A New Tradition: Pillowcases

It’s that time of year, and you know, I never seem to grow tired of looking for new and fun traditions to add to our Christmas celebrations.  Elf on the Shelf has been a new one- this is Ellsworth’s second year with us, and boy do we enjoy seeing what he’s going to be up to each morning.

Since we’ll be spending a couple of weeks this month visiting family in Virginia, it became of great concern to little miss chatterbox, that Ellsworth might not know where we are.  How will he report back to Santa if we aren’t home?!?  But our fears were assuaged once we saw that he had a map with his flying route marked.  Whew!

Ellsworth has become a sneaky, silly little friend- we just love having him as part of our treasure chest of traditions.

Oooh, and of course our gingerbread tradition…too bad it’s practically been devoured by now!

And I think I just added a new one:  Pillowcases!  I’d been wanting to make the girls new pillowcases for awhile now, and thought the holidays would be a perfect time…gave them to the girls early since we’re headed out of town soon, but I thought it would be fun to give them new pillowcases every Christmas Eve, from here on out, so they have a special, fresh pillowcase to rest their little heads on as visions of sugar plums dance in their heads.

I used a really simple, fast tutorial from Film In The Fridge, but did end up having to jury rig it just a bit since the print I wanted to use was directional, and I didn’t want it facing sideways.  Worked out fine!  I love how all of the seams are finished in this tutorial- no raw edges- and the little trim accent is so cute, and a great way to make your fabrics pop.

Maybe Mommy needs some too- I could make 100 of these!



  1. Those pillowcases are super cute and you’re right, they are easy and addictive. Last week I spent half a day making 8 as gifts and then rummaged through my stash looking for more suitable fabric combinations. Shopping is on the list today and I hope to find lots of cute Star Wars fabrics for my son and for some ‘boy-ly’ (that’s my kids’ masculine form of girly) donations to ConKerr Cancer.

    Your blog is always so bright and cheerful, thank you!

  2. The pillow cases are adorable!

  3. My favourite tradition that I am starting this year – a couple of years late is to create a tree skirt using homespun with a pretty border and add your children’s handprint every year so that in 20 years the skirt is full up and you can see how they have grown. Or use their feet and hands depending on how big the skirt is – remember that there are going to be A LOT of prints.
    Of course you could flip it over once it gets too full! Love the idea of pillowcases, a friend of mine does pyjamas (but they are summer one for the Aussie climate)

  4. We love Elf in our family very much. I made 12 pillowcases so far and they are so much fun and easy. I love your fabric.

  5. Thanks s much for the link for the pillowcases! I was babysitting last night and my grandchildren had the most adorable pillowcases that their other grandmother made. I was about to go on a google hunt this AM for instructions. And I’m thinking double duty: wrap another gift in a pillow case.

  6. Cute pillow cases! What fun traditions for your sweet family. Good luck traveling with 4 kids! And ya know, VA is reeeaally close to NC (wink!)

  7. I was just thinking yesterday that I should make pillowcases for the girls for Christmas. I love the idea of making it a tradition and giving them to them every year on Christmas eve. I may have to borrow that idea… if you don’t mind.
    I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and safe travels!

  8. Pam from CA says:

    I have been making pillowcases for my youngest daughter and grandkids for years. They love them!! In the last few years I discovered the design you are showing. I love making them!!

  9. Pam from CA says:

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  10. I love the pillow cases! What a fun idea for a tradition. When I was away at college my mom would send me a pillow case once a month along with a care package. They usually went with a holiday for that month. It was so fun to see what fabric she picked each time and to have a festive pillow case each month.

  11. Hee hee, well planned by Ellsworth! Great idea with the pillowcases too :)

  12. Hi! I love the pillowcases! I have made three of these before but always with non directional prints. There are some great fabrics in my stash for my boys that I’d love to use but they are directional – do you mind sharing what you did differently so you could use a directional print? I realize that it is soooooo close to Christmas and you have that whole four kids thing going on so I understand if you don’t have time – but just thought I’d check! Have a great Christmas :)

  13. Hi Amy

    What a wonderful example you are of a family, wonderful traditions and such thoughtfulness. I am so saddened as I write this mail for the families involved in the shootings in Connecticut. I am thankful that my own brother, his wife and my three nieces are safe, when I heard Connecticut my heart was in my mouth. What a terrible, terrible thing to happen and my thoughts are with them all at this difficult time.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us all Amy and may you have safe journeys and a wonderful time, hug them all that little bit tighter tonight x

  14. Denise Roberts says:

    What a wonderful tradition, and the pillowcases are just lovely. Have you ever used the “Magic Pillowcase” method? There is a great tutorial on Twiddletails that sews the header, piping, and pillowcase body all with just one seam stitch! It is super easy, saves even more time, and looks beautiful. I have been making the magic pillowcase for years. Hmmmm, for some strange reason I really want to go sew a pillowcase, right now!


  15. Amy,
    These are adorable!! Hope you made pillowcases for Samuel & Sawyer as well!! LOL

  16. Those pillowcases are just adorable. I have a friend that gives them as gifts. She pairs the pillowcase with a book that goes with it. For example: Thomas the Tank Engine pillowcase and book or Halloween fabric pillowcase with a Halloween book. Have a safe trip!

  17. I love your elf idea – what a lot of fun and he is very cute! Great pillowcases – I wish I had begun that tradition for my son when he was younger. I hope you and your family have a really lovely Christmas!

  18. Cute traditions Amy. Have a Merry Christmas and safe travels.

  19. Hi Amy,
    I love your pillowcases. I love to make these too, but not for my family (well, I do occasionally keep one for myself) but to send to wounded troops who are in VA hospitals around the country. I am part of ‘the sewing team’ for a group called Soldier’s Angels. They are a fantastic group, doing magnificent work supporting our troops both active and inactive. My last batch of pillowcases counted 3 dozen. I cleaned out quite a bit of my stash on that one! Now that I think of it, it is time to get going on that ‘tradition’ once more. Oh yeah, I also need to make more for the women’s shelter here in town. Looks like I have my work cut out for me for a day or two!

  20. How adorable! With lots of grandchildren…..how fun will this be!! Thanks Amy! Wish you and our family a very Merry Christmas!

  21. I love making pillowcase too. They are addictive and the very definition of instant gratification. I also love the prints you used – really cute. I will be checking out the tutorial to see how she adds that 3rd fabric for trim. Have a fun and safe trip to VA (my home state!) and a wonderful holiday with your family.

  22. I love the pillowcases! I just recently made new ones for my girls using Happy Land by Jennifer Paganelli, they are always so excited about new cases :-)

    Safe travels this season and Merry Christmas Amy! (and Family! )


  23. Thanks for the idea! Even though my little girl is married, I could make her a new pillowcase. I made her one for her bridal shower last time.

  24. Aw, that’s such a sweet tradition!! I’m taking notes about the Elf for when I have children ;)
    And, I’m making some of those pillow cases this afternoon as last minute presents for next week!!! :D

  25. josie passell says:

    Thanks to you I have an Elf on the Shelf on it’s way to me for my two lovely grandsons.

  26. Deb Farrell says:

    Beautiful pillowcases Amy, I’m sure the girls will love them! Have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy your holidays. I’m really looking forward to starting the Sugar Block Club with you next year xo

  27. Personalized pillow cases each year is a great idea….. Going to make one soon:)

  28. Those pillow cases are almost as adorable as your kids! Have a safe trip and Merry Christmas!

  29. Thank you very much for the link – tutorial! I wish you have a Merry Christmas with your family and your beloved ones and a very good 2013! Joana

  30. Cheryl Murphy says:

    My girls always get new pajamas on Christmas Eve. Thanks to you, they’re getting homemade pillowcases to go with their pjs this year! I just finished making them and can’t wait to see their faces when they open them up. Thanks, again, for a great idea! I pray that you and your precious family have a blessed Christmas!

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