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DIY Reading Pillow Pattern + 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!

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

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:

DOWNLOAD: diy reading pillow pattern / cut list

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

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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.



STEP 1: Prepare the pattern for use

Download the 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 pattern, just print 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 pattern or you can’t print it out for some reason, download and use the cut list above or cut as follows.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 the 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.

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.

Did you like this 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 they 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!


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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 24 comments
Marielle - August 29, 2020

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

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

    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

Tracy Albiero - August 31, 2020

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

    Helen - September 3, 2020

    It makes a great gift for both adults and kids

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

    Helen - September 3, 2020

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

Michelle - August 31, 2020

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

    Helen - September 3, 2020

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

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.


Liz - September 2, 2020

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

    Helen - September 3, 2020

    Thank you, Liz! It’s my pleasure

Michelle - September 2, 2020

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


    Helen - September 3, 2020

    I’m flattered! Thank you

Laura Walters - September 2, 2020

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

    Helen - September 3, 2020

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

Beth Watson - September 2, 2020

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

    Helen - September 3, 2020

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

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!

    Helen - September 3, 2020

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

Kate - November 3, 2020

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

    Helen - November 3, 2020

    Awesome. You go girl. They’ll be appreciated

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?

    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)


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