Learn to latch hook by designing your own shaggy pillow

by | Sep 22, 2021 | Step by Step | 0 comments

completed 20 inch square latch hook pillow

We’ve made it super simple to create your own one of a kind latch hook pillow using our pre-finished pillow blank and vintage yarn. Read on to learn how to start a new latch hook project that will teach you the basics and freshen up your couch with some shag! This is a great introduction to latch hooking for kids or adults. 

Supplies Needed

The Design

Before ordering your yarn, decide on a design for your pillow. We’ve come up with a few ideas below for inspiration, or read on for some tips on designing your own.

Nothing strike your fancy? Get out the graph paper (or pixel art program, or even Excel) and design your own! Our pillows have 68 holes along each side to help you plan. My top tips for creating your design are:

Stick with shapes or patterns: Especially for your first project. Many designs are not suitable for latch hook because their details would be lost in the shag. At about 4 “holes” per inch, latch hook designs cannot represent fine detail, so consider sticking to blobs of color or stripes.

Keep the color count low, but not too low: Adding too many colors will likely muddy up your design instead of better illustrating it. On the other hand, completing a latch hook with only two colors is a surefire recipe for boredom and burnout. I would recommend starting with a three to four color design.

Get inspired! Sometimes sitting down to design something all at once puts too much pressure on yourself. If nothing is really thrilling you, sleep on it. Take a walk. Take a week! You might spot something unexpected that inspires a motif you could incorporate, or you might just need to come back to your ideas with fresh eyes. Don’t rush into starting to hook if you don’t feel jazzed on your design yet, you’ll be staring at it for a long time!

All set? Print out your design with a visible grid or transfer to graph paper. This will be your chart to refer to while working your pillow.

Picking colors

Through the design process, you probably have a good idea of the colors you want to pick. Does your design feature a large neutral background with pops of color? Or is it more of a balanced design that features colors equally, like repeating stripes? Keep this in mind as your put together your palette.

Color theory can be complicated and picking colors for your latch hook design deserves a post all its own, but let’s briefly look at some traditional palettes.


Select three or four shades of the same color.

Suited for many designs, I put together four shades of vintage green yarn here. 


Select three or four shades in the same color family (colors that are next to each other on the color wheel).

This palette can be more dynamic than a simple monotone selection, excellent for stripes or other designs with balanced colors. I picked some of my favorite bright, warm yarns we have.


Select three or four shades that complement each other (colors that lie on opposite sides of the wheel).

This is a good method if you want to use a bright or unusual color sparingly, alongside harmonious shades that contrast with it. Here we have shades of orange with a bright sky blue as an accent. 

Take a look at our full color chart and see what you like! Here’s three more palette ideas, just for fun:

Always buy a little more than you think you need, in case of spills or misplacement!

Working the pillow

Look closely at the threads that create the latch hook mesh. In one direction, the threads will look more twisted and knotted. These should be positioned vertically, while you hook on the doubled horizontal threads. 

Using our instructions on how to latch hook, begin at the very bottom row of the pillow. Make sure to hook in every available hole, taking care to work into the corners of the mesh.

Follow your charted design, with each square on the graph paper (or grid) representing one hooked knot. 

It is recommended to work each row completely before moving up the next one because working sections separately can cause unevenness or inconsistency. I won’t tell anyone if you do things a little differently to keep yourself interested, just make sure you aren’t crowding yourself out of areas and you are always working from the same end of the canvas. Do not turn the mesh but work from one direction only, ensuring that your knots all face the same way.

Did you know latch hooking is an excellent mindfulness activity for kids and adults?

Stuffing the pillow

Once your last corner has been hooked, you are minutes away from a new pillow!

Shake out your design and trim well – vintage yarns might be slightly different lengths or materials, and trimming them will help even out their appearance. 

Stuff a 20” pillow form inside the envelope back of the pillow and throw it on your couch!

completed 20 inch square latch hook pillow

Woohoo, you did it! Don’t forget to tag #hilboldtindustries when you show it off!


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