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DIY Reading Pillow Pattern + How to Make a Book Pillow VIDEO

Do you know what a reading pillow is? Book Pillow also called Pocket Pillow, is a wonderful invention that allows you to read books while snuggling a pillow! Who knew that kind of thing even existed?

Most of these pillows are way too complex to make though, with applique, piping, and other fancy stuff. Because of that, not many sewing enthusiasts try to make them.

Our DIY Reading pillow is completely different. It’s easy to make but it doesn’t lack in any way when you compare it to its complicated counterparts. It’s simple, yet comfortable and convenient! Plus I’ll give you a cut list and free reading pillow pattern.

diy reading pillow with books in the front pocket

If you like how this sounds, you’ll love this reading pillow tutorial. Because it will teach you how to make a reading pillow the easy way!

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How to make reading pillow

Book pillow supplies and tools

For this project, you will need a few different fabrics and some other things. Here’s a list of the essentials for this book pillow:

all supplies needed to make a book pillow for reading

DOWNLOAD: diy reading pillow pattern / cut list

When you prepare all of this, proceed to the next step.

Follow us for free patterns & tutorials!

How to Sew a Reading Pillow

Watch the diy reading pillow video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
Please enjoy and don’t forget to Like and SUBSCRIBE over on YouTube to be kept up to date with new videos as they come out.

BOOK PILLOW VIDEO TUTORIAL

READING PILLOW WITH POCKET INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1: Prepare the reading pillow pattern for use

Download the book pillow pattern and print it out at 100% on a US letter paper. Trim it, tape it and cut it out accordingly and remove all excess paper.

If you don’t want to use the free reading pillow pattern, just print or write down the cut list.

STEP 2: Cut out the fabric pieces

Wash the fabric thoroughly and press flat before you start doing anything. Use the pattern as a guide and cut out the fabric accordingly.

If you don’t have the pocket pillow pattern or you can’t print it out for some reason, download and use the cut list above or cut as follows.

fabrics cut according to the free reading pillow pattern

  • Cut the front fabric into an 18 x 18 inches wide piece.
  • Cut two pieces 12 x 18 inches big from the back fabric.
  • Cut the pillow pocket fabric and the pillow lining into an 12 x 18 inches piece each.
  • Cut two pieces of fusible interfacing, one should be 12 x 18 inches and the other should be 18 x 18 inches big.

STEP 3: Apply the interfacing

Take the pocket fabric piece and the fusible interfacing that’s the same size. Put the interfacing (fusible side down) on top of the wrong side of the fabric. Iron from the center toward the edges of fabric.

Do the same with the other interfacing piece and the pillow front fabric.

applying interfacing to the front pocket of these pocket pillows

TIP: Having trouble telling which is the fusible side of the interfacing? Look for the bumpy side – it is the side with the glue, and the smooth side is the one you need to press with your iron. So, fusible side = bumpy side

STEP 4: Line the pocket

Place the pocket lining piece and the interfaced pocket fabric on top of each other so that their right sides are facing each other. Align the edges and secure the top edge with pins or clips.

Sew along the top edge with a half-inch seam allowance.

lining the pocket of the book pillow

STEP 5: Turn the pocket around and topstitch

Press the seam open and turn the entire piece inside-out. Flatten the seam and top stitch the edge.

topstitching the front pocket of the book pillow

STEP 6: Attach the handle (optional)

Fold your fabric in half and press with the iron. Unfold and fold the top and bottom edge so that they meet in the middle. Press. Fold one last time along the crease in the middle. Pin and stitch along the fold.

TIP: Do NOT add handle if making this for children under 3 – it is a chocking hazard!

STEP 7: Assemble the front

Lay the pocket piece on top of the main fabric so that their bottom edges are aligned, and their right sides are facing up. Stitch both left and right side edges to secure them.

Set the two short edges of the handle in the middle of the longer edge of the main fabric piece, about three inches apart from each other. Keep the entire ribbon on top of the fabric so that it bends downward.  Pin and sew in place.

attaching handle to the front of the pocket pillow

STEP 8: Prepare the back pieces

For both back pieces: Fold one of the longer edges 1/2 inch toward the wrong side of the fabric TWICE and press flat. Pin and stitch in place.

preparing the hem of the back of the reading pillow

STEP 9: Make the envelope back

Put one of those pieces on top of the front of the pillow, with its right side down. Align the long raw edge with the TOP side of the pillow. Make sure the folded edge is facing down. Secure with pins or clips.

DIY reading pillow tutorial - making the envelope back

Then put the second back piece over the front, again with its right side down. Align the long raw edge with the BOTTOM of the pillow. Make sure to keep the folded edge up this time. Use clips or pins to keep the layers in place.

attaching the second piece of fabric for the back of the pocket pillow

STEP 10: Sew around

Stitch all around the pillowcase with a half-inch seam allowance. Backstitch over the folded edges of the back pieces to prevent the seams from pocking out when you are inserting the pillow form.

STEP 11: Finish the DIY reading pillow

Clip all four corners a bit to reduce bulk. Turn the entire pillowcase inside-out and push out the corners with a pencil or with your fingers. Press flat on the ironing board.

DIY reading pillow with pocket and handle - all finished

Put an 18 inch pillow form in the case.

Your reading pillow with handle is now ready for action! Insert your favorite book in the pocket and keep it for yourself or just add a good book give it away as a gift.

pocket pillows on the bed with an e-book at the front

Did you like my reading pillow sewing pattern and tutorial? Now that you know how to sew a reading pillow, try making a couple of them yourself. They are great gifts for any occasion and everyone will love it if you give it to them. Let us know how these adorable book pillows with pocket and handle turned out. If you have some ideas on how to improve this project, do tell us!

Enjoy reading in the most comfortable and cozy way!

 

Do you like this DIY Book Pillow with pocket? Pin for later:

How to make a reading pillow with pocket - DIY book pillow tutorial and video

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 31 comments
Marielle - August 29, 2020

This would be so great for road trips! Thanks for the tutorial. Visiting from #homemattersparty. Have a great weekend!

Reply
chickenruby - August 30, 2020

It sounds more complicated than it looks. May give this one a try for my grandchild. Thanks for joining in with #pocolo and hope to see you again soon. I’m sharing on twitter and we send weekly reminders for this link if you’re interested

Reply
    Helen - September 3, 2020

    I’m so glad you liked it! It’s an easy sew, and I’m sure your grandchild would love to receive a reading pillow as a gift from you

    Reply
Tracy Albiero - August 31, 2020

This would make great gifts for my reader friends!! #trafficjamweekend

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    Helen - September 3, 2020

    It makes a great gift for both adults and kids

    Reply
Naush Samama - August 31, 2020

Helen, your reading pillow is so cute and functional. I love how it keeps books organized as well. Thank you for sharing it with us at Meraki Link Party. I hope you will join us this week.
Much love
Naush

Reply
    Helen - September 3, 2020

    Thank you for your nice words! I love the pillow. It’s so comfy

    Reply
Michelle - August 31, 2020

What a great idea!! And your tutorial makes it look so easy.

Reply
    Helen - September 3, 2020

    It really is easy. Just few straight stitches! Glad you iked it

    Reply
Shelbee on the Edge - August 31, 2020

You always share the most creative ideas! I love this reading pillow. Thanks for linking up with me.

Shelbee
http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

Reply
Liz - September 2, 2020

What an awesome idea! Thank you for sharing on Homestead Blog Hop!

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    Helen - September 3, 2020

    Thank you, Liz! It’s my pleasure

    Reply
Michelle - September 2, 2020

What an awesome concept! I will feature this project in this week’s Creative Compulsions.

Michelle
https://mybijoulifeonline.com

Reply
    Helen - September 3, 2020

    I’m flattered! Thank you

    Reply
Laura Walters - September 2, 2020

We are so excited that you participated! Thank you for sharing your creativity! This is so cute!

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    Helen - September 3, 2020

    Thank you, Laura. This means a lot to me. So glad you liked my tutorials

    Reply
Beth Watson - September 2, 2020

What a great addition to our linky party! We are so happy to have you!

Reply
    Helen - September 3, 2020

    Thank you for the kind words, Beth. I’m so happy to have found you

    Reply
creativejewishmom/sara - September 3, 2020

Love it, thanks so much for the great tutorial and for sharing on craft schooling sunday! So happy to have a regular contributor whose got sewing covered!

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    Helen - September 3, 2020

    I’m so happy I’ve found you! I love the opportunity to share my tutorials with your readers!

    Reply
Kate - November 3, 2020

Love this! Need to make 5 and have done two so far. They look fab! Thanks 😊

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    Helen - November 3, 2020

    Awesome. You go girl. They’ll be appreciated

    Reply
Kim - December 6, 2020

Thank you for your video! I cant wait to make these! I have a silly question… I need make 20×20 pillows, would i just add 2inches to all your measurements?

Reply
    Helen - December 6, 2020

    Hi Kim,
    No, not to all measurements. I would only 1 inch to the half pieces (make them 13 inches instead of 12) and 2 inches to the full pieces (20 inches instead of 18)

    Reply
Yolanda McLaughlin - March 26, 2021

Where can I find the pattern? I’ve looked and all I get is a picture of the different pieces and how many of each?

Thank you.

Yolie McLaughlin

Reply
    Helen - March 28, 2021

    Hi Yolie, this is actually all you need. All of these are simple rectangles or squares, so why waste paper to make a pattern for these? The cut list is much more useful

    Reply
Lucy - March 29, 2021

Hi. Love the directions, the only comment is what if you are using directional fabric, do you just reverse the fabric pieces? I need to make 4 of these for great grand children. Thanks, Lucy

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Adrienne Soltau - April 12, 2021

Hi, I wonder if you can give me the fabric dimensions if I want to make a 16×16 inch pillow?
Love your pattern.

Regards, Adrienne

Reply
    Helen - April 13, 2021

    Hi Adrienne, you just need to reduce all dimensions by 2″ (except for the handle)
    Happy sewing

    Reply
Bonnie Scanlon - May 2, 2021

Is there a way to download the full pattern as well as the fabric requirements and cutting instructions?

Reply
    Helen - May 3, 2021

    I’m afraid it’s not possible at the moment.

    Reply

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