Crafting Personalized Travel Softball Pillows: The Perfect Softball Team Gift

Crafting Personalized Travel Softball Pillows: The Perfect Softball Team Gift

Traveling in comfort is crucial, especially for young athletes who spend countless hours on the road traveling to and from games. What if you could provide them with something comforting and personalized, reflecting their dedication to the sport? In this post, we'll dive into the creation of DIY softball travel pillows – delightful gifts for your daughter's softball team, perfect for both on-the-go naps and stylish room decor. My daughter and her teammates love Squishmallows, so making a softball shaped pillow seemed like a great choice! 

I was originally inspired to make a softball-shaped pillow by a friend whose daughter plays on a different team than my own. The pillow she sent me looked like a softball with fringe around the outside. She asked if I could make something like that for her daughter. I told her of course, and suggested adding her daughter's name and number to the pillow since I love to embroider things! 

Here is the softball pillow I originally made for her daughter, which we both liked, at the time. It was modeled after a pillow she had shown me, but in hindsight, it was a no-sew technique, which required the fringe around the outside. I quickly realized sewing is faster than tying a bunch of knots, and since I often sew, it just made more sense to make a sewn version. 

As I started making the same pillows for my daughter's twelve teammates, to include in their end-of-the-year gifts, my husband spotted them. He asked me, "Are you making suns or softballs?" Once he said it, I couldn't unsee the sun when looking at the pillows, so I decided to change up the design, eliminate the fringe, and create a pillow that was fully shaped like a softball!  

If you want to make your own softball pillows, follow below for a list of supplies and complete instructions. 

Pillow Materials

Yellow Fleece Fabric (I used 3 yards to make 12 pillows)

Red 3/8 inch ribbon or red fleece cut into 3/8 inch strips

Yellow all-purpose thread

Polyfil Stuffing (I used a little less than 5 pounds making 12 pillows)

Black embroidery thread (optional if adding embroidery)

Tear Away Stabalizer (optional if adding embroidery)

 

Tools and other supplies 

 

Rotary Cutter 

Self Healing cutting mat 

Wide Skip Rotary Cutting blade (optional but makes cutting the holes for the softball stitching easier)

Disappearing Ink Fabric Marker 

14-inch round platter (I just used a cheap plastic one from Dollar Tree)

Round dinner plate

Sewing machine

Fabric Scissors 

Safety Pin

 

Step 1: Prepare Your Materials
Gather all the materials needed for this project. Choose a cozy yellow fleece fabric for the pillow's body and a vibrant red ribbon for the stitching details.

Step 2: Design and Cut the Fabric
Using a large round platter (I used a 14 inch circle, if you want to make this a no-sew project with fringe, I recommend a slightly bigger platter to give you more room to tie the fleece strips together) trace the outer circle with your rotary cutter to cut out two circles from the yellow fleece fabric. These circles will serve as the outer shell of your softball pillow. I folded my fabric in half and cut both circles at one time. 

Step 3: Use Fabric Marker to mark sew lines
Utilize a disappearing ink marker to sketch the design for precision. Place the smaller dinner plate in the center of the cut circle. Trace the outside of the dinner plate with disappearing ink (this will be your sew line, and is only needed on the top fabric circle.) The disappearing ink advertises that it disappears in 24 hours, but I found it to disappear much sooner, so don’t draw until you are ready to complete the pillow.

 

Step 4: Use Fabric Marker to mark cut lines for softball stitching 

Overlap the dinner plate with the circle you previously drew by a couple of inches and trace the portion inside the circle. Repeat on the top and bottom of the circle. This will create the line where the red ribbon will be added to represent the stitching on a softball. 

Step 5: Add embroidery (optional)

Before assembly, add a personal touch by embroidering each player's name and number onto the top fabric circle. Having the disappearing ink markings already on the fabric helps with placement of the name and number. (On my first one I embroidered before adding these lines and ended up slightly off-center)

Step 6: Add Holes for Stitching Details


Use the wide skip rotary blade along the semi circle marks you drew at the top and bottom of the circle. This will leave perfectly spaced holes for you to weave the red ribbon through. I choose to carefully cut these holes slightly larger with scissors so the ribbon would lie flat. Alternatively, you could use scissors to cut these holes if you don't have a wide skip rotary cutter, you would just have to measure and mark where you want each hole to go. 

Step 7: Add Ribbon Stitching Details

Cut a strip of 3/8 inch red ribbon a couple of inches longer than your inner circle. Attach a safety pin to one end of the ribbon and use it to weave the ribbon in and out of each hole. Pull the ribbon where it extends beyond each side of your inner circle by an inch. This will make sure you catch the ribbon in the sew line. If you plan to make a no-sew version, I would recommend tacking the inside of the ribbon down with fabric glue. If you are making a no-sew pillow skip to step 13. 

Step 8: Start Sewing the Pillow 

With the "right" side of your fabric facing down (this is the soft side without embroidery), place the "right" side of your top circle on top (the side with embroidery and/or red ribbon). The outer sides of your fabric should be facing out. Use a few pins or Sewing Clips to secure the top and bottom circles together. Begin sewing along the circle line you drew on the top fabric. Be sure to backstitch at the start and finish. When you are close to sewing all the way around the circle, stop a few inches short.

Step 9: Stuff the pillow

Stuff polyfil inside the small opening you left on the pillow. Keep stuffing until the pillow is as full and round as you'd like. I used approx 6 ounces of polyfil inside each pillow. 

Step 10: Close the hole in the pillow

Once the pillow is full, press the excess polyfil closest to your hole towards the center of the pillow, and hold the hole closed with pins or clips. Overlapping your previous stitch line slightly, sew the hole closed. 

Step 11: Cut Excess Fabric

Once the pillow has been sewn shut, take fabric scissors and trim as closely to your stitched line as possible without cutting through the stitching. The fleece fabric will be fuzzy and shed as you are cutting. 

Step 12: Clean up the outer edge and fluff

Place your pillow or pillows in a dryer (standard clothes dryer) on low heat for 15 mins. This will remove all the excess fuzzy fleece, leaving a clean edge, and fluff the pillow back into a smooth circle. 

Step 13: Alternate no-sew instructions

If you do not have a sewing machine and want to make a no-sew pillow with fringe trim. Follow steps 1-7. Instead of sewing your fabric closed, cut fringe strips around the outside edge of your circle (don't cut through the inside circle.) Tie the strips of fabric into knots using one piece from the top circle and one piece from the bottom circle until you have almost tied all the way around, stuff with polyfil and then tie the final side closed. As I mentioned above, if you are making a no-sew pillow, I’d recommend a larger outside circle so you will have a little more fabric to tie into knots. I could tie these, but it was tougher with short strips.

Step 14: Give the pillow to your favorite softball player and watch their excitement! 

Crafting personalized softball travel pillows is not just a DIY project; it's a heartfelt gesture that shows your appreciation for your daughter's softball team. These thoughtful gifts offer both comfort and style, making them perfect for on-the-go relaxation and room decor alike. As the team embarks on new adventures, these pillows will serve as reminders of the camaraderie and passion they share for the game.

 

 **I have included affiliate links to the products I used and can receive a small commission if a purchase is made after you click on a link in this tutorial. All items used in this tutorial were purchased by me and I did not receive anything in exchange.

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Profile Image Miranda Weldon

Miranda Weldon

Miranda Weldon is the owner and Chief Crafter at MagpieTayleetot. An accountant by trade, who left the world of finance in pursuit of more creative ventures. This mother of two and Class "Room Mom" to many, loves to DIY snacks, party supplies, and more! Miranda is a self-taught seamstress of 15 years who always prefers to make things herself.

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