There are three key items to making or buying long-lasting boat pillows!
1. First of all, you’ll want to buy material that is durable. The atmosphere both inside and outside a boat requires strong, long-lasting, UV resistant, mold resistant, easy-to-clean material.
On the easy-to-clean side of things, you’ll want pillow covers rather than full pillows. With covers, you can simply slide them off, clean them and air them out to dry.
With full pillows they’re harder to clean, the filling can become distorted and getting them to dry fully can be an issue.
2. The second key requirement is good pillows for a boat are making or buying pillows with a plastic zipper or an envelope casing. Anything metal will eventually corrode and stop working.
3. And the third requirement is to find pillow covers that you like looking at! It’s amazing how a few new pillow covers can totally enliven a saloon or cockpit area. It’s a small inexpensive touch that not only provides a bit of delight to the eye but comfort too!
We use our indoor/outdoor pillows around the saloon when we’re inside and during trips or when entertaining in the cockpit, you’ll find our pillows up on deck.
Boat Pillows – How to Video
To visit my Etsy shop where I list all my nautical gifts, please visit: Etsy.com/shop/SailingBritican
All of the fabric’s I’ve used I’ve found on Amazon.
To give you a idea on what’s available, I’ve provided some options below. I can certainly recommend the indoor/outdoor navy anchors on white background fabric. We’ve had these pillows for over three years and have spilled all sorts on them – even red wine!
After a quick wash they come up white and looking brand new.
Once you have your fabric, you’ll need to cut three squares, depending on how large you want the pillow. Our pillows are made for 18” x 18” pillow inserts but you can make these any size that you want.
Next, you’ll need to hem the two smaller pieces that will make up the envelope opening. The side of the fabric that makes the envelope will need to be hemmed. (See photo below – that back hem is the envelop side of the pillow…)
Then you put the pillow together – all the right sides together. So, big square face up and two envelop pieces right side down. Pin the fabric together.
Sew a square around the whole square being careful to pivot at the corners rather than running off the edge of the fabric (as shown in the video).
Once the fabric has been sewn, cut a diagonal across the corners.
This will allow the corners to look sharp rather than have a rounded unprofessional look.
If you have a surger, surge the ends. A surger puts thread around the fabric preventing it from fraying or unraveling. If you don’t have a surger, skip this step.
Turn the pillows right-side-right. Poke out the corners using a poker or a utensil that helps them pop out.
Stuff the pillow case with a pillow insert, smooth out and set out to be admired by all!
Or…if you don’t want to make the pillows yourself, you can buy my high-quality indoor / outdoor boat pillows at my nautical gift shop.