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Travel-Sized Pillowcase (with Minky edge)

So excited that Kristin from Grandma’s Chalkboard is here again today, sharing these darling Travel-Sized Pillowcases.  So perfect for traveling…or to keep around for the little ones who live in your house!


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With summer just around the corner, my little family is super excited! We look forward to summer all year round, with my kids lamenting all winter long that summer will never come. But, it does, and, it’s almost here!
For our family, the summer season brings a lot of camping, traveling, and road trips. And when I think of traveling, I am reminded of how much fun it is trying to pack what seems like all our earthly possessions into our vehicle. Haha, I actually do like packing…it’s like a puzzle, just waiting to be solved!

But, to help out this year, I’m making everyone a travel-sized pillow, to make room for other important things we need to take (like the kitchen sink! Ha!)

And don’t think you can get off the hook by making just one of these…everyone in the family is going to want one!




And there’s really no reason not to whip up a handful, because they are so fun and easy!



A simple cotton case with a great minky trim.  Nothing better!




Let’s make some!
For a travel-sized pillowcase made to fit a 12 by 16 inch pillow, you’ll need:
  • 1/2 yard cotton fabric for the main body of the pillowcase
  • 1/3 yard minky fabric for the edge (Because Minky is 60 inches wide, you’ll have enough length for 2 pillowcases.)
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To start, you’ll need to make sure you pre-wash your cotton fabric because the cotton fabric shrinks a little and the minky doesn’t. If you’ve never sewn with minky before, this is a great project to learn on. Minky is a super soft polyester fabric that is actually fairly easy to sew if you take a few extra seconds when preparing your project.
After you’ve pre-washed (and dried) your cotton fabric, you’re ready to cut. I made my travel pillowcases to fit on a 12 by 16 inch pillow form. Some travel pillowcases are a little bigger, so here’s an easy formula to determine your measurements.  Add 1 1/2 inches to the height of the pillow form and subtract 1 inch from the length. 
So, for my pillow form of 12 by 16 inches, I cut two pieces from the cotton fabric, each measuring 13 1/2 inches by 15 inches.
For the minky edge, cut a long strip that measures 9 inches wide by 26 1/2 inches long.



With right sides together, sew the two cotton pieces together.



Finish off the edge with a serger or a zig zag stitch.



Open up and press the seam flat. Now, lay the minky down lengthwise, right side up, and place the cotton fabric on top, also right side up.



Start rolling the cotton fabric up from the bottom until you can only see about 4 inches of the cotton fabric.
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Fold the minky over the cotton fabric, lining up all three layers. Keep the rolled fabric out of the way…you only want to catch in one layer of the main fabric. Now, carefully pin the ‘sandwich’ together.
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Pin all the way to the edge, every inch, doing your best to keep the minky from shifting as you go. Head over to your sewing machine and you are going to sew the edge you just pinned. If you have a walking foot, it will help the layers feed through your machine evenly.



My sewing machine is a fairly simple machine, but it came with a walking foot. If yours doesn’t have one, that’s okay! You can sew it with a regular foot, just be patient.
You’ll want to use a 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch seam allowance as you sew, and watch the bottom layer of minky to keep it flat. Minky does tend to curl so go nice and slow. My machine manual recommends not backstitching when using a walking foot, so I set the stitches at the beginning and end with a few tiny forward stitches. I stitched the rest of the seam with a regular length stitch.
Now, reach into the tube and gently pull out the cotton fabric. And just like that, you’ve added a beautiful edge to your pillowcase!
Fold the pillowcase in half, lining up the edges. Using your standard sewing machine foot, sew along the back and bottom and then serge or zig zag stitch to finish off the edge. A little tip here: sewing through 4 layers of minky might be hard for your machine. Help your machine by pulling the fabric from the back and by sewing quickly. Otherwise, your machine may decide to be finicky!
Turn right side out, and iron out any wrinkles! Don’t iron on the minky, though. Unless you want to buy a new iron. :) Minky melts.
You are done! Slide a pillow into your new pillowcase, and admire your work. Be prepared to make a few more if your kids see it. Kids seem to be minky magnets!
Thanks for letting me share this project with you! If you haven’t tried sewing with minky yet, put it on your list…you’ll be glad you did!
Check out Kristin’s blog, her darling shop, her Facebook page, and her Pinterest boards.
Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
Travel-sized pillowcase (with minky edge)
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  1. Kiersten says:

    I just made 2 of these for our 2-week, 4000 mile road trip this summer. My kids are going to love them! Thanks for the great tutorial! The only confusing thing about the tutorial was I wasn’t sure which side to sew together in the beginning, but in the pictures, it looked like the long side. Luckily I was right!

  2. GM Terrie says:

    Hi Kristin,

    Your attention to detail makes this a ‘wowzer’ project! I have made similar pillows in the past, yet, the minky edging is so great. My preference for the main body fabric is flannel. It is soft, absorbent, and weather friendly. 100% cotton flannel is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. That’s why folks love it for sheets. No wrinkles to show is nice, too.

    Love the handle idea, as well as the piece of velcro to keep the end closed; never know when the kiddos pick up the wrong end.

    Thank you so much for sharing your terrific ideas and skills with us!

  3. Jennifer says:

    This is great. The prefect size for camping or sleep overs. Thanks Kristin!

  4. pateiwah says:

    my late husband was career military, we traveled alot. I found one ‘pillow’ really useful, a paper towel roll, with wrapper off, shoved into a knee hi,and the cardboard center tube removed. you pull towels as needed from the center, keeps the pretty travel pillow cases nice. one thing I would add, would be pocket in the pillow for valuables, even a zipper so the center of the pillow would hold what you want to hide and the filling would mask the contents. with the zipper toward the bottom of the pillow case, and of course the handle another person mentioned,~ genius.

  5. Tara says:

    Those are adorable! Any chance you can give us the source for that cute unicorn fabric?

    1. Kristin says:

      Ah, thanks, Tara! The fabric is ‘Michael Miller Happy Tones Rainbows & Unicorns Princess.’ I bought it from but you could check out Etsy as an alternate source. :)

  6. Amy says:

    I had a question about those walmart pillows and I just want to make sure I am understanding your measurement example. So for the 14 by 20 inches I would cut my fabric 15 1/2 by 19 and for the minky it would be 9 by 30 1/2, is that right? Also will this size effect my yardage I have to by at the fabric store or will that stay the same? Thanks.

    1. Kristin says:

      Amy, your measurements are correct. :) I’d recommend buying at least 5/8 of a yard of the cotton fabric though since it may shrink when you pre-wash it.

  7. Heather says:

    I am wondering where you got your travel pillow from? The ones from walmart are 14 inches by 20 inches

    1. Kristin says:

      You can buy the 12 by 16 inch pillow form at most craft/fabric stores…Honestly, I love those bigger ones from Walmart which is why I included the directions to make it fit any pillow form you’d like!

  8. Anne says:

    Pretty!!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this evening that links to your tutorial:

    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks, Anne!

  9. Joan MacKinnon says:

    Hi Ashley – Love your site. I have one comment for a possible addition to your travel sized pillowcases. I made one for myself several years ago, and added a fabric handle at the top, so that I could grab the handle in an airport or train station rather than having to tuck the pillow under my arm and hope it stayed there. I also put a small piece of velcro at the centre of the open end to prevent the pillow from shifting and sliding out when I least wanted it to. I take my pillow on every trip I make.

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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