Pillow Fun

I have a fun idea to share with you that is a real hit with my kids.  I make "special occasion" pillowcases for them–one for every holiday imaginable.  One yard of fabric, folded over, is perfectly sized for a pillowcase (you’ll have to trim a little extra off the end)–just use a manufactured pillow case for a pattern.  It takes 15 minutes to whip one out, and I usually use Wal Mart’s seasonal fabric that costs only $2/yard.  Then when the holiday is over, just stick them up in your linen closet to bring out next year.  My kids get so excited when they go up to their bed to find a new holiday pillowcase set out! 

Here, for example, are their St. Patrick’s Day pillowcases:


And here’s a close-up of the fabric:


Finding seasonal fabric for the main holidays is easy, but get creative on the fabric for "minor" holidays (for example, fabric with ships on it for Columbus Day; camouflage for Veteran’s Day).

To take it a step further, here are some more fun applications of this idea:

  • Going on vacation?  Make special vacation pillowcases for the kids in keeping with the theme of your trip (Disney, mountains, beach, etc.).  This will also help prevent leaving pillows behind in hotel rooms!  Over the weekend I made pillowcases out of these three fabrics (in flannel) for our upcoming vacation:


  • If you keep your eye out, you can sometimes locate birthday-themed fabric.  Have a birthday pillowcase that each person gets to use the week of his or her birthday! 
  • Find some fabric you especially love to make a special "You Are Loved" pillowcase, and have only one for the family.  If someone (including grown-ups!) had a rough day, won a special award, or is just generally in need of some extra kudos, what a boost they would get to find the "You Are Loved" pillowcase on their bed after a tough day.
  • If you have boys, good luck with finding Valentine’s Day fabric that they will find suitable.  My boys are convinced that anything pink and heart-covered will give them "girl germs", so we’ve had to skip this holiday….

Just have fun with it!  If you don’t have a reason to celebrate…MAKE ONE!

38 thoughts on “Pillow Fun

  1. Sarah says:

    That is a FABULOUS idea!! Thanks for sharing it! I really like the “you are loved” pillow case — to wrap yourself in family’s love at the end of a bad day, or to continue to bask in the glory of a good day! I always put way too much pressure on myself to applique’, embroider, or other-wise “fancify” something, then never get to it! I can definitely make a simple pillowcase!

  2. Missy says:

    What a great idea! My mom (who is a W-M fabrics dept. manager, btw) makes a lot of pillowcases for my kids. They have a ton of special character pillowcases (princess, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.) (All their sheets are plain and cheap.) They love it! I love the idea of pillowcases for holidays. Time to call Mom!
    My eldest recently sewed her first (Easter!) pillowcase with a needle and thread. It’s so cute. Very crooked, but cute. She is so proud of it.

  3. Lauren says:

    It’s a great idea that I will never implement for my children, but maybe my grandchildren will benefit from your idea. I’ll simply make my daughter learn to sew. Ha!

  4. peach says:

    How darling is that! I love this idea, and I think doable–even for the sewing-challenged like myself. I can sew a straight seam–once I figure out how to thread my machine! I’m always scouring the $1 and $2 tables at WM too, so this will give me good reason to do so.

  5. Christy says:

    Oh my gosh, you are SO clever! I wish I knew how to sew so I could do something like this.
    Think it would work if I just stapled the edges rather than sewing? ::hee::

  6. JD says:

    I was going through your file of Cheap and easy. Love this one and all your quick ideas!! thanks for sharing!!
    LOVE IT!!

  7. Kim from Hiraeth says:

    What a great idea! My boys are 24,21, and 15 so they are a little old to start this, but it will be a good way to start a family tradition that goes beyond the four walls of our house once we start having grandchildren!

  8. GiBee says:

    Oooh! I LOVE this idea! What a fun way to make the holiday or birthday even more special! You are so creative. Thanks for sharing this idea …
    What a great mom you are!

  9. Queen Beth says:

    I think that is about the most creative thing I’ve seen in a long time! I’m gonna do that! (Like I don’t have enough sewing projects anyway!) My kids LOVE stuff like that!!

  10. jenn v says:

    gosh, what did I do before I “met” you. Not only do you fill me up spirtually, but you offer unbelievably fabulous crafty ideas. I love this. I used to quilt, but can’t find the time anymore, so this will satisfy my need for some hands-on crafts and give my child something totally fun!!! yeah, Shannon, you are the best.

  11. Megan says:

    Amazing. So I want to copy this idea and the one of the cute pillows that match the children’s drawings.
    Can you suggest a way to squeeze one extra day into each week? I could do so much with just one extra day…

  12. Emily says:

    shannon, you must be the best mom ever! that’s just so cool. 🙂
    someday i’ll have kids — and i’ll also have a sewing machine (i think by then i’ll be a real grown-up). and i will remember this adorable idea!

  13. chilihead says:

    I made pillow cases for my kids too! Except the first one was about 1/2 the size of the pillow. 😉 And I hadn’t thought of doing seasonal ones! What a fabulous idea! You rock, as always.

  14. Shalee says:

    I so need to learn how to sew. Will it work with fabric glue? I only know how to use that. Hey, the rock didn’t fall far from the tree. My mom didn’t really know either…

  15. flipflop says:

    Neat idea.
    I’m not sure I even have a needle in my house, but I may use your idea for my kids Easter Baskets. Maybe something like Easter Cases.

  16. Shelly says:

    I am so happy to have found your blog. I’m going to place a link to your blog from my blog if it’s OK with you?
    I’m from Oklahoma, too! How neat to have found another sister and neighbor!

  17. Kate says:

    Did anyone tell you recently that you are such a good mom?! Awesome idea! I love special things like this. May have to start my own pillow holiday tradition too 😉

  18. Shannon says:

    Kate, thank you for such a nice compliment, but no, I’m afraid I’m not “such a good mom” so much of the time. I do fun things like pillowcases to, hopefully, smooth over my short temper and lack of housekeeping skills!

  19. Phyllis says:

    You could do craft fairs over long spring weekends and make tons of money… Do you know the mark-up for holiday items?!
    Hope you all have fun at Disney…If you go to the very front of the monorail line and ask the attendant nicely, you can ride with the driver and you’ll get a cool pass that says you are a monorail co-pilot. Sometimes you have to wait for a train or two to pass to get your turn, but it is a fun little side thing if you are not in too big of a hurry. (NOTE**only four are allowed to ride up here, we usually split up) We told the kids that was their “ride” for the day, we get to pick the rest…hee hee

  20. leelee says:

    EXCELLENT idea! I just started making pajama bottoms for my little fella, but he’d totally love the pillow case idea as well! Good tip! Thanks!

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