The Card Kitty (playing card holder for card games) – free sewing tutorial


Sew a DIY card holder that makes it easy to see your cards, and easy to play! This easy sewing project makes card games possible for little people and big people who have trouble with a handful of cards. We especially love it for games like Phase 10 where you need to look at a lot of cards at once.

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The PDF download for $2 is totally optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.


I cannot believe how much fun my family has been having ever since I made these card kitties! Seriously. Well, first my kids didn’t know what they were…

My son Connor must have thought they were… mega swimmies?

But it just happened to be that I finished all 4 on the last day of school. So after dinner that night I asked if they wanted to play Uno. It’s kind of embarrassing, but 3 out of the 4 didn’t even know how to play.

But once we got started, we were all having so much fun that we played until almost midnight (since it wasn’t a ‘school night’)!

caddy course-2.jpg



I know that many of you are waiting for the Card Kitty sewing tutorial – and hope you have just as much fun with it as we are. They are really easy to sew up so you should be able to make a few in an afternoon.

A note about stabilizers – On my first Card Kitty I used the sew-in type of ultra firm stabilizer from Pellon (Peltex 70) and it worked okay, but I was much happier with the result using the double sided variety (Peltex 72F). I was able to press and fuse all of the layers together in one of the final steps and the card kitty turned out crisper and more professional looking. You could also experiment with other stabilizers (like cardboard or plastic) if you wish. You will not need to sew through the stabilizer or turn it right side out, so that makes it less complicated.

Let’s get on with it!


Card Kitty (card holder) Free Sewing Tutorial

You will need:

  • About 1/2 yard fabric total

  • Peltex 72F or other stabilizer

  • hook and loop tape (velcro)

  • a fabric marking pen or pencil


From fabric, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 16 3/4” x 10 1/2” (main body pieces)

  • 3 rectangles 4” x 10 1/2” (pockets)

From Peltex 72F (or other stabilizer), cut:

  • 3 rectangles 4 3/4” x 9 3/4”

From hook and loop tape (velcro), cut:

  • 1 strip (both pieces) 9 1/2” long

1. Choose one of the 16 3/4” x 10 1/2” main pieces to be the front. Mark horizontal lines across it as shown in the diagram above:

  • 1 line that is 1 1/2” from the bottom

  • 1 line 5” above that

  • 1 line 5” above that

2. Fold the 3 fabric rectangles that are 4” x 10 1/2” in half lengthwise and pin.

3. Stitch across the long edge. Turn the right side out and press. Topstitch across one long edge on each one to make the top edge of the pockets.

4. Pin one of the pocket pieces to the main body piece that you marked, 1” below the top line. The topstitching should be along the top edge.

(yes, I left part of the Cotton + Steel selvage on this piece. It was just too cute not to show off!)

5. Sew the pocket piece in place by stitching across the bottom edge.

Pin the next pocket 1” below the first and sew it in place the same way.


6. Sew the third pocket in place 1” below the second pocket. Baste the sides of the pocket in place within the 1/4” seam allowance.

Sew a dividing line across the middle of the pockets to keep them from stretching out.

7. Pin one side of the hook and loop tape (velcro) to the bottom of the same piece, just below the lowest marked line. Stitch it in place, sewing around the tape close to the edge.


8. With the 3 pockets and the velcro sewn to the pocket piece, place the remaining rectangle of the same size on top and pin around the sides and top.

Stitch the two pieces together with a 1/4” seam allowance, leaving the bottom edge open. Clip the top corners.

Turn the piece right side out, pushing out the corners. Press flat.

9. Insert one of the 4 3/4” x 9 3/4” pieces of stabilizer inside the card kitty and work it all the way to the top. Smooth out all of the edges. If the stabilizer doesn’t fit, you can take it out and trim it down a little bit so it will lay flat.

Sew across the top marked line, backstitching neatly at the start and end.

10. Repeat step 9 with the other two pieces of stabilizer, sewing on the remaining marked lines after inserting each one.

Press the raw edges at the opening to the inside 1/2” (right along the strip of velcro). Stitch the opening closed, sewing on your previous stitching for the velcro.

If you used fusible stabilizer, this is a great time to press both sides of the card kitty and fuse it all together.

11. On the back side of the card kitty, sew the remaining piece of velcro close to the top.

All done. Now make more for everyone in your card circle!

Don’t forget to pin the Card Kitty free sewing tutorial so you can find it later! Do you want to sew them with cat fabric too? Check out 12+ Cat Fabrics that You Need in Your Stash! (It includes the adorable fabric I used too.) And did you know you can sew a Yahtzee Wallet too?

Happy Sewing!


Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. I’ve been waiting for this! I want to make some for the residents at the nursing home where I work.

  2. Just printed this out! Its going to be a great project for the craft show for the Senior Center!
    The MMQ (Monday Morning Quilters Who Meet At the Senior Center)(yep that’s our official name) Pick out a couple of projects a year to donate to the center to help raise funds… this is going to be perfect in so many ways.

  3. I just made a few using cardboard from an old Amazon box for the stabilizer, and it worked great! Since I didn’t have velcro on hand, I did a button, and ended up sewing on 2 buttons – one to make it stand and one to keep it folded up and closed.

    Great tutorial – super easy to follow, and ended up with a great, useful product that my family (even my husband!) loved. 🙂

  4. This is brilliant! I remember seeing someone post a similar idea on pinterest and theirs didn’t look as neatly done as this. Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. We have lots of young grandkids. This is perfect for when they want to play cards! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Arlys Veenstra says:

    I just made 4- ready to make 4 more! I adjusted the size a bit to fold totally flat with cards inside the top bend too- that way you can continue a game later.

  7. I have made and given these to grandchildren. They are liked and used. I have done one thing that really helped me with the sewing of the velcro. I used stick glue to glue the velcro to the fabric. This make the velcro easier to sew; it did not crawl as I sewed and much easier than pining which did not keep the velcro from moving under the machine foot. I have finished 6 card kitties and have 7 more cut out.

  8. Thank you so much, I have been looking for something like this to help our grandsons (5 & 10) when we play Uno. This is perfect, just what I was looking for 😊

  9. Caroline thank you so much for this fantastic idea and tutorial! I decided to make Card Kitties for a bunch of kids in the family – my plan was to do 10 of them for Christmas gifts – I’ve finished 8 so far (3 of the kids are away until the new year so I can finish the last 2 after Christmas, and they won’t even be late). Next year I’ll do them for some other sets of kids – I already have them on my 2018 sewing list 😀 Each kiddo will get the card kitty and a deck of cards, and I also ordered a couple of Card Games for Kids type books to include with some of the gifts. I blogged pictures today and linked back to your tutorial – THANK YOU again!

  10. Thanks for posting such a great tutorial! This was fun to sew and is even more fun to use!

  11. Wow, I am so glad I found this page. We just came off a Carnival Cruise and saw a family playing cards using these holders. They told us where to find the pattern here on Pinterest. I am going to make a few of these for when our little grandkids are learning to play cards to help them. Thank you for such a wonderful craft idea.

  12. Cheryle Penrose says:

    Thank you so much! I saw these in another language and couldn’t translate. So happy to find your website.

  13. Just made this for my little girl’s birthday next week. It’s brilliant. I used cardboard for a stabiliser then found it very difficult to sew the last piece of velcro on. It would be better maybe to sew it onto the back piece before sewing the main two pieces together.

  14. Thank you! My card shark sister lives in a nursing home and loves to play Rummy with me. I can’t wait to give one to her and her roommate. I love that the card holder can be folded flat and easily tucked into a drawer. Your directions and photos are tops!

  15. Wow! what a great project and so functional for those little hands that can’t yet hold all those cards in their little hands! Thank YOU!!!

  16. Thank you very much for the clear instructions…looking forward to giving this a go…and I’ll make quite a few, with a pack of cards for gifts. 🙂

  17. Marilyn DiPasquale says:

    I am making the cute playing cards holder. I was wondering what the seam allowance is used on Step 3; sewing the pockets. Thank you.

  18. Nancy Perkins says:

    I’ve been trying to find a pattern for us seniors to have the cards below the table edge

  19. I am having a hard time making the card holder. Can you explain about where to place the card holders?

  20. I just found you shared on Facebook and came to browse and found this. This is perfect! My mom had a stroke last year and her favourite thing to do was play cards with my son. She can no longer hold the cards and I was at a loss as to what to do but this will be perfect for her birthday present next month!

  21. Is there a printable version of this tutorial? I do much better looking and referring back to paper vs. searching my screen up and down. Thanks – this will be a wonderful gift for the great-grandkids!

  22. Caroline I have been sewing along with you for quite some time I also can relate to the anxiety my heart goes out to you only one who has it can know just how bad it can be at times I also thank you for sharing all you do for every one me included(lol) I think you already know you are so blessed in what you do.

  23. Kay Frances Koontz says:

    Thank you Caroline for the free Kitty card holder. I just finished my first one. Love the tutorial and easy instructions. My great grandson loves to play cards but has trouble holding and hiding his cards from us.
    Thank you for the perfect birthday gift!
    Well, off to make more.

  24. I followed the directions to the number and was disappointed to get to the end and discover that you would need to sew THROUGH the stabilizer, which in my case, I used cardboard. I’ve changed MY directions to put the second piece of velcro on the back piece BEFORE attaching front and back together.

  25. I made a set of four of these for my dad for Father’s Day. He’s 100 and my mom is 90. They love playing Phase 10 together and with friends. This will be easier for them to use than the plastic card holders since it sits on the table.
    I used Dollar Tree thin plastic cutting boards in the holders and it works well. Just have to sew both velcro pieces on first.
    Thanks for a super tutorial!

  26. Are the instructions just for ONE holder? I am making four of them so I am trying to figure out how much fabric I need all together. Thank you!

  27. These are fabulous! You did a great job on the tutorial. Instructions are perfect! I made 4 for my oldest grandkids for Christmas.

  28. Treasure Auble says:

    I own a quilt shop and one of our teachers is interested in teaching your "Card Kitty" as a class. How would you like me to handle the pattern? I need about 20 copies. I am super sensitive about protecting copyright materials. You have some great projects on your site. Very impressive! 🙂
    Thank you!
    The Quilting Bee, Inc (Spokane Valley, Washington)

    1. Hi Treasure,
      You are welcome to make copies as long as you leave my name and web address on them so your students can visit my site for more sewing inspiration!
      Thanks for asking!

  29. Caroline,
    I made these for Christmas gifts for the grandkids, one for my daughter (who has tiny hands), and one for my son-in-law. They have been a huge hit!
    I have referenced your website several times in our bagmaking newsletter. I will be referencing this pattern next Wednesday for keeping the kids busy during quarantine!
    Thank you for your immense resources and your generosity in sharing so many patterns and tutorials.
    Lisa Stewart

  30. Caroline, I love this pattern; thank you! I made several for the younger children in my family and they love having them. My three year old niece can play cards with her sister, even with her tiny hands. Great job!

  31. These would be wonderful for a nursing home. Arthritic hands have trouble holding cards.

  32. Lori Smanski says:

    The Card Kitty (card holder for playing card games) – free sewing tutorial is just perfect for my great niece who tends to have small hands but still wants to join in. My problem is when I copy and paste the pictures do not show up. Am I doing something wrong? Help please.

    1. Hi Lori,
      I’m sorry but I have no idea why your computer is preventing you from copying and pasting the photos. I do it all the time (that’s how my editor and I prepare the Optimized for Printing files). Maybe try a different browser? I use Safari.


  33. LOVE this pattern! I’ve made 15 so far and they have been a huge hit. Add a pack of cards and they’re a lovely gift. I have a set for home and I have been known to use them myself! To reduce expense I used photo framing cardboard and cutting boards from the cheapy shops. I think I commented ages ago that I was going to have a go at these….now….someone stop me! haha. Thank you again Caroline for your pattern generosity and the clearest of instructions. Deb from Australia.

  34. Carla Magnus says:

    I would
    Like to print the free PDF of your beautiful butterfly
    Mini quilt but am unable to. Is it possible to get that pattern?

  35. I love this pattern! I am making several more for my grandchildren and friend that has issues with her hands. I have arthritic thumbs and love playing Phase 10, which requires you to hold 10 cards in your hand. Thank you for this!

  36. This pattern has been so much for to make for my daughters and their friend. We’ve especially loved using it for Ticket to Ride. I added another card pocket (upside down, on the top panel) so that Ticket to Ride routes can be displayed after earning them. Thank you for this awesome tutorial!

  37. Theresa R says:

    I’m fairly new at sewing. I love this idea but am having a hard time putting on the last piece of velcro and making match up to the first piece. Is there a video tuturial?

  38. Thank you! This will be the perfect gift for my daughter and son-in-law.

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