Do you love to change out your throw pillows? I do. Whether it’s for the season, or a holiday, or just because I need a change, there’s something very satisfying about this simple décor “upgrade.” Throw pillows can be expensive to replace entirely, however…and who wants to store a million out-of-season pillows? No one, that’s who. The fastest and easiest solution is to sew your own pillow covers, and this tutorial will show even a beginner sewer how to accomplish this – from start to finish – in about 15 minutes.
Ready to learn how to sew the easiest throw pillow cover ever? Here we go.
DIY Level: Beginner
- Materials needed:
- Pillow form (example shown is is 15”)
- Fabric of your choice (pillow height plus 1” by pillow height doubled plus a bit…explained below)
- Sewing machine, thread, scissors
Step 1: Cut fabric piece.
Determine the size of your pillow, and add 1”. (This tutorial is shown with a 15” pillow, so new number is 16”.) This new number will be the width of your fabric piece. To determine the length: Calculate 2/3 of your true pillow size, double it, then add it to the true size of your pillow. (Example: 2/3 of 15” is 10”. So 10”x2 + 15” = 35”.) Cut a piece of fabric that is equal to your two new numbers (Example: 16” x 35”).
Tip: The longer number can be fudged a bit by a few inches if necessary.
Step 2: Sew side seams.
Fold (and iron and pin, if you want) the shorter sides into themselves, in preparation to “hem” them.
Tip: Fold fabric over 1/2” first, then again so as to seal the raw edge inside the seam.
After double-folding your short edges (and ironing and pinning, if your fabric warrants it or if it makes you more comfortable), sew the finished seams.
You should now have your piece of fabric with the two short sides individually sewn and finished.
Step 3: Fold fabric for final seams.
Lay fabric down with the right side facing up. Fold one shorter end toward the middle, right sides together, about 2/3 of the pillow width.
Measure out the true width of your pillow (Example: 15”) from your first fold. Mark or pin this spot (shown by the edge of the black ruler, below). Fold the other short, finished end in.
Tip: The second layer should also be about 2/3 of the pillow width, but the most important part is that the distance between your two fold lines is your true pillow size
From the side, your folded fabric will look a bit like a paper clip.
Step 4: Pin raw edges.
Carefully pin the two raw sides. Start by pinning the two corners by the fold, to keep your width true, then pin every few inches along the edge, making sure the hemmed ends are lying flat and straight.
Step 5: Sew raw edges.
Use about a 1/2” seam, and sew up the raw edges.
Tip: Double- and triple-check to make sure your hemmed edges (especially the one sandwiched inside the fabric) are aligned, flat, and square with the other seam edges.
Step 6: Trim corners.
Trim just the corners (being careful not to cut your seams), then flip your envelope pillow case right-side-out and insert your pillow. It should be snug.
Ta-da! About 15 minutes later, and you’re finished!
This is truly one of the fastest, easiest facelifts you could give your throw pillows.
Good luck! May your throw pillows find many beautiful faces in the coming years (months? weeks?) as you learn just how fast and easy it is to sew a new envelope pillow cover.