Reading Cushions And Book Pillows Handmade In The UK

Reading Cushions And Book Pillows Handmade In The UK

Apr 20 , 2021

Carol Sparrow

You may not have heard of reading cushions before or you may know them by another name - book cushions, reading pillows, book pillows or even pocket pillows. Either way let me explain what they are and how I make them.

What Is A Reading Cushion

reading cushions UK

A reading cushion is a standard cushion inner housed within a decorative, themed cushion cover which has a large pocket on the front designed to hold a favourite book of pretty much any standard size.

They represent a great gift idea for young and older generations alike. Perfect for an avid reader or bookworm whilst also acting as an encouragement for the little ones to get into books. When they're not being used they're also a lovely addition to a bedroom or a favourite armchair!

My Reading Cushions

I love to sew, I love making gifts and I love to read so I've combined my passions into a small cottage industry making reading cushions. Every single one is lovingly made by me from my studio in Staffordshire UK and by hand ... well ... with a little help by my amazing sewing and embroidery machines!

I started off by making as gifts for family. I then started getting asked by them to make them as gifts for their friends and then by their friends for gifts to their friends so I thought let's scale up a little.

The cushion inners (the pads) are not made by me. I buy these in from reputable manufacturers making sure they adhere to health and safety and fire regulations. They are a standard 16" cushion and well padded.

I like to make every reading cushion different to the next and so I use lots of different materials but all are cotton. Different colours, different patterns and different designs - each one unique. You may notice that I don't feature anything with a "branded" character featured on the material design. Whilst I'd love to sell Micky Mouse, Winnie The Pooh or Peppa Pig reading cusions these fabrics are licensed and I don't want to break any laws!

The front book pocket of the reading cushion is a quilted white fabric. I use white so that it stands out and my designs show up well aganst it. It's onto this pocket that I embroider my designs. Sometimes they just feature a design, sometimes words and sometimes both. I choose designs appropriate for all ages and occasions whilst not being too restrictive.

I can't take the credit for the embroidery itself - I design and ask my trusty Janome embroidery machine to do the stitching work for me. It's amazing how these professional machines work and the quality of stitching they produce.

Reading Cushions As Gifts

For older bookworms or avid readers I make reading cushions for adults by the mix and match of different colours and pattered fabric with appropriate embroidered designs and words. This could be images of books with reading related poems like "so many books, so little time". It could feature just words appropriate for certain events or times of life such as the verse "Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are" (how appropriate over the recent lockdown)!

book cushion, reading pillow

When it comes to reading cushions for children I like to feature such designs as cute animals, superheroes, interests, fantasy etc along with appropriate verses such as "reading is my superpower" etc.


I try to keep designs as open as possible so that each reading cushion can be gifted on any occasion - birthdays, Christmas or pretty much any other special occasions. I've also created designs suitable to other occasions (baby showers for example).

Designs change and I'm sewing and adding more constantly.

Great Gifts For Book Lovers

Perhaps I'm biased but reading cushions make great gifts for book lovers of any age. Combine the practicality and decorative benefit of a cushion (you can never have enough!!!) with a thoughtful design to match the individuals interests or life event. 

We don't supply with a book so why not add your own to suit the recipient ... a cookery book for the chef, a gardening book for the gardener, a fantasy novel, a thriller, a book of baby names ... the choices are limitless but you can really make the reading pillow fit so many occasions.

Book Cushions Make Unique Gifts

As I said, I don't run a production line, I don't buy any material in bulk and each reading cushion is different and completely unique. Every single one is hand made by me from scratch. I choose the fabric, cut it, sew it, select the designs, embroider, finish and quality check. Anything I'm not quite happy with goes into the "not quite perfect" section and is sold off at a big discount. Everything else is sold via this website, packaged in recyclable materials where possible and posted out by me.

That's why I can honestly say that every single reading cushion or reading pillow is completely unique - you will not find another identical book cushion anywhere!

Buy Reading Cushions / Book Pillows UK

I don't pretend to be the only person making reading cushions in the UK - there are many other sellers and crafters doing similar. Nor do I claim to be the best. What I can say is that you'll get a great product that's been entirely sewn by me from quality fabric and featuring bespoke embroidery designs. The website is secure and payment is via the PayPal platform meaning that you're not disclosing any payment details and thus making it totally secure.

You can expect high quality customer service as I want you to be completely happy and enjoy what I make. Any problems - I can be contacted at any time and will respond quickly.

Nothing imported, no work outsourced - all produced by me in the UK and all aspects of customer service handled by me.

Reading cushions, book cushions, reading pillows, book pillows or even pocket pillows - many names for the same decorative cushion with a front pocket designed to hold a favourite book. Handmade from SewnByCarol in the UK and great gifts for all ages and occasions.

Thank You

sewn by carol reading cushions