I’m going to be going over some very basic sewing techniques for creating this odd stuffed spiked ball. I’ll be demonstrating how to plan out and stitch a sphere made of pentagonal panels, how to stuff a massive plush object, and how to make a puffy weapon safe for boffing, pillow fights, and other friendly altercations.

I made this pillow mace for the NYC Pillow Fight ’11 back in April. After attending the one in SF a few years back, I came to the determination that standard pillows just weren’t medieval enough for wild pillow melees.

The upside of it all was that everyone I met got super excited to see and get hit by the pillow mace. The down side was that, while in the scrum, people would point to me, say “He’s got a pillow mace… Get him!” and I’d be bent over by a storm of flailing pillows.

So my advice to you is: if you make your own pillow mace and take it to a pillow fight, be prepared to accept the consequences of becoming the center of attention.

Project Steps

I started this whole process by researching how, exactly, one goes about creating a sphere with stuffed fabric. Although I found many excellent tutorials (especially this one), I ended going with a stitched dodecahedron derived from this pattern.

I picked a particularly robust fabric for this project given that it was intended to survive pitch pillow battle. The stiffness of the fabric also helped me over stuff the mace to make it extra round without risking tearing out my stitches.

If you’d like to see more of my projects you can check them out on HAR.MS. I also run a little shop called Sleek and Destroy that you should take a look at.

After finding my pattern I created a paper version of my dodecahedron to make sure the scale and pattern were right on. This also gave me a chance to plan my sewing to make sure the last stitches I made to get everything together wouldn’t be very noticeable in the final product.

I used this tutorial to fold myself some near-perfect pentagons to test everything in paper.

I also made some paper cutouts in the shape of the Superman emblem to fold into the cones that form the spikes of the mace. It was important that these were proportional to the mace head.

Here’s what you’re going to need:

5 square ft. of 1/2″ upholstery foam

Two bags of PolyFill or similar stuffing. They usually come with a chopstick to help with the stuffing process.

A 4 ft dowel .5-1″ in diameter

4 square yards of upholstery fabric

Duct tape

A sewing machine

A needle & thread

Cut out 12 pentagons (each 5 inches on a side) from your cloth. Also cut out 11 trefoil (Superman emblem) shapes to form the spikes.

Fold your trefoil in half, sew the two long sides together, then fold the bottom 1/4″ up and sew along the bottom to form a nice clean lip. Sew a short line along the tip of the slim triangle you’ve just folded. When you fold everything right side out you should have a nice rounded spike.

Before stitching the dodecahedron, cut a little two-inch “X” in the center of each of your fabric pentagons. Pin your spike to the little flaps created by this cut and sew all around it. The very last pentagon (the one without a spike sewn to it) will be the one that the handle fits into.

After sewing the spikes to the pentagons take some PolyFill and stuff them until they’re firm. The “X” on the cloth will help keep the padding in as you sew everything together.

Sewing the dodecahedron together is pretty simple. You start with a single pentagon and sew another one to each of its sides. Once you’ve done this, sew together all of the seams that are radiating out from the middle like a star.

Add the next layer of pentagons in the same manner.

When it comes to the final pentagon (the one without the spike sewn to it) leave the last two seams open so you can add the handle and stuff things.

Pad out your dowel with two layers of your upholstery foam. Secure it in sections with duct tape, then cover the whole thing.

Cut a long triangle of foam as wide as your mace head (~24″) and as long as your dowel. Tape the foam triangle’s base to one end of the dowel with a few extra inches sticking out the top and wrap as though you were making a croissant.

Sew a sleeve for the dowel out of your upholstery fabric. The piece of fabric should be as long as your dowel minus the height of your mace head (this is where you break out your tailor’s rule to make sure of the distance) plus a half inch for seams. It should also be as wide as your padded dowel is around plus a half inch for seams. Also cut out a little circle of cloth to seal up the dowel’s end.

Slide the sleeve on to the dowel.

Slide the mace over the end of the dowel.

Connect the mace to the sleeve with a whip stitch.

Cut yourself strips of upholstery foam and use them to pad out the bulk of the mace. When it’s fairly filled in, use the PolyFill to get everything rounded out. The chopstick is useful here for getting padding in little spots where it needs to go.

Once everything’s stuffed tight and the mace is all even it’s time to sew up the last two seams you pushed all the stuffing through. Just use a simple whip stitch here and you’re done.

It’s time to enjoy your incredibly stylish pillow mace. Now, go dish out some friendly fire at your next pillow fight.