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Sew A Child’s Pillowcase

Updated on May 16, 2017
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Robertatalloni means creativity. Whether in writing, or in more typical art forms, artistry (and a bit of fun) must be part of the work.

A child's  pillowcase is a simple "I love you" project!
A child's pillowcase is a simple "I love you" project! | Source

Make a Special Pillowcase for a Child

Sewing a child’s pillowcase is an easy way to say, “You’re special to me!” Learn about choosing the right fabric, think through how to measure and make the pillowcase, and see some ideas on giving it in this hub for a beginner's sewing project. You can create a fun gift!

Tips to Consider Before Beginning the Project:

The fabric(s) should be machine washed and dried, then ironed, before cutting the pillowcase out.

Pay attention to the print’s direction before you cut and assemble a pillowcase.

Gather fabric(s) and sewing supplies ahead of time.

Set aside more time than you expect to need for making the first pillowcase. This is an approximately 1 hour project for the average seamstress.

When you finish early take pictures of your project, relax, and have a cup of tea.

Combining Prints!

Kids love fabrics with bright prints!
Kids love fabrics with bright prints! | Source

Fabric Choices

A high quality woven cotton is the best fabric choice for pillowcases. It breathes and does not stifle or scratch tender skin like a synthetic fabric will.

Kid print cottons are always a winner for children, but don’t throw out ideas for other fabric prints such as those with nature, geometric, and hobby designs woven in or printed on them.

Consider using two different prints to add interest to your project. I used a bright traffic sign print that most boys would enjoy along with a bold red and white striped design. The available choices are amazing--and fun to ponder!

Cutting Out the Pillowcase

Decide what size pillowcase you want to make.

• Standard size pillow is 20” wide x 26” long.

• Queen size pillow is 20” wide x 30” long.

• King size pillow is 20” wide x 36” long.

For a simple pillowcase made from one piece of fabric you would add 9” to the length and 1” to the width. To make a pillowcase with an added band for the hem you would need to add 1” to the length and 1” to the width, then cut out a 10” wide band that is 2 times wider than the pillowcase width.

Pillowcase cut at 21" wide (on fold) x 27" long, with band cut at 10" wide x 21" long (on fold).
Pillowcase cut at 21" wide (on fold) x 27" long, with band cut at 10" wide x 21" long (on fold). | Source

I made a standard size pillow case with a band from contrasting fabric. After ironing the fabric I folded the sign fabric (main piece) and striped fabric (band piece) in half, wrong side out.

I did not make a pattern, though that might make the process easier for beginners. A factory made pillowcase can be an easy guide for making a pattern.

Because the project was just two rectangles I simply marked the measurements directly on to the folded fabric. The sign fabric needed to be marked at 21” wide (on fold) x 27” long, and the striped fabric needed to be 10” wide by 21” long (on fold).

Note--if you do not make a pattern recheck the measurements after you mark the fabric for cutting because the age-old carpenter’s rule applies to sewing. Measure twice, cut once!

Once the rectangle(s) are cut out it’s time to pin and sew the pillowcase.

Assembling the Pillowcase

Pin side and bottom edges together for sewing.

If your pillowcase is a one piece rectangle and you are not applying a complementary band you need to sew a 1/4” seam along the bottom and side seams, making a nice neat corner. Then hem the pillowcase opening by folding and pressing 1/2”, then repeating so you can machine stitch along the edged of the inside fold.

Pinning the band to the casing.
Pinning the band to the casing. | Source
Stripes need to be lined up carefully.
Stripes need to be lined up carefully. | Source

After sewing the side and bottom seams of my pillowcase as above, I sewed the ends of my band together. Then I pinned the band to the pillowcase opening. After stitching with a 1/2” seam I pressed the sewn edges toward the band.

Pressing the band’s opposite edge down 1/2”, then pinning that folded edge to the seam that held the band to the pillowcase allowed me to finish the hem neatly with machine stitches. (See photos.)

Don’t you think that designing and making a pillowcase like this is an easy, useful, and happy sewing project? Imagine all the ways you could dress one up for a child to enjoy!

Finished pillowcase with a striking striped band will hopefully bring smiles to a little boy's heart.
Finished pillowcase with a striking striped band will hopefully bring smiles to a little boy's heart. | Source

Why Make a Kid’s Pillowcase?

I made this fun pillowcase for our grandson and tucked it inside his sister’s birthday box (with a few other small things) so he would know we are always thinking of him.

However, it’s not necessary to have an excuse or an occasion to create a project like this because any time is a very good time to let them know we love them!

For less than $7 this gift makes a big statement to my little grandson. I used it as wrapping for some boy stuff and such, but it could just as well be used as a gift bag to hold a larger present or some matching jammies.

If you come up with a new idea for making and gifting this pillowcase sewing project please let us hear about it! Leave it in the comments below or maybe write your own hub so we can see what you've done.

Do you think you will make this project?

See results

A No-Sewing Project

Other Creative Project Hubs:

Sewing is one craft among many that can provide you with a creative outlet as well as produce useful items:

Children's tee shirt projects are fun stuff.

Sew up some decorative fabric throw pillow slip covers.

Make a gift bag to be used as a tote bag by the recipient.

Make the most use of fleece blankets in the easiest way!

You can make a denim skirt bag to use or give.

This toy project can lead to sewing projects… :)

Tips for Sewing with a Pattern:

Easy Sewing Projects

If you want to practice beginner sewing skills check out the following:

• How to make a pillowcase.

• Check out this 4-H Book for teaching kids to sew.

Do you think pillowcases would be fun to design and make?

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      My mother made some very special pillow cases for my child. I still have them today even though he is grown and out of the home. Thanks for reminding me of how much a simple gift like this means so much.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      This is an adorable idea if you have young children or grandchildren. Children get so excited about this type of gift. Useful also.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      This is a great idea. The instructions are easy to follow, thanks for sharing.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      Thank you very much for sharing your input here. How precious that you still have the pillowcases your mom made. A simple gift, yes, but a cherished display of her heart for her grandson that you can hold in your hands today!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      Little ones really can be delightfully appreciative about small things, can't they? They could teach grownups a lot if we would listen!

      Thanks bunches for letting me know you like this project!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      I love this.. it such a great gift idea. I could see making one or a few of these for my 4 year old son, Devin or even my older kids. I appreciate your easy instructions and photos. I think maybe I'll do one for each of the kids for Christmas this year. It's easy and inexpensive yet such a special gift. Thank you for sharing this, voting up!!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      Thanks for your input on this hub! I'm glad to know the instructions are clear and that you like the idea!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Jamie Brock:

      Thanks very much for letting me know you like this pillowcase idea and that you plan to make some. I'm thinking about how cute they would be in prints for every holiday! Hope we get to see some of your designs. :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I've wanted to do this for a long time. I haven't done any sewing before but have always had a desire to learn. I think a pillow case would be a good place to start. I also want to make pillow covers do I'm going on over to your other hub and learn how to do that. could just come visit me here in Nashville, Tn. and we could have a sewing party!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      Thanks for letting me know this encouraged you to try sewing. This is a very easy beginner's project.

      Nashville's not far…I could give you sewing lessons and you could give me web-writing lessons. :)

      I want to post a different method for making pillowcases soon, but have a few other writing/other projects to wrap up first. One method is as easy as the other, but there are a couple of reasons for knowing both. The bottom line is--you can do it! :)

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub about child pillowcase. I still keep my pillow cases since I was kid until now. It has great memory. Thanks for writing and share with us.

      Best wishes, Prasetio

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      My friend does this for her grandchildren. They love it. I don't have little ones around to make them for. Hopeful a great-grandchild one day. Voted up enjoyed your hub.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      Thank you for stopping in with your affirming input on this pillowcase project!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      Thanks bunches for letting me know of your friend's grandchildren's response to the pillowcases she makes for them! Maybe you can make some pillowcases up ahead of time--in anticipation of great-grandchildren. :)

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Voting up! This is a great pattern with nice, easy-to-follow instructions. I love the idea of making customized pillowcases for children. So much more personal for them than the selections offered in stores.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      Thanks very much for all of your input on this pillowcase project! They really are a great way to give a child a little extra hug. :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      RTalloni....This is cute cute. My sister is the semastress in our family but I think I might be able to do this. Your directions are so well described that I may be able to make one for both of my grandsons. Thanks for sharing this with us. Congrats on HOTD.

      Pinned and voted up.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      Wow--I had not even noticed the Hub of the Day award until I read your comment--thanks!

      It's so good to know this pillowcase hub is useful. You can do it, and they are fun sewing projects because they are easy and you get to design them for special little ones. Thank you for all your input here!

    • leahlefler profile image

      leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

      This is great! My older son loves Star Wars, and our local fabric store has some Jedi fabric in stock. I can make him a cute little bedding set, thanks to your hub! I love this, RTalloni! And congratulations on HOTD!

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      What a cute idea and you make it look possible! There are many different pattern options for my boys. Congratulations on HOTD!!

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