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Mr. Bones Glow in the Dark Body Pillow: Halloween at Fabric Depot

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Bet you never thought a skeleton could be soft and cuddly. He can be if he’s a body pillow cover! We were having a great time browsing the Halloween selection at Fabric Depot when we came across the best skeleton fabric panel ever. He’s nearly full size and glows in the dark! After a bit of measuring, we discovered he was also the absolutely perfect size to become the best skeleton body pillow cover ever. 

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 such a dapper skeleton dude who glows in dark, wouldn’t you want to keep him around for Halloween and beyond?!

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 a 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.

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 from Fabric Depot

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. It also lets Mr. Bones watch over you as he glows in the dark. 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. 

With some of the best promotions and sales in the industry and something new almost every day, shopping on FabricDepot.com is always fun. Hop on today for sale prices on many of their most popular Halloween fabrics.

And, if you’ll be out here in the Portland, Oregon area, make sure you visit the Fabric Depot retail location. Sewers and quilters travel around the world to shop 'til they drop in over 40,000 square feet of floor space – literally an acre of fabric and notions. Many of our Sew4Home project samples are on display alongside the exact fabrics we used.

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, trim the panel to 21” wide x 42” high. Our Mr. Bones panel was perfectly centered, allowing us to easily trim along the motif’s borders.
  2. From the coordinating accent fabric (Glow in the Dark Spider Web in our sample), 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 the two 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. 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 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 this 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). 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

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Comments (8)

Emily A said:
Emily A's picture

I just finished the project.  I am a novice sewer.  I can see how I can use this pattern over and over again.  Thank you for sharing this.  i did make the newb mistake of not laundering the fabric before starting the project.  Can't wait for him to charge up.

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

@Emily - That is such great news. Shouldn't be too much of a problem with the laundering. If you finished your seams, it should be fine. Thanks for letting us know. If you are on Facebook (sew4home) or Instagram (sew4home_diy) post a pic and tag us -- we'd love to see!

Sherry Kelly said:
Sherry Kelly's picture

I prewashed  my fabric and it does not glow in the dark! (Fabric is supposed to be washable.) Any suggestions on how to make it glow?

Also, I don't know if it shrunk, but my panel was smaller than stated measurements. Still worked out fine, though.

alicia.thommas said:
alicia.thommas's picture

@ Sherry Kelly: We have not heard of any issue with washing causing the fabric not to glow in the dark. If you followed the manufacturer's care instructions: Pre wash. Machine wash warm. Tumble dry low; it should be fine. Remember that glow-in-the-dark fabric must be "charged" by exposure to bright light for a period of time. Only then can it be seen glowing in a dark room. The glow will dissipate after awhile and will need to be recharged by exposure to bright light. A black light will light it up as well without dissipating.

Jim M said:
Jim M's picture

Don't you need TWO Halloween panels instead of one? The materials list only says you need one panel, but I'm not quite sure how you get a front and a back with just one panel.

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

@ Jim - Opps ! Must have gottten "spooked" when typing up the supply list. YES, of couse you need two. Fixed up above already. That's for the heads-up. 

marypcrafter34@aol.com said:
marypcrafter34@aol.com's picture

too late for me already bought and started sewing to find out i needed another panel

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

@ Mary - so sorry - we caught the error and changed within just a few hours of posting. 

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