I can’t go to a thrift store or estate sale without checking to see if they have any vintage linens. There’s just something about those vintage prints – those colors, those happy designs, even the fading and wear – it’s all just so charming!
Vintage sheets are great to stash just for the yardage. Vintage pillowcases, on the other hand, yield smaller pieces of fabric but have the fun benefit of already being sewn at the sides and having the opening already finished. It’s a great starting point for quick sewing crafts!
The project I’m sharing with you today starts with a vintage pillowcase and, with a few simple seams and one fold, turns it into a handy pillowcase bed caddy. I’ve got a tutorial for you below!
Look how sweet this pillowcase bed caddy looks hanging on the antique bed at my mother’s 1920s home. My daughter sleeps in this room whenever she stays over with her grandmother. Now she’s got a spot to stash all her stuff!
Two rows of pockets give you plenty of space to hold books, notebooks, phone, or any of the things you like to keep close to you when you’re in bed. It’s held in place with a fabric end that’s sandwiched between the mattress and box springs.
There’s one long pocket across the back, and 2 smaller pockets in the front. The back pocket is large enough to hold magazines or a notebook, or even a small laptop. The front pockets can hold a tablet or reader, or (gasp!) an actual physical book.
If your pillowcase has a contrast cuff or any trim at the opening, it will end up on the front of your pockets! Or, if your pillowcase is plain (like mine was) it’s easy enough to just add some trim or personalize with applique.
I added a row of mini pom poms across the front of mine, because everything is better with pom poms. If your pillowcase has a contrast cuff or any trim around the opening, that will end up on the front of your pockets.
Here’s how to make your own vintage pillowcase bed caddy!
Gather your supplies
Vintage pillowcase, queen or king. Look for a pillowcase with a non-directional pattern, or one that would look okay sideways. If you can’t find a queen or king size pillowcase, you can use a shorter one but you’ll need to sew enough fabric to the end (closed end) to make it 30” long.
21” trim to embellish the bed caddy (optional)
19.5” x 10” ultra-firm sew-in stabilizer, such as Timtex or Pellon Peltex
Temporary marking pen
Make the bed caddy
*optional* Embellish the opening of your pillowcase with applique or with trims. If using trim, you can either sew or glue it in place. For a clean finish (no raw edges on the trim), wrap the trim around to the back ½” or so at the sides.
Sew a line across the pillowcase, 18” from the opening. I find it’s easiest to measure and mark the stitch line with a temporary marking pen.
Insert the stabilizer into the pillowcase, pushing it all the way up into the pillowcase to the line you stitched.
Sew another line across the pillowcase just to the other side of the stabilizer, to hold it in place.
Now, sew the front pocket divider by stitching from that last line of stitching to the open end. I chose to have my front pockets equal size, so I just sewed down the middle of the pillowcase. You could also choose to sew your divider 1/3 of the way across, which would create one larger and one smaller pocket on the front of your caddy.
Fold the pocket up at the bottom of the stabilizer, with the trim facing out. Stitch down both sides with ¼” seam allowance to create the sides of the pockets.
That’s it! Your pillowcase bed caddy is complete!
If you love this tutorial then you are sure to love these ideas from Orange Bettie as well: