Toddler Bed Book Pockets Tutorial

I came up with this idea after seeing my son’s bed, day after day, look like this after his nap.

With a pile of books in the corner. I have actually found him asleep on top of books at times. I figured he needed a better system for keeping his books close at hand, yet away from his sleeping space. So I created these book pockets that hang on the side of his bed.  There are four pockets on the outside (see photo above) and one long  pocket on the inside, below.

Think your kid could benefit from some book organization? Here’s how to make this.

Materials

  • Double quilted fabric
  • Very wide (blanket binding size) double fold bias tape. I used black to match my double quilted fabric. You could choose to use a contrasting color as well.
  • Fabric for pockets (I used scraps from my stash in two different patterns)

Measurements are tricky for this, because not all toddler beds are the same size. I will give you the measurements that I used, but you will probably have to measure for yourself and create your pockets based on the size of your bed. 

From your quilted fabric, cut a rectangle that is the length and width you desire. This is the base to which you will attach your pockets. For mine, I cut a rectangle that was 31.5 inches long and 17 inches wide. Of that 31.5 inches, 21 inches was for the front piece, and 10.5 inches was for where it folds over the back for the inside pocket.

Make your pockets.  After testing a number of my kid’s books, I decided to make my pockets 6 inches deep. That seemed a sufficient depth to hold most of his books. Instead of making a front and a back to each pocket and sewing them together, I cut a piece that was 12 inches (2 x 6 inches) wide and 17 inches long (the width of my quilted fabric) Then, I folded my pocket in half to have a piece that was 6 x17. 

I applied a 12 x 17 piece of  interfacing  to the WRONG  side of each pocket piece so they hold their shape better.

Then fold in half RIGHT sides together, and stitch the long edge shut. That should give you a tube like this.

Turn it to the right side and press.

Next make your other two pockets. For these pockets you don’t need to make a tube. Cut two pieces of your pocket fabric, 12 inches x 17 inches. Apply interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. Fold in half, WRONG sides together  to make a 6 x 17 rectangle. You don’t need to stitch it shut, because these end pockets will be covered with the blanket binding later, and you will stitch the bias tape, catching the pocket as you go. Nifty, eh?

Next, place your two end pockets on your quilted fabric and pin.

You want the edge with the fold edge facing toward the MIDDLE  of the quilted fabric, like this:

Next pin your middle pocket to the quilted fabric. I eyeballed it, using the position of the bottom fabric as a guide to determine placement. Then I measured to make sure that the pocket was level (I don’t think I had done that yet in the picture below – it looks wonky.)

Grab some books and check that your pockets are positioned well.

Stitch across the BOTTOM of the middle pocket (in my case, the stars fabric) close to the edge. You don’t need to stitch the sides, because the blanket binding will cover those too.

Next cut a piece of blanket binding the length of your quilted fabric.

Open it up, and pin it to the edge, covering all the layers of fabric, both the quilted and the pockets.

Like this:

Pin this really, really well. Blanket binding likes to twist. You will thank me later when you don’t have to rip it out because the twists and puckers are bothering you.

Edge stitch to attach the binding. Next, attach the binding to the other long side using the same method.

Next,  attach the binding to the short sides. Cut a piece of binding that is slightly longer than the edge. Open up the tape, and press under about a 1/4 inch to finish the edge. 

Pin to the short edges and stitch.

When you are done, it should look something like this.

Next you need to make ties for your pockets.

Cut four ties out of your blanket binding. They need to be about 4-5 inches long for easy tying. Open up the binding and turn under the edge and press, as you did with the short edge above. Stitch the folded, pressed edge shut.

Attach your ties. The best way to do this is to line it up on the toddler bed where you want it, pin it, and then pin and stitch your ties.

And there you have it, book organization for your toddler bed.

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