How to Make a Pillow that Looks Like Your Dog

How to Make a Pillow that Looks Like Your Dog

I suppose you know that you’re a crazy dog person when you decide that you need a huggable version of your dog for the times when your dog isn’t actually around to be hugged. But here at Team BarkBox we crossed that line a long time ago. (*Ahem: buying a new car to fit our dog, moving apartments to fit our dog, sending our dog to day camp in Upstate NY, starting a business all about dogs… All true stories. :))

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This is Scout and Frida, our original office pups in Chinatown, NYC. Scout, Frida, and our other office pups are in charge of testing all of the treats and toys and goodies that go in each month’s BarkBox. We ruv them… A lot. And that’s where the pillows come in.

dog pillow

To start, find a high-res image of your dog. This is really important if you want your image to print well on the fabric. Then, in Photoshop, use the lasso tool to cut out your pup and feather the edges. (We actually used Pixelmator, a program exactly like Photoshop that is only $30 in the App Store. There is also Pixlr or Canva, a couple free online programs.)

This tutorial is super helpful if you’re unfamiliar with cutting out images and feathering the edges. We made our pups black and white just for the look.

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After you’ve got a cutout version of your pup, you upload your image to Spoonflower, a company that prints your fabric. You can find (and buy!) our dog fabric here. We got our pups printed on the linen-cotton canvas.
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We also made the paper design that we send in our boxes into a fabric with a blue background. (You can find that fabric here.)

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 8.18.29 PMTo start, iron out all of the wrinkles in your fabric and cut out your pups. Leave a 2+ inch border around them so that you can sew everything together.


We found that it was really helpful to trace the outline around your pup so that you’d know where to sew. Hold the general cutout of the pup up to the window and use a pencil to trace around the dog. This will be your guide when you stitch everything together. You can also leave a more generous border around your pup pillows if you want a more pillowy shape. (ie: No legs sticking out in funny ways.)

Place your dog fabric face down on your pillow backing and cut that out as well.  Then it’s time to pin and sew everything together! Make sure to leave a 3-5 inch hole so that you can stuff the pillow.

After you’ve sewn all the pups, flip them inside out and iron all the seams flat. (This makes them lay better later. Does not work with real dogs, though. To train them to lie down is an entirely different tutorial with many more treats.) 😉


Stuff them full of stuffing, stitch up the holes, and you’re good to go! (We bought a 5-pound bag from Amazon and used about half of it.)


Oh, and don’t forget the poo-low.



The backs of the pillows with the BarkBox fabric.

The perfect gift for the pup-ruvin’ humans in your life.
The better-behaved but quite boring Frida, Scout, Cooper, and Ernie. 🙂