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Throw Your Own One Million Pillowcase Craft Party

Aug 19, 2010

by Julie Schneider handmade and vintage goods

Update: Congratulations to the top 15 locations! These groups will be receiving material boxes from the folks at All People Quilt. (If your group was in the top 15 on August 15th, we’ve reached out to you and a box is in the works… you know who you are!) Remember, if you’re ready to use your sewing skills for good, it’s not too late to join in the sewing fun; search for a local group hosting a One Million Pillowcase Craft Night here. If you’re in NYC, please do join us at the Etsy Labs on Monday, August 23. (Details below.)


Hello crafty bees! We invite you to participate with us in the One Million Pillowcase Challenge by lending your sewing skills to a good cause. To join in, create a meet up in your area using the Meetup Everywhere tool. Invite all your pals for a Craftivism Party, and gather together and stitch up pillowcases to donate to a charity of your choice. As an extra incentive, beyond the already rewarding warm fuzzy feeling of crafting for good and spending time with your local handmade community, the 15 groups with the most people RSVP’d by Tuesday, August 10 will receive a box of supplies from the folks behind the One Million Pillowcase Challenge, All People Quilt.

One Million Pillowcases Craft Night at Etsy Labs in Brooklyn, NY

In tune with the One Million Pillowcase Challenge, we’re hosting a pillowcase-making Craft Night at the Etsy Labs in August. We will be making pillowcases with materials donated by Housing Works from their ten thrift stores. Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Their mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses to sustain these efforts. Going full circle, the completed pillowcases will, in turn, be donated to Housing Works to support their initiatives. All skill levels are welcome!

RSVP for the Brooklyn event through Meetups Everywhere.

Where: 55 Washington Street, Suite 512 in Brooklyn, New York 11201
When: Monday, August 23 from 4-8 p.m.
And, online: Live far away? Join us online at 5 p.m. ET for a how-to demo in the Virtual Labs, our online multi-user chat room. (Click here to see what time 5 p.m. ET is in your hometown.)

I’d like to participate too! How do I get started?
We’ve started an umbrella Etsy Craft Party: One Million Pillowcase Challenge Meetup on the Meetups Everywhere site, as a special edition of Etsy Craft Party. (If you missed our original Etsy Craft Party in June 2010, be sure to read the stories and look at the photos from these amazing events across the globe for inspiration.)

From this over-arching event anyone can start an Etsy Craft Party: One Million Pillowcase Challenge Meetup, attend an existing Craft Party Meetup, or even step up as an organizer (if there isn’t one already). If there isn’t an Etsy Craft Party Meetup scheduled in your town yet, click Schedule a Meetup near you to get one on the map. To find a local Meetup, just search for your town on the Etsy Meetup map and click I’m interested. That will let others know that you’ll be there in August, and together you can decide what project(s) to make, what snacks to nibble on, and what your individual Craft Party will be like.

Then, drop some ideas for a location and activity for the Meetup in the comment box to help folks get ideas flowing on where to meet. If your Craft Party Meetup doesn’t have an organizer, you should consider stepping up. This will enable you to set the location, change the time, and to curate comments and guests. Don’t forget to contact your local quilt store to see how they’re participating too.



What exactly is the One Million Pillowcase Challenge?
American Patchwork & Quilting is challenging you to help us reach our goal of donating one million pillowcases to local charities. Many charities can benefit from the donation of a pillowcase and the challenge gives you the opportunity to donate and make a difference in your community.

How do I make a pillowcase?
For a tutorial, check out this step-by-step video and download free patterns. Creativity is certainly encouraged if you wish to use an original design. 

Where should we donate the pillowcases we make at my gathering?
Once your pillowcases are complete, you can refer to a list of suggested charities or find a local organization that inspires you. American Patchwork & Quilting is tallying the total number of pillowcases donated, so be sure to visit their website to enter the number you contributed. You can upload pictures to their gallery as well, and mention your Etsy profile or shop.

Can anyone be involved? I don’t live in the U.S. — can I still participate?
Yes! Craft Party is all about connecting with your local art, craft, and design community to celebrate creativity, no matter where in the world you live.

Do I have to have an Etsy account to join in the fun?
No! Anyone can join, start or organize an Etsy Craft Party Meetup. We just want you to have fun and make pillowcases together for a good cause.

Do I have to have a Meetup account to join in the fun?
No, you can RSVP with your Facebook sign-in, if you don’t have a Meetup account. If you don’t have a Facebook account or a Meetup account, you’ll need one or the other to RSVP and/or step up as an organizer for a Craft Party. It’s free and easy to sign up, don’t worry!

Does the event need a organizer?
Not at first, however, in order to receive a package from All People Quilt, your event should have an organizer. (We need someone to send the package to!)

Can we change the time and date of the event?
Yes. The event organizer can change the time, date, and set the location of the event. In order to be in the running to receive a box of sewing supplies for your Etsy Craft Party: One Million Pillowcase Challenge Meetup, your event will need to happen.

Can I add a new Meetup to the map, even if my town already has one?
Go for it. If the current Meetup is too far away, feel free to schedule another. 

Can we have the party even if we don’t make it to the top 15 locations?
Yes, please do! We encourage you to organize your party and have a blast! You might have so much fun that this will become a regular event in your city. (We hope so.)  

Does using the Meetup Everywhere tool cost money?
Nope. The Meetup Everywhere site is free and creating a account is free. You might want to pitch in for refreshments and supplies. More ideas for how to throw a craft party on the cheap can be found here.

What’s the difference between Meetup Everywhere and Meetup Groups?
Meetup Everywhere is not a Meetup Group. A Meetup Group is a local community group. Meetup Everywhere is a simple way to spark Meetups all over the world.

This sounds great. How can I help get the word out about Craft Party?
Help us spread the word about this global Craft Party. If you tweet about your Craft Party, make sure to add the hash tag #CraftParty. Get ready to share photos of the event by joining our Craft Party Flickr Group and upload photos to the One Million Pillowcase Challenge’s photo gallery.

Will you be joining in the One Million Pillowcase project? Let us know in the comments below.

Calling Etsy Crafters to the Pillowcase Challenge |  How to Throw Your Own Craft Night 

Gilded Birdcage Pillowcase Pair Standard Black on White
Gilded Birdcage Pillowcase Pair Standard Black on White
Two New Handmade Contemporary Modern 16 inch Chocolate Brown Blue Saffron Yellow Flower Print Designer Retro Cushion Covers,Pillow Cases,Pillow Covers, Pillowshams,Throw Pillow,NEW FABRIC
Two New Handmade Contemporary Modern 16 inch Chocolate Brown Blue Saffron Yellow Flower Print Designer Retro Cushion Covers,Pillow Cases,Pillow Covers, Pillowshams,Throw Pillow,NEW FABRIC
Set of Two vintage - Flower and Stripes - Pillow Cases STANDARD
Set of Two vintage - Flower and Stripes - Pillow Cases STANDARD
Pillow Form -- 12 x 16
Pillow Form -- 12 x 16
One (1) Black Nautical Sail Boat Ship Standard Pillowcase pillow case cover
One (1) Black Nautical Sail Boat Ship Standard Pillowcase pillow case cover
$9.95 USD
Vintage Davy Crockett Pillowcase Slip
Vintage Davy Crockett Pillowcase Slip


  • tangente

    tangente said 8 years ago

    What a fun idea! Too bad there's no one signed up in my area yet.

  • shizendesigns

    shizendesigns said 8 years ago

    This is so awesome - I'd love to make pillowcases!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 8 years ago

    Perfect !! I wish I was there :)) Happy sewing :)

  • Raceytay

    Raceytay said 8 years ago

    What a great idea. And those pillows look sooooo comfy.

  • RainyPenguinVintage

    RainyPenguinVintage said 8 years ago

    What a neat idea. Maybe this will motivate me to learn to sew ;) Jeanne Rainy Penguin Vintage

  • akcArt

    akcArt said 8 years ago

    What a great instructional video! I don't so and even I got it! Wonder how long it would take me to do the sewing by hand! AHHHH! VERY COOL! Thanks for showing this

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 said 8 years ago

    great idea!

  • akcArt

    akcArt said 8 years ago

    What a great idea! What a great cause!

  • bunnygoods

    bunnygoods said 8 years ago

    love this! creativity that helps others! rewarding to the Nth degree!

  • Handamade

    Handamade said 8 years ago

    What a great idea!

  • AngelloftCreations

    AngelloftCreations said 8 years ago

    This is a wonderful idea. This would also be a great project for Girl Scout Troops to do. The pillowcases could be a good first time sewing project. My niece and her troop made blankets for the Linus Group for her bronze award a few years ago. I believe the Linus Group passes these blankets out to sick children hospitalized(maybe adults also). The girls, families, and leaders usually enjoy making things for other people. I am going to forward this info to our local girl scout council. Thank you for the idea.

  • SatinandBirch

    SatinandBirch said 8 years ago

    Great and wonderful Idea! I'm out in the boonies so to speak but maybe I can join another group, thanks for the post!

  • TeenahTime

    TeenahTime said 8 years ago

    what a great project

  • Adeleshop

    Adeleshop said 8 years ago

    Nice work!

  • dollybirdboutique

    dollybirdboutique said 8 years ago

    yey great fun x

  • eternalsourceglass

    eternalsourceglass said 8 years ago

    I think this is a wonderful idea! I hope someone in my area signs up. It almost makes you want to attach all the pillowcases to create a quilt. Its been a while since i had a date with my sewing machine. I'm looking forward to it.

  • hausofgmone

    hausofgmone said 8 years ago

    goode idea

  • NicoAndMooMoo

    NicoAndMooMoo said 8 years ago

    sweet and smart!

  • designMatter

    designMatter said 8 years ago

    ...for sweet dreams!

  • brideblu

    brideblu said 8 years ago

    This is such a rad idea!

  • sweetjane

    sweetjane said 8 years ago

    I wish I lived in Brooklyn...I could make pillowcases with you guys AND eat that awesome ice cream!!

  • LeafandInk

    LeafandInk said 8 years ago

    Make art not war! Peace to all through Etsy and beyond!!!

  • HarrietsHaven

    HarrietsHaven said 8 years ago

    I've added myself to the meetup site, hopefully others join with me in my area. If not, I'll still definitely participate on my own and help out as well as I can. Now, off to check out the tutorial! I have a ton of fabric - are we allowed to use what we have on hand?

  • BGSStudio13

    BGSStudio13 said 8 years ago

    Very cool. I'll see what I can come up with! If you'd like to promote this activity, contact me. I write articles for the and would be happy to publish a little something about this project. I also conduct personal interviews with artisans so if any of you out there would like to be interviewed and promote your Etsy shop or your on-line store, give me a shout out and I will send you more info. Or you can see some of my interviews at and grab the instructions there. Cheers~ Bettie

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 8 years ago

    What a wonderful thing to do!

  • radiantgirlcrafts

    radiantgirlcrafts said 8 years ago

    What a fun idea! Linking to my

  • fionaballard

    fionaballard said 8 years ago

    Fantastic idea. I'll see what I can do to get people involved in Nanaimo, BC.

  • TrimsNmore

    TrimsNmore said 8 years ago

    What a really great idea.

  • craftpile

    craftpile said 8 years ago

    So awesome!

  • SewWriteCreations

    SewWriteCreations said 8 years ago

    Cool! I just signed up to participate long distance! Three cheers for the web!

  • Evajune

    Evajune said 8 years ago

    I'm signing up too. what a wonderful cause!

  • notApplicable

    notApplicable said 8 years ago


  • ellesbeads

    ellesbeads said 8 years ago

    Sounds great. I put my name down on the Meetup site so we'll see what happens.

  • sandyvern

    sandyvern said 8 years ago

    What a great idea! And such great patterns :-)

  • BunniesandAvacado

    BunniesandAvacado said 8 years ago

    Wow, I wish I could I wish I might do some pillowcasing-craft-awesomeness that night. I'll be there in spirit.

  • Newcreature584

    Newcreature584 said 8 years ago

    Great idea!

  • ChoochMagooz

    ChoochMagooz said 8 years ago

    Just in time to consider donating your completed pillowcase's to Craft Hopes project 9. Pillowcase's for ConKerr cancer foundation. We've already got a small group organizing in Mallorca Spain if there are any etsians island side.

  • uniqueimaginations

    uniqueimaginations said 8 years ago

    I love making pillowcases, in fact that was all I ever sewed for several years/ I also take already pillowcases and make them into nightgowns for my grandaughter. She looks so cute in them and she likes them. She is 5 going on 50 lol, happy sewing everyone, check out my etsy store,

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 8 years ago

    What an awesome idea!!

  • DoxyDame

    DoxyDame said 8 years ago

    Oh my gosh! this is such an awesome meetup idea! My Etsy team in St. Louis, Missouri (MADE) did the Etsy Craft Night party last time and it was such a great turnout! I am already getting together our team to do this one too! Etsy you have such wonderful ideas!

  • gnormyle

    gnormyle said 8 years ago

    Such a great idea. The AWEteam is discussing this. FUN!

  • rahul1989

    rahul1989 said 8 years ago

    Such a nice thing and awesome in this AWE team is describing about the fun cool i like it Gold Price

  • DanceLikeIts1492

    DanceLikeIts1492 said 8 years ago

    I can't wait to make up for missing the Etsy Craft Party!!! I just hope enough people around Chicago are interested! Let's go Chicago!

  • marbled

    marbled said 8 years ago

    Great idea!

  • YumYumPendants

    YumYumPendants said 8 years ago

    Love the idea!

  • Midnightcreations

    Midnightcreations said 8 years ago

    I have been doing a pillow case a month all year long. Check local quilt shops many have drop off points then distribute to local charities. So glad etsy is helping this great cause, even those with modest sewing skills can make a pillow case!

  • byjlc

    byjlc said 8 years ago

    This is wonderful! Does anyone know if they have something like this for jewelry?

  • CindyrellasCloset

    CindyrellasCloset said 8 years ago

    These pillows are so easy to make and you get to be so creative!

  • CindyrellasCloset

    CindyrellasCloset said 8 years ago

    Forgot to mention that this would be a great project for a beginner sewer because it is all straight sewing!

  • Maulani

    Maulani said 8 years ago

    Great! But in my area there's still lack of people who love to craft. Sigh.

  • KMalinka

    KMalinka said 8 years ago

    great idea!

  • AmcPoelmanDesign

    AmcPoelmanDesign said 8 years ago

    Great idea!

  • nowonder

    nowonder said 8 years ago

    Great Challenge, and a fun one to do!

  • avocadocreations

    avocadocreations said 8 years ago

    Awesome - glad to see the word is getting around. I've been madly sewing up pillowcases here with extra fabric - plenty of places to donate them to!

  • HeyChica

    HeyChica said 8 years ago

    Great idea, pillowcases are fun and easy to make!

  • NorthwestBridal

    NorthwestBridal said 8 years ago

    I am working on getting a group together to sew up some pillow cases in September, it is such a great idea, and so many places to donate to. Thank you etsy for making me aware of this great project!

  • BotanicalBead

    BotanicalBead said 8 years ago

    Such a great idea!

  • LifeSoapSimple

    LifeSoapSimple said 8 years ago

    We did this as a family and donated to a local shop who is in turn donating to a local charity.

  • elemegibere

    elemegibere said 8 years ago


  • slumbersoft

    slumbersoft said 8 years ago

    I donated to my quilt guild, The Woodlands Area Quilt.

  • sexygeekwithattitude

    sexygeekwithattitude said 8 years ago

    very kool idea!

  • Dee875

    Dee875 said 8 years ago

    Looking forward to my first visit to the Etsy Labs and doing something so crafty & awesome!

  • buysomelove

    buysomelove said 8 years ago

    spiffin' idea! love it.

  • baltznoah

    baltznoah said 8 years ago

    Wouln't it be great to join up with little dresses for and donate the pillowcases to be made into these simple dresses for girls world wide who lack the simple dignity of a single item to wear. I think the pillowcase idea is great on its own. There are so many places in need of these items. Did you get to one million by Aug 10. What happens to this effort after August? Ames, Iowa

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 8 years ago

    How fun - what a crafty idea!

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 8 years ago

    great idea!

  • jenniferdarezzo

    jenniferdarezzo said 8 years ago

    This type of project is one of the reasons I am so proud to be part of Etsy!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 8 years ago

    Gosh that davey crocket pillowcase is awesome, I remember that off when I was a kid. 'king of the wild frontier'

  • shecological

    shecological said 8 years ago

    This is such a great community building idea and a great way to have fun crafting!

  • junkyardglitter

    junkyardglitter said 8 years ago

    This idea is BRILLIANT!

  • Jusadreamin

    Jusadreamin said 8 years ago

    BEAUTIFUL great idea seems fun Thanks for sharing

  • bedbuggs

    bedbuggs said 8 years ago

    Looks like too much fun!

  • SeaFindDesigns

    SeaFindDesigns said 8 years ago

    Yahoo for another CRAFT PARTY!! Our Craftland in Providence will be hosting ours..... can't wait!!

  • LeafandInk

    LeafandInk said 8 years ago

    What a great way to have community and create together all in the name of helping others! We see that their are 12 people via Meetup who are in Portland waiting to hook up for this event. Let's connect and see what we can do to make this a successful venture! LeafandInk

  • DomusModern

    DomusModern said 8 years ago

    What a great idea!

  • MariesCorner

    MariesCorner said 8 years ago

    Great idea!

  • sweetjane

    sweetjane said 8 years ago

    I have to get my lazy butt in gear and make some of these. I love the massive effort to do something kind for people who need their spirits lifted. It is also a great way to use up left fabric.

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 8 years ago

    cute kids : ) I love to recover pillows. Putting your own artistic twist on them.

  • shop1848

    shop1848 said 8 years ago

    Wonderful idea!!

  • designedbyDiana

    designedbyDiana said 8 years ago

    the group over at Handmade Miami can't wait to show off our pillowcases and our box!

  • JeweledMaiden

    JeweledMaiden said 8 years ago

    Love it! how cute!!

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 8 years ago

    I love all the bright, textured fabrics. Most pillow cases are boring, but I bet none of these will be!

  • RhondasPaintings

    RhondasPaintings said 8 years ago

    I love to make pillows also. I haven't done so in awhile. I've been busy painting lately. I remember taking a pillow apart to figure out how it was sewed. finally figured it out and made more. Your colors are heartwarming. Rhonda

  • VelveteenHabbit

    VelveteenHabbit said 8 years ago

    Who would think--the lowly pillow case could be such an awesome outlet for creativity and giving!! I covet the Davy Crocket vintage ooooooh! How about another challenge? Building on the pillow case about filling the million pillow cases with school supplies and or personal supplies and or pretty clothes for girls or cool guys' items for people affected by AIDS/HIV who still go to school??? Just an idea. I'd love to participate--I am a non sew-er!!!

  • paroliro

    paroliro said 8 years ago

    Hi Julie! I plan to be there, I love to make pillowcases! Such a good cause, and where you rest your head each night is an important place to enjoy art. Barbara @ paroliro

  • FeliKiwi

    FeliKiwi said 8 years ago

    Hello! I have two questions: Are children allowed and since I didn't sign up for the supply box in time, do I bring my own material from thread to scissors?

  • marlynncg01

    marlynncg01 said 8 years ago

    Nice idea,i like it. ------------- Dieting

  • LollyBopBaby

    LollyBopBaby said 8 years ago

    Awesome. What a neat idea!

  • AllThingsGrand

    AllThingsGrand said 8 years ago

    Wow! That is a really neat idea! We are new to Etsy, and the craft business...but loving it so far :) P.S. Feel free to check out my site and if you purchase something and mention this post I will give you 10% off your first order from me!! Thanks, and have a great day! Steph

  • ivalinakrasteva

    ivalinakrasteva said 8 years ago

    ИдеÑта е много хубава, но аз изпуÑнах датата за Ñреща.ÐапоÑледък Ñъм малко по-ангажирана. Ð‘Ð»Ð°Ð³Ð¾Ð´Ð°Ñ€Ñ Ð·Ð° поканата вÑе пак! Ивалина

  • excentrix

    excentrix said 8 years ago

    I LOVE THIS STUFF..... Awesome guys!!!

  • gototes

    gototes said 8 years ago

    My friend from Dream On made and donated some wonderful and very cute pillow cases for this challenge; wonderful cause!!

  • Mediocricy

    Mediocricy said 8 years ago Just wanted to drop a comment and say I am new to your blog and really like what I am reading. Thanks for the great content. Look forward to coming back for more.

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