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I have three little girls who LOVE doing crafts or “art” as they call it.  So this summer we are tackling some simple and fun art projects that are also low budget.  I thought as long as the projects were successful that I would share them with you in case you are looking for some ideas!  Sorry about my drawings below, I wasn’t planning on posting when we made them so I didn’t take pictures of each step…

This weekend we tackled pillowcase nightgowns.  It took about 2 hours but would be shorter if you do the sewing yourself.  I turned it into a sewing machine lesson for my older girls so it was a little slower that way.  The only thing we ended up needing was ribbon so the whole project for three gowns cost less than $5!

You will need:

(1) Old Pillowcase (100% cotton works best if you want to have fun with the markers)
Needle and thread (or sewing machine)
Fabric ribbon
Scissors
Permanent markers
Bottle of finger nail polish remover
Q-tips

Instructions:

1. Find an old pillowcase, in a light color.

2. Fold the pillowcase in half longways with the closed corners of the pillow case on the top left corner.

3. Cut a “J” shape on the top, left for the arm holes. Then cut straight across the top, opening up the closed end of the pillowcase.

4.  Let your kids decorate their pajamas however they like.  We used permanent markers and then let them use acetone on q-tips (outside) to make the marker bleed, creating a water color look.  Make sure to put a trash bag or some other protective sheet inside the pillow case so that artwork from the front doesn’t bleed to the back.

Tip: The permanent marker will only create the water color look on 100% cotton fabric.

4. Use a sewing machine, or needle and thread, to hem the arm holes and the front and back of the neck opening.  We did one simple 1/4 inch fold with a zigzag stitch on the machine.

4.  At the top opening, fold down and pin to make a pocket at least 1/4 inch larger than the ribbon you are using.

5. Push ribbon through the pocket you just made (we put a safety pin on the end of the ribbon so you have something to grab as you push it through).

6.  Gather the top and back a little to create a fuller look around the neck.  Tack the ribbon in place in the front and back (now it won’t come out when you wash it).

6. Tie ribbons together above each shoulder & wear!

(thanks to my awesome Mother-in-law for coming up with this project & helping!)

    • Drseusnc

      Thats a great idea! Thank Jenny! Might make one for myself out of a body size pillowcase! Super cute and super easy!

    • Drseusnc

      Thats a great idea! Thank Jenny! Might make one for myself out of a body size pillowcase! Super cute and super easy!

    • Too cute!!

    • Too cute!!

    • couponme

      My sister had made pillow case dresses for friends and family for years  they are some of the cutest summer dresses.  There are some really pretty patterned high end pillow cases that you can find on clearance at Dillards, Belks, TJMaxx, etc.  Get matching ribbon and follow similar directions  with the pretty pillow case and you have a precious summer dress or top.  If you have an embroidery machine, initials look nice too.  Sometimes she added rick rack or other trim.  I was always envious since I  had two boys and couldn’t dress them in those cute pillowcase dresses.

    • Becka

      Thanks so much for this post. And yes I would like to see more of the crafts that you do.

    • Thevialls

      super cute!

    • Kristie G.

      So cute!  Thanks for the craft ideas.  I know my 3 girls will have so much fun making them.  Now, I need to see how I can modifiy it to include my little boy as well…perhaps a super hero cape! ;o)  Keep the craft ideas coming!

    • Couponsforheather

      My church collects pillowcases every year to make dresses to send to foreign countries.  Never thought about using for a gown.  I only have boys, so guess I will donate mine.

    • this is so cute!!!!

    • zeb

      Your girls are absolutely adorable!

    • Lcook53009

      Cute!  You can find a gazillion and one inexpensive craft ideas on Pinterest.  I currently teach toddlers (until I graduate and teach older Elementary/Special Education) and have found so many great ideas!  I’ve also come up with a few, and ‘recycled’ a few ideas as well.  For example, we made coffee filter flowers for mothers day.  I mixed water and food coloring, and we painted designs on the filters.  After they dried overnight, I stacked 3-6 of them together pushed down in the middle and twisted to create a flower.  Taped the ‘stem’ and added a pipe cleaner.  They turned out really well and the moms thought they were adorable.  I made extras for the kids since they are all two and of course wanted to play with them.

    • momof3

      Pajamas are one thing that I find to be ridiculously expensive, as you can’t even wear the out!  Great idea!

    • Melissa

      I LOVE this idea. Too bad I only have a son and it would traumatize him :)

    • this is so cute my kids are all grown up but when i get a grand daughter this will be fun

    • MommaJen

      My 7 year old daughter went to a  birthday party 2 weeks ago where they did this with black pillow cases and zebra print ribbon.Their daughter wanted a wedding theme birthday party and it turned out amazing! The birthday girl wore a wore a long white dress with a train and the girls were her bridesmaids. It was the cutest thing every!!!

    • Mandy

      Not sure about using something with ribbon as a night gown, but i make these as little summer dresses.  The nightgown thing scares me.  

      • mom77

        I was thinking the same thing…..maybe elastic could be used in the neck and the ribbon used just as decoration (small bows sewed to the shoulders). It wouldn’t be as easy of a project though….

    • Couponkelly75

      Love this idea! Thanks for sharing. Your girls are so precious.

    • Sis2

      Don’t have a little girl?  You can use the same concept and make a shirt for yourself. 

    • Sis2

      Don’t have a little girl?  You can use the same concept and make a shirt for yourself. 

    • S_macfadyen

      Adorable girls and adorable dresses.  I would also encourage them to wear them as sundresses and not chance a ribbon getting caught around their neck at bedtime.  Choking hazard.  Thank you for sharing your pattern and the precious picture.

    • S_macfadyen

      Adorable girls and adorable dresses.  I would also encourage them to wear them as sundresses and not chance a ribbon getting caught around their neck at bedtime.  Choking hazard.  Thank you for sharing your pattern and the precious picture.

    • Kadalog

      Thanks, Jenny, what a fun project for little girls. !!!  Any, ideas for little boys, I have all boys 4 of them to be exact..9, 7, 5, 2 …bored now that school is out.. 

      • Janice

        for the boys- I saw this in some magazine the past month, but cannot remember where. 
        You can make your own parachute men. Take a coffee filter, and decorate with markers. Spritz with a little water to make colors bleed, and let air dry (we skipped this step, my son didn’t want his colors run together). Use pieces of Scotch tape at top, bottom, and both sides evenly spaced.  Use a hole punch to make a hole in each scotch tape piece. Put a piece of thread in each hole.Tie all 4 pieces to one of the hundreds of plastic soldiers most little boys have laying around :-)
        Take it outside and throw it around! My son was bored the other day, and this craft/ play time was good for at least an hour and a half. :-)

    • Fan223

      The girls are so darling. u r super lucky.

    • I saw some boys (girls can use too) projects on clearance at the Panama City Beach store for all sorts of craft/do-it-yourself projects starting off at like $2 each! I don’t have kids but was thinking they’d make great birthday/Christmas gifts if you wanted to stock up for the future, but I guess they’d work for summer too

    • Robin

      Your girls are precious.  My grandaughter would love this project.  I wanted also, to let you know that I love your website and visit it everyday 3-4 times a day.  You do a great job for everyone.  Keep the good work coming, we love it.

    • Wrenn_jessica

      your gurls are cute i did this with my daughter and she love it and she thought is was fun to do andwe might make some for my cousin kids

    • Grooms53

      Jenny,
           What precious little girls!  They are so cute in their little gowns!  You are awesome, and I appreciate you for all you do.  I don’t know how you get it all done, but I thank you!

    • Annick

      How cute!