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Easy, Inexpensive Pillowcases

My husband and I each like to sleep with two pillows.  So on our bed we have two king size pillows and two regular size pillows.  Most sheet sets only come with one set of standard size pillow cases.  Rather than buy cases for the king size pillows, I sew them. 

Pillowcases are quick and easy to make.  If you can sew a straight line, you can sew a pillowcase.

For a king size pillow case you will need 2.5 Yards of 45 inch wide 100% Cotton Fabric in a print or solid of your choice.  (You actually only need 85 inches but I like to buy a few inches extra to allow for squaring up the fabric and possible shrinkage during washing.)

I chose this pretty floral. 


Pre-shrink fabric by washing and drying it at the temperature that you usually use when washing sheets.

Next you’ll need to square up your fabric.   Cut a small slit in the selvedge edge, pull one thread out all the way across fabric.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get it all in one pull but more likely the thread will break.  Not to worry, simply cut along the line made by the pulled thread until you get to the point where the thread broke, draw up another thread and continue across the fabric until you reach the other selvedge edge.


Now, measure 42.5 inches from this straight edge down along the selvedge edge.  Mark and cut slit as when you did to square up fabric.  Draw thread all the way across, cutting as you go. 

Trim off 1/2″ selvedges.  This will give you a piece of fabric 44″ X 42.5″.  Repeat for second pillowcase. 

Fold in half; wrong sides facing.  You should have a 22″ x 42.5″ rectangle.  Pin. 

Sew bottom and side seams, removing pins as you go. 

I used a serger to complete this step.  But if you don’t have a serger, sew seams together using a straight stitch then zigzag edges together.  Trim seam close to zigzag stitching.


Press side seam to one side as far down as possible.

Fold under ½ inch on open end of pillowcase.   Press.


Fold down 4 inches for hem.  Pin and press. (Note: do not press over pins)


Sew close to pressed edge using a straight stitch, removing pins as you go. 

To create a more polished, professional look: sew a second line of stitching approx 1/8 inch from first line of stitching.


Turn right side out and press. 

Repeat the above steps to make a second pillowcase.

Here’s the finished set of king size pillowcases:
Not only do these match my decor, they were inexpensive to make.  The fabric was regularly $5.99 per yard but I got it on sale for half price.   So for $7.50, I have brand new pillowcases; a fraction of the price it would cost me to buy them premade.
Other options I used in the past:
1.  Top sheets from sets where the fitted sheet has worn out.
2.  Vintage sheets purchased at thrift stores or yard sales.  A twin sheet has more than enough fabric.  When using sheets, I will often make use of the hemmed edge at the top of the sheet.  So for these pillowcases, I would measure two rectangles,  22 inches by 77.5 with the short side on the top edge of the sheet.  Hem the unfinished short side, by folding under ½ inch, press.  Fold under 1 inch, pin, press and sew.  Fold in half with wrong sides together and sew side seams.  Turn right side out, press. 


Even if you’re just beginning to learn to sew, I encourage you to give sewing pillowcases a try.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. 

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