Here’s the thing. This project isn’t exactly a pouf. Poufs usually sit a little higher off the ground than what I’ve made here and have lots of embroidered seams, but this DIY Moroccan pouf/floor pillow is inspired by the Moroccan poufs that are so popular right now and shares some of the same elements. Most notably the embroidered medallion on top and the use as a footstool.
It’s not often that I set out to do a project and it winds up being faster and easier than I’d thought. It happens, but not often.
The absolute key to this project’s speed is a sewing machine that can embroider. I bought this sewing machine a few months ago and it has changed my life. No exaggeration. I used to sit and have fits over my old machine jamming and laboring and the new machine sews like a knife through soft butter. This was my first time using the embroidery capabilities and it was so easy. I can’t get over how easy. You just choose your embroidery stitch on the control panel and then sew over the shape you want to make. The machine does everything.
Ready for the how-to on making this Moroccan pouf/floor pillow? Here’s what you need:
- plain white paper
- an extra-fine tipped Sharpie
- leather (I used this gorgeous distressed leather from The Leather Hide Store)
- metallic thread
- a heavy duty zipper (the one I used was 21″ long)
- thread for sewing seams
I cut the leather into seven different pieces:
- (1) 23″ square
- (2) 23″ x 12″ rectangles
- (4) 23″ x 7″ rectangles
The first thing I did was draw my design for the top of the pouf on plain white paper using a ruler and pencil. Then I took the tip of the pencil and punched a hole through to mark the center and edges of the design.
Then I used the Sharpie to make a small dot on the leather at each of the holes I’d punched in the paper.
I grabbed my ruler again and connected the dots to recreate the design from the paper on the leather.
I loaded the metallic thread on my sewing machine and set it up to stitch the embroidery pattern I’d chosen, then followed the pattern on the leather one row at a time. Seriously, don’t be afraid of this. If you have a machine that can embroider it was as easy as sewing a straight line. Maybe even easier.
I also decided to embroider a border around the edges of the leather, about 4″ in from each side.
Once the embroidery was finished I was ready to sew all the pieces together to make the pouf.
First I took the four 23″ x 7″ strips and sewed them together to make one long strip – turn two of the strips right side in toward each other and sew a straight seam 1/2″ from the edge. Repeat until all the strips are sewn together.
Next I lined up one corner of the strip with a corner of the top piece (the one with the medallion), again right sides facing in. Start sewing a few inches in from the corner, and sew a straight seam along the whole side, 1/2″ in from the edge. The corners can be a little tricky – I found it easiest to sew one side at a time, then remove the leather, turn it to start on the next adjacent side, and start again. Go all the way around until you’ve sewn the whole long strip to every side of the top leather piece. At the end of the last side leave a few inches unsewn.
To sew the zipper, I followed this tutorial for sewing an invisible zipper. This is a little misleading because I didn’t use an invisible zipper and my zipper can be seen from the back, but it’s the method I used. I have an easy tutorial for how to sew a zipper HERE, but I didn’t want threads to show on the sides of the zipper, which is why I used a different method. Either way will work though.
Once the zipper was attached to either side of the two 23″ x 12″ pieces, I unzipped it about halfway – this ensures you can flip your pouf right side out when you’re finished!
I sewed the strips (now attached to the top piece of leather) to the bottom piece with zipper using the method I outlined above when sewing the strips to the top piece. When finished sewing all four sides to the strips there will be a little pocket open at the corner where you started and stopped.
To close this up, simply line the edges up and then sew a straight seam 1/2″ from the edge.
You may need to close any little gaps left in the opening you’d left – do this by just following the seams you’ve already sewn all the way to the edges of the corner.
Flip the pouf right side out, using your finger to poke the corners out, and stuff with whatever you like. I ripped apart a bunch of old fiberfill bed pillows and used their innards for the filling.
I’m typing this tutorial with my feet resting on the pouf and my girls have been loving flopping on it. There’s something about a floor pillow that seems to scream, “Lie on me!,” especially to chidren. But that’s kind of what it’s for so it all works out :)
I LOVE the finished pouf and can’t say enough great things about the leather I used from The Leather Hide Store. It’s so soft and lovely, I’m thinking of upholstering some furniture with it too. There were several other leathers I loved from them too – be sure to check out their site if you have a project coming up that you need leather for.
This project was done in partnership with The Leather Hide Store – they supplied me with a leather hide. All opinions expressed are my own and are sincere.
Affiliate links used.