How to Make a Pillow Case

Written by ehow hobbies, games & toys editor
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A sewing project that is easy and fun to do is to make a pillowcase. Even if you're new to sewing or have years of experience, you'll enjoy making a pillowcase in many different fabrics and material designs. Handmade pillowcases are also wonderful gifts for all occasions. The following directions are for a set of two pillowcases.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Fabric 45 inches wide - 2 yards standard, 2 1/4 yards queen, 2 ½ yards king
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Straight pins
  • Large sewing ruler or yardstick
  • Fabric marking pencil
  • Iron
  • Lace or satin ribbon (optional)

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  1. 1

    Decide on the pillowcase size that you want to make, and purchase the fabric and matching thread.

  2. 2

    Measure and cut the correct amount of fabric for the size pillowcase you are making. See "Tips" for the size fabric pieces you'll need for your pillowcase project.

  3. 3

    Fold the fabric piece in half lengthwise, with the finished side of the fabric on the inside. You will now have a long piece of folded fabric.

  4. 4

    Sew the fabric together along the long side and on one of the short ends. Turn the pillowcase so the right side is now facing out.

  5. 5

    Use a zigzag or serge stitch around the entire open end of the fabric to stop the edges from fraying. Make sure not to sew the top of the pillowcase closed.

  6. 6

    Make a ½-inch hem on the open side of the pillowcase, by folding the fabric down toward the inside of the pillowcase. Iron the hem flat and sew a straight stitch to keep the hem in place.

  7. 7

    Pin a four-inch hem that you have folded down toward the inside of the pillowcase. Sew around the bottom edge of the pillowcase, using top stitching, which is also called a straight stitch. Add lace or satin ribbon over the hem stitching if desired.

Tips and warnings

  • A standard size pillow case measures 21 by 32 inches. For one set of pillow cases, you will need two yards of fabric that is 45 inches wide.
  • A queen size pillow case measures 21 by 36 inches. For one set of pillow cases, you will need 2 1/4 yards of 45 inch wide fabric.
  • A king size pillow case measures 21 by 42 inches. For a set of pillowcases you will need 2 ½ yards of fabric that is 45 inches wide.
  • It is much easier to sew if you take the time to iron the hems.
  • Remember to always end your sewing with a backstitch.
  • Try to use natural fabrics for pillow cases, such as cotton, silk, or linen. These fabrics will feel better then rayon or polyester.
  • A nice personal touch to add to your pillow case is embroidery or applique. Sew this over the hem on the finished lippow case.
  • If you purchase fabric that think will shrink when washed, , buy a little more then you need and wash it before you make the pillow case. This will preshrink the material.
  • Always be very careful when using a hot iron.

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