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Travel Pillows for Children

17 Jan

Free Travel/Neck Pillow Pattern


We bought plane tickets to Japan! Yipee! I am EXCITED but mixed in with the excitement is a lot of nervousness. I am especially nervous about how my kids will do on an airplane for 15 hours. We don’t plan to take car seats and I know their little heads will not reach the headrests on the airplane’s seats.

SO… I decided to make them their own travel pillows (they might be called “neck pillows” too). They turned out even better than I had expected, was inexpensive, and they each took less than an hour to make, even for a beginner sewer like me. Want to make some too?

First, download this free travelpillow PDF pattern (my pattern is for 2T and 4T size). Print two copies, cut out, and tape together.Or, on an 8×10 paper, draw a pattern like this:

Cut on the solid line for 4T (and up) and the dotted line for about 2T (my son is 18 months and this size fits him perfectly).

Lay the pattern onto fabric (I recommend fleece). Make sure the fabric is folded in two so you get two identical pieces.

Next, pin the pattern into place.

Then cut around the pattern with fabric scissors, leaving about 1/4″ around the pattern:

When you are finished, it should look like this:

Next, take the pattern off, and turn the fabric so the right sides are facing each other, and pin.

Then sew all around the edges, making sure to leave 1/4″ seam allowance (is that what it’s called?). IMPORTANT: Leave about a 4″ opening UNSEWN so there’s a hole to put fiberfill in! Another tip: Sew slowly and carefully around the corners.

When finished, turn the pillow inside-out.

Then, fill the inside of the pillow with fiberfill (the stuff you put in pillows or stuffed animals). I bought mine at JoAnns… they were located in the pillows section. Stuff it a lot for a firm pillow and less for a soft pillow. I prefer firmer for these travel pillows.

When finished stuffing, sew the opening closed by hand using a blind stitch.

And voila! Custom travel pillows for your kiddies!

Isn’t this football fleece too cute? It was 70% off so I paid less than 2 dollars for it!

For my girly-girl:

Both of my kids LOVE their travel pillows!! I just hope the pillows help them sleep comfortably on the airplane!

How do you help your children fall asleep and sleep comfortably on long flights?

P.S. Even though I sized my daughter’s pillow to “4T”, I can use it comfortably as well. So go ahead and make one for yourself too!

P.S.S. I’ll be doing a separate post on things the kids can do on the plane while they are AWAKE. Email me if you have any great suggestions! (UPDATE: Click HERE and HERE for my blog posts on how to travel by plane with your children)


JULY 2012 UPDATE: I hate to toot  my own horn, but these pillows were a lifesaver on our long flight to Japan. Our flight was full so there wasn’t enough room for the kids to lie down, so when they wanted to sleep, they had to sleep sitting up. We put these pillows around their necks then placed blankets on either side of them to keep them from falling down, and it worked great!! Here’s the proof:

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