Writing left handed

Weekend Project: How to Make a Zen Meditation Cushion

I like to meditate. In theory at least. In truth, I only get around to it like twice a month, and even then I get bored after a few minutes, lose track of how many deep breaths I’ve taken and think, “Well that was probably good enough for today.”


The important thing, though, is to have a nice meditation pillow. Because if you don’t have one then you will never meditate, and if you do have one, then you’re behind will be nice and comfy for your semi-annual tune ins.

Meditation pillows, I learned thanks to Pinterest, are called zafus and you can buy them all over the internet but they’re not cheap (the boring ones are at least $40) and they’re actually quite easy to make if you know how to sew.  I made TWO for around $30 and it took me just a few hours.

DT Zafu

All you need is:

  • A yard of fabric (or more if you’re prone to messing up and/or want to get creative by using different colors)
  • Stuffing (I used buckwheat hulls that I ordered online from a collective run by homeschoolers that focuses on providing special needs kids with job training; it was reasonably priced, arrived quickly and worked perfectly for my project. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the company and despite repeated searches through my gmail account, I can’t find my receipt so you’ll have to forgive me. I’ll be a better blogger next time.)
  • The usual measuring stuff, cutting stuff, pinning stuff and sewing stuff…

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut two circles, one for the top and one for the bottom of the zafu.El Salvador Sunday 167
  2. Cut a long rectangular piece of fabric about 6-8” tall and roughly twice the length of the circumference of your circles. You can piece two sections together if you need too.
  3. Pleat the rectangular fabric so that it fits around the edge of your circles leaving an extra inch on each end. (If you’re really anal you can measure it to make sure all of your pleats are exactly the same size but if you’re impatient like me, you can just eyeball it and tell yourself you’re being Zen and letting go…)El Salvador Sunday 194
  4. Pin everything together (you can pin and sew the pleats in place first before attaching the rectangle to the circles if you’re less confident in your sewing skills). El Salvador Sunday 190
  5. Sew the circles to the rectangle. Leave the raw edges of the rectangle alone for now.El Salvador Sunday 195
  6. Using a funnel, fill the cushion with buckwheat hulls. (Or don’t use a funnel and get buckwheat hulls all over the floor of your bedroom… you’re choice really.)El Salvador Sunday 198
  7. Turn the extra inches on the edge of the rectangle in on themselves to hide the raw edges. I overlapped mine a bit and finished with a quick whipstitch by hand. Some sites recommend adding a handle instead but the way I see it, if you need a handle to carry your zafu, meditation isn’t going to be enough to solve your problems.El Salvador Sunday 203
  8. Go meditate.

8 Responses to “Weekend Project: How to Make a Zen Meditation Cushion”

  1. becky119

    I wonder if I would meditate if I had a good pillow. I think the biggest problem with these directions is that I no longer remember how to load the bottom section of the sewing machine with thread. And all the other parts that go into using a sewing machine. But I do like sewing! I just tend to do it by hand. I made Ranger a sweatshirt!! But it might be time to relearn how to use the sewing machine before taking on more projects…

    • Kat Richter

      Haha, yes bobbins can always be a bit tricky! Do you still have the manual for yours? If not, it would actually be pretty easy to do by hand. Just a few seams really…

  2. Zak

    If you truly want to make it awesome, you should print a photo of someone you wish you were sitting on, or that was kissing your ass while you meditated, and then use that as your cushion top.

  3. Weekend Project: A Totally Free, Unbreakable Valentine’s Heart | Fieldwork in Stilettos

    […] Give your heart to your high school crush. Or hang in on your door so your neighbors don’t think you’re unwilling to participate in their holiday decorating efforts.Also, last Friday I accidentally posted twice at the same time so in case you missed for my first foray into the world of DIY blogging (or have a sudden inexplicable urge to make a Zen meditation cushion, take look). […]

  4. A City Girl

    Becky911 go to youtube and I am SURE you will find what ever instructions you need to use your machine. I would take my own advice but my interntet is throttled 28 days of the month and it is VERY frustrating. I need to buckle down and get me some unlimited internet.

  5. A City Girl

    Oh and Kat…I like your zafu. How big is it supposed to be? It looks big except when you look at the fabric on the ironing board then it looks small. ALso do you think beans would work?


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