Jolly Santa Claus Pillow

Get ready for Santa Claus by making this Christmas pillow bearing the jolly guy's likeness.

What You'll Need

  • Freezer paper
  • Pencil and scissors
  • Iron
  • Felted wool: 13x26-inch piece of bright olive, 9x9-inch square of white, 3x7-inch piece of peach, 5x10-inch piece of dark red, 2x52-inch strip of dark red, 2x2-inch square of gold, 2x2-inch square of yellow, 2x8-inch piece of blue, and 1x2-inch piece of black
  • Paper punch
  • Needle and white sewing thread
  • #8 perle cotton: peach, tan, red, blue, gold, black
  • Crewel needle
  • Disappearing-ink marker
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Powdered blush
  • Glue stick
  • Red sequins
  • Iridescent silver sequins
  • Clear seed beads
  • Beading needle
  • Sewing machine and color coordinating thread

Download the free pattern and placement diagram.

How to Make It

Cut the Felted Wool

1. Download and print the free pattern and and diagram. Position the freezer paper, shiny side down, over the patterns. Trace the patterns the number of times indicated. Cut out the shapes on the traced lines.

2. Using an iron, press a freezer-paper shape, shiny side down, onto the front of the respective fabric; let cool. Cut out the shape along the pattern edges. Peel off the freezer paper.

3. Cut two 13-inch squares of bright olive for the pillow front and back. Use a paper punch to punch out small black circles for the jingle bell holes.

4. Using the placement diagram as a guide, place the face, beard, red hat, and blue hat cuff on the pillow top, overlapping as shown. Remove the hat cuff and set aside. Baste the beard, face, and hat in place with sewing thread.

Applique Santa's Face and Hat

Note: All stitching is done with a single strand of #8 perle cotton unless otherwise indicated.

1. Whipstitch with peach floss around the face, leaving two 1-inch-long openings along the bottom edge for stuffing.

2. Whipstitch with white sewing thread across the top edge of the beard. Attach the beard with tan running stitches along the outer edge.

3. Use a disappearing-ink marker to sketch the beard swirls, and then outline them with tan running stitches.

4. To attach the hat, whipstitch with red along the bottom edge and blanket-stitch along the top edge and hat point.

5. Baste the blue hat cuff in place, overlapping the face 1¿8 inch, tucking the hair fringe in the center, and stuffing lightly with fiberfill. Blanket-stitch with blue around the entire outside edge of the hat cuff.

6. Place the mustache pieces over the beard and face, and use the disappearing-ink marker to sketch the placement of the cheek stitching. Remove the mustache pieces and outline the cheeks with tan running stitches. Lightly stuff each cheek with fiberfill and whipstitch the face closed. Add a little powder blush in the center of each cheek circle.

7. Replace the mustache pieces over the beard and face. Tuck the mouth between the mustache pieces and baste all in place. Outline the beard pieces with tan running stitches. Use the disappearing-ink marker to sketch the mustache swirls and outline with tan running stitches.

8. Place the eyes and eyebrows on the face and temporarily attach them using a glue stick. Whipstitch the eyes in place with black. Use white sewing thread doubled in the needle to add a French knot highlight to each eye. Attach the eyebrows with randomly placed tan straight stitches.

9. Place the nose on the face and use tan straight stitches to attach, lightly stuffing as you stitch. Add powder blush in the center of the nose.

10. Make the decorative design on the hat with a combination of red straight stitches and French knots.

Attach the Jingle Bells, Sequins, and Beads

1. Temporarily glue the yellow jingle bell bottom pieces in place and then attach with gold whipstitches around the outside edges. Glue the gold jingle bell top pieces in place and then attach with gold running stitches around the outside edges.

2. Attach two black circles to each jingle bell bottom piece with black French knots. Add the curved lines on the jingle bell bottom pieces with black backstitches. Couch stitch the red bell strings with red. Finish with two lazy daisy stitches at the point of the hat and a French knot at the top of each bell.

3. Attach five red sequins along the bottom edge of each jingle bell top piece.

4. Attach iridescent sequins and beads to the beard and mustache. Note: To attach a sequin and bead, thread a beading needle with sewing thread. Bring the needle from the wrong side of the fabric up through the sequin, thread on a seed bead, and return to the wrong side of the fabric through the sequin.

Finish the Pillow

1. Fold the 2×52-inch strip of dark red felt in half lengthwise and pin around the edges of the pillow top, clipping at the corners to bend.

2. Slip one end of the strip inside the other where they meet. Baste the strip in place.

3. With right sides together, pin the pillow front to the pillow back. Use a 1¿4-inch seam allowance to machine-sew the front to the back, leaving a 6-inch opening on one side for stuffing. Turn right side out and steam-press the edges.

4. Stuff the pillow with fiberfill and hand-sew the opening closed. Fringe the red wool pillow edging by clipping three-quarters of the way toward the seam at 1¿4-inch intervals.


  1. link to pattern & placement diagram is not working

  2. Once you have logged into your account, the pattern and placement diagram should download automatically.

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.