Project: Hidden Pocket Dorm Pillow | OLFA - Craft OLFA – Craft

Project: Hidden Pocket Dorm Pillow

Create this 30” pillow using college themed fabric, and it will be the perfect gift for your favorite grad! Pillow has two hidden pockets (great for an MP3 player, cell phone, or writing tools) in the side borders. A comfortable and practical pillow that can be used for relaxing, studying, or just lounging – what a great idea! You’ll quickly be bombarded with requests for more of these great pillows!


  • For this project, the top and bottom 5-1/2″ borders in the coordinate 2 fabric were cut first.  Next cut were the two side 5-½” borders parallel to the selvage.  This was done because it was a directional fabric. The last thing cut out of the coordinate 2 fabric was the 30”x 34” pieces that would be used on the back.
  • You will likely have to make similar adjustments as college fabrics often have words or other directional elements on them.
  • For this entire project, you will be using a standard ¼” seam allowance.




  • 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ Non-Slip, Frosted Advantage™ Acrylic Ruler (QR-6S)
  • 6″ x 24″ Non-Slip, Frosted Advantage™ Acrylic Ruler (QR-6×24)
  • 18″ x 24″ Self-Healing Rotary Mat (RM-SG)
  • 45mm Deluxe Ergonomic Rotary Cutter (RTY-2/DX)


  • 30” Pillow form
  • 1/4 yd Coordinate fabric 1 (yellow in example)
  • 2-1/4 yds Coordinate fabric 2 (purple in example)
  • 3/8 yd Black fabric


  1. Cut fabric as follows:
    • 5 squares measuring 6-½” (coordinate 1)
    • 4 squares measuring 6-½” (coordinate 2)
    • 2 pieces 30” x 34” (coordinate 2)
    • 4 strips 5-¼” x 30” (coordinate 2)
    • 2 strips 1-½” x 18-½” (black)
    • 2 strips 1-½” x 20-½” (black)
    • remaining black fabric used for binding
  2. Make a 9-patch block using the 6-½” squares. Alternate the fabrics in a checkerboard pattern, with coordinate 1 in the center square.  Resulting block will be 18-½”.
  3. Border this block with the 1-½” wide strips.  Use the 18-½” strips on either side of the block, with the 20-½” length for the top and bottom borders.  New block size is 20-½”.

  4. Create second border using the strips cut from coordinate 2.  Read carefully as this is where you will create the ‘hidden’ pocket.
    • Orient your block so the top edge is the furthest from you. Pin one 5-¼” x 30” strip along one side (left or right) of the block, starting at the top edge of the block and leaving a 10-½” tail that will hang below the block. Don’t use pins for the bottom 6” of the block.
    • Fold the tail up so the fold is even with the bottom edge of the block.
    • Fold the tail again, down this time, at 5-¼” inches.  You should now have a section at the bottom of this border that is roughly 5-¼” long and has three layers of fabric (not including the block), with one fold at the top and one at the bottom.
    • Finish by pining folded section and sewing border as normal.


  5. Repeat step 4 for the opposite side, creating a second pocket. Then add top and bottom borders as you normally would.  This completes the front of the pillow.
  6. For the back, use the 30” x 34” pieces folded in half (so they will be 30” x 17”), and overlap at the folds. Do not sew together at this overlap. This creates an envelope opening for you to use to insert the pillow form. You will not need to use any type of button or other closure, although these can be added if you want.
  7. Rather than sewing the back and front together with right sides facing as you would normally, sew with wrong sides together. Then use the remaining black fabric to bind the pillow as you would a quilt.



Project by: Sheila Reinke