How to Make a Pillowcase

Updated on November 28, 2017
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Claudia has been writing about crafts online for many years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

How to Make a Pillowcase
How to Make a Pillowcase | Source

Pillowcases for Charity

Do you have lots of fabric on hand? Do you want to do something worthwhile with it? Why not make pillowcases for charities. Check out these organizations to see how you can help.

  • ConKerr Cancer - This wonderful organization accepts pillowcases that they give to children that are battling cancer and who are in hospitals for extended periods of time.
  • APQ - 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge - Providing links for various charities across the United States that accept pillowcases, this effort continues to help people around the world.

It is easy to use the pillowcases that come with the sheet sets found in stores. They are usually good quality and match perfectly, but why not jazz things up a little bit.

Changing pillowcases can change the entire look and feel of a bedroom. A fancy pillowcase can turn a plain set of white sheets into something spectacular. A child's favorite princess or action figure can always be close by their side when depicted in a pillowcase.

Give your bedroom a makeover or make a child smile by making your own pillowcases. It is quick and easy when you follow these step by step instructions.

Supplies Needed to Make One Pillowcase

  • 3 coordinating fabrics - I recommend using 100% cotton. For the large section of the pillowcase you will need a little less than 1 yard of fabric.
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Cutting surface

Step 1 - Choose and Prepare Fabric

Choose and prepare fabric
Choose and prepare fabric | Source

Using 100% cotton, prewash and press all fabric. Cut the following pieces:

  • For the main part of the pillowcase (in the photos, the white fabric with yellow, green and blue flowers) cut a piece 22" x 42". Standard fabric widths average between 42" to 44" so it is quite easy to cut. Fold your fabric, wrong sides together and selvage to selvage, press, and cut length to 22". To cut the width, measure 21" (remember it is folded in half) and trim. Make sure to trim on the selvage edge side, not the folded side. When unfolded, your prepared fabric will measure 22" x 42".
  • For the accent strip (the blue fabric) cut a piece 2" x 42". Follow the cutting instructions above.
  • For the larger outside border (the yellow fabric) cut a piece 11" x 42". Follow the cutting instructions above.

Step 2 - Sew Together the Border and Accent Strip

1. With right sides together, sew the accent strip to the border along the long side.
1. With right sides together, sew the accent strip to the border along the long side. | Source
2. Accent border sewn on and pressed.
2. Accent border sewn on and pressed. | Source
  1. With right sides together, match up edges along the long side and sew the accent strip to the border strip. Use a 1/2" seam when sewing.
  2. Press the seam open.

Step 3 - Prepare the Border to Attach to the Body of the Pillowcase

1. Fold the short sides of the border strip together (right sides facing each other) and pin.  It will form a loop.
1. Fold the short sides of the border strip together (right sides facing each other) and pin. It will form a loop. | Source
2. Use a 1/2" seam and backstitch at the beginning and end.  Sew along the short end.
2. Use a 1/2" seam and backstitch at the beginning and end. Sew along the short end. | Source
3. Press seam open.
3. Press seam open. | Source
  1. Fold the border in half, short ends together and with right sides of fabric facing each other.
  2. Pin at the seam where the accent piece and the larger border piece meet, for a seamless finish. Beginning and ending with some backstitching, sew a 1/2" seam along the short edge. Once sewn, it will form a loop (or circle).
  3. Press seam open and set piece aside.

Step 4 - Prepare the Large Section of the Pillowcase

Back stitch at beginning and end when preparing the main section of the pillowcase.
Back stitch at beginning and end when preparing the main section of the pillowcase. | Source

To finish the main part of the pillowcase:

  1. Fold the fabric, matching the edges, with fabric right sides together, so that it measures 21" x 25" folded.
  2. Sew along the long side of the folded fabric, using a 1/2" seam. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
  3. Sew along one short side, using a 1/2" seam. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
  4. Leave one short end open.
  5. Flip inside out and press.

Step 5 - Attach the Pillowcase Border to the Main Section

1. Fold the border in half and pin, with right side of fabric out.
1. Fold the border in half and pin, with right side of fabric out. | Source
2. Press folded border.
2. Press folded border. | Source
3. Pin the border around the outside of the large part of the pillowcase.  Match the seams.
3. Pin the border around the outside of the large part of the pillowcase. Match the seams. | Source
4. Sew the border to the body of the pillowcase.
4. Sew the border to the body of the pillowcase. | Source

To attach the border to the main part of the pillowcase:

  1. Fold the long side of the sewn border in half, wrong sides together, and match the edges. It helps to pin it together.
  2. Press.
  3. Pin the border around the outside of the main body of the pillowcase. Match the seam of the border to the seam of the pillowcase. To get the smaller accent border against the main section of the pillowcase, make sure that it is facing the inside when pinning.
  4. Sew, using a 1/2" seam.

Step 6 - Finish the Pillowcase

Finish the pillowcase.
Finish the pillowcase. | Source

Flip the sewn border over and press. Put it on a pillow, step back and enjoy your work!

Pillowcases make great gifts for anyone. Your friends and family will love receiving something specially made just for them.

A cheerful pillowcase also brightens the day for someone in a nursing home or who is ill and bedridden.

Taking only an hour or so to make, custom made pillowcases add a terrific decorative touch to any bedroom. Why not make one, or a pair, today.

Make a bright and sassy pillowcase for a preteen girl.  They will love it.  Let them choose the fabrics for even more fun.
Make a bright and sassy pillowcase for a preteen girl. They will love it. Let them choose the fabrics for even more fun. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Claudia Mitchell

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        3 years ago

        Thanks favored! I love pairing fabrics and playing with fun and different colors and patterns. I agree that one could really add some fun to a room by the fabric chosen. Thanks for sharing! Have a nice day. Sorry it took so long to respond. I was taking a break from the computer.

      • favored profile image

        Fay Favored 

        3 years ago from USA

        I really like how you put the different designs and colors together. They turned out great. This technique would make decorating a room fun adding all the fabrics from the linens to make unique pillowcases. Adding it to my craft board.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Hi shawna.wilson - This one is fun, but it takes larger pieces of fabric. I don't know about you, but my scraps are usually a lot smaller and chopped up after cutting for a quilt. Glad you liked the project and thanks for reading.

      • shawna.wilson profile image

        shawna.wilson 

        5 years ago from Arizona

        Another great way to use leftover fabric! I'll have to try this one too!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thanks so much Michelle. Hopefully lots of people will be making pillowcases soon.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Many thanks rajan - I enjoy doing these hubs and the best part is that I get a nice product to use when I'm done. Have a great day.

      • midget38 profile image

        Michelle Liew 

        5 years ago from Singapore

        Thanks, Glim. Will share these tips for those interested in starting this project!

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        Hi GTF,

        As always you do a fantastic job here of explaining with in depth instructions and superb pictures the entire process of making a pillow case.

        Excellent hub! Voted up, useful and interesting .Shared and pinned as well.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Hi The Unlearner - I appreciate your kind comments. What fun it would be to use some vintage fabrics that have sentimental value to you. Use them with care, because they might not hold up to repeated washings. I bet they would be pretty for a decorative pillow.

      • The Unlearner profile image

        Jo 

        5 years ago from Isle of Wight UK

        Your photos and detailed instructions are excellent. I have never tried to make a pillow case, but always wanted to. I have recently been given a whole heap of my grandmothers vintage fabric and retro print from the 60's, I think I have found my next project. Thank you + new follower

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Hi Bea - Depending on the seam you use, it will measure approximately 20 1/2" wide and 34" long, give or take a little bit. It fits a standard pillow. Thanks for asking.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thanks shiningirisheyes. I appreciate the comments and also think it is fun to change up pillowcases for different occasions.

      • profile image

        Bea 

        5 years ago

        Great pattern. What is the finished size of the pillowcase?? thank you

      • shiningirisheyes profile image

        Shining Irish Eyes 

        5 years ago from Upstate, New York

        This is an excellent concept. There are so many different occasions to commemorate using this useful and creative project.

        Thanks for the share.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thanks so much for your support Michelle! Definitely make your own. It's lots of fun and there is so much beautiful fabric available.

      • midget38 profile image

        Michelle Liew 

        5 years ago from Singapore

        Glimmer, you're really talented! I"m looking into getting a new set of pillowcases and these would definitely be a great idea. Thanks for sharing, and I'm passing this hub around!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thanks so much RTalloni. I'll have to check out your hub. I appreciate the support.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        5 years ago from the short journey

        Bravo 10 times for adding the links to charities. Linking your easy to follow tutorial to my hub on sewing a child's pillowcase--thanks!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        I appreciate it Nell. Thanks so much for your kind comments. I'd love to go back over to England for another visit! Interesting fact about me, according to my parents, I was "started" in London. Maybe that is why I like it so much. :-)

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        5 years ago from England

        Will you please come over here and work for me? lol! you are so clever, and always show us how to make them using photos which is so helpful, another great hub, and voted up!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thank you teaches! One could really make them fancy with lace and things and they would be real keepsakes. It's nice that you kept the ones your mother made you. I appreciate the comments.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        5 years ago

        Very nice post. My mother made me some beautiful pillow cases and I still have them today. Very detailed post and will help those who desire to make a quality set.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Good luck Jamie! I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Hope you get your machine fixed. Thanks.

      • Jamie Brock profile image

        Jamie Brock 

        5 years ago from Texas

        Thank you for sharing this awesome tutorial.. love how descriptive it is and the photos are great too! I think I could actually do this.. Now if I can stop procrastinating and get my sewing machine to the shop! Thank you for sharing :)

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        I appreciate it fpherj48! My daughter and her cousins never get tired of a new pillowcase as their tastes change. Thanks for the really nice comments.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thank you Sharon. These are so easy to make and people who sew usually have lots of extra fabric on hand. I appreciate the comments.

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 

        5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        GT....This is absolutely terrific! I make pillow cases quite often. I enjoy it and they also make wonderful gifts.

        But the truth is....I could have never done the perfect job you have done, with this instructional hub! Bless your heart! This is awesome...UP+++

      • Sharyn's Slant profile image

        Sharon Smith 

        5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

        Love this Glimmer and all the details. Also love the links to the charities that accept/donate pillow cases. Very cool!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thanks dragonflyfla! I appreciate it and luckily there really is not that much sewing in this one.

      • dragonflyfla profile image

        dragonflyfla 

        5 years ago from South Florida

        This is great, I have been wanting to make my own pillowcases. The only thing I dread is the sewing! Thumbs up.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thanks heatherpanda.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        I appreciate it travmaj. I think that even non-sewing people could make these if they had a machine. Thanks for the comments.

      • profile image

        heatherpanda 

        5 years ago

        Thanks for sharing. I will also like to learn how to make fitted bed sheets.

      • travmaj profile image

        travmaj 

        5 years ago from australia

        This is such a lovely idea and looks fantastic. I'm ashamed of my non-sewing skills. Ouch!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        I appreciate it sherrituck. Have fun making one.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thank you so much GoldenThreadPress! I appreciate your nice comments. I will take a look at your hub to see some ideas.

      • sherrituck profile image

        Sherri Tuck 

        5 years ago from Virginia

        Very well written. I will have to try making these!

      • profile image

        GoldenThreadPress 

        5 years ago

        GlimmerTwinFan: Wow! Voted Up! One of the nicest DIY Hubs I've seen in the last couple of months. Not to mention great close ups! I love the idea of creating your own pillow case. And when your PC is no longer needed you can make it into a wash bag or even a PC dress (check out my DIY Hub on this topic for more ideas). Even so, I can't wait to get back to my sewing machine and make some PCs today! Best Regards--Deb

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thanks so much for your support Bill! I appreciate it. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. My daughter is down with the flu. Hopefully she has not shared.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thanks faythef! - Christmas pillowcases is a great idea! I appreciate all the support!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thank you so much Marcy. Give it a try. They take no time at all and really are fun. My daughter saw me doing this hub, picked out some fabric from my shelves and asked me to make her one. Since she is miserably sick with the flu how could I refuse. I added that purple polka dots picture in her honor.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thanks so much Gypsy48! I was in the mood to brighten up some rooms because it has been so dreary here. I appreciate the comments.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        There is not much chance I'll be doing this, but I will share it so others can learn. Good tutorial my friend. Have a great weekend.

      • faythef profile image

        Faythe Payne 

        5 years ago from USA

        I have a pair I made fir Christmas a year ago...I love them..then I lost the instructions..thanks for posting..voting up and across.

      • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

        Marcy Goodfleisch 

        5 years ago from Planet Earth

        Hey, I might actually be able to do this one! I have a sewing machine that has decided I don't love it anymore. Actually, I'm not sure I ever loved it - we had sort of a wary friendship . . .

        I like the idea of sprucing up a room by adding colorful pillow cases - nice hub!

      • Gypsy48 profile image

        Gypsy48 

        5 years ago

        Now why didn't I think of that! I pulled out my sewing machine from the closet a few months ago and have been making covers for throw pillows . Excellent hub:) Voted up and useful.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Thanks so much for all of your support Carol! This is a quick project when you are just getting back into sewing. Sometimes it's nice to have a quick project instead of something that takes days. I appreciate the comments.

      • carol7777 profile image

        carol stanley 

        5 years ago from Arizona

        I am just getting back into sewing and found this most useful. The pillowcase looks lovely. I am going to bookmark and voting up and of course a big pin.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://feltmagnet.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)