Wave Pillow Project - Play with Pile Height!

Wave Pillow Project - Play with Pile Height!

Posted by Emily and Amy on Sep 23rd 2021

We recently started carrying Rowan Big Wool, which is a super bulky 100% merino yarn. It's so soft and fluffy that we immediately wanted to try punching a pillow with it! We went with a simple abstract wave shape for our design so we could play with all of the pretty blue hues of this yarn. 


  • Rowan Big Wool (We used: Mallard 087, Steel Blue 052, Midori 093, Oasis, 092, and Vert 054) 
  • Natural Linen, 14x14 inch square (you could also use Burlap or whatever backing material is your preference)
  • Red Dot Tracing Material (optional, you could also freehand your design)
  • Morgan Lap Stand (or other hoop/frame for holding your fabric)
  • Rug Punch Needle
  • Pins
  • Permanent Marker for transferring your pattern
  • Extra fiber for stuffing
  • Sewing machine or hand sewing materials for finishing pillow. 

You don't need 5 whole balls of yarn for this project. we wanted to play with multiple colors so we used five different colors and had lots of yarn left over. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog because we used those leftovers in an upcoming rigid heddle project! If you're punching the same design as us, then you want to have at least 2 different colors so you can have alternating stripes in your wave. Our finished pillow is about 8 x 8 inches. 

We used this adjustable  Rug Punch Needle to achieve different pile heights on our wave to create different textures. Amy covers the differences between our different Rug Punch Tools and shows how to achieve different pile heights in this YouTube video: 

We made up our own wave pattern by sketching it out with colored pencils first to plan our shapes and colors. We provide a PDF version of our pattern lines if you want to use our design. You can download it here

We transferred this design to our burlap fabric by using  Red Dot Tracing Material. If you haven't tried it yet, this stuff is really useful! The red dots mark inch increments which can be helpful if you're scaling a design up or down. It's sheer so you can lay it on top of your design and trace your lines. We used a pencil to trace our wave. Remember you punch on the back of the work, so this design will be mirrored in our final project! 

After you have your design on the red dot material, it's time to transfer it to your backing fabric. We pinned our transfer material to the linen so it would stay in place while we were tracing. 

Retrace your lines with a permanent marker while the tracing material is pinned to your fabric and the lines will transfer to your fabric like magic! 

We punched our wave using random different pile heights because we wanted to play with making the different stripes different textures to create movement. We even flipped our project around and punched on the back side to create an extra tight pile height for the two shortest bits of our wave. 

We sewed our finished punch pillow to a burlap square of the same side with the right sides together then flipped it so the rights sides were out. Stuffing a pillow is great way to use up fiber or fabric scraps! You could of course make a wall hanging or whatever you want with your finished piece. We would love to see any wave pillows or other punch needle projects you make! Tag us on social media so we can see your work!