DIY Reading Pillow

My child’s bedtime is precious. Once 7 o’clock hits, without a doubt, it’s been a long day for all of us. He’s tired, we’re tired, and he’s snuggly, which is not the case for the other 23 hours of the day.

Before his nightly bath we always read books as a way to help him wind down. Like most parents, I have a very favorite book to read before bedtime. “I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love” by Nancy Tillman is the kind of book that just resonates with me. We started reading that to him when he was just a few weeks old and he has read it just about daily ever since.

I love giving books as gifts for babies and kids. Today’s tutorial is for a reading pillow – a pillow you can keep on a rocking chair, in a playroom, on a child’s bed, you name it. It has a little pocket to hold that very special bedtime book, and it’s a gift that is really easy to personalize.

Materials needed for this tutorial:

  • Cotton fabric
  • 2 contrasting cotton fabrics
  • Applique paper (Heat’N Bond Lite)
  • Stuffing

I start by cutting two 17″ squares of fabric. Iron, if needed. Out of your first contrasting fabric cut a rectangle 17″ wide X 13″ long.

For the applique, you can really use any design. I typically applique the child’s name or an initial on the pillows pocket, but you can use any design you like.

I usually make a sheet of applique cotton (attach the Heat’N Bond Lite per instructions on the package). Cut out your design.

Take the first contrasting fabric and press with a hot iron. Lay the fabric out (17″ wide). Fold down the top of the fabric, about 1/2″; press. Fold down again the same amount, press. Using your sewing machine, sew along the folded section. Press.

Applique your design onto the pocket. A little tip: Don’t applique anything too close to the edge of the fabric or a corner. When the pillow is stuffed you want the design to be on the flattest part of the pillow, not on the curved edge.

Next you will lay out 1 of the 17″ squares flat, right side facing up. Lay the pocket you’ve just sewn on top of the fabric, lining up the bottom and side edges. Then lay the other 17″ square on top of the pocket, right side facing down.

Pinning along the edges, leave an opening at the top of the pillow about 4- 5 inches long. You will need to leave this opening so you can turn the pillowcase right side out and stuff the pillow.

Stitch along the edge, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn the pillowcase right side out. Stuff the pillow, starting with each of the corners. I find filling the corners before you fill the rest of the pillow saves time in the long run.

Once it’s stuffed, add a bit of extra stuffing inside the open edge. Pin. Stitch by hand.

Once you’ve finished stitching, put a sweet book in the pillow and it’s ready to gift!

This is another one I did a few months back.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! This pillow takes about an hour to make and it’s a very sweet gift for your favorite bookworm!

Heather

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