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Kids Craft Series: Custom Pillowcase for Kids

Pillowcases are one of those things that are often a second thought. However, one pillowcase can bring a lot of joy to a child, and adults too. However, children in particular, when they have that one thing they made or contributed to, is a huge deal. 

Having your children make pillowcases for themselves or to donate can help them build skills while staying entertained. It helps improve dexterity, builds confidence in decision making, and reinforces their ability to complete a project. 

Finally, there’s that unmatched sense of accomplishment from taking on a challenge and succeeding. 

Materials:

  • Fun fabric  - 1 – 1.5 yards
  • Sewing machine

Sizing:

Standard size pillowcases are 20”x26.”

Basic Pillowcase Method

  1. This method uses one yard of fabric. 
  2. Cut  fabric to 41-inches by 31-inches
  3. Fold the edge of the 41-inch side down by 1/2-inch with the right side down.
  4. Press the edge, and fold over another 4-inches, press again.
  5. Sew the 4-inch flap down with a 1/4-inch seam.
  6. Fold the entire fabric “hamburger” style, so that the 41-inch edge is folded in half. 

At this point, you should have your “wrong” sides together, which seems wonky. Nonetheless, that’s how we’re going to make a beautiful French seam. 

Sew across the raw edges, and leave the end with the fold you made, open. Use a 1/4-inch seam allowance. So, you have a pillowcase shape, but it’s looking a little raggedy. Clip the one corner with the raw edges and snip about 1/8-inch off the raw edges. 

Turn everything, press it (very important!), and sew along that same edge again. Then turn again, and you have perfect French seams! 

Burrito Method – Or the Tri-Color Pillow Case

If you do choose to donate pillowcases, you can look to a few different resources. Given the current health concerns, you may need to hold onto them for a while, but children’s hospitals will often accept pillowcase donations. Outside of local children’s hospitals, there is the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge and Ryan’s Case for Smiles. Local or national, charities are usually happy to accept donations. 

By donating a pillowcase, your child learns the valuable lesson of selfless acts and giving to those in need, while getting the chance to be creative. Try using the Burrito Method below to create a pillowcase to donate.

Materials for this will be slightly different because you’re using more than one fabric:

  • 1 – 3/4 yard fabric cut (pillowcase)
  • 1 – 1/4 yard fabric cut (cuff)
  • 1 – 1/4 yard fabric cut (trim)

Cut each fabric as follows:

  • Main section – 41-inches x 23-inches
  • Cuff fabric – 41-inches x 9-inches
  • Trim – 41-inches x 2-inches

Steps:

  1. Fold the “wrong” sides of the trim together lengthwise and press
  2. Pin the folded trim to the cuff piece with both fabrics showing their right sides
  3. Sandwich the trim between the cuff (right side up) and main fabric (right side down)
  4. Pin all those layers together
  5. Roll your main fabric up (it should look more like a taquito or a Taki at this point)
  6. Roll your cuff around the main fabric roll and re-pin (now it’s a burrito)
  7. Sew all edges together with a 1/2-inch seam 
  8. From the “inside” of the burrito, pull the fabric out. 
    1. The cuff will magically turn itself. 
  9. Iron flat
  10. Fold the pillowcase over so that the 41-inch long side is folded in half. 
  11. Sew a 1/4-inch seam along the raw edges, leaving the cuffed edge open. 
  12. Clip the sewn over the corner and trim 1/8-inch off the raw edges (It’s that fancy French seam again!)
  13. Turn and sew again.
  14. Turn, and you’re done! 

With the tricolor pillowcase, you can, of course, always use the same fabric and simply cut it into smaller pieces. These do resemble more "professional" pillowcases and are fun to make. 

However, if your kids are new to sewing, it's best to practice with the simple method. Hey, they're already learning to use a sewing machine and complete French seams! That's quite a feat! 

Once you've finished your pillowcase, be sure to share it with us on Instagram! We'd love to see what fun pillowcases you were able to make.


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