Christmas, Holiday Sewing Projects

How to Make Cute Pillowcases: 2 Styles, 1 Method

holiday pillowcase santa fabric

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If you are looking for a quick and easy way to add holiday flair to your bedrooms, fun printed pillowcases are definitely the way to go.  It’s amazing just how easy these are to make, and you can really customize them to any space.

I’ve also read about a lot of people who give these as gifts each year to family members.  What a great tradition, don’t you think?  I may have to start that for our granddaughter, and any other kids that come along!



Supplies for Holiday Pillowcases

As I mentioned above, we are going to look at two different methods for making pillowcases.  They really are quite similar.  The only real difference is that one has a trim between the body and the cuff, and the other one doesn’t!  Pretty simple, right?

So for starters, you will need fabric.  Check your stash, your local quilt shop or visit an online shop like Joann or Fat Quarter Shop to find some designs that really work for you and your space.  You can choose prints or solids, or a combination of both.  Keep in mind that if you choose a directional fabric, you may need a little extra.

How much fabric you need depends on your pillow size, as you might have guessed.  You can also adjust for personal preference.  Some people like the case to be quite a bit longer than the pillow, while others prefer a shorter fit.  We will be cutting a for a Queen pillow.



Here is a list of basic sewing supplies that you’ll need for this project:


Want to see how quick and easy these pillowcases are to put together?  Check out my YouTube tutorial here:



Wasn’t that easy?  For full written instructions, keep on reading! 


Pillowcases: Step-by-Step Instructions

These instructions are for a Queen pillow.  Additional cutting sizes are below! Start by cutting your fabrics as follows:

Main fabric (body) – 27″ x 40″
Cuff – 9″ x 40″
Trim – 2″ x 40″

A note about the trim.  This is the optional piece but I think it really adds a polished look to your pillowcases.  The 2″ cut is merely a suggestion – if you would like a wider trim, consider using a piece of a jelly roll.  Or you could have a narrower trim, but I wouldn’t go much smaller than 1 ½”.  If you choose not to use the trim, simply skip that step, as nothing else in the instructions will change.

When cutting your fabric, pay close attention to directional prints.  You may need to cut your fabric in the opposite direction, so if you choose a directional fabric, you’ll want to purchase approximately 1 ¼ yards (1.25 metres).  I wouldn’t suggest a true directional print for the cuff, as you’d be purchasing a lot of fabric for a 9″ strip.

For additional cutting sizes, you’ll cut as follows:

Standard:  22″ x 40″
King: 33″ x 40″
Body: 51″ x 40″

The trim and cuff will still be cut at 2″ and 9″ as above.

Once you have cut your fabric, start by preparing the trim.  Again, if you don’t use the trim, skip to the next step!  

Fold your trim in half with WRONG sides together and press.  Pin this to the top edge of the cuff fabric, with right sides together.  You will be aligning the long edge as shown below:


holiday pillowcase green trim
Align the folded trim with a long edge of the cuff fabric, with right sides together.


Next, pin your body fabric to the cuff, with the trim in between the two pieces.  The body fabric will be right side facing down towards the right side of the cuff.  See the image below.


holiday pillowcase green trim
The body fabric will line up with the edge of the trim and cuff.


Roll up the body fabric as shown.


holiday pillowcase burrito fold
Roll the fabric for the body of the pillowcase tight enough that it won’t get caught in your top team, but loosely enough that you can pull it out.


Wrap the bottom edge of the cuff fabric around the body fabric and pin into place.  Be sure that all top edges are evenly aligned.  This will be the cuff, trim, body and cuff.  You’ll be sewing through five layers if you choose to use the trim.


holiday pillowcase burrito fold
Your fabric really does look like a big Christmas burrito at this point!


Stitch along the top edge using a ¼” to ⅜” seam.  You want to be sure your stitch is wide enough to catch all the layers.

After you have stitched the edges, you get to start pulling your pillowcase out of its cocoon!

holiday pillowcase burrito fold
Reach into the centre and start to gently pull the fabric of the pillowcase body out.


Reach into the “tube” and pull one corner of the body fabric.  Keep pulling until it’s fully right-side out. 


holiday pillowcase burrito fold
Keep pulling!


holiday pillowcase burrito fold
Almost there!


What you’ll see is that your cuff is finished on both sides, and the trim peeks out below.  How cute!  Press your fabric and choose which direction you want your trim to lay – towards the body or the opening.  I prefer mine to lay towards the body of the pillow, but it’s up to you.


holiday pillowcase santa fabric green trim santa cuff
Voila! A finished cuff on both sides!


Next, fold your pillowcase in half with wrong sides together.  We will be stitching with a French seam, which ensures there are no raw edges or loose threads in your pillowcase.


holiday pillowcase santa fabric french seam
Place wrong sides together for your first seam in a French seam.


Line up your cuff and trim and pin them in place.  I like to start at the top of the cuff when stitching to make sure they line up nicely.  Stitch a ¼” seam along the long side of the case and across the bottom.  Press and trim your bottom corner.

Now, turn your pillow case inside out so that your right sides are together.  Following the same stitching line (along the long edge and across the bottom) stitch a ⅜” seam.  Press and turn your pillowcase right side out.


holiday pillowcase santa fabric french seams
Sew another seam at ⅜” to capture all the raw edges of the first seam. This is how easy a French seam is!




And voila, you’re finished!  Just like that, you’ve made an adorable pillowcase that you can use in your own bedroom, a guest room, or to give as a gift. Just think how fast you’ll be able to whip these up for everyone you know!  I’ll be making them for our bedroom, for sure, and our guest room, and as gifts for our daughter’s family.  


holiday pillowcase santa fabric
Isn’t it cute!?


For another great make-ahead project, be sure to check out my Fabric Gift Bags post!



Want to remember this?  Save “How to Make Cute Pillowcases: 2 Styles, 1 Method” to your favourite Pinterest boards!


holiday pillowcase santa fabric


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Hi! I'm Tanya

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