See something that looks familiar here? Perhaps you saw it first over at Family Home and Life, my other blog.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

* My 'Recycled Reused' Dust Mite Proof Pillow Covers

I wanted to get some new quilted pillow covers; the ones I had were beginning to be a little thread bare, so I went shopping at some home goods stores. I had looked around some for them but didn't find the quality that I was looking for at a price I would pay.   Most only had the one layer thin fabric covers that don’t really do the job.  You want a pillow cover to be thick enough to keep moisture and skin oils from getting to your pillow, made from a natural material so it doesn't encourage perspiration, (plastic covers are terrible to sleep on) and with a thread count high enough to keep dust mites from invading your pillow.

Did you know that most covers that claim to be dust mite proof (for mattresses and pillows) are treated with chemicals?  These chemicals will beak down with each laundering and perhaps also with the breakdown of the fibers through movement. Some studies say that these chemicals don’t even work against dust mite protection. I don’t want chemicals next to my face, eyes and nose; I don’t want to breathe it in.  But I don’t want to have dust mites either.  You need a cover with at least 246 thread count of a tightly woven fabric. I haven’t ever seen a 246 thread count fabric so look for 250 and up.  Your sheets should also be at least 250 thread count.  Be sure to wash them often, once a week is best but at least every 2 weeks.

I came home from my shopping trip without any pillow covers.  I decide to make some and thought I would purchase a flat sheet at a local thrift store (with a thread count of 250 or higher) of 100% cotton and make my own. I would also need to get zippers. I wanted thick 2 layered ones so I planned to put some batting or flannel in between to make them. As it turned out I did neither. We recently got rid of the bed in our quest room and I kept the bedding to wash then send to the thrift store for resale, it was still like new. As I was packing it up in a box when I had an idea. The sheets were red so I didn’t want to use them but the mattress protector would work great for pillow covers too. It was 250 thread count and quilted. Most of the work was already done for me.

I tore the elastic stretchy fabric around the sides off first after clipping with my scissors to get it started.  Then I took my old pillow covers and removed the zippers by clipping and tearing the threads. I used the old covers as my pattern (the zippers removed will fit perfectly this way) and with the mattress cover folded in half I cut around my pattern leaving a half inch seam allowance.  I put the opening where the zipper would go along the edge of the mattress cover that was already hemmed over so that was one less step I needed to do. I’m sure you could use Velcro too if you don’t want to do a zipper. Sorry I didn't think to do a tutorial, if you don’t have an old cover for a pattern just measure your pillows and use that as your guide.

My mattress cover was a queen size and I made 2 standard size pillow covers from it. It took less than an hour start to finish. There are leftovers and I will use the leftovers to make a mattress and a pillow for the doll cradle. I have ‘new  to me’ quilted pillow covers that cost me $00, a future doll cradle mattress and pillow also $00, just some time and some know how.  That’s how my parents did things, I’m glad I learned that too. Recycle, reuse, it’s the best way to go when you can. 

* This post first appeared at Family Home & Life.

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