Additional information on making your own Yoga Props! DIY Meditation Pillows.

Sew your own yoga accessories, mat wrap, mat bag, zafu meditation pillow, yoga bolsters and more.

You know Simplicity pattern company (which you can find at Hobby Lobby, JoAnns Fabrics and online) has come out with patterns for making bolsters, cushions, yoga mat bags and such, but there is a wealth of info out there on the web to help you make your own yoga props.

Here is the list.


Make a Yoga Mat Bag at Fig and Plum site

Anna’s corner of the world – mjeanyogamataking a yoga mat bag from denim jeans!

Tingaling Yoga Mat Wrap 


Yoga Mat Bag Tutorial, like a long tote bag.  I’m making this one


Love this mat bag.  A Sling Over the Shoulder Tube Mat Bag


Another one with decorative ribbons

Sling Mat Yoga Tote

Make those meditation pillows (zafu’s)

Some of the websites that listed how to make the seated meditation pillows are no longer on the web, so I’ve included the instructions onto this page.












How to Make a Zafu and Zabuton

Posted by Som on Monday, March 13, 2006

Whether you’re looking for some comfortable, casual seating or you want to make your meditation sessions more pleasant, a zafu and zabuton are wonderful things to have around the house. Zafu and zabuton are traditional Japanese cushions used for meditation; the zafu is a circular pillow with pleated sides, and the zabuton is pretty much just a large, flat pillow. You can order them online for $40+ each, but it’s cheaper and more satisfying to make your own at home.

(I don’t have the best meditation posture, but you get the idea of how the cushions work. The zabuton is a little small for me, because this is one I made for a friend who’s shorter than I am.)

The zafu elevates and cushions the pelvis, and the zabuton cushions the knees and ankles. This position facilitates better posture, eases joint and back pain, and may help one achieve deeper longer meditation sessions. As long as you’re making one set, why not make two? Keep the extra set for guests, give it to a friend who meditates or has back problems, or donate it to your local Zen center or Buddhist temple.
About the materials: I chose to use a cotton/polyester blend for these because it’s cheap and easy to clean with a wet rag; these aren’t something you can just throw in the washing machine. When I’m more settled in my meditation practice, I’ll probably make another set out of some heavy silk, perhaps adding some colorful embroidery or sashiko stitching.

As for filler, I used organic pillow-grade buckwheat hulls for the zafu and plain ol’ polyester stuffing for the zabuton. Kapok would be a better choice for both, but it’s fairly expensive.

Click below for full instructions on how to make the zafu and zabuton.

  • Cotton/polyester blend fabric, 2 yards (note: 2 yards is enough for two zafu)
  • Pillow-grade buckwheat hulls, 5 lbs.
  • Zipper
  • Sewing thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand-sewing needle, pins, scissors
  • Iron, ironing board, and water spray bottle

You can download PDF instructions for making your own zafu listed above. That’s what I started with, but I had to tweak it a little for my own use. I recommend downloading it even if you’re going to use my instructions, as the illustrations in the PDF are quite helpful.

Cut a strip of fabric 65″ x 7″ (there are a few extra inches in the length for fudging purposes.) Cut two circles 13″ in diameter – I used a 13″ round serving plate for my template, but you could also make from cardboard using a compass and a pencil.

Pleat the long strip of fabric: measure 4.5″ inches from one end and mark. Make two more marks 3/4″ from the first. Measuring from your center mark, repeat the process every 4″ until you have 14 pleats marked. Fold, iron, and pin the pleats (since the iron setting for polyester blends usually isn’t high enough for steam, use a water spray bottle for best results.)

On the end, you started pleating at, fold back the fabric 1/2″ and iron. Begin pinning the strip of fabric around one of the fabric circles. When you get to the end, you’ll have a few extra inches of fabric. Fold back and iron. Pin your zipper in place on the folded ends of the fabric, making sure to cut and secure the zipper at least 1″ away from the top and bottom of the fabric to allow room for sewing. Use the sewing machine and a zipper foot to sew the zipper in place; hand-stitch the remaining seam of the side strip width. Trim the extra fabric behind the zipper.

Using the sewing machine, stitch the side fabric strip to the first circle of fabric with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Then pin and sew to the second circle. Trim the extra thread, remove any remaining pins, and turn the pillow.
Stuff as much buckwheat hull as you can into the pillow. This is a little tricky, as buckwheat hulls are tiny and quite devious. Also, they really hurt under bare feet. Fill it as much as you can, shake it down, and fill some more. I used almost all of the 5 lbs. of buckwheat hulls I purchased. Once it’s full, try it out. You may find that you’d be more comfortable with more or less filling – hence the zipper. (And, I’ll admit, I’m terrible at blindstitching. The zipper is my way of cheating.)

If you want to make your circles a different diameter, here is how you calculate where to place your pleats and how long a strip of fabric you need: Multiply the diameter of your fabric circle by pi (3.14159.) This will give you the circumference; for a 13″ diameter, I got a 40.84″ circumference. Add 1″ for the zipper seams (=41.84″.) For 14 pleats, each 3/4″ and using 1 1/2″ of fabric, add 21″ (=62.84″.) Add a couple of inches for fudging purposes, so you’ll be sure not to run out of fabric and have to start all over again (=65″.)
To determine where to put your pleats, take the length of your fabric strip, minus the 1″ of seam allowance and 2″ or so for fudging allowance (in my case, 62″.) Divide by 15 (=4.13″.) Round off as best as you can (=4″.) Remember to add your 1/2″ seam allowance for the measurement before the first pleat (=4 1/2″.)

  • Cotton/polyester blend fabric, 1 1/2 yards
  • Polyester, cotton, or kapok stuffing, ~2 lbs.
  • Sewing thread, machine, etc.

Cut two rectangles of fabric, 32 1/2″ x 27 1/2″ (if you’re over 6′ tall, add a few inches to both dimensions. You need it to be big enough to accommodate you when sitting crosslegged with your knees comfortably cushioned on the zabuton.) Note: Cutting a straight line that long can be difficult. In order to make sure that my cuts are indeed straight, and that I end up with 90o angles, I use the pulled thread method for cutting straight lines in the fabric.

Pin the rectangles together and stitch around the edges with a 3/8″ seam allowance, leaving an opening about 4″ wide on one side for turning and stuffing. Make sure to backstitch at the corners and on both sides of the opening. If you like, you can stitch a small curve on the edges or add a rise, but it’s not necessary.
Turn and stuff. A word about polyester stuffing: it’s tempting to just grab wads of stuffing and jam it in there without a care in the world, but you’ll end up with a lumpy, unusable pillow. Take the time to do it right. Grab a handful of stuffing and pinch off little pieces. You can make a big pile of pinched stuffing and then stuff the pillow by the handful. You’ll use a lot less stuffing this way, and your zabuton will be nice and fluffy – not lumpy.

Once the zabuton is stuffed to your liking (I stuffed to about a 2″ rise,) stitch the opening shut. To keep the stuffing from shifting about too much, tuft the zabuton. I added four tufts, each about 8″ from the corners toward the center of the pillow. To tuft, take a sewing needle and an 18″ length of thread. Double your thread and pierce both layers of the pillow; pull the needle through, but leave a few inches of thread on top. Bring the needle back through both layers of pillow near the first stitch. Pull both ends of the thread tight and tie it off carefully. Clip the extra thread.

…and you’re done!
Yoga with Gail

Other links for sewing up your yoga props

Different Props for your yoga practice – Yoga Props I

Yoga Clothing and Prop Sewing Patterns – Yoga Props II

Yoga Mat Bag Sewing Instructions – Yoga Props III

Sewing your own yoga gear. My nice long yoga mat bag from upholstery material, plus yoga straps for the handles. Zafu Meditation seat cushions (pillows) made from denim. I've had the mediation pillows for year, they have held up nicely! Yoga with Gail. 409-727-3177
Sewing your own yoga gear. My nice long yoga mat bag from upholstery material, plus yoga straps for the handles. Zafu Meditation seat cushions (pillows) made from denim. I’ve had the mediation pillows for year, they have held up nicely! Yoga with Gail. 409-727-3177

Sewing your own yoga gear, yoga mat bag, meditation pillow

Sewing your own yoga gear, yoga mat bag and meditation pillow

Here are some of the things I’ve used my Singer Featherweight 221 and my Pfaff Sewing Machine for yoga gear.

Sewing your own yoga gear. My nice long yoga mat bag from upholstery material, plus yoga straps for the handles. Zafu Meditation seat cushions (pillows) made from denim. I've had the mediation pillows for year, they have held up nicely! Yoga with Gail. 409-727-3177
Sewing your own yoga gear. My nice long yoga mat bag from upholstery material, plus yoga straps for the handles. Zafu Meditation seat cushions (pillows) made from denim. I’ve had the mediation pillows for year, they have held up nicely! Yoga with Gail. 409-727-3177

I used the tutorials listed on my site for making these #zafu #meditationpillows

Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine - Yoga Gear & Props Sewing. Yoga with Gail
Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine – Yoga Gear & Props Sewing. Yoga with Gail
My sweet “Zippy” Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine.
I’m making a soft huggy ball, and taggie lovie quilt in this photo. That minky dot fabric is quiet slippery to sew on!


Yoga Mat Bag – sewing instructions

Yoga Mat Bag – Sewing instructions

Yoga Mat Bag How To DIY instructions.

You can’t sit and sew home decor projects all day long. Sometimes you need an exercise break … but not a break from style. We fell head-over-heels for Amy Butler’s Love fabric collection and knew it would be perfect for our yoga tote. We then calmly meditated on the easiest instructions with the most stylish details. The result guarantees good karma for all who tote this tote to class.

Our generously-sized bag will hold your mat, towel, flip flops and more. We recommend choosing a heavier weight fabric for the bag so it’s sturdier and wears well. Amy Butler’s Love collection has several home decor weights from which to choose. Your lining can be regular weight.

Click to Enlarge

Sewing Tools You Need

  • Any Sewing Machine

Fabric and Other Supplies

Click to Enlarge

  • 1 yard of 54″ wide fabric for bag: we used Amy Butler’s Love Sandlewood in Periwinkle – home decor weight
  • 1 yard 45″ wide coordinating fabric for lining: we used Amy Butler’s Love Sun Spots in Turquoise – fashion/quilting weight
  • 3 yards of 2″ wide cotton webbing for handles: we used an organic white cotton
  • 1 large (apx. 1″) wooden button
  • All-purpose thread in colors to match fabrics
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric for your bag (Amy Butler’s Love Sandlewood in Periwinkle – home decor weight in our sample) cut two 33″ wide x 14″ high rectangles.
  2. From the fabric for your lining (Amy Butler’s Love Sun Spots in Turquoise in our sample) cut two 33″ wide x 14″ high rectangles.
  3. From the fabric for your lining, also cut one 4″ x 4″ square.
  4. Cut your cotton webbing into two 52″ lengths.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Attach handles

  1. To place the cotton webbing for the handles, first make four marks with your fabric pencil on each outside bag fabric 33″ x 14″ rectangle: 9″ in from each corner.
  2. Starting with one length of webbing and one fabric rectangle, position the end of the webbing flush with the bottom and aligned with the 9″ marks. Pin in place.
  3. Run straight up, make a 24″ loop to create the handle, then run the webbing back down the other side, lining up with your 9″ marks. Pin as you go.
  4. Repeat with other outside fabric rectangle and other length of webbing.
  5. Top stitch webbing to fabric along both sides and across the bottom. Your stitching on all straps should end approximately 1″ from the top raw edge so you have room for a top seam allowance.
  6. To reinforce the top of each strap, again starting 1″ below the top raw edge of the bag, stitch a 1″ – 2″ square.

Stitch bag pieces and lining pieces together

  1. Pin the two outside bag pieces right sides together, making sure the strapping matches up at the bottom and the handles are sandwiched in between the layers – out of the way of all seams.
  2. Using a ½” seam, stitch down both sides and across bottom of bag. Press seams open.
  3. Take your two 33″ x 14″ lining pieces and pin them right sides together.
  4. Using a ½” seam, stitch down both sides and across bottom of lining. Press seams open.

Create the gusset

  1. Press the main bag piece, so the bottom seam is very sharp.
  2. Open bag and fold in the opposite direction, matching the side seams. The bottom of the bag will naturally fold in on itself, creating two matching triangles. Very carefully align the side folds and the top points to ensure your gusset will be exactly even.
  3. Measure approximately 2″ down from the top tip of the triangle and use your fabric pencil to draw a line straight across the folded fabric. Your line should be at a point that is approximately 5″ wide.
    Click to Enlarge
  4. Repeat on the opposite side. Check to make sure your two drawn lines are at the exact same place on both sides.
  5. Unfold and stitch across along on the 5″ drawn line on each side.
  6. Trim the top of each triangle ½” from the sewn line.
    Click to Enlarge
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 to create the gusset in the lining.

Make the button loop

  1. Take the 4″ x 4″ square of lining fabric and fold it in half diagonally, right sides together.
  2. Stitch ½” away from fold. Folding and stitching on the diagonal will make your loop bias-cut, which will allow it to curve without wrinkling.
    Click to Enlarge
  3. Trim the seam allowance to ¼” and turn right side out, using a safety pin or loop turner. Press flat.
  4. Find the top center point of the side that will be the ‘back’ of your bag. Make a mark at this center point with your fabric pencil. Then, still using your fabric pencil, draw a short horizontal line along the ½” seam line.
  5. Fold your loop in half and pin it at the center point mark you just made in step 4. Adjust the loop so enough of it extends past the seam line for the button to pass through easily. Don’t guess. Test it with your actual button. Pin the loop in place.
    Click to Enlarge
  6. Stitch the loop down, running forward and backwards several times so your loop is secure and can stand up to lots of wear and tear. Trim away excess.

Finish the bag

  1. Finish the raw edge of both the main bag and the lining with pinking shears or a zig zag stitch. For more thoughts about finishing, read our tutorial: Finishing Raw Seams: Part One – Sewing Machine Finishes.
  2. Turn lining inside out. Keep the bag right side out.
  3. Place bag inside the lining so right sides of bag and lining are together. Pin around the top edge matching seams and centers and tucking straps down. Leave about 8″ open for turning.
  4. Stitch, using a ½” seam allowance, making sure not to catch the straps. Remember to leave about 8″ unstitched for turning.
  5. Turn right side out and press top edge flat. The edges of your 8″ opening should be folded in ½” to match your seam allowance.
  6. Top stitch around the entire top of tote. For a clean look, fold handles down and stitch BEHIND the handles not over the top of them.
    Click to Enlarge
  7. Hand sew the wooden button to the center of the front of the bag, opposite the loop.
    Click to Enlarge

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Jacqueline Smerek

Love this pattern.  Had to find it off of to get the instructions!

Yoga Gear & Props Sewing Patterns – Pinterest Site

Yoga Gear & Props Sewing Patterns – Pinterest Site


Getting a bit back into sewing these days.  Need to get out the serger and cover stitch machine!  Woo!

Yoga Clothing, Gear and Prop Sewing Patterns

Yoga Clothing, Gear and Prop Sewing Patterns

Great Yoga Mat Bag Tutorial.  It is like a large long tote bag!

You can catch these patterns on sale from various places, JoAnns, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby. Sign up for the newsletters, or read the weekly ads online.

So here are the Yoga Clothing/Props patterns that I have…there may be more…

McCall’s MP260 or M4606- including yoga mat bag & Blanket. Two tops, two length jackets, and yoga pant. Still for sale on Ebay.

McCall’s M5664 – Halter Yoga Top, Cap, Sleeveless Shell, Yoga Jacket, Crop and Long Yoga Pant. On McCall’s website, out of print, but you probably can find it in the stores still.

McCall’s 4261 – Sports Bra Top, Long Sleeved Top, Long Skirt (?), Mat Bag, Crop and Long Yoga Pant and Yoga Jacket. (Girl standing in Tree pose.)

New place for yoga clothes ==> Little Rag A Muffin Site

From Simplicity:

Simplicity 3583 – Yoga Accessories: Strap, Eyebag, Mat Bag, Meditation pillow, Zafu, Neck/knee roll and Bolster.

Kwik Sew – Known for a lot of dancer type clothing, and now Yoga/Pilates patterns.

Kwik Sew 3497 – Variations on yoga tops.

Kwik Sew 3498 – “Girls” yoga pants!

Kwik Sew 3115 – Spaghetti Strap Yoga Top, Shell Top, Capri, and Long Yoga Pant.

Kwik Sew 2723 – Racer Back Yoga Top, Boy Shorts, Runners Shorts and Jazzy Yoga Pants.

Kwik Sew 2632 – Long-Sleeved Tied Top (dancer inspired), Leotard & Long Jazzy Yoga Pant.

Kwik Sew 2722 – Unitard with either spaghetti straps or keyhole back. Short or Pant Length.

Oh, yeah, the only thing I’ve made is a large and small bolster, yoga mat bag, eye pillow, blanket and lots of zafu’s!!!