The Sleepover Pillowcase Tutorial

Christie from Lemon Squeezy is here with a tutorial for an adorable and super handy sleepover pillowcase with a secret zipper compartment. Cool!

Thanks Christie! Take it away!

I am thrilled to be here today on Prudent Baby!  Jacinda and Jaime have been a great source of inspiration for me and I thank them for all their time and unique ideas

We visit family and friends often. Sometimes we end up staying late and our kids start to get tired.

If we pack this “sleepover pillowcase” before we leave, the kids can have their favorite toy, and a soft place to lay their head down.

It’s also a great item to bring in the car while traveling long distances close to bedtime.

Or sometimes Grandma and Grandpa have them over for a sleepover. They can stuff their pj’s and favorite blankie into the pillow portion.The button closure will help these things stay in!  Let them pack their favorite stuffed animal or some books in the zippered pocket. With the handle at the top, they are ready to go equipped with everything they need in case they get a little homesick.

(The dimensions used for this pillowcase with the contrasting band around the opening came from the wonderful Dana of MADE.  She has a wonderful, simple pillowcase tutorial you can find here.)

What You’ll Need:

-Two 21” x 26” main fabric (mine is the green argyle)

-Two 21” x 11” coordinating fabric (for top border on pillowcase)

-Two 21” x 18” pieces of fabric (for zippered pocket)

-One 6” x 14” pieces of fabric for the handle

-12” zipper

-2” x 13” fusible interfacing

-1 LARGE button (optional—if you are worried about your child pulling it off and putting it in their mouth, skip this! You can use velcro for a closure instead to be safer)

Take the 6” x 14” piece of fabric for the handle. Fold in half and sew a 1/4” seam.

Turn, moving the seam into the center of the back of the handle, and topstitch each side.

Fold the strap in half and baste to the side of one of the 21” x 26” pieces of fabric, about 1.5” down from the top.

Take the two 21” x 18” of pocket fabric. Mark a line 3” down. Center a piece of fusible interfacing on the line and in the middle of the fabric and iron, following the directions that come with the interfacing.

Place the two pieces of pocket fabric right sides together.  Pin around the interfacing.

Draw a box that measure 1/2” x 12” around the line you already marked 3” down. So the ends are marked in 4.75” from the sides and then 1/2” on either side of the line (the 3” down from the top line).

Sew all along the box you just drew, making sure that you backstitch at the corners.

Insert your seam ripper and cut inside the rectangle as pictured.

Make diagonal cuts at the end, making sure to cut all the way to, but not through, the corners.

Insert one layer of the pocket fabric into the slit, pulling all the way through so it’s on the other side.

It will look like this:

Iron so it lays flat and is even all around the edges.

Place the zipper behind so that you see the top on the side of the pocket you want facing out. You can use a glue stick to help hold it in place (I didn’t and I should have because mine ended up going in a little unevenly!).

Use your zipper foot to sew around the zipper.

Along the top of the pocket, iron down 1/2” towards the inside as pictured below. Alternatively, you could zig-zag or serge the edges, then iron them down 1/4” towards the lining fabric of the pocket.

Place the pocket piece evened up on the edges and bottom of the 21” x 26” with the strap.Pin the pocket along the top and sides, tucking in the top portion of the pocket that you ironed down. If you are worried about getting it even, mark a line onto the main pillowcase that you can follow while “top-stitching” the pocket on.

Topstitch the top of the pocket piece onto the 21” x 26” piece of fabric.

Baste the sides and bottom of the pocket onto the fabric.

Fold one of the 21” x 11” in half, wrong sides together, and iron. Make sure that if you have directional fabric that it will be the right direction when you fold it back up). Line up the unfinished edges along the top. Sew with a 1/2” seam.

Zig-zag stitch or serge the raw edge. Fold back up and topstitch along the seam. Repeat with other 21” x 11” and 21” x 26” pieces of fabric.  Pin the handle down.

Place the two pieces of fabric right sides together. Pin around sides and bottom, leaving the top band open for the pillow.

Sew 1/2” seam around the sides and bottom.

Zig-zag stitch or serge all the raw seams.

If desired, find the center of the band and sew a buttonhole and button on where needed. I wanted to do this so if my kids carried it around they could stuff pj’s, stuffed animals, etc. and they won’t fall out as easily if it was just the big opening.

Flip the pillow onto the non-zippered side (so hair will not get stuck in the zipper) and let your child rest his or her adorable little head.

**Please be careful! Contains small parts. Be aware of the zipper pull and the button.  Little kids should not pull on them and kids under 3 or 4 should not sleep with these!**



Little Treasures

This is a FABULOUS project! I would love to make some for my kids one day )(when I actually find the time)! Thank you for all the tips and instructions! Very clear and elaborate (both in words and pictures)!


this is awesome!, but I'm way intimidated…so I think I will put it on my list of must do…..when I am a more experienced sewer!:) thanks though…it's soooo cool!


This is an awesome tutorial! I need to make one of these for my toddler to take on trips. She gets carsick on car trips longer than about 30 minutes. However, we found that if we can keep her distracted, she's usually ok. This would be perfect because I could change out the little surprises in the zipper pocket to keep her interested!! Thank you for sharing!!


Oh I will have to make this for our next looooong trip to Germany, the zipper is such a good idea, because we are always searching for the special cuddlies that they can't possibly sleep without. Thank you so much for an other of your amazing tutorials.

Taylor {Sew Much Love}

This is such a great idea! My one year old probably wouldn't appreciate this yet….I wonder if my husband would think I'm a total weirdo for having my p.j.s all stuff into one for myself! 😉

What!??! I need an excuse to make one!


LOVE THIS! Great idea. My daughter is always losing her "moneenee" at grandmas house. Awesome way to keep the lovies in one spot. I'm making this right away!


I've seen pj pillows before, and even though they are very cute. . .they wouldn't work for me. Little M loves to collect and hide things. I wouldn't be able to find anything if I provided her with a little secret compartment. your sleep over pillow case is a fabulous idea! I could hide the pillowcase (guess Little M isn't the only hider) until we need it!


I wish that I was young enough for a sleepover still! Or, that the baby was old enough. Not really, I like my baby to stay home with me.

I'm filing this for when he is though!


Love Love Love it….I may just have to get over my sewing fear of zippers just to make this cute.
WE do the pillowcase packing all of the time when we play cards at my friends house and I need to make these! I think it might be a birthday or valentine's day gift! Thanks for sharing…and velcro might work

The Mack Pack

My oldest is having a sleepover at the church here in the next month. It's her first big girl sleepover. This is perfect! I think I'll whip one up and surprise her with it!

Samantha Youngers

I love this. A pillow with pockets and a handle! Such a great idea! You are one smart mama! I think I will do this for my three girls with my Black Friday flannel leftovers. Thanks so much for sharing!


Great idea! I always try to bring pj's if I know we are going to be somewhere late so if the kids fall asleep on the way home we can just put them right in their beds. This would be even better!!


Found this through Ravelry and that is simply awesome. I have 2 small girls and sleepovers are common. Time to hit the sewing machine! Thank you!


Oh this is just lovely!!! My sister and I often trade our girls back and forth overnight so we can have a break. This would be such a great project for them. I can't wait to get into my stash and sew these up!


I think you have the fabric peices mistaken. You say to have the zipper put on the the 21+18 peice but on your picture of it its clearly on the longer piece of fabric 21+26 piece. And the zipper is impossible to sew on. I was going to make several of these as I have 6 grandkids, but this is beyond my expertise I will make my own version with the pieces that are left.


Forget the above, it was in the evening, redid everything and pillow turned out fine. Sorry for the above. Love the the sleepover pillowcase


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