four pillows made after characters from Gary's magic fort


How To Make Your Own No-Sew Gary’s Magic Fort Pillows

May 6, 2022

If you haven't watched Gary's Magic Fort, it's a magical world with bright colours, comfy pillows and a friend group consisting of some colourful characters. It's great for younger kids (and their parents). Check it out on Gem now!

Inspired by this wonderful world, I wanted to make some pillows. But I couldn't just make any ol' squishy pillows. I wanted them to be cute and huggable. 

Using the rainbowscope, Stuffy, Gary the Unicorn and Huggles as inspiration, I came up with four no-sew pillows that I think any kid would love. 

Ready to up your pillow game? Let's get started!

What You'll Need

  • craft felt (Or any material scraps around your house. You can also upcycle things like old pillow cases and T-shirts.)
  • scissors
  • glue
  • ruler
  • paper
  • pencil
  • safety pins
  • stuffing (I happened to have polyfill on hand from another craft project, but you can use things like fabric scraps, cotton balls or shredded newsprint to stuff your pillows.)
  • other decorative craft supplies (I used cotton cord to create the handles on my rainbow scope. You can add texture and details with anything you have around the house. Buttons for eyes, yarn for hair — you name it.)

How It's Made

Start by making a template for your pillow. I’m creating a square shape that’s 12 x 12 cm.

You can make your template any size you like, but make sure your fabric is an extra 5 or 6 centimetres longer and wider than your template on each side. You’ll need two layers of fabric — one to create the front of the pillow and the other to create the back. Center your template and use safety pins to secure it through both layers.

Next, mark the excess fabric that needs to be trimmed away. Use a pencil or marker to extend the edges of your template as shown in white lines in the picture. Do this on all four corners.

Use scissors to trim excess fabric. You’ll have something that looks like this:

Now it’s time to cut tabs into your fabric. Slice from the edge of your fabric toward your template. Make your tabs about 1 to 1.5 centimetres wide.

Cut tabs around all four sides of your template.

Unpin your paper template from your fabric and pin your fabric back together. This makes the next step easier. Get started by selecting two “matching” tabs — one from the front side of the pillow and one from the back and tie them together with a double knot.

Continue typing knots around three sides of your pillow, then add stuffing!

Once your pillow is nice and plush, tie up the fourth side. You can give your tabs a trim, or leave them fun and shaggy depending on the look you’re going for. I trimmed mine a bit shorter to make my Gary the Unicorn pillow.

Time to decorate! To create Gary, I cut many pieces of colourful felt. I cut a horn from red, orange, yellow and turquoise. I cut two ears, some purple hair, a snout, a pair of nostrils and a set of teeth. To create Gary’s eyes I cut black and white circles and a second set of smaller white circles to make his eyes twinkle.

I glued each of the felt pieces into place, but to attach Gary’s ears, I used the eraser-end of my pencil to poke the ears down inside the pillow between a pair of knots. The ears were pretty secure that way, but I added a dab of glue on the inside for extra-hold. 

To make the rainbow scope, I made a red pillow with rounded edges. I cut circles for the scope and used wound cotton cord to create the handles.

Like with Gary, I glued my felt pieces into place, but attached the cord handles by poking them into the pillow between a set of knots on each side. I added some glue to keep the handles secure. 

To create Huggles, I made an upside-down, T-shaped template. From colourful felt I cut eyes, a smiley face, rosy cheeks and a heart for Huggles’ tummy.

Here is Huggles all assembled and glued down.:

Last, I made a smaller-sized Stuffy. I cut a pair of shaggy ears, two eyes, a smiling mouth and long, pink tongue.

Here’s Stuffy all glued together!

Feel free to make every pillow your own! Let your kids lead a bit, and see what they come up with. Hope these steps lead you to creating your very own magic fort. 

Article Author Mara Shaughnessy
Mara Shaughnessy

Mara is a children’s book author and illustrator who’s big into scissors and glue, making cake from the box, wrestling with her dogs and doodling with felt tip pens. You can check out her latest work at The Little Monster or craft along with her at Craft University.

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