Nursery: Circus ticket pillow – tutorial and pattern

I think by now everyone already guessed the theme we are going for our baby Peanut's nursery =] CIRCUS! and one of the elements I really wanted to integrate are the entry tickets (the vintage ones) – even tho the nursery will be very modern I just really wanted to have a ticket, and what better way than making a pillow!

Since the size I decided to make is very custom, I made the pillow and the pillow cover. For the letters I used the font Corben by Vernon Adams from the Google Webfont directory. A free font that had just the look I was going for.

Because I wanted the numbers on the side to really mean something and not to be just random ticket numbers, I decided to use my due date, even tho the probability of having our baby that day is very small, it still means so much to us, after all we've been really looking forward to THAT day, so at least I will be able to remember when it was, if peanut's birth day is some other day =] and just in case you are wondering – I made the pillow in the Spanish date order (day, month, year) because that's still the way I write dates down.

And as usual I wanted to share how I made my pillow and the template so you can also make your own, the file is set with the size I used but you can always make it bigger or smaller 😉



  • Two pieces of 20 by 14 for your pillow (inside) I used white cotton.
  • 1 piece of 20 by 14 for the front of your pillow case and 2 pieces of 13 by 14 for the back (I just overlap them to avoid a zipper) I used orange thin fleece
  • Make a template to cut the corner of your pillow with a 2 by 2 inch paper and then round one of the corners. Use it so that all your corners are the same.
  • Matching color threat for the felt letter and for the pillow cover topstitching.
  • Your color choice of Felt
  • Scissors
  • Polyester fiberfill, or any stuffing you'd like for the pillow


For the inside pillow cut the pieces and shown in the graphic (1/4″ seam allowance is included) sew leaving an opening on one side, and remember to zig-zag after you sew to prevent fraying. Turn inside out, stuff and close your pillow with a topstitch.


[Click on images to enlarge]

1- For the letters on the pillow cover, you will need to set the back pieces a side. Print your template and pin your felt to it, I cut the template along with the felt that way I didnt need to mark the letters, but if you don't feel comfortable I would recommend you to cut the template mark the letters and then cut.

2- I used a very sharp point scissors so I could cut with a lot of detail and cutting the letter one by one definitely helped.

3- Once I had all my letters I centered them using a ruler. If you want to be very exact I would suggest you to first find the horizontal and vertical center of the pillow cover and then place the letters. it makes it much easier.

4- Carefully pin each letter, so that when you topstitch one the other won't move.

5- Topstitch using your favorite stitch, in my case I just used a very small zig-zag stitch. to find the one I liked the most I tried them on a scrap before I went for the letters =]

6- For the numbers, I first decided how many I wanted and in what order. then I measured and marked a frame. I used chalk so that the marks will be easily removed because all the stitching had to be done with my piece facing out. I topstitch the frame and then the numbers.

7- finally I finished the pillow cover by placing the bottom and the top pieces facing each other on their right sides. I sewed the edges (remember to sew the edges of the back pieces, the ones that overlap before sewing the whole pillow together) I turned my pillow cover inside out and then topstitch at 1/4″ from the edge.

I love the way it end up and hopefully peanut will love it as well (it looks like Dumbo likes it!), I am making a lot of pillow for a toy storage bench area under the window, and this one was the first one =]

I hope you guys like this project =] one more thing crossed of my “nursery to-do list” I really hope I can get everything there done before this baby decided to come visit the nursery =]
Wish you all a lovely day!!

* This tutorial is provided for personal use only. If you wish to sell items made with this tutorial please purchase a limited production license.
Check the Site policy at the bottom for further information, Thank you!


About Joy

Joy Kelley is a Chilean Designer & lettering Artist. Mom to 3 little boys. Crafter. Pattern lover. Color obsessed. Lemon pie dependent. And the hand behind the HowJoyful Studio & HowJoyful Shop

17 replies
  1. Theresa Ann
    Theresa Ann says:

    I love this idea! It’s so great to see something so original, and the additional touch of the date blew me away.

    One thing I have been looking for, for years now is that Dumbo stuffed animal…. where did you get it? Or if anyone else knows where I can find one please let me know…. I’ve been to both Disney Land and Disney World in the past two years looking for one. (I’m not going to lie I also love Disney… closet fan)

    Anyways BRAVO!!!

  2. Sara
    Sara says:

    This is simply amazing! I really need to learn to use my sewing machine so that I can try out all your wonderful tutorials!

  3. Rosario
    Rosario says:

    I love this! I can’t wait to see the room finished you already have some awesome pieces!

  4. Emily
    Emily says:

    Aw, you’ve done it again! Another amazing piece. Your child is seriously going to have the absolute cutest nursery!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Aww you are too nice Emily =] I can’t wait to finish so I can show the “whole” thing, instead of showing piece by piece hehe

  5. Heidi
    Heidi says:


    I love the pillow and everything else you’ve made for the baby’s room – I follow you on pinterest.

    Fun that you decided to remember the due date in that way – I like it. By the way my baby will be one just 2 days before your due date 🙂

  6. Rosemary
    Rosemary says:


    I absolutely love your pillow. I’ve got two teenage children and I’m going to make it for my daughter’s birthday as I think that she’ll really like it. In England we also write the date that way. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Hope everything goes pain free when you have your baby. Take care.


  7. mollie
    mollie says:

    Sooooo cute! I’ve been thinking about making a small ticket type of item, but oversized is even better! Also, I love your pins!

  8. Anni
    Anni says:

    You are genius! it seems that with every post you make about your baby’s nursery the more I want a baby, just so I can make them LOL

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