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Glow-in-the-Dark Body Pillow: Happy Halloween

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Looking for a Halloween pillow pal? How about a full-size body pillow with a nearly full size skeleton that glows in the dark?! Extra tall body pillows are popular for crashing on the family room floor, relaxing while texting… I mean studying, and are well known for providing sleep support for pregnant moms. And, if you could have one with great fabric that glows in dark, wouldn’t you want to keep it around for Halloween and beyond?! Bet you never thought a skeleton could be soft and cuddly. 

Our pillow cover is designed specifically for the fabric we selected. Of course the cuts and instructions would work with any fabric, but to get the true Halloween huggability of Mr. Bones (not to mention the cool glow in the dark effect), you must have the pieces we link to below.

All the body pillow inserts we found were the listed at the same 20" x 54" size. However, when we measured the actual inserts, we found them all to be a tad bit smaller… some as much as an inch or two. We stayed with the 20” x 54” standard sizing to make this cover as universal as possible. Besides, it’s always better to have your cover a little larger rather than too small. 

As an extra tidy finish, we created an envelope style closure for the bottom of the pillow. This easy fold-and-tuck trick allows you to hide the end of the pillow inside a hemmed pocket. You can use the technique on any pillowcase.

We added a handle along the top. Since it’s such a big pillow, it’s nice to be able to hang it up and out of the way when not in use. Because of the envelope style opening, the pillow form won’t fall out. We left ours hanging for hours and the pillow stayed securely in place the entire time. 

Our pillow cover finishes at approximately 20" x 54”, which is just right to fully enclose a standard body pillow insert

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Getting Started

  1. From the panel fabric or yardage, cut TWO 21” wide x 42” high rectangles
  2. From the coordinating accent fabric, cut the following:
    TWO 21” wide x 7” high rectangles for the top
    ONE 21” wide x 15” high rectangle for bottom A
    ONE 21” wide x 11” high rectangle for bottom B
  3. From the webbing, cut one 13” length for the optional handle. 

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Place the optional handle

  1. Find one of the 21” x 7” top panels. Measure (or fold in half) to find the exact center along the 21” top edge. Mark this point with a pin.
  2. Measure 2½” to the right of center and mark with a pin. Measure 2½” to the left of center and mark with a pin. 
  3. Center the raw ends of the webbing over the two outermost marks, creating a loop with the webbing. Pin in place. 
  4. Baste the ends in place. 
  5. Set aside both top panels. 

Hem the bottom accent panels

  1. Find the two bottom accent panels: one at 21” x 15” and one at 21” x 11”.
  2. On the 21” x 11” panel, create a 4½” double fold hem. To do this, fold back the bottom 21” raw edge ¼” and press. Then, fold back an additional 4¼” and press again. 
  3. Pin in place. 
  4. Stitch in place close to the inner fold. 
  5. On the 21” x 15” panel, create a ½” double fold hem. To do this, fold back the bottom 21” raw edge ¼” and press. Then, fold back an additional ¼” and press again. 
  6. Stitch in place close to the inner fold. 
  7. Set aside the two hemmed bottom panels. 

Create the main front and back panels

  1. Find the two trimmed main center panels. 
  2. Place a 21” x 7” top accent panel right sides together with the top of each main panel.
    NOTE: If you are working with a directional print, make sure you are pinning together the top of the main panel with the bottom of the accent panel. 
  3. Pin in place across the 21” width of the panel. 
  4. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together. 
  5. Finish the seam allowance with your favorite method. We used a simple zig zag. Press the seam allowance up towards the accent panel. 

    NOTE: We have a great four-part series on machine sewn seam finishes if you are new to this technique. 
  6. As you did above with the top panels, place a bottom accent panel right sides together with the bottom of each main panel.
    NOTE: Again, if you are working with a directional print, make sure you are pinning together the bottom of the main panel with the top (the un-hemmed edge) of the accent panel. 
  7. Pin in place across the 21” width of the panel. 
  8. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together. 
  9. Finish the seam allowance with your favorite method.

Layer and create the bottom envelope-style opening

NOTE: Mr. Bones is almost life size, which makes him a bit hard to capture well in one photo. So, we made a mini version to show how the overlap works. The fabric used is the spider web for both the mini accent panel and the mini main panel. Of course on your actual-size version, you’d have two fabrics. 

  1. Place the longer panel right side up and flat on your work surface (the one with the narrow hem). Orient the panel so the bottom (the overlap) is positioned at the top of your work surface. This is just to make it easier to fold and pin. 
  2. Place the short panel (the one with the wide hem) right side down on top of the longer panel. In other words, the two panels are now right sides together. 
  3. Align the raw side edges of the panels as well as raw top edges, which means you are sandwiching the handle loop between the layers along the top edge. Pin along both sides and across the top.
  4. Make sure you align the horizontal accent panel seams at both the top and bottom along both sides. 
  5. At the opposite end (what will be the bottom of the pillow cover), the hemmed edged of the shorter panel will stop approximately 8” from the hemmed edge of the longer panel. This is correct and is what allows for the envelope-style closure. 
  6. Fold the longer panel down over the shorter panel. You are folding along the top hemmed edge of the shorter panel. We placed a pin at each outer edge of the top of the hem to make it easy to see where to fold.
  7. Pin the fold in place along each side. The photo below shows the full size pillow cover.
     
  8. This overlap fold creates the envelope-style opening. 
  9. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch both sides and across the top (securing the handle loop). Do not stitch across the folded bottom. Remember to pivot at each corner. 
  10. Finish the seam allowance with your favorite method.
  11. Turn the pillow cover right side out through the bottom opening. Gently push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A long blunt tool, such as a knitting needle or chopstick works well for this. 
  12. Press well. 
  13. Position the cover so what was the longer panel (the folded over panel with the narrow hem) is on the bottom. Insert the pillow form into the cover. 
  14. Pull open the “envelope pocket.” 
  15. Slip the pocket over the end of the pillow form. Adjust so this pocket sits flat against the pillow form.
  16. Let the top panel (the panel with the wider hem) fall down into place. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

Section: 

Comments (4)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@A Any Mouse - Thank you! Everyone needs a huggable skeleton dontcha thing?!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@shirlsew - Thank you ... it's one of our faves too! So comfy!!