Christmas, Holiday Sewing Projects

Easy DIY Tiered Tray Pillows: How to Make Your Own Christmas Decor

tiered tray pillows red black and plaid stocking print fabric red tray silver tree Santa Claus snowmen

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I think my new favourite accessory to decorate with might just be tiered tray pillows.  And why is that?  Well, there are so many reasons to love this perfect little filler!

Let me show you why you need to add these amazingly versatile pieces to your tiered tray toolkit!



What are Tiered Tray Pillows?

As you might suspect, they are pillows that are sized perfectly for your tiered trays!  I know, it sounds simple, but they really are a fantastic filler for your spaces. 

Plus, they are so easy to make and extremely budget-friendly.  If you’ve got 10 minutes, you’ve got time to make mini pillows.


How to make Tiered Tray Pillows

As I said, these are one of the fastest sewing projects out there.  And we all love a good quick DIY, am I right?  These are even faster than my easy pillow covers.  Even if you are sewing by hand, these little pillows don’t take much time at all.  And you don’t need much in the way of supplies, either!

Here’s a list of things that you’ll need to make your pillows:

Fabric Charm Packs

Using a charm pack or two is the absolute easiest way to make tiered tray pillows because there is no cutting required.  You simply choose your front and back fabrics and start sewing!

If you don’t have a charm pack (or twelve) laying around, you can certainly use any other fabric.  To get the look shown in the video below, use pinking shears to cut your squares.

Sewing Machine

I’m not a huge fan of hand sewing, so whenever possible, I’ll use my machine.  I’ve been using Brother machines for as long as I can remember, and I love them.  If you don’t have a machine, don’t fear!  Because of the size of this project, you can easily sew your pillows by hand.  



Sewing Notions

Of course, you’ll need thread to match or coordinate with your fabric and scissors.  You will also need filler of some kind.  I used the quilt batting that I had on hand for my first few pillows and then picked up some fiber-fill stuffing for the next few.  

Really, though, you could fill your pillows with just about anything!  If you have scraps of fleece or some other soft fabric, that would work great! 

If you are using fabric other than a charm pack, but you love the look I’ve shown here, you can cut your squares using pinking shears.


And that’s all you need to have on hand to make these awesome tiered tray pillows!


You can see in my YouTube video just how easily these come together:



Now how fun and simple is that?  I could sit and sew these all day, but the best part is that I don’t need to.  When you use a charm pack, your project gets that much faster!  I love the exposed unfinished edges of the fabric.  They really complement the farmhouse vibe I’m going for in my decorating.


For all my friends out there that love a good step-by-step printable instruction sheet, here you go!


tiered tray pillows red black and plaid stocking print fabric red tray silver tree

Tiered Tray Pillows

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Tiered tray pillows are a great way to create a custom look for less. Add whimsy and delight to your holiday decorating on a budget!


  1. Choose two pieces of fabric from your charm pack for the front and back of your pillow.
  2. If you are not using a charm pack, cut two 5-inch squares from matching or coordinating fabric for the front and back, using pinking shears.
  3. Place the two pieces of fabric together, with WRONG sides together.
  4. Sew along three sides of the pillow, using your presser foot as a guide.
  5. When all three sides are sewn, clip your threads.
  6. Stuff your pillow using your chosen filler, whether it's quilt batting, poly fiber fill or strips of old fabric.
  7. Push the stuffing back far enough that it won't be caught in the seam on the fourth side of the pillow.
  8. Sew the final side of the pillow, again using your presser foot as a guide.
  9. Clip your threads.
  10. Fluff your pillow by shaking it up and making the stuffing more even. For an extra fluff, throw your pillow in the wash.
  11. Display your pillow on your favourite tiered tray or other location in your home!


If you are using scraps of old fabric for filler, soft thick fabrics work best. Choose polar fleece, chenille or other fabrics of similar weight. Cutting the fabric into small strips or pieces will allow the stuffing to be softer and will give the appearance of regular poly fiber fill.

Layer cakes will work well for this project. Simply cut one layer into four squares and proceed as outlined above.

These little pillows are so cute, so fun and so adaptable.  I absolutely love how quickly they come together.  And I especially love how well they add volume to my tiered trays! 


Some Tips and Tricks

Now, keep in mind, you don’t have to use charm packs for this project.  You can easily use any fabrics you have on hand, provided they are the right texture.  You want a fabric that has a little bit of weight to it.  For example, chiffon is really not going to cut it here.

Any quilting fabric or broadcloth will be just fine.

The advantage of using charm packs is that there is no cutting involved, you can just sit down and start sewing.  The advantage of using other fabrics is that you can make your pillows any size you want.  You may need a pillow that is 6″ or even 7″ to fill the space you have in mind.  A charm pack is 5″, so you can only go smaller.

For me, I find that a 5″ pillow is perfect.  It’s large enough to be noticeable but small enough that it doesn’t take up the whole tray.



If you have a fabric layer cake on hand, that will also work!  Each layer can be cut into 5″ squares using pinking shears to create the same look as with a charm pack.  Or you can cut the squares and sew your tiered tray pillow in a more traditional manner, putting right sides together and finishing with a hand stitch after you’ve added stuffing.

Another great way to save money on a project like this is to find fabrics in unlikely places, like the dollar store!  If you spot a fabric that you love in a weight that would work, pick it up.  You can see how I transformed a dollar store tablecloth into some of my favourite pillow covers in under 15 minutes!

However you choose to finish your project, these tiered tray pillows are a wonderfully cute addition to your holiday decor!



Want to remember this?  Save Easy DIY Tiered Tray Pillows: How to Make Your Own Christmas Decor to your favourite Pinterest boards!


tiered tray pillows red black and plaid stocking print fabric red tray silver tree Santa Claus snowmen


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Hi! I'm Tanya

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