One of the hobbies I successfully started in 2015 was sewing. For Christmas last year, my mother-in-law gifted me a Brother sewing machine and I took to pretty much immediately. I’ve sewn skirts, place mats, quilts, but my first project was a simple pillow case. I bought a simple kit from a sewing store that taught me how to make a travel-sized pillow case. A person only needs so many travel sized pillow cases, so eventually I broke away from the script and started making pillow cases for the regular sized pillows in my house. To my surprise, once I got the hang of it, it really only took me about 20 minutes from start to finish to sew a pillow case!
DIY Pillow Case Supplies
- Sewing Machine
- Ironing Board
If you’re really proficient at hand sewing, maybe you don’t need a machine for this. It’s that simple… but it would take these inept hands forever to do it, so if you want it done in 20 minutes, maybe stick with the machine.
The fabric you’ll need will vary, but I think for most standard pillow cases you can get by with 3/4 yard of your main fabric and 1/2 yard for your header fabric. I like all of the fabrics to be different colors, but the choice is up to you! I just err on the side of color, it seems.
DIY Pillow Case Instructions
1 | Measure Pillow
Before you begin, you’ll want to measure your pillow. Measure all the way around your pillow (the girth of your pillow). This measurement is very important because this will determine how well your pillow case fits. Add 4 or 5 inches to that measurement. This will be length of fabric you’ll need.
For example, if you’re wanting to make a case for a very large pillow and it measured 40 inches, you’ll want to account for 45 inches of fabric. Most bolts of fabric are 40-50 inches long, so make sure your check the bolt before you purchase if you have a large pillow to case.
My pillow was 28 inches around, so I cut a length of fabric 33 inches long.
Next you’ll want to measure the length of your pillow. You want your main fabric to be 4 inches longer than your pillow measurement and your header should be at least 10 inches. My pillow was 20 inches long. I wanted my main fabric to cover most of my pillow, so I cut the main fabric 33 inches (from first measurement) x 24 inches. I made the header 33 inches x 10 inches (because it will be halved later), which yielded a length of 34 inches. Not all of this will be seen as length, though. Remember that your pillow isn’t flat (hopefully), so some of that length will be taken up by width of your pillow.
Be sure to measure twice, cut once!
2 | Sewing The Pillow Case
After you’ve cut your fabric, it’s time to sew! Fold the main body of the pillow case in half, right sides together. Sew the long cut edge, and one of the side edges.
Then fold the header in half longways, right sides together. Match the short ends and sew across. This will make a sort of circle with the fabric.
Press all of the seams. Now fold your header in half with right sides out and mark the quarter points with pins. This was the most confusing part to me when I made my first pillow case. Basically you want to mark your seam, then with the header folded right in half, you want to mark the complete opposite side with a pin. Then fold it in half and mark where the half came together on both sides. Do the same for the raw edges left on your main body. You’re finding the center parts. By marking these, you’ll be certain that your pillow case will come together nicely because you’ll be able to line up “centers” of each piece.
Now you’ll want to place your header inside the main body of the pillow case and align the raw edges. The main body should be inside out and your header should be right side out, but the seam should be facing in. Align all of your quarter pins and pin the two pieces together. Sew around the opening.
Voila! A super simple, 20 minute pillow case. Whip up one today. This super easy sew 20 minute pillow case is perfect for children or beginner seamstresses. Disclaimer: Finished pillow cases don’t always yield adorable puppies… but adorable puppies do tend to love finished pillow cases.
Check out my other sewing tutorials:
Easy Beginner Quilt Topper
How to Finish a Self Binding Quilt
Let’s chat. Tell me something that you’ve always wanted to make.