Sew A Child’s Pillowcase

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.

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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.

More by this Author

Do you think pillowcases would be fun to design and make? 60 comments

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 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

Pamela99 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

Vellur 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 Author


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 Author


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!

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