5 Little Monsters: Reading Pocket Pillow

Reading Pocket Pillow

Today I am excited to be a part of the Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter. 31 bloggers have teamed up to bring you a month of free crochet, knitting, sewing, and crafting projects to make for the holidays. Get a head start on your handmade holiday gifting this month and join in the fun. 

Each week will have a different theme:

Week 1 (July 1-7): Babies, Kids, and Teens
Week 2 (July 8-14): Women
Week 3 (July 15-21): Gifts for Anyone
Week 4 (July 22-28): Home
Week 5 (July 29-31): Pets

There will even be prizes at the end for everyone who participates. To find out more information on the patterns, prizes, schedule, and more visit Underground Crafter.

The deadline for entering the giveaway is Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

As you can see from the schedule above, today is the last day in the week of projects and gift ideas for babies, kids, and teens.

As I was trying to think of what I could make I thought about my kids and family traditions and one thing that came to mind was reading Christmas stories. I remember my mom reading us Christmas stories when I was a kid and since then I have had a love of Christmas books. Whether they be cute picture books, chapter books, or big compilations of stories. I just really enjoy reading them.

I also am always looking for ways to encourage my kids to read more. So as I put those things together I decided a reading pillow would be a fun project. 

I wanted a big, soft pillow that would be perfect for cuddling up with a book, that had a big pocket on the front to hold whatever book you were reading.

You could gift it early and pair it with holiday themed books to read leading up to the holiday, then it would be cute made out of holiday themed fabrics. Or give it as a gift on the actual day, made in favorite colors and filled with favorite books.

I made one of these years ago following a pattern I found online and it was super cute but the pocket was pieced and quilted so it took a while to put together. This one is a lot easier with just a few simple squares and rectangles so it is really quick to make.

How to Make a Reading Pocket Pillow

Finished size 19"x19"

You will need:

  • 2-4 fabrics (more specific sizes in the instructions)
  • rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
  • 20" pillow insert
  • sewing machine with coordinating thread


First you will need to cut your fabric. I used fabric that I had on hand and I mostly had smaller pieces so I used a total of 4 pieces, one for my main pillow front, one for the flaps on the back, one for the pocket lining, and one for the pocket front. You could easily make it with just two fabrics, one for the pillow front and back, and one for the pocket and pocket lining. 

If using 2 fabrics you will need :

  • 1 yard for the main pillow
  • 1/3 yard for pocket

If using 4 fabrics you will need:

  • 5/8 yard for pillow front
  • 1/2 yard for pillow back
  • 2- 1/3 yard or 2 fat quarters for pocket and pocket lining

Cut the following pieces:

  • Pillow Front: 20"x20"
  • Pillow Back: cut 2- 20"x15"
  • Pocket Front: 20"x12"
  • Pocket Lining: 20"x12"

Begin by hemming one long edge of each of your back pieces. Fold it over 1/2" and then fold it 1/2" again and stitch along the edge. 

Next place your 2 pocket lining pieces right sides together and sew along one long edge. Flip right side out, press, and topstitch.

Now you will need to layer your pieces to assemble your pillow.

Lay your pillow front right side up, then put your pocket piece right side up with the bottom and sides aligned, next lay the back pieces wrong sides up, one with the raw edge lined up along the bottom the other with the raw edge lined up along the top, with the hemmed edges overlapping each other in the middle. Pin everything together

Sew around the entire pillow with a 1/2" seam allowance. 

Turn right side out and add pillow insert through the flaps on the back. 

How To Join the 2020 Christmas in July Make Along

  • You can join in by crocheting, knitting, sewing, or making the projects as you have time.

  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #CIJMakeAlong2020 on all social media.

  • If you’d like to chat with other crafters, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group

  • By the end of the Make Along, you’ll have up to 31 awesome projects. Get ready for the handmade holiday season while having fun with us!

Visit Underground Crafter to learn more about the prizes, enter the giveaway, and to get links to each Christmas in July Make Along post as it is released.

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