Pillow Talk: How to Turn Vintage Pillowcases into Napkins in Minutes + DIY Easter Place Cards

By Brittni • Updated on 07/07/2021

Spring DIY // How to Turn a Vintage Pillowcase into a Set of Napkins in Minutes

Last week, I found a pair of 60s / 70s (???) floral pillowcases at an antique store (Highland Row if you’re local) and fell in love with the pattern and the colors. They totally reminded me of the sheets my grandma used to have at her house when I was a kid and I just couldn’t resist buying them ($10 for the pair).

But I don’t really need any more pillowcases at this point, so we turned them into spring napkins that would be really cute for Easter (and beyond). Here’s how to revamp a simple pillowcase into a dinner napkin in just a few minutes.

How to Turn a Vintage Pillowcase into a Set of Napkins in Minutes

How to Turn a Vintage Pillowcase into a Set of Napkins in Minutes


  • vintage pillowcases
  • sewing machine
  • thread


  1. Lay your pillowcase flat and with a ruler or measuring tape measure a 19″ x  21″ rectangle. We wanted our napkins to be 18″ x 20″ so we added an inch to each to be able to have room for each seem.
  2. Cut out your shape. You should be left with two pieces of fabric but you will want to keep them together so that your finished napkin will have a nice weight.
  3. Keeping your two pieces of fabric together fold one edge to be 1/4″ wide and pin and repeat on the opposite edge.
  4. Sew each edge that you have pinned.
  5. When you’re done sewing your first two edges fold those same sides again and repeat the process of pinning at 1/4″ and sewing so that you’re left with a completely finished edge on opposite sides of your fabric. (At this point you will have sewn the same edges twice.)
  6. Now you’re going to repeat the exact same process on the other two opposing edges. When sewing these edges on your second round you might find that the corners or too thick to move under your machine’s foot. If you have that problem you can manually lift the foot to allow the fabric to pass through as it’s being sewn and drop the foot once you’ve made it past the thickest part.
  7. Finish off by ironing your napkins.

P.S. In case you are wondering whether pillowcases actually make for a decent napkin…The answer is yes! Especially our double ply version. Cleaned up studio spills like a champ.

How to Turn a Vintage Pillowcase into a Set of Napkins in Minutes

And for an extra Easter detail, here’s a quick Easter egg DIY…

Grab a brush pen and draw directly on the shell of a boiled egg. This could be a pattern, a phrase, a name, etc. Then, using a paper towel, dab off the extra ink (and pull straight back up so that the ink doesn’t smudge). This is a fun one to try for Easter place cards, with each of your guests names, etc.

Hand lettered place card eggs for Easter

Hand lettered place cards eggs for Easter

Here’s a few more photos of both DIYs in action…

DIY spring napkins

DIY spring napkins + Place card eggs for Easter

DIY spring napkins

DIY spring napkins + Place card eggs for Easter

Sewing and lettering by Rachel Brewer
Photography by Amelia Tatnall
Styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

Think you’ll give this DIY a try? What do you think about reusing an old pillowcase in this way?

22 comments | Click here to reply

I found a very “springy” flowery print pillowcase at thrift store for 1.69 that i opened up on one long & short side & will be adding some edging to the sides to use as a small tablecloth on my outside table that seats 4, so it’s perfect size.


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Thanks Kristina, Kelsey, and Rabecca. 🙂 Glad you like it!


Oh God! I can’t sew to save me life! And it’s funny too because I have a sewing machine. But this definitely made me browse the net for sewing classes. Sooo cute!
Rabecca/ http://www.midnightburnout.com


What a great idea to use old pillowcases for napkins! I’m running to a thrift store today to get some now, just in time for Easter 🙂

Kelsey Hersey

I would never think of that, but it’s a fab idea although I would use lighter thread for this DIY.


Thanks Kenzie and Tammy!


I am in love with that pillowcase! I might need to start going through my grandma’s stash of old pillowcases now to find cool fabric! 😉

Tammy Mitchell

This is such a fun DIY, thanks for sharing!


Aw, thanks Arin. Glad you like it.


You seriously come up with everything! Swoon! www.heartofchic.com


Oh yay, Marwa. That was the goal – that they would blend in seamlessly. So, I’m glad to hear that. 🙂


Woah! Pillow case to napkins, I didn’t even realise when I first saw featured image! I am surely going to search for some good pillows now to make a good set of napkins!

Marwa | Enthralling Gumption

Thanks Nicola!


Great idea! Thanks for sharing. I’ll be taking the spare pillowcases straight out of the car boot sale box!

Nicola Ranson

Thanks Michelle!


Love the idea! They look wonderful!


Isn’t it great, Catherine. I love all of the colors.


Love that pattern! The pillowcases look like they were in good shape too.


Exactly Sarah. Glad you like it.


This is really awesome if you have extra pillowcases lying around — thanks for the idea!

x Sarah

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