by Dana on July 6, 2008

Making pillowcases are fun, fast, and very easy to do. It’s a great project for beginners and kids!

Craft Hope is teaming up with ConKerr Caner this month to make pillowcases for terminally ill children. ConKerr has succeeded in delivering 225,000 bright and cheery pillowcases up to this date. But they can still use many many more.

So, get together with your friends, craft group, as a family, or by yourself and let’s make pillowcases! This very easy tutorial will walk you through the steps.

Here’s the breakdown of fabric measurements and needs. Click on the image to enlarge:
Pillowcases are a great way to clean out your fabric stash. But don’t fret if you have scraps of fabric that are a bit too short for the pattern. You can improvise and adjust the border or pillowcase pieces to fit the amount of fabric scraps you have, as long as the finished measurements are those of a standard-sized pillowcase (appx 20×31 inches). Okay, let’s get started!

1. Grab two interesting fabrics. Pre-wash, dry, and iron them.
2. Fold both fabrics in half so that it’s easier to cut rectangles.

For the Pillowcase piece: Cut a FOLDED rectangle that’s 20.5 by 26 inches, which means you have two layers of 20.5 by 26 and a fold down one side (this will end up being 41 x 26, as listed in the pattern above when you unfold it)
For the Border piece: Cut a FOLDED rectangle that’s 20.5 x 11 inches, which means you have two layers of 20.5 by 11 and a fold down one side (this will end up being 41 x 11, as listed in the the pattern above when you unfold it)
3. Fold the Border piece in half, lengthwise, and iron down the fold. You now have a long strip that’s 41x 5.5 inches.
4. Match up the raw edges of your Border strip with the right side of the Pillowcase piece, and pin the two pieces together:
5. Sew the Border Piece to the Pillowcase, using a 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch seam allowance:
6. If you have a serger, serge off the seams. If you don’t have a serger, zigzag the edges or leave them raw (serging and zigzagging strengthens your seams and keeps the fabric from fraying over time).
7. Iron the seam. Always iron out your seams. Your work will look more professional and less homemade.
8. Add a top stitch, about 1/8 inch over from your seam edge. This is optional but it adds extra strength to the seam and a decorative look.
9. With right sides of the fabric together, match up the sides and bottom of the pillowcase and pin them together:
10. Sew all the way down the Pillowcase side:
When you get to the end corner, keep your needle in place, lift your presser foot, and rotate your fabric to sew all the way across the bottom:
12. Serge off your seam, zigzag, or leave the edges raw:
12. Turn the pillowcase inside out, making sure to push the corners out all the way:
13. Iron the seams flat:
You’re done! One easy pillowcase; one fun looking pillow.
And now that you’ve made one, hmmm…..make 9 more!
Be as colorful as you’d like.
And when you’ve got a stack ready, contact the Conkerr Cancer rep in your area. You’ll can find a directory HERE.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynnae March 23, 2012 at 1:51 am

Guess what I found on Pinterest – here is a beautiful illustrated copy of the instructions for you. I will try to follow it and make some. Love you, Ellie


2 Heather Carroll August 14, 2012 at 9:58 pm

hank you so much for this. My 8 year old took a sewing class and learned how to make pillow cases. We borrowed a sewing machine from a friend so she could make one as a birthday gift for someone and then couldn’t remember how to do it. I don’t sew, never have, so was at a total loss in how to help her. This tutorial saved the day.


3 Jayla Pace August 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm

This tutorial was great. I made a pillowcase in less than an hour. I love it. Fit my pillow perfectly. Thanks. Now, I’m going to make up as many as I can and take them to the Lady Of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, La. Thank you again.



4 Heather August 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Thanks for the great tutorial. I am featuring this as my Saturday Project this week at The Organized Wife.


5 Mary Jane September 1, 2012 at 8:31 am

This is a fabulous tutorial! I can’t wait to get started! Thanks!


6 Susan September 2, 2012 at 2:07 am

Thanks for making it so easy and painless!


7 Carolyn Thornley October 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I’ve made 18 pillowcases for Christmas gifts this year and had so much fun picking out great patterns and colors….a very fun project..Thanks!


8 Jill November 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Thanks for the awesome tutorial! I just made my first pillowcase and I LOVE it! It’s for my 2012 craft it forward that I still hadn’t done! My sister in law will love it. Now to get more fabric and make many, many more! Thanks!!!


9 Nikki December 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I love this tutorial! We’re having a very handmade Christmas this year and I’ve made one each for my son and daughter today. Thanks so much for the great instructions and LOTS OF PHOTOS :)


10 Lex December 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

Thanks. My daughter wants to make a pillowcase for her big brother for Christmas. It will also serve as a gift bag. I think these directions will suit her and I perfectly. Thanks!


11 Beautifully Misunderstood January 6, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I received a sewing machine for Christmas and I was looking for an easy project as NOT to waste this amazing gift. Thank you for these simple instructions and pictures for me to follow…


12 Lu Jergins February 9, 2013 at 11:50 am

I have made pillow cases for many years. I make regular, queen and king. I make most of mine with nylon tricot and lace because that is what my family likes. I have a large family and someone is always saying,”I need pillow cases”. I wish more people learned to sew. It is becoming a lost art.


13 Angela April 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm

I just made my first set of pillowcases using your instructions. Thanks!


14 Lisa April 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Just made my first pillow cases. I can’t wait to make a few more sets as gifts! Thanks for the great instructions! They are so easy to follow!


15 Dona Reynolds June 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Thank you for these wonderful instructions. Going to teach my granddaughters to make them for the group here in Spokane WA.



16 Brandi D. June 7, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I love this tutorial but I am assuming its for standard sized pillows. Can you adjust it for king sized pillows? If so, what would e dimensions and yardage of fabric need tone? Thanks!!


17 Rebecca November 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Such a simple pattern, but so effective. I just made a pair of pillowcases in a few spare hours, much to my daughters’ delight. Now I have to make some for her friends :)


18 Melissa Bell December 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm

On the day the my (then) 12 month old daughter was diagnosed with cancer, she was give a handmade pillowcase. It was pink with leopard print. It was such a sweet gift at such a terrible time. She is now 3 1/2 yo, and she is cancer free. This is a beautiful cause. I got a new sewing machine yesterday, so I might try to make a few of these myself!!! Thanks for sharing!


19 Karen C February 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm

A very well done tutorial! Easy to follow for this beginner sewer, and my pillowcase was done in just under an hour. Thank you!


20 Julie April 19, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Thanks for the terrific tutorial. I made two this week and they turned out great. Out of curiosity I made another one using the “magic” pillowcase method for another and I thought this was easier and I was more pleased with the end result. Thanks!


21 Laurel May 18, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Best tutorial I have found! I am new to sewing and this broke it down in a way that was easy for me to understand.


22 Diane July 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm

I have made several for my son over the years. I just use a yard for a regular pillow and 1.5 for a king size. As I make them for my friend also. Then you just sew the side the bottom. Turn over iron 1/4 inch, and then down 3 inches and iron it down and sew it. I like using flannel and I have used cotton, but I would love to try fleece next.


23 Yucca Ann August 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm

I love this pattern & can’t wait to make some.


24 Megan December 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm

I made one of these last night for a Christmas present. I had my children draw a few pictures onto some fabric so that I could make it extra special for a friend who is travelling for the next few years. Once I read through the instructions a few times I found your instructions really easy to follow. Can’t wait to wrap it and gift it to our loved one. Merry Christmas :)


25 Kim Gaynor February 2, 2015 at 2:47 pm

Thanks for the detailed instructions! I am teaching myself how to sew again after 30+ years! I thought you might like to know that I pinned your blog post. You also might like to know about a vintage fabric giveaway I’m hosting on my blog: http://livingvintageco.com/2015/02/sewing-ideas-using-vintage-linens-giveaway/.


26 Karen May 9, 2015 at 5:13 pm

This is so much easier than the new “roll into a tube” type pillowcases. This I understand! Thanks so much.


27 norma January 1, 2016 at 4:01 pm

question, your measurement says 1/3 yard 11×41 1/3 of a yard is 12 inches and the 3/4 says 26×41 but 3/4 of yard is 27 inches? if i go by the correct measurements will it mess up the pillow case


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