Go Back

Night Circus Book Lover Pillowcase Tutorial

Book lover pillowcase tutorial by Rae Gun Ramblings. Inspired by Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.
Keyword: craft, Home Decor, sewing, tutorial


  • Iron-on vinyl
  • 1/2 yard pillow base fabric mine is gray
  • 1/4 yard accent fabric or a strip 3″ X 2 yards
  • 2 yards eyelet lace
  • 2 yards velvet ribbon


  • First cut the image out of the iron-on vinyl. I used my Cricut that I got around Christmas and I really like how it works with the online Cricut craft room All I had to do was search books and it pulled up the reader image from A Child’s Year cartridge (my favorite Cricut cartridge actually). The vinyl comes with a protective plastic over it and you want the plastic (shinny) side to go down and the vinyl (matte) side to be up on the mat. After you cut the image set it aside.
  • My pillows are 17″ squares so I’m going to do the measurements based on that. If you want to make a different size pillow case you can change the measurements. See my basic pillow case tutorial and that will give you an idea on how to manipulate that.
  • I used a piece of fabric 17″ by 38″. From that I cut a 17″ square. I cut the remaining piece in half leaving me with a piece 17″X17″ and two pieces that were each 15.5X17.
  • Take the square piece and your accent fabric. Make a 2 yard by 3 inch strip of fabric out of your accent fabric. Lay the accent fabric around the edge of the pillow folding and tucking under when you come to the corners. Pin as needed.
  • Next cut your lace into 4 strips that will fit under the edge of the accent fabric I did mine about 11 inches long. Tuck the lace under the accent fabric and pin.
  • Next pin the ribbon on top of the edge of the accent fabric. You want to use the ribbon to seal in the edge of the fabric so there is nothing to unravel. At the corners leave loops of extra ribbon about 1.5 inches long (folded). Sew down both edges of the ribbon making sure to leave the loops. (In the pictures you’ll see I did this after the iron on but I think it’s better to do it before then your pins won’t get bumped)
  • Next push down the loops so they are folded with equal amounts on both sides of the fold. Using a zig zag stitch to catch both folded sides sew down the middle of the ribbon. This makes the cute bow accent.
  • Now take your vinyl cut-out and with the shinny side up position it on your pillow. Using a scrap piece of fabric on top of the vinyl, iron down by pressing and holding for 30 seconds until all parts of the cut-out are affixed. Then flip the pillow over and repeat the 30 seconds ironing on the back side.
  • To finish the pillow first finish one of the 17″ long edges of each back piece. I did this by serging and then folding down and making a hem. (In the picture I only did the flap that would be out of the pillow and used the selvage edge on the inside but you can finish both sides just as easily)
  • Then lay the back pieces on the square front piece right sides together and pin. There should be a decent amount of overlap with the back pieces this forms the “pocket” of the pillow. Sew all four edges. Then flip the pillow right side out and iron the edges and stuff with a pillow form. And now you have a sweet book lover pillowcase.
Love this? Get More! Follow Rae Gun Ramblings on Pinterest