Instructables

Hands-free book pillow

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Picture of Hands-free book pillow
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My mom loves to read at the breakfast table or when she's knitting. Newspapers are great for these times, but what about that novel you can't put down? That's where my book pillow comes in! This pillow allows you to read comfortably and hands free in almost any position and is great for people who want to do something with their hands while reading.

This can be made by hand or machine, and can easily be altered for a hardback or paperback reader.
 
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Step 1: Materials

You will need:

About a yard of fabric. Really lightweight fabrics don't really work for this. I recommend medium to heavy cotton or a light canvas. You can use something like suede, but it makes the gathering step harder, and makes it necessary to use a machine.

Needle and thread (make sure your thread is strong)

Measuring tape

Chalk, or something to mark the fabric with

About two bags of pillow stuffing (not pillow forms, don't confuse the two)

Pins

Optional bookmark or large clip, like the ones used for office supplies

Step 2: Preparing your squares

Picture of Preparing your squares
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On your fabric, measure out two squares. One square needs to be 26x26 and the other needs to be 22x22. Mark your squares in chalk and cut. If you don't want to mark them, you can cut the squares out of newspaper and pin them on the fabric, then cut carefully around them.

On the larger of the two squares, measure 6 inches in from the outside edges, and mark as shown in the pictures below. You'll end up with four rectangles. Then make four cuts, on each corner as shown below. Only cut along the line and 6 inches in. Please see the fourth picture for clarification, as this can be a little confusing.

I know the pictures below say 27in and 7in, I was wrong when I wrote those and made the correction later. Apologies.

Step 3: Making the tubes

Picture of Making the tubes
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Fold each strip in half toward the middle and pin. Cut the excess fabric off the ends so that you have an even square again.


bornsewing1 year ago
Wonderful, cannot wait to have a go. Just what I need. Thank you.
-Viola-1 year ago
Wonderful!
I made one as a Christmas gift. It was very very very appreciated.
Thank you for the instructable!
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TheHobbit813 years ago
Too COOL!!

My wife is going back to UNI this year to do a nursing course, should I make mine bigger to accommodated her large medical text books?

I'm going to up-cycle some old clothes to make mine.
jacvoyt4 years ago
This looks great, now I'm about to build one with a few changes including adding a book light to the top and using a thin wires or plastic straps to hold the book and pages in place. The only thing, I'm kind of worried about is the level of the book ledge. Would it make sense to use a large pillow and adding a ledge somewhere near the center instead of the bottom in order to read at a more comfortable level (ie when your knees are up supporting the pillow). Also, can somebody who has built this pillow, possibly the poster, post a picture of what this looks like in use, I mean with a person using it. Either way, great post, I'm really going to enjoy having one.
Polyquats4 years ago
Great pattern Elizabeth. My sister requested one for her birthday. I made it using two fat quarters of Japanese quilting fabric, backed with pellon and lightly quilted. I used felt for the base. I attached and stuffed the pyramid before stuffing the tubes, as this meant I could attach it comfortably on the machine. Oh, and I filled it with polystyrene beads. It molds nicely to the shape of the book.
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DebH574 years ago
Congratulations Elizabeth!
SmiLynnLady4 years ago
Sounds great! Now ... if someone would only invent one that would keep my book dry when I read as I soak in the tub ....
artquilter4 years ago
How about stuffing it with plastic grocery bags instead of pillow stuffing?
That could work, but you have to make sure to stuff it really full. If you do one this way let me know! I'd love to hear about the results.
gia4 years ago
I so have to make (at least) one of those :) Awesome, I had seen a similar one for sale somewhere, readymade and way too design priced and too ready for my taste.
lebowski4 years ago
Kindles solve this problem quite well :)
Unfortunately, a Kindle costs a wee bit more than this book pillow, and is not yet a make-it-yourself project. Or is it ??? Got an Instructable for one ?? :-)
I wish I did.
PKM4 years ago
I was going to make a hands-free book reading device (after seeing a piece of moulded plastic not unlike a coat hanger on sale in Borders for about $4 to do the same job), but yours is way better than mine was going to be.
QueenElizabeth (author)  PKM4 years ago
Thanks! Yeah, I like this because it is something you can put on your lap and doesn't rely on just the book to stand up.
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