How to Make a Tissue Box Sleeve



  • 18 x 12-inch piece of fabric. (I’ve been using “fat quarters,” 18 x 21 inches of cotton or cotton/poly fabric folded in squares and displayed in rows by color at craft and fabric stores.)
  • Thread and needle
  • 18 inches of soft elastic. (Not too strong. And I’m using one-inch elastic, but you can adjust your hem if your elastic is wider. I wouldn’t use elastic narrower than an inch.)
  • Two buttons (optional). One-inch buttons are a good size, but you can go a little bigger or smaller.
  • Also, have a tissue box handy for precise fitting.
  • Sewing on a machine would speed things up, but it’s not unreasonable to imagine doing the required sewing by hand.




1. Seam


  1. Start with a seam. Fold your fabric in half on the long side, and then sew a ½-inch seam along the 18-inch side.
  2. Making your bottom hem. Keep your fabric inside out to make a hem for the elastic. Fold your fabric under one half inch then 1½ inches and pin or baste. Then sew your hem about ¼ inch from the top.
  3. Try it on. Slip the sleeve over the tissue box to see how it fits. You should have about ¼ inch of wiggle room.
  4. Inserting elastic. Carefully rip out about two inches of the hem and tie the ends of your thread so your seam doesn’t unravel. I use a large safety pin to pull the elastic through the whole hem. When the edges meet, overlap them by ½ inch and sew the ends together. Then sew the section of hem you had ripped out.
  5. Make the top hem. Fold your fabric under one inch and then another inch and pin. Sew this hem close to the edge. This stitching will show when the sleeve is finished, so select your thread color with that in mind.
  6. Finishing the top. Put the sleeve back on the tissue box with the right side out. Let the top drop into one-inch folds that meet in the middle. By hand sew a hidden seam about 2 ½ inches long at each end of the opening.


Bottom hem-elastic

2. Making bottom hem, and   4. Inserting elastic




5. Making the top hem, and  6. Finishing the top




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