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make a fabric tissue case with finished corners β€” insatiable need

tutorial: fabric tissue case in 10 easy steps!

by Valerie

in crafting,sewing,tutorials

I made the tissue cases for the first time for the Richmond show this year, and at every show since then, people have gone wild for them. So many people told me that they’ve been looking for something like this but can’t find it anywhere! I thought that need, combined with the fact that they are easy peasy to make, made them a great candidate for my first tutorial. This is my first time, so please be gentle. πŸ™‚ I do desperately want feedback, though. Please give it a try and let me know if anything is unclear. I would love to see your finished tissue cases if you give this tutorial a try!

My goal when I sat down to draft this pattern was to make it as easy as possible to make – no lining, no interfacing, no closures – but still make it attractive. I decided self-lining was the way to go, with nicely squared-off corners. Let me know what you think! All you need for this project is less than a quarter yard of quilting fabric, thread, a hot iron, and your sewing machine.

1. Cut a rectangle of quilting cotton measuring 14 and 3/8″ wide by 5 and 3/4″ tall.

2. Stitch the short ends right sides together, using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

3. Press your seam allowance open, without flattening or ironing over the folded sides. Now you have a tube of fabric 6 & 3/4″ wide and 5 & 3/4″ tall.

4. Turn your tube inside out, so the right side of the fabric is facing out (note in the picture the red thread, indicating where the seam is).

5. To mark the center of your tube, hold the top edge of the seam in one hand (below left), and stretch the tube flat, pinching the opposite end of the top edge in your other hand (below right). Now match the seam with the mark you just pinched. Now your seam is in the exact center of your tube. Why does it need to be centered? This hides the seam on the inside of your tissue case. It just looks nicer.

6. Iron your tube flat, making sure the left and right folded edges are very flat. These folded edges will form the opening in your tissue case to insert/remove tissues.

Now you have a flat, 2 sided rectangle with the seam in the exact center. This is the inside center of your tissue case. Consider this the “wrong side” from now on.

7. Turn your rectangle over so that the seam faces away from you. Fold the ironed edges toward you and overlap them approximately 3/8″. It doesn’t have to be exact, they just need to overlap a bit, but not more than a half inch. Measure it if you like, but you can probably eyeball it just fine.

Center the overlapped edges on the seam. Again, this doesn’t need to be exactly right; this step will simply match up the outside center (the overlapped edges) with the inside center (the seam). If you get it wrong nobody will ever know! πŸ™‚

Then pin the overlapped edges in place. Time to sew again!

8. Now to finish the squared edges: starting 3/8″ from the folded edge (if eyeballing it makes you feel twitchy, use a sewing gauge or ruler to measure & mark it exactly), stitch 3/8″ from the raw edge, stopping 3/8″ away from the opposite folded edge. Repeat on the other side.

9. Now to make the corners pretty! Remove the pins. Slip your finger into the corner to open the side seam, and fold the raw edge to one side, keeping the seam open.

When you remove your hand, turn the tissue case over so the side seam faces away from you, and the fabric will form a triangle with a little flag. Line up the top edge of that little flag with your machine foot and stitch down two or three times – again, approximately a 3/8″ seam allowance.

10. Repeat for the other three corners, making sure to fold the raw edges in the same direction (below left: the correct way; below right: the wrong way). After sewing all four corners, trim off the seam allowance.

Once all four corners are sewn and trimmed, turn your tissue case right side out et voila!

You are ready to insert your travel size tissues, or just take a bunch of tissues from your regular box and fold them up to slip inside your brand-new case. Either way, now your tissues won’t get all gross and grungy from floating around unprotected in the bottom of your purse. Hooray!

If you liked this tutorial, you’ll like the Syndicate newsletter even more. New tutorials, sewing patterns, and sewing tips & tricks every month! Click here to subscribe.


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Mimi August 29, 2010 at 7:20 am

This is very nice and so sweet!! I think that I'll make a bunch for gifts. Thank you for sharing


Valerie August 29, 2010 at 10:56 am

Thanks for dropping by, Mimi! I hope you'll share pictures of the ones you make. πŸ™‚


Kenzo September 6, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I love this idea. I am a teacher so this would be a perfect gift for my students around the holidays! Thanks! The directions are very clear and easy to follow. :o)


Valerie September 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Kenzo, I'm so glad you found the directions easy to follow. I'm still new at writing tutorials, so that's great to hear! πŸ™‚ I'd love to see pictures of any that you make!


Ronan's Grandma September 11, 2010 at 11:11 pm

This is the eas iest cute tissue holder. Directions very clear. thanks for sharing


Valerie September 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Ronan's Grandma – thanks for that! I hope you have fun making some. πŸ™‚


Johnna February 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Thank you so much for this great idea! The directions were very clear, even for a beginner. These really are super cute and will make great gifts! Thanks again for sharing!!


Valerie February 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Thank you! I’m so glad you found the tutorial easy to follow. Enjoy making the tissue cases, and I’d love to see pictures of any that you make!


Spirit March 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Such a great tutorial! Thank you for sharing it. I can’t wait to start using up some random bits of fabric I’ve been hanging on to!


Ashtan March 6, 2011 at 9:29 am

OMG! I’ve been looking for a pattern like this! I’m planning on making tissue holders for the female members of my family for my wedding. However, having been to a wedding with my future mother-in-law before, I may have to adapt this to fit a full sized box of tissues! πŸ™‚


Valerie March 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Ashtan, I’m so glad you found this, and that you’re going to make some! I’d love to see pictures of the ones you make for your family! Thanks for dropping by and for commenting. πŸ™‚


Valerie March 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Spirit – this tutorial is *perfect* for that! I love any reason to hoard my fabric scraps, so that’s one of the reasons I decided to make this little thing! Good luck and I’d love to see pictures of the ones you make!


Shawna March 30, 2011 at 11:10 am

Very cute! Much cuter than the ones they have people make at beginning serger classes. πŸ˜‰
Great fabric choice there too. Opens the mind to lots of incredible possibilities. πŸ˜‰

And thanks for being so incredibly generous with all these detailed tutorials.


Gloria April 26, 2011 at 10:59 am

For a few years Kleenex was selling a plastic bag version that holds full size tissues…alas they have switched over to little boxes now. Preferred the flexibility of the soft bags! Now I can make my own! Thanks for the tutorial…plan to work on this with the tons of scraps/fabric that I have around the house!


Valerie April 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Shawna – thanks! that’s what inspired me to make this tutorial – I wanted something cuter than most tissue cases out there (with square corners!).

Gloria – you’re welcome! this is *perfect* to use up small scraps. Enjoy!


Kim August 22, 2011 at 9:05 am

Awesome idea. Just made some out of some out of some ugly material, but it looks cute in small quantities! I think I might try making one that is diaper wipe size, it would be a heck of a lot cuter than other options!


Cassie September 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm

I’m making this right now and am lost on the corners. I’m not a sewer, but think this is so cute. I think I need a video on the corners, LOL.


Valerie September 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Cassie, as soon as I have the proper equipment I will be adding video to my tutorials! In the mean time let me know exactly where you get confused on the corners and maybe I can help.


Lindsay December 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I love the pattern!!! I’m new to sewing and like Cassie I’m a bit lost with the corners too.


Teresa February 12, 2012 at 12:09 am

Thanks for your tutorial… Lovely and easy and clear instructions πŸ™‚


Nitz April 18, 2012 at 12:21 am

this was so damn good…just what Id been looking for,…:D
In fact id tried to make it once and then quit coz it didnt come out well….Thankyou….:D


Hayley May 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Great Job! I really appreciate that it looks nice inside as well as out, but only uses 1 piece of fabric, how simple!


Gloria May 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

I’ve made three of these in full size now. So fast to make and turn out so cute. Just made this one this morning for my niece’s car. (crossing fingers that this will work)


Gloria May 24, 2012 at 11:56 am
Jen M June 12, 2012 at 3:21 am

Just wanted to say – super easy tutorial! Brand, brand new sewer – Literally received my sewing machine today and made this project as soon as I got it threaded! Thanks so much!


tayla r June 22, 2012 at 7:21 am

what do you mean at the start ‘right sides together’


Cindy July 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Instructions are great – easy to follow and complete – Good Job, I’ll be back.


julie June 1, 2015 at 9:06 am

Hi Valerie,
I think your instructions are very clear apart from the sizing. I couldn’t read the previous comments so you might already have answered this. My tissues are in a different size packet to yours so instead of standard measurements can you tell me how to measure the correct size for any dimension of packet.


Clair September 4, 2015 at 5:06 am

Thanks Valerie!
This is exactly what I was looking for.


Philip Ferrone October 4, 2015 at 10:56 pm

Here is the same sort of pattern for our flag pole holders


Shahnaz November 9, 2015 at 2:32 am

I like this project


Ladette December 17, 2015 at 9:51 pm

I love the finished look of these and the boxed corners!! I made some without the boxed corners and they were okay, but I LOVE the look of the boxed corners. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the tutorial!!


Anita Phares December 20, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Great directions; was able to make my first fabric tissue holder in about ten minutes. I like the more ‘boxy’ design to this pattern versus another popular pattern that I tried the day before. I think this pattern fits the pre-folded tissues better. Thank you!


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