How to Embroider an Initial on a Pillowcase

Personalize your pillowcase with this easy, DIY craft project that will make your pillow look as it if belongs at a luxury hotel.

A standard white pillowcase embroidered with an A initial, in blue thread. A pair of scissors and a threaded needle sit beside the pillowcase. Use this guide to learn how to embroider an initial on a pillowcase, a unique element for your bedroom decor.
Caylin Harris

Stake your claim on your favorite pillowcase by adding an initial! It’s a timeless design that can outlast trends and become a foundational piece that grows with you as the rest of your style evolves. Initials can be elegant, playful, or straightforward, depending on your level of crafting ambition. Either way, it’ll be 100% you, whether you’re trying to keep track of your favorite pillow on your bed, or simply wanting to elevate your bedding design.

This easy DIY uses a few simple supplies that will help you give a completely custom touch to a standard pillowcase. Don’t be nervous about the embroidering, as this is the easiest stitch for a beginner. Here’s how to try it yourself:

What you’ll need:

- Standard white pillowcase, washed and ironed

- Chalk or pencil

- Embroidery thread

- Embroidery hoop (optional)

- Needle

How to embroider your pillowcase:

A set of embroidery supplies sits on a table: a standard white pillowcase, a pencil, scissors, needles, and fabric. Use this how to guide to embroider a pillow for unique, hotel-like home decor.

Step one: Start with a washed and ironed pillowcase. Pay extra attention to ironing the area where you want to embroider your letter so you’ll have a nice, smooth work surface.

A hand holds a white pencil over a standard white pillowcase, where the person has lightly sketched a letter A into the fabric. Use this guide to learn how to embroider an initial into a pillowcase.
Caylin Harris

Step two: Using a piece of chalk or pencil, draw your letter. If you’re feeling ambitious you can do a full set of initials or spell out a name — whatever you’re up for! — but it might be easiest to start with a single initial. Press very lightly if you use pencil; there’s really no easy way to remove firmly pressed lead from fabric once it’s applied.

A hand holds a threaded needle. Use this guide to learn how to embroider your initials on your pillow.
Caylin Harris

Step three: Thread your needle and knot the end. Here, we doubled up the thread and knotted both pieces at one end for a thicker looking line of color. Starting at the beginning of the letter, create a small stitch. Leaving a stitch-length of space, do another.

The shape of a letter A is in the midst of being embroidered on a standard white pillowcase, with blue thread.

Step four: Repeat the above process, making sure to keep the stitch length equal. This is called a running stitch, and it’s one of the easiest to embroider. Depending on the shapeliness of the letter you choose, don’t be afraid to tie off your thread and start again for different pieces of the letter.

Knotting the end of the blue thread used to embroider initials into the pillowcase. Use this guide to learn how to embroider initials into a pillowcase.

Step five: Finish your letter and be sure to make a double knot on the inside of the pillowcase to secure the thread.

A white pillowcase with the letter A embroidered in blue thread. Use this guide to embroider a pillowcase.

And you’re done! How easy was that? If you want to add an extra challenge, try using a lightbox to trace a more complicated font onto your pillowcase. And feel free to vary the letter placement, from the bottom corner to the middle of the pillowcase.