How to Make Pillow Covers for Easy Seasonal Decorating on a Dime

Learn how to make DIY pillow covers with an easy envelope pillowcase tutorial and change your decor on a dime.

Seasonal decluttering, organizing and home crafts for Spring are such great DIY projects to get out of the winter blues. Today’s easy DIY is perfect for leftover and saved fabric remnants or a fun excuse to grab a great print or pattern in Springtime hues. Find out the easiest way to make pillow covers without a zipper.

Hey there! I’m Kathy, a retired military spouse, mother, pianist, and blogger.  I’m always looking for ways to repurpose items, especially for the different seasons and holidays.

Why Sewing Throw Pillow Covers are Great for Seasonal Decor

I was hesitant the first time I made an envelope pillow cover but as you can see below with the step-by-step pictures, it really is a wonderful beginner sewer method that still looks professional. I’ve since made dozens of different pillow slipcovers since I shared this one.

How to make a pillow cover with a sewing machine and a no-sew method.  A bright colorful print for spring is featured with a pinterest graphic.
How to Make A Pillow Cover

The best part of this easy DIY pillow cover, besides the fact that they are easy to make, is you can save money on seasonal decor by using stored or bargain fabric (don’t forget curtains and tablecloths can make inexpensive fabric options!) to change your everyday throw pillows to the seasons and holidays.

They also save room in your linen closet since you use them on your existing pillow inserts.

How to Make an Envelope Pillow Cover without a Pattern

I’ve been determined to use the sewing machine that my parents gifted me when I was a teenager more often now that I’m in my thirties. 😉 And am slowly getting more comfortable doing so.

How to Sew an Envelope Pillow Cover

How to Sew an Envelope Pillow Cover

Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: easy

Use this easy tutorial for making a pillow cover without a zipper to easily change the look of your throw pillows for the season, holidays, or new style.

Materials

  • Throw pillow insert or form
  • 1/2 -1 yard of fabric depending on pillow size (think twice as much as pillow with allowance)
  • Coordinating thread

Tools

  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board

Instructions

  1. Heat up the iron.
  2. Measure your pillow insert, add 2 inches to the length and width, and cut piece "A" (mark it with a pencil or fabric pen on the inside of the fabric if you want)
  3. Use the first piece as a guide and cut a second piece with roughly 6 inches of extra fabric to the width. Cut it into two halves and name/label them "B" and "C".
  4. Fold the edge of piece "B" length in 1/2 inch, iron down to create a crease, and fold another 1/2 inch and iron down to create a clean hem.
  5. Repeat with piece "C".
  6. Sew a straight seam across each ironed downfold. Trim extra thread at each end.
  7. Place the piece "A" right side facing up (iron if needed). Place pieces "B" and "C" backside down on top letting the two hems overlap a few inches in the middle.
  8. Line up the four corners and pin them in place by inserting straight pins around the outside edges 1/2- 1 inch in.
  9. Sew a seam around the outside edges. Lift the pressure foot at each corner and turn the pillow cover 45 degrees to get a square corner. Trim extra thread.
  10. Turn the right side out and push out each corner with a pen cap or finger.
  11. Iron if needed.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

You can easily make this project a no-sew one by using iron-on fusible tape and I’ll share how to below.

Which material is best for a pillow cover?

I used a yard of cotton fabric that I had in my crafting stash. Velvet, wool, faux leather, linen, and blends like satin/polyester or cotton sateen.

What materials do you need to make a pillowcase?

  1. Pillow insert or pillow form (You can do this with a rectangle or square pillow)
  2. One yard of fabric (check out this handy page for how much fabric each size of throw pillow uses)
  3. Matching thread
  4. Scissors
  5. Sewing machine
  6. Iron
  7. Straight pins
  8. Measuring tape

How to measure and cut a pillow slipcover

  • First measure your pillow insert and add two inches to the height and width. Measure and cut your first pieces of fabric with the measurement. This will be your first piece.
A yard stick is being used to measure a piece of bright colorful printed fabric for an easy envelope pillow cover.
Measure Your Fabric
  • Cut a second piece using your first piece for a template but add 4-6 inches to the length. Cut that piece in half. Make sure the pattern is facing the same direction as your first piece
This picture shows how to make envelope cushion covers with three pieces of cut fabric in a bright and colorful print.
Cut Pieces of Fabric

The two halves will overlap each other to create an opening for the pillow.  If your fabric has wrinkles, now is a good time to iron your pieces. 🙂

  • The next step is to lay those two halves backside up, fold a 1-inch flap over for seam allowance, and iron so it stays in place (pieces 2 and 3). You can also fold them over twice, each 1/2 to 3/4 inch for clean edges.
Fold over and iron your fabric pillow cover hems.
Fold Over and Iron

How to sew an envelope pillow

  • Insert the corner of one fold under your sewing machine needle, put the foot down, and sew a straight seam to the other edge. (You can backstitch an inch at the end for extra strength.) Do the same thing with the other piece of fabric with the ironed-down fold.
A close up of a woman's hand guiding bright and colorful fabric through a sewing machine.
Sewing a Hem with a Sewing Machine
  • Now it’s time to pin all three pieces together.  Lay your large piece (Piece 1) right side up and pieces 2 and 3 wrong side up on top of the first piece with the hems overlapping in the middle. The four corners should line up.
Pin three pieces of fabric together to make a cushion cover.
Place Pieces Together
  • Place a straight pin 1 inch from the edge all of the ways around each side.  My grandmother taught me to have the sharp end of the pin sticking out so the head doesn’t get caught in the needle and foot.
An example of a pillow cover inside out and pinned hems before sewing.  Double checking with a measuring tape for the correct width.
Check Your Measurements
  • Sew around all four sides of the two layers of fabric.  To sew a perfect corner, make sure your needle is in the fabric, lift the presser foot, turn the fabric at a 45-degree angle, and put the presser foot back down. Trim the extra thread.
How to sew a corner of a pillow cover.
How to Sew the Corners
  • Turn your fabric right side out and use your finger or the end of a pen to push out the corners.
A bright and colorful modern floral pillow envelope cover on a wood table.
The Finished Cushion Cover

How to make pillow covers without sewing

You will need iron-on fusible webbing tape instead of a sewing machine.

  1. Iron on fusible webbing
  2. Iron and damp cloth
  3. One yard of fabric
  4. Matching thread
  5. Scissors
  6. Straight pins
  7. Measuring tape

Follow the step-by-step instructions above except using the tape where it says to hem.

Tada!  The easy way to make an envelope cushion cover without messing with buttons, snaps, or zippers. They store a lot easier than an entire pillow!

A bedroom headboard wall with a rattan headboard and art gallery on a khaki wall paint color.  The bed is dressed with hotel style shams, throw pillows, and a bright floral throw pillow.
DIY Pillow Cover with Hotel Inspired Pillow Shams

You can see how I used iron-on hemming tape for curtains in this story.

Join me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes, DIYs, decorating tips, room tours, and home inspiration. I’ll see you over there!

Another perk about using seasonal cushion covers instead of an entirely new pillow is that they take up much less storage when not used.

kathy
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47 Comments

  1. The pillow came out beautifully and the tutorial is very easy to follow. I’m always amazed at people that have the skill to make their sewing projects look like something that came out of a catalog.

  2. I need a spring refresh…or just a refresh lol… in my den. I redid it a couple of years ago but we want to update (possibly dye some slipcovers) and refresh for a different look.

    I may have to tackle the pillow cover … using the web fusing of course! lol

    Stacy

  3. Would go great next to my little sun nook couch with my succulent planters :)) Pinned so I can try this tutorial out in the future!

  4. I desperately need a sewing machine!! So many things I want to make 🙂 Thank you.

  5. I want to refresh my bedroom, and I have a big red easy chair where I sit and read or work which could use a fabulous pillow.

  6. I love that pillow cover! It’s so springy 🙂
    I’d love to redo my family room…it really needs a freshening up.
    Thanks for the post and the giveaway opportunity!
    -Sandra

  7. Nice and easy tutorial! My mother showed me how to make one of these as one of my first “real” projects with a sewing machine! Pretty fabric 🙂

  8. Truly I need any room, but It would come down to the living room or the kitchen/dining. Hard to choose if I won!

  9. Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway ! I would like a spring refresh for my bedroom!!! Good luck to all other participants.

  10. I would love to refresh our bedroom. Who am I kidding, I’d really love to do the whole house 🙂

  11. The room I would love to have done would be my mothers room.I live with my mother and help take care of her,she’s done so much for the whole family and her healths been deteriorating and would love to do something special for her to brighten up her day.Thanks for the opprortunity

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