A little less like a prison cell

We did it.

We took everything out of Bennett’s room and child proof locked his closet shut, too.

I felt bad for the kid! We decided that converting his crib to a toddler bed was just as safe as a mattress on the floor. (Him saying “big <pause> boy <pause> bed” KILLS me!)

And then I decided he needed a pillow case. Even prisoners get pillows, right?


I copied a Pottery Barn pillow case from our bedding, because I wanted the little flap thing to keep the pillow in.

Here’s how I did it!

Cut 2 rectangles of fabric 20.5” wide X 40” tall, then cut a 5” strip off the top of one of them.


Measure up 30.5” from the bottom of each and press a crease all the way across.


They should be the same size now.

See how the one on the left has a longer “flap” folded over and creased? Take that piece and on the edge of the flap fold under 1/4” and press and then another 1/4” and press. Stitch in place.


On the piece on the right (with the short flap), fold under 1/2” and press but DO NOT stitch it in place.

Put the piece with the long flap right side up, flap unfolded. Place the piece with the short flap face down on top of it, flap folded. Line up the first crease you pressed and pin below the crease.


(Here’s where I wish I’d used a fabric with obvious right and wrong sides. Maybe I’ll make another one and switch out the pics…maybe not!)

This next part won’t make a bit of sense right now, but just stay with me.

Fold the long flap over the top along the crease line (though you’re folding the opposite direction of the crease).


Pin that down.


(I flipped the pillowcase before I took this picture…the flap is now on the right).

Sew, using half inch seams, around the 3 sides of the pillowcase. Do not sew the folded/flap end.


Serge or zig zag the raw edges on those 3 sides you just sewed.


Now reach up under that flap and turn it (just the flap) back over to the side of the pillowcase it’s connected to.


The body of your pillowcase is still wrong side out.


Sew down the short flap, right along the edge.


When you get to the side with the long flap, keep sewing in a straight line, an equal distance from the edge. If you’re super fancy like me, you’ll use some blue painter’s tape to mark where the edge of your pillowcase should hit on your machine.


Turn it right side out and put your pillow in. Tuck it under the flap like so:


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  1. Lynn from For Love or Funny says:

    Cute! I hope your son's revamped room provides a few more hours sleep for you!! :)

  2. Sew Fun! says:

    oh he looks so happy..too cute!
    i remember when my daughter mastered scaling her "crib walls"..leaving us with no choice but to move her to a toddler bed…she loved her's so much. she didn't get out of bed at night when she knew she could..i guess knowing she could, made it somehow less appealing. :)
    sweet dreams to you & your boy!

  3. I forgot how much I love your crib.

    And he looks like a pretty happy inmate.

  4. Cheryl @ a pretty cool life. says:

    You're a nice warden. I've never bothered with the flap thing…I made my prisoners plain old pillowcases.

  5. Resweater says:

    Aww.. he looks so cute with that 'i'm a big boy' grin! I love the pillowcase & the bed!

  6. FrouFrouBritches says:

    AWESOME! I do love the PBK flap. I think I'll have to try this. Thanks soooo much! I LOVE the red gingham!!!!

  7. s.b.creatively says:

    You inspire me to learn to sew. My mother keeps offering me her old machine. One of these days I'll have to give it a try. Thank you for your fabulous tutorials. I grabbed your button to add to sbcreatively.blogspot.com so I can share your great ideas with friends.

  8. Liz @ LivingMySweetLife says:

    I am redoing my kids room today and I made a pillow for my sons toddler bed last night also! I loveeee that red bed! I wish i came back on last night to see your tutorial b/c i totally winged my pillow lol I'll have pictures on my blog tonight or tomorrow!

  9. Great tutorial. Bennett looks pretty happy for a prisoner. I bet he loves his big…boy…bed.

  10. Kristine Robinson says:

    I think you make up stories about him. He is too cute to be the troublesome little boy you make him out to be. Love the pottery barn pillowcases for that very reason – the flap! (I heard heavenly choruses when I put my kids pillows in their "flaps")

  11. Tam @ Sew Dang Cute says:

    He looks very happy to be in a big boy bed! How did it go last night? Have fun in Pittsburgher. Let me know if you want me to do anything while you are gone!

  12. Brittany@twocrazycupcakes says:

    Cute! Love the pocket pillow cases! I did the same thing for my twins but mini pillows when we took the crib rails off. Aww seems like forever ago. I got the little rectangle one's from Joann's.

  13. My 2 year old is a little prisoner too. Nothing in the room except stuffed animals and blankets, lock on the door and closet. Poor thing….but it is safer than my BUSY 2 year old wandering the house at night while I sleep. And he loves his race car bed!

  14. Love those types of pillow cases. I have been coping them for years. Thanks for the tutorial. I never wrote it down and every time I have to recreate the wheel.

  15. Annie of Blue Gables says:

    I just can't see what you did. If you make another one with an obvious right and wrong side, please photograph it. Sorry

  16. Annie of Blue Gables says:

    Funny thing, right after I commented, I found another tutorial on this very same subject here
    After reading hers and looking at her explanation, I can see what you are doing.
    Thanks. Great minds think alike.

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