How to Make Pillow Cases for Children's Hospitals

Things You'll Need

  • 2 yards of 45-inch wide fabric
  • Measuring tape or yardstick
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron

Creating and donating a pillow case to a children's hospital is not only a generous gesture, but also an enjoyable craft. You can start this craft with your child or in a classroom to make an educational and charitable activity, as part of a knitting or crafting club or on your own. Before beginning the pillow case, you should consult the hospital you wish to donate to and ask about their need. Hospitals can often provide guidelines for the items they need, the ages of the children and any restrictions they might have. Verifying these criteria is important to ensure that your donation can be accepted.

Purchase the fabric you will use to construct the pillowcase. Choosing a fabric that is hypoallergenic and, if possible, antimicrobial—like bamboo fiber—will help to ensure your pillowcase is appropriate for sick children.

Cut the fabric with your scissors into the appropriate size for a standard sized pillow case. Your pillow case should measure 21 by 32 inches.

Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with the finished side (the side you intend to be on the outside of the pillow case) inside.

Sew both long ends and one short end of the fabric together with your thread and sewing machine. Leave one short end open for a pillow to be inserted. Turn the fabric inside out so that the finished side is now outside.

Fold in a 1/2-inch hem on the open end of the pillow case. Ironing this hem down will make it easier to sew. Sew a straight stitch around the hem of the pillow case to hold it in place.


  • Ask the children's hospital if they have any restrictions on the types of fabric, designs or type of donation before starting your pillow case. They can also provide guidance for age-appropriate decoration. Though plain, a solid, white pillow case is often the most sought-after item. Adornments such as fabric paint or embroidery may make the pillow case more difficult to clean and a better host to bacteria. If you would like to donate a more visually exciting pillow case, try to find a fabric with a design already printed.


  • Children's hospitals sometimes cannot accept homemade crafts. You may still donate an unopened purchased pillow case and use your crafted one for yourself.


About the Author

Brian Richards is an attorney whose work has appeared in law and philosophy journals and online in legal blogs and article repositories. He has been a writer since 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from University of California, San Diego and a Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark School of Law.