how to make a kids’ pillow bed {the easiest & cheapest way}

A few weeks ago I ran across a couple “pillow bed” tutorials on Pinterest, and they looked like so much fun! People sewed together four or five pillowcases, put pillows in them, then sewed velcro on to keep the pillows from falling out. It looked like a great idea, but when I priced out pillows, pillowcases, and all the velcro you’d need I realized they’d cost more than I was prepared to spend. Then I had a little shot of inspiration and figured out how to make a pillow bed cheaper and easier to put together at the same time!

so cute! the cheapest and easiest way to make a kids' pillow bed. free sewing pattern and tutorial

I made a pillow bed for each of my two youngest kids. The main living area of the house we’re renting is all laminate flooring, so these pillow beds make a cozy spot for them to lounge around together.

so cute! the cheapest and easiest way to make a kids' pillow bed. free sewing pattern and tutorial

They sometimes fold the pillow up on themselves and rest them against a wall to create a little “chair”:


They even turn them on end and use them as a “fort”:

so cute! the cheapest and easiest way to make a kids' pillow bed. free sewing pattern and tutorial

The secret to a cheap & easy pillow bed is a twin size flat sheet. Walmart sells them in a wide range of colors for $5 or $6 each. They also sell basic pillows for $2.50 each, making a 5 pillow bed under $20. It’s a perfect handmade Christmas gift.

Start by laying out your sheet on a flat surface right side down (a table is easier than the floor). Your sheet should be 66 inches wide by 96 inches long. You’re going to fold in each side along the dotted lines in the diagram below. You want the final width of the pillow bed to be about 27 inches, so if your sheet is exactly 66 inches wide, you’ll fold in 19.5 for each side. (The sheets I bought varied a little in width – so I just adjusted how much I was folding in to get a final width of approximately 27 inches.)




This diagram shows what the sheet will look like once folded. The right side was folded in first, then the left side, which overlaps the right. The overlap means we won’t have to add any velcro to keep the pillows in place.


Pin the sheet together across the top and bottom. Then you’ll want to pin 4 more lines, each approximately 19 inches apart. It would be easiest to mark these lines with tailor’s chalk or something similar. It’s not necessary that they are exact, just try to space them as evenly as you can. Use lots of pins!

so cute! the cheapest and easiest way to make a kids' pillow bed. free sewing pattern and tutorial

Take the sheet to your sewing machine and sew a line of straight stitching along each row of pins, backstitching and the start and end. I found it was easiest to sew one end first, then roll the sheet from that end up to the next row of pins, then sew that row and roll again. This kept the sheet from getting all bunched up as I sewed:


It only takes 6 seams, and you have a pillow bed cover ready to go! There will be 5 sections that are each much like a pillow sham. Stuff a pillow into each section, and you’re done.

so cute! the cheapest and easiest way to make a kids' pillow bed. free sewing pattern and tutorial

so cute! the cheapest and easiest way to make a kids' pillow bed. free sewing pattern and tutorial




  1. 3

    CTY says

    I see the finished product & don’t doubt that it works, but, how do you insert the pillows? It seems the overlap from the left & right folds would cause 1/2 the pillow to stick out on the back side. Cannot visualize how the pillows go in.

    • 4

      Sherry says

      You just have to kind of squish up the pillow to get it all inside, then straighten it out. At least that’s the way most all of the pillow shams I’ve ever had work.

    • 5

      Robin says

      I made these for my grand daughters. I did separate slip cover pillowcases because I wanted to use a specific theme. Did 3 per set and added a small attached head pillow for the top. The sheet idea is great though! Again, slip covers so that you can remove the pillows. I used firm cheap Walmart pillows. This does work and is so easy!

      • 6

        gayle Briggs says

        Hi when you made these from the pillow slips, did you sew them together inside out or from the front. Thanks in advance.

    • 7

      Carol Roeder says

      You stuff the second half of the pillow in the same way you did the first half and then just straighten the pillow out. It is really a quick and painless way to finish these without the Hassel of turning a lot of unfinished seams. Very smart!

  2. 9

    Nina says

    Oh my goodness, this is absolute GENIUS!!! I will have to print this tutorial out and make these for my kids sometime next year! My kids would LOOOOVE this. Thank you so much!

  3. 11

    deb says

    Our Goodwill sells very nice single sheets (sometimes brand new) for $.99 each…I buy them all the time for projects that require this kind of fabric. They usually have “tons” to choose from even in our small town.:)

  4. 12


    What a smart idea for kids and some adults that love to sit and lay on the floor..
    I am looking forward to making these for my grandkids.

    • 14

      Sheral says

      One way is to copy the entire page and paste into a document. then print. Or highlight directions and then on mouse or laptop pad right click for print , select option “selected” meaning only what you highlighted will print. Also you can use the snip option if you have windows with that option. Go to start when it comes up theres a box that says search programs and files. Enter in this box the word “snip” the program snip will come up and you can take a snip of the screen and save it as a document. You may need to save a couple screen views since the directions cover more than one page, Good luck hope I was helpful in finding ways to print. I just right click on mouse and print page. I think that’s easiest.

  5. 17


    Getting ready to make this genius project and wondering if the rows of stitching between the pillows might stand up better using a machine decorative backstitch or other decorative stitch. I’m think of all the stress on those areas taking the pillows out for washing. I guess you could backstitch at the overlaps, too, instead of just at the beginning and end of each row?

  6. 18

    Maureen Coe says

    Great idea! I faced similar experience with my 3 great-grandchildren. I saw the other pattern ideas at Christmas and decided too expensive times 3! Thanks, I will sew this more reasonable one for their birthday. Think I will try to embellish or at least embroider their name on to personalize their pillow bed roll. Might add a strip off the left side to finish as a tie (or a purchased cord) when they roll up and carry it for sleepovers!

      • 21

        autumn says

        You actually can take the pillows out to wash the cover – just the same way you can remove pillows from pillow shams to wash them. You could add zipper closures, but I didn’t want to mess with that many zippers (or spend the money on them) so this way seemed easier. Thanks!

        • 22


          Last year I saw something like this but not with the pillow sham idea and I decided to make them like pillow shams. I had not seen any like the ones I made at all. These are the first ones I have seen like mine. On my first one I used cotton but did not like the mussed look. I started making them for my grandchildren. I made only 4 pockets and my pillow mats measure 68 x 25. I use only flannel in making them. After making 7 of them I started selling them. People really like them and you can get some of the cutest patterns in flannel. Some have ordered custom made ones. I plan to revise my pattern to make them small enough to use in daycare. BTW you can also use foam egg crates in them instead of pillows. Just cut to size of pocket. I loved making these.

    • 25


      You don’t need a zipper. When you create the fold they don’t meet up in the back to form an open seam, they overlap to keep the pillow from falling out. The instructions are such that the back overlaps with each other like an envelope (or expensive pillow case or taco) that you can take the pillow out and wash the sheet. I made two of them and they work great. The biggest challenge is measuring out the 19.5 inches all the way down the length of the sheet on both sides.

  7. 29

    Corky says

    AWESOME!!! I’ve made 3 so far. I haven’t sewed in 30 years and this was just a great Christmas gift for my grandkids!! Thanks a million!!!

  8. 30

    Shirley says

    thank you for this post! I finished one for my son last night and after 15 years without sowing it was pretty easy to make! 😍

  9. 31

    Carissa says

    I was skeptical, but LOVE! First time sewing project, but it wasn’t too hard and while mine is a tiny bit crooked in the seams (remember, first time!), it turned out amazing! I used an old sheet and upgraded the pillows to $5 ones from Walmart so it cost me $20. I need to find a bigger sheet to add one more pillow (6 long) so my husband and I can have one for camping, too!

    • 32

      Luann says

      Do most of you use Standard, Queen, or King sized pillows? Pictures in this tutorial – what size pillows are those? Thanks. Cant wait to start for Christmas gifts.

  10. 33

    Resa says

    I was so excited to find this!! I have three girls, ages 11, 3 and 3. Money is tight this year so I was looking for easy DIY stuff for Christmas. This more than fits the bill!! I love the idea of no Velcro, and thank you for the awesome idea of using a flat sheet. Seriously, you’re a genius. Total cost for me to make ONE will be $21. I originally planned on having Santa bring these for the younger two girls, but when my oldest helped me pick everything out, she HAD to have one, so I guess I’ll be making three :)Thank you again for the awesome tutorial!

  11. 35

    Meri says

    Hi! Thank you for sharing this and all your wonderful ideas! I’m planning on sewing one of these today for a girl that is sleeping on a couch. (Her famly hasn’t been able to get a larger bed yet) I hope you don’t mind that I’ve also shared this with some other groups, including one that helps people in dire need. This could be a real help to the homeless. If the pillows (before being inserted) are in plastic bags, they could be used by children that wet the bed. The covers could be easily laundered. I wish my siblings and I had these when we were little and had to go through a time of sleeping on the floor, because we had no beds. Thank you again!

  12. 36

    jackie brady says

    Great idea!!I have one suggestion 😉 When I make the 4 I have ordered I will do the first fold with right sides together and sew the ends shut so when you turn it right side out the first seam and last is hidden then I will do the section sewing.TX

  13. 37

    Jane says

    You advised sewing the seems 19 inches apart. All of the pillows I have seen are 20 inches. Does this pose a problem with the pillow fitting?

      • 39


        Because the pillows have a lot of give from the polyester filling you can stuff them in and then reshape them once you get them in. I made two with standard size pillows and the 19 inches still work.

  14. 42

    Micki says

    I need to make a replacement cushion pad for our old porch swing – it’s not produced any more, and not a size used currently. I think I could modify this a bit & make a replacement cushion pad. Heck of a lot cheaper than having one made for me, which is what I was nearly resigned to doing. Thanks for the idea!! Looking forward to trying it out!

  15. 44

    rachel says

    Thank you so much for this awesome how-to! I made these for my niece and nephew (10 and 7) who were visiting me, and they absolutely loved them! After making them, I decided 5 pillows long was very long and heavy, so I cut the last rectangle off, re-stitched, and made them a 4-pillow version.

    They slept with them in the bed, they dragged them out into the living room to snuggle in the floor or on the couch, they made forts and things to jump over. I got lots of credit for a very easy project!

  16. 46

    Laura Rash says

    Just made two of these – BRILLIANT and SUPER DUPER easy! Got my sheets from Wal-Mart for $5.00 each and my pillows from Dollar General which had a sale on them… One pack of TWO for $6.00 and then the second pack of TWO was only $3.00… So with making two of these as presents my TOTAL cost was only $34.00 for two AWESOME presents – WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!!!

  17. 47

    heather says

    just finished making one of these for my daughter for Christmas. Under an hour start to finish…and that includes fighting with my sewing machine.

  18. 49

    Judy Goldthorp says

    My daughter and I made these for her two daughters (ages 9 &12). They love them. We both used yardage (owls for the 9 year old and chevrons for the 12 year old). They were easy, quick and are used all the time..

  19. 50

    AD says

    Just made the first of 3 in little under an hour. Bought really nice kids’ sheets on clearance and Walmart pillows for a total cost of $22.50 each. I too was looking at the pillowcase version of this and in no way could afford to make 3 of those. Thank you for your ingenuity.

  20. 51

    Stacie stockhoff says

    What a clever pattern! I have been looking for a great pattern like this for my grandchildren. Thank you Autumn.

  21. 52

    Be Smith says

    I have just started sewing. I have just made this for my 9 year old son to take with him when we go camping. He has just taken it to bed with him and named it his catapillar. I used a double duvet that we were going to through out with star wars on it. Not only was it easy to make but the instructions were easy to follow. Thank you. X

  22. 53

    Sally Monceaux says

    I have been wanting to make one of these, but didn’t like the Velcro ends. Your method is the best I’ve seen! Thanks for sharing.

  23. 54

    Patti says

    Thank you for your wonderful tips. I had already considered using the twin sheet instead of sewing several pillow cases together. But I hadn’t thought of your genius idea of folding the sheet to eliminate the need for velcro on the side to keep the pillows inside. Brilliant idea! Thank you so much for sharing! This will be a project to make for my nephews in the near future.

  24. 55


    Thank you “sew” much for this tutorial!!! I just made one of these and working on the second one for my grandchildren for Christmas, this year!! You can’take start too early! And I just realized there is no cutting!!! Just measure and sew!!! How much simpler can it get? Thank you,again!!!

  25. 57

    brittany says

    Have you made one with a queen sized sheet for adults? We are moving back to the states and I am wanting to make the “shells” before we ship everything away and be able to get pillows when we land. I just wasnt sure if it would work out the same way, using king sized pillows

  26. 58

    Mel says

    I love this! I would like to make the finished product for sale. Is that OK? In my posting I will give you credit for the pattern.

  27. 59

    Teresa says

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve wanted to make this pillow bed for my 5 grand daughters but I seen the old pattern and it was too expensive to make 5 of them. Thank you for figuring this out

  28. 60

    Angie says

    Can the pillows be removed and the cover be washed? I love this idea (but want to be able to wash it).

    • 61

      Carol says

      This is what I made for my 3 great-grandkids 2, 4 & 7 and 4 of my grandkids ages 8, 10, 12, & 14. Everyone of them love them and they are used everyday.
      I love the fact that they were easy to make (a bit more expensive in Canada but worth it) The pillows come out so easy for washing and go back just as easy.

      Thank you so much for sharing this pattern.

  29. 63

    T-J Goodwin says

    How brilliant; I to have been viewing the pillow bed tutorials and found them to be expensive. I wanted to make one for my little granddaughter. She is getting to the age where she will be spending the night with Grammie. I do not have an extra bed. This would be perfect on the floor next to my bed. Thank you so much

  30. 64

    Norma says

    I understand how to make these beds, but what about the two ends, should they folded in to make a finished edge? Otherwise don’t you have a raw edge?

    • 65

      Rachel says

      You actually would sew the two ends first. When you lay out the sheet face up and then fold in the two sides, the sides are the unfinished side of the fabric. Sewing a seam across all layers along the top and the bottom allow for the seam to be included on the inside. Once those two seams are sewn, turn right side out and make the individual sections. I hope that helped!

  31. 66

    Rachel says

    I have made a couple of these now and absolutely LOVE them! The sheet is a great option, but I have also used fleece which gives the bed a snugglier feel. I, also, sew ribbon to one of the end seams to allow for the pillows to be rolled up and tied like a sleeping bag. We gave one to a 9 year old friend of my daughter’s for her birthday and ALL the little girls at the birthday party were begging me to make them for their birthdays. The nice thing is that they don’t take a really long time to make and I can generally whip one up even with short notice. Another birthday party is on Sunday and I plan to make one tonight for her. Thanks for sharing with the measurements…that helps a lot!

  32. 69

    Gigi says

    Easy. Hardest thing was finding a single twin flat sheet. Mostly sold as sets. I also double stitched each of the 6 Seams to wear longer over time with kids jumping and rough housing in the cushions.


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