would make the felt leaves move – just like they were falling leaves. I know kinda of kiddie crafty, but fun to make nonetheless.

We used white glue back then to layer the felt, today we have such great products like Wonder Under and Heat N ‘Bond to neatly and easily fuse fabrics together.  These old craft ideas can  look modern and fresh with a tweak or two.   No wire hangers needed for this pillow project.

How To Make A Falling Leaves Pillow

supplies needed:

  • Felt – in different colors
  • Heat N’ Bond Iron On Adhesive
  • Iron
  • Leaf Template  (Download below)
  • A piece of cardstock to print leaf pattern
  • Marking pen or marker
  • Scissors
  • Tiny nail scissors
  • Pillow form
  • Burlap
  • Brown Thread
  • Straight Pins

1.  Apply a piece of Heat N’ Bond to one side of each piece of felt you are going to use for the top part of each layered leaf.

2.  Download the template and print out on card stock.  If you don’t have card stock you can trace the leaves onto cardboard to make the templates.   Place the leaf patterns onto a piece of felt with the Heat N’ Bond on the underside. Trace with a marking pen.  Cut each leaf out right inside the lines.  Use tiny nail scissors to cut out the center stem on each leaf.

Falling leaves pillow making tutorial

Click on pattern below to download.

Autumn Leaves Pillow - Free Leaf Pattern to Download

3.  Once all of your leaves are cut out, remove the paper adhesive backing from each one and place on a coordinating piece of plain felt (no Heat N’Bond).  Keep them about 1/2 -inch apart.

Felt-Leaves to make a falling leaves pillow for autumn home decorating

  4.  Cover with a piece of paper and press with an iron set on medium heat until the two pieces are fused. Let cool.

Tutorial on how to make a pillow for fall using burlap and felt

5.  Once cooled – cut each leaf out leaving about 1/4-inch of the bottom piece of felt all around the leaf.

How to attach felt appliques to a pillow.

6. To make pillow cover – measure your pillow width and length.  To figure out width – Lay pillow on fabric and bring width sides up to seam on pillow form – add 1-inch for seam allowance for each side.  To figure out the length you will need – wrap fabric around the pillow until it over laps at least 4-inches on the back.  Add 5 more inches to that measurement.  Cut your fabric to this size.   This will give you one long piece of fabric.   Hem the short ends to create finished edges making sure you they are both folded over right side to wrong side of the fabric.

How to make a pillow for your autumn decor

7.  Lay your fabric right side up and find the section that will be the front center. To do this wrap the fabric around the pillow with the overlapped hems to the back . Mark the front section with pins.   I Photoshopped some lines on the photo to show you the front area on my fabric.

Burlap pillow tutorial

8.  Place leaves along these lines overlapping slightly. Some of the leaves can go past the line to create more of a flowing feeling to the leaves.

Burlap and felt pillow tutorial

9. Using light brown thread to sew the leaves to the burlap fabric along the cut-out stem center of each leaf.

How to make a pillow using felt appliques

10.  It will end up looking like this.

Fall pillow making tutorial

11.  Fold over the tips of the leaves along the edges and pin.  This will keep them clear when you sew up the side seams of the cover.

how to make felt appiliques for pillow

Burlap pillow to make for fall decor

12.  Fold over one side and then the other so you can sew side seams. Pin sides together.

Form-pillow-coverPillow-cover making tutorial using burlap

13.  Sew seam on each side. Remove pins and trim excess fabric along seams if necessary.

sew-up-sides-of-pillow-covehow to make a cover for a pillow form using fabric or burlap

14. Turn right side out and remove pins on folded over leaves.  Place pillow form in cover.

Ta…da…… a Falling Leaves Pillow

How to make a pillow for fall decor using burlap and felt. Step by step photo tutorial

Fall Decor Ideas using pillows

Fall Decorating pillow to make using felt and burlap. Add fall color and your unique decorating style to your home. 

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  1. Great idea! I think my daughter would love to make one of these…maybe I can get her to cut all the leaves :)

    1. Hi Stac-

      Cutting out the leaves is one of those projects that should be done while you are sitting watching TV. Makes it go faster. I mailed the planners out to the winners today. You should probably get it by the end of the week.

    1. Thanks Renea – I am not the best sewer, but since the leaves are no sew and the rest was straight stitching I figured it would come out OK.