Bed pockets - a tutorial

A while ago I made some pink bed pockets for my daughter's beds, for them to store some of their many books in:

They proved to be a big hit - my girls love hanging over the side of their beds to choose a book - and even now - months later, they still put them away in them!! That has got to be a bonus!
At the time, several people asked if I had a tutorial for these pockets.  Well finally, I got around to making up a tutorial, as I decided to make more pockets for the spare bedroom bed to accomodate the girls growing book collection!!

So here finally is the tutorial:

First you need to choose your fabric, and cut the following:

Main fabric:85cm x 40cm (33.5 x 15.75”)
Top flap: 15cm x 40cm (6 x 15.75”)
Inside drawer magic grip: 20cm x 34cm (8 x 13.5”)
Stitch in velcro 10cm piece.(4”)
(the magic grip stuff is the rubbery mesh rolls you can buy to line your kitchen drawers with - this just helps hold the bed pockets in place under the mattress - but you could change this for velcro straps or ties - it just depends on what kind of bed base you have. My original ones had velcro straps which tied around the metal frame base under the matress)

First of all take the top flat piece and make all 4 edges neat by double turning them and stitching:

Then stitch one side of the velcro piece centrally and close to one one edge:

Next take your main fabric piece, double turn and stitch one of the shorter edges to neaten, then stitch on the other velcro piece centrally and 3cm (1.25”)
  down from the finished edge.

Next fold the main piece of fabric right sides together to form the pocket. From the fold to the finished edge should be 28cm (11”).
(of course beds may vary in height - the one I'm working on, where the base and mattress meet to the floor is 34cm (13.5”))
Stitch both sides (I use 3/8" or 1cm seam)

Next you need to box out the corners of the pocket so you can fit lots of books in!
To do this, reach your hand inside the pocket you just created and flatten out the corner with the seam in the middle:

Make sure the seam is central on your fold, then stitch across the triangle  4cm (1.5”)
  in from the point.  It's worth doing a double row of stitching here for extra strength.

Then snip off the triangle of corner just below the stitching, and repeat with the second corner:

Now turn the pocket right side out.  For the next part, I finished off the edge of the fabric that will sit under the matress.  This part will not be seen, but is worth doing to prevent fraying.  Of course it depends on the type of fabric you have used as to whether it will fray...
Just double turn the edges over and stitch:

Next you need to attach the grip material.  Just place this on the right side of the main fabric piece above the pocket-

Pin in place and stitch around the edge.  I found that I needed to firmly hold the fabric behind the needle as I sewed so the foot would move along the rubber grip.

Finally you need to attach the top flap. Place this above the pocket, slightly below the line of stitching from the grip material on the other side. Then pin and stitch on.

Now you are ready to put your pocket in place . Lift up the mattress and place the top piece of fabric with the grip material stitched on where you want it to hang on top of the bed base. Put the mattress back down, and fill with books!

You can fit around 8 large books in a pocket (depending on the thickness of the books)

There you go!
I hope that's clear!

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial with measurements in both cm and inches
 click here.

And for over 100 more free sewing tutorials for all levels of sewing ability, take a look at 
My Free Sewing Tutorials Page.


  1. Awesome!! My mother made me something similar when I was a child. It was the perfect spot to hold my journal and a pen to write with. I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  2. That is a completely brilliant idea. I am so, so doing it for my oldest!!

  3. so love that idea! how can they not put it away when it's right there?

    uh oh, a feet on dashboard gal? i guess i can over look it (wink!) and halloween...i have been buying like it's going out of style. i really don't want to buy stuff, but i can't not!

  4. Even if you don't need the extra storage, I love the look these different pattern-bags make the room look - so homey. Great share because it's got me thinking.

  5. Oh wow I love these! So useful and a great alternative to a dust ruffle.

  6. How clever =)
    thanks! This is great!!

  7. Very handy idea, I think I could probably use some on my personal bed too! ;)

  8. That is such a great idea! I am bookmarking this one for later.

    I am visiting from Whatever Goes Wednesday, check me out!

  9. OOOOOH!! I love it! Going to have to make these! What a fabulous idea!
    You should come link this up to my Making It With Allie Party!

  10. Ohhhhh....these are perfect! Adding to my Very Long List of Things to Make...

  11. Fantastic idea! I should make some to hang on my daughter's railings on the top bunk, she loves reading in bed, but I hate having to clean up the mess.

  12. Saw your link up on Hope Studios.
    I love this, I've seen bed pockets before but never with boxed corners, what a great idea! I really need to make some of these for my bed - lol.

  13. hiya , i know i am abit late comenting as i just came accross your blog from tip junkie x i love this idea and tut , i will be making some for my granddaughter who i s alittle book worm x tfs and hope to see you at mine sometime

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. I love them couldnt wait to make them, check them out at my blog I linked back to you. On how to make them. Hope that is ok.

  16. This is neat! I have 5 children so this could be something they could all enjoy. :)

  17. I really enjoyed the tutorials for "bed pockets" and "insulated bag" except the dementions given were in metric only. Since this goes world wide, may I suggest you add feet and inches or a site that shows conversion chart? Looking forward to seeing more good ideas from you. Thanks!

  18. Thanks for the idea about the measurements Faye! I'm going to work through my tutorials this month (July) and add the alternate measurements too!

    Always looking to improve my work!

  19. Jill, these pockets are fabulous! I would love to both showcase this tutorial on my blog and invite you to link these up in my new hop! If you'd like these to be in my accessories gallery please email me directly (it's how I keep track!) at Playfuldecor (at) gmail (dot) com. And here is a direct link to the party:
    It's my first hop but I hope for it to be a large resource for anything nursery & kids decor. I look forward to hearing from you! Nan

  20. I knew you were not of the US when I saw your measurements in CM! Now I have to look for CM on my fabric ruler!
    It is very cute!

  21. Wow what a great idea! I always just throw junk beside my bed, now i'll have no excuse! I'm going to make some now!

  22. Elreeves@windstream.netMay 26, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    I am going to make these for my 8 grandchildren who never put their books back on the shelf. I will sew them to an old sheet or piece of muslin (like a dust ruffle) so they don't pull them out and leave them on the floor. We are working on keeping their rooms clean! Thanks for the idea. Ele in GA

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Hope the bedpockets help keep the grandchildren's rooms tidy! It certainly helped my girls at least put their books away!!

  23. why cant you use inches instead of centimeters? some of us older ladies dont know the conversions and are just plain "old school" thanks!

    1. As I mentioned at the end of the post - if you click on the PDF link the measurements are in BOTH cm and inches.
      To make it EVEN easier for all - I shall add them to this post later today too.

  24. This is genius - thank you! :)

    Marie x

  25. I'm making this with my friends and we are puzzled on, sadly, step one. :( How much do you double turn?

    1. I usually double turn around 1cm (approx 0.5") for each turn! Hope that helps! Happy sewing.

  26. Hi Jill,

    You are a genius, what a brilliant idea, I shall be making for my daughter & myself.
    I have added your blog to my favorites. cannot wait to start.

    Thank you for sharing

  27. Just finished making one now. The tutorial is great and easy to follow. Thanks for the idea it works well

  28. This is so cool! I'm definitely pinning this up for my dorm room. :)


  29. I made a bunch of these out of old jeans and lined them with fun fabrics. I omitted the cover. I sold them at a craft fair, and folks ate them up!

    One hint: When you sew on the magic grip, put a half-inch strip of waxed paper along the stitching line and the presser foot will glide along nicely.

  30. (This comment was received by email and reposted here by me (Jill!!))

    Love this idea, received through Sewing It Up from AllFreeSewing [] newsletter I receive. My great-granddaughter and I both love reading in bed and the nightstands are so small no room to set down afterwards, so on the floor they go til morning. I received a Kindle for Christmas and this is a great solution since I refuse to put it on the floor! Just a note when sewing the grip material (or any other nonglide fabric) I use wax paper between the needle and the fabric. It glides easier and you can see through it. This also tears away easily. Tried to post comment on site but could not figure out the dashboard thing! Will be great for daughter since her cell phone and night meds are always under pillow or bed.

    Thanks again for the great idea.


  31. This is fabulous! I found this through an email newsletter I get from AllFreeSewing. I'm making these this weekend! And you've given me an idea for a similar thing to put on the arm of my chair for crochet projects. If I ever figure that one out, I'll link you to a picture. Thanks!


    1. So glad you liked this tutorial Lori! I would love to see a picture if you make one!

  32. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I am from Canada and teach kids sewing classes from my home. I would love to include this project in one of my summer camps. May I have your permission to do this? I have tweeked it just slightly to accomodate younger students. I will not be handing out or selling your pattern or instructions.


    1. Hi Joan

      Yes, please do go ahead and use the bed pockets or any others you like from my blog. I love the fact that I'm helping people and encouraging others to sew, and all my patterns are free for all!
      Best of luck with it all, and I'd love to hear how the kids go with it if you do get the chance to let me know or send any pictures!!


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