The Crochet Happy Pillow is so fun to make and the bright colors make it so cheerful to look at! This pillow can brighten up any room, or mood! The front of the pillow is white with colorful block letters, the back is done in rainbow stripes.
To make the Happy Pillow, you will make the front and back pillow panels separately, crochet them together, stuff the pillow, and then add the pom poms! For the front panel design with the letters, I followed a graph that you will see later on in this pattern and used the intarsia crochet technique. This technique is basically like tapestry crochet, however, the difference is that you don’t carry your yarn under your stitches, instead drop and pick up your yarn when needed. More details about that are in the Important Notes section.
If you love making pillows, there are a couple other fun ones on the blog!
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The Happy Pillow pattern is available for FREE on this website. If you’d like an ad-free, printable PDF version, you may purchase it for a small fee from my Etsy or Ravelry shops. Thank you so much for supporting Loops & Love Crochet!
- Worsted weight yarn – I used Caron Simply Soft yarn in White and in fun rainbow colors! The colorways I used are: Red, Mango, Super Duper Yellow, Limelight, Blue Mint, Grape, and Watermelon.
- 4 mm crochet hook
- Yarn needle for weaving in ends and sewing on pom poms.
- Stuffing – any fiber stuffing such as Fiberfil or poly-fil
- Pom-Pom Maker (Optional) – I used the 2 ½ inch size of the Clover Pom-Pom maker. If you are looking a pom-pom maker, I recommend the Clover ones! I have a video tutorial HERE for using this pom pom maker!
- Ch – chain
- Sl St – slip stitch
- SC – single crochet
- HDC – half double crochet
- This pattern includes the graph for you to follow to crochet your Happy Pillow. If you’d like row-by-row written instructions for the color changes, you can grab the low-cost PDF version from my Etsy or Ravelry shops.
- Turned Rows– Each panel is worked in turned rows of SC stitches. At the end of each row, chain 1 and turn. Chain 1 stitches do not count towards stitch count.
- Color Changes – You will be chaining colors often in this pattern. To change colors, complete the last SC in the first color up until the last yarn over. Yarn over with the new color and pull through last step of the SC stitch. So, your SC will go like this: insert hook into last stitch of the first color, pull up a loop, yarn over with new color, pull through all loops on hook. Now you will be working in the new color until you change colors again.
- Intarsia Crochet Tips – For this project, you will be using the intarsia crochet technique for the front panel of the happy pillow. When you change colors, you will not be carrying the unused colors along under your stiches. Instead, you’ll be dropping the color that you are finished with (leaving it attached) and picking up the next color, pulling it over to where you are working the stitches. There will be a right side (RS) and wrong side (WS) of this project. You’ll see the color changes and the yarn traveling over on the wrong side (back of the panel that will be inside the pillow), but it will not be visible on the front. You’ll need to make sure you are only dropping and picking up your yarn on the wrong side of the project so it’s not visible on the right side (front). I have a created a video tutorial for showing the color changes and dropping/picking up yarn for this pattern.
- Size of project and size modifications – When finished, this pillow comes out to be about 14.5 inches wide and 8 inches tall. If you want to make the pillow taller or wider, you can do this by adding extra rows of white at the top or bottom and by adding extra stitches of white on the left or right of the letters. I’d recommend adding equal rows or stitches on either side (or top/bottom) so that the letters stay centered.
Front Panel Instructions
On the next page you’ll see the graph that I created for the front panel of the happy pillow. Each box counts as one SC stitch. The chart shows 41 rows of 67 stitches. This means you’ll be doing 41 rows of SC and each row will have 67 stitches.
IMPORTANT NOTE – To read this graph, you will be starting at the bottom right and working your way across in back and forth rows. All ODD numbered rows will have the right side of the project facing you, EVEN numbered rows will have the wrong side facing you. When you are working on the right side (RS), make sure you are dropping the yarn to the back for the color changes. When you are working on a wrong side (WS) row, make sure you are dropping the yarn towards you for the color changes. This will ensure that the front of the pillow cover does not show any of the color changes.
On the wrong side, you’ll start to see where you drop and pick up each color, pulling it over to where you need it. Yes, it’ll be messier looking, but it’s the back so you won’t see it once you sew the panels together!
Remember to keep consistent tension, even when working with the different colors. This is so your rectangular panel comes out nice and even on the sides.
Row 1: In white, chain 68, SC in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across, ch 1, turn. (67)
*As an alternative to a starting chain, you can work 67 foundation single crochet stitches. I prefer to start my projects with a foundation single crochet. This is because you can work the chain and the first row at the same time, it leaves a nicer finished edge, and it’s easier to add or remove stitches if your count is off in the first row. For this project, either a starting chain or foundation will work. If you are interested, there’s a foundation single crochet video tutorial on my YouTube Channel.
Rows 2-13: SC in each stitch across (in white), ch 1, turn. (67)
After row 13, you will start working the section of rows that have the color changes for the letters. Remember to drop your yarn away from you when you are working on an odd row and towards you when you are working on an even row. This will ensure all the color changes are on the wrong side and the right side (front) is nice and clean looking. See this video showing how to do this.
Rows 14-28: SC in each stitch across (following the color changes in the graph), ch 1, turn.
Now you are finished the section with the color changes. Continue in white for the last section of the front panel.
Rows 29-41: SC in each stitch across (in white), ch 1, turn. (67)
* After row 41, do not ch 1. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Fasten off and weave in all ends. Next, you’ll make the back panel and then attach the two panels together to complete your happy pillow.
Back Panel Instructions
The back panel is worked in stripes. I alternated 7 different colors of the rainbow with rows of white in between. I think the rainbow stripes add a fun element to the back of the pillow, but I also think it would also look great if you did a solid color on the back, perhaps just white or a color of your choice. When you finish, this panel should be the same size as the front panel. Remember to keep a consistent tension so that your rectangle has nice and even sides.
Here is the chart for the back, if you prefer to work from the chart. Or you can follow the written instruction below. The chart starts at the bottom right corner.
I have created a video tutorial to show you how to work the rows of stripes for the back of this pillow, without having a bunch of yarn tails to weave in at the end. You can check it out on my YouTube Channel here.
**Note that in the video I started at the top of the grid with red, orange, yellow. However, I recommend starting at the bottom of the grid with pink and purple, working your way upwards. This is so when you sew on the back panel, the red will be at the top and pink at the bottom, just like the actual order of rainbow colors.
Back of Happy Pillow – Written Instructions
Row 1: In white, chain 68, SC in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across, ch 1, turn (67)
Rows 2-41: SC in each stitch across, ch 1, turn (67)
After row 41, do not chain 1. Weave in your ends and cut yarn.
Here are are the color changes for the striping pattern on the back panel of the happy pillow. Work your color changes in the last stitch of the row before the ch 1 and turn. You can work over your yarn tails or weave them in after.
- Rows 1-4: White
- Rows 5-7: Pink
- Rows 8-9: White
- Rows 10-12: Purple
- Rows 13-14: White
- Rows 15-17: Blue
- Rows 18-19: White
- Rows 20-22: Green
- Rows 23-24: White
- Rows 25-27: Yellow
- Rows 28-29: White
- Rows 30-32: Orange
- Rows 33-34: White
- Rows 35-37: Red
- Rows 38-41: White
Joining the Panels Together
Now we are going to join the panels together and stuff the pillow to finish off your Happy Pillow. First, make sure that all your ends are sewn in on the two panels.
Start by laying your two panels, one on top of the other with the wrong sides facing each other in the middle and the right sides on the outside.
You will start joining the pillow panels together in the bottom right corner (closest to the ‘H’). Rotate your project so that the bottom is facing you and that corner is easier to access. Make a slipknot with the white yarn. Place your crochet hook through the corner stitch, making sure you are working through both layers. Place the slipknot on your hook and pull back through the stitch to join the yarn.
Chain 1 and make 2 SC in that corner stitch. Now work your way up the side of the project with one SC at the end of each row. Make 2 SC in the corner stitch and then continue along the top making one SC in each stitch. Repeat with the next side and then work your way across about one-third to halfway along the bottom.
Now you will start adding your stuffing to the pillow. Try to stuff it smoothly and evenly, with no large lumps or bulges. Start by making sure the two left corners are firmly stuffed all the way to the corner, then stuff the rest of it moving from left to right, adding in large pieces of stuffing at a time. Continue crocheting along the bottom, adding stuffing as you go. Make sure your pillow is stuffed the way you like it before you get all the way to the corner. Join with a slip stitch to the top of the first SC. Fasten off and weave in ends.
You’re almost done! Next, we will add the pompoms!
Making and Adding the Pompoms
Let’s finish off the happy pillow by adding the pom-poms to the corners. You’ll need to make 4 pompoms. I made each one a different color from the front side of the pillow, but you may choose different colors, or maybe you’d like them all the same color.
To make the pom-poms, I used a pom-pom maker, but you can also use different technique for making your pom-poms, like yarn wrapping. Next, tie the yarn tails from the pompoms securely and use one of the tails (and your yarn needle) to sew the pom-poms onto the corners of the pillow. Make sure you go in and out of the corner stitch a few times before you weave in the ends and cut the yarn. Once all your pom-poms are attached to the corners of the pillow, you are all done!!
I hope you enjoyed making your Happy Pillow! Now you can decide where you’d like to store it! I put this one on my daughter’s bed as a throw pillow. The colors worked perfectly with her rainbow themed bedding!
If you are looking for another fun Tapestry Crochet project, check out the Zig Zag Zipper Bag, a free pattern on the blog!
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