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Monday, March 26, 2012

A Simple Pillow Cover Tutorial

Piero Fornasetti Pillow
It is no secret that the easiest way to add a splash of color to a space or to give a room a quick pick-me-up is to bring in some interesting new pillows.
Today I'm going to share with you a method for making a simple pillow cover.
You can create your pillows out of one fabulous fabric...
Or several...
You can add some appliques...
Applique Pillow from Alexandra Ferguson
Or other adornments...
Button Monogram Pillow from Button Betsy
There are so many possibilities, the fun never ends!

On Friday I'll be guest hosting over at Keeping It Simple.  I'll be doing a tutorial for a pillow that uses the simple pillow pattern explained here, but with a funky new twist...so be sure to check it out!

OK, down to business...
What you will need:
a pillow form
1/2 - 1 yard of fabric (depending on the size of your pillow form)
sewing machine

The pillow form I'm using is 20" x 20", but you can use this method for any size pillow form with some easy math.  You will be cutting one piece that is 1 inch larger than your pillow form in both dimensions (mine will be 21" x 21") and 2 pieces that are 1 inch longer than your pillow form in one dimension and half as long plus 2.5 inches in the other (mine will be 21" x 12.5").  If I've lost you in the math, or my explanation of the math, have no fear...here is a chart (I've added some rectangle pillow sizes too!):
Now that you have your 3 pieces cut...
(If your doing anything fancy on the front of the pillow, this is where you would set the 2 smaller pieces aside and do your crafty thing on the larger front piece.)
Finish the flap edge of each rectangle piece (for a square pillow this will be one of the longer sides, for a rectangle pillow it will be a shorter side) by serging, or pressing under 1/4 inch.  Hem this edge.
With right sides facing, pin one rectangle to the front fabric piece with the finished edge toward the center.
Pin the second rectangle piece to the front piece, overlapping the two rectangles across the center of the pillow.
Stitch a 1/2 inch seam around the entire perimeter of the pillow.
Trim each corner.
Finish the seams with a serger or zig zag stitch (I won't tell anyone if you skip this step! {wink}).
Turn right-side-out and stuff with your pillow form.

Start thinking where you could use more pillows...your bedroom, kids room, family room, ohhh...fancy ones for the living room...somebody stop me (please)...

Remember to come visit me on Friday at Keeping It Simple and don't miss your chance to enter my giveaway for a Moose Mouse Creations hat!
Giveaway ends April 9!
Partying at:
Creatively Living's Tell it to Me Tuesday
Tater Tots and Jello's Weekend Wrap Up Party
Stuff and Nonsense's Fridays Unfolded
I Heart Nap Time's Sunday Scoop


  1. What a great tutorial. Definitely looks simple enough to attempt :). I am over the moon, though, to find your chart...I'll have to pin that ASAP!

    Amy @ whilewaringheels@gmail.com

  2. I'm a little addicted to making these.

  3. I love the tutuorial. You did a great job explaining it. Thanks so much for sharing at Whimsy Wednesdays.

  4. Kara - You're welcome :)

    Amy - I hope it's helpful!

    Tara - Me too ;)

    Jenny - thanks!

  5. Great tutorial! This is perfect for those who are new to pillow making! and sometimes I get lazy and don't put the split in the back.....then the kids get it dirty and I regret not putting it in! lol

    Thanks for linking it up!
    @ Creatively Living

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this Tutorial! I've been on the look out for a good & simple pillow making tutorial. I would love for you to come link up to Sunday Round Up http://www.kaylascreationsblog.com/2012/03/sunday-round-up-3.html 3 blogs = 1 party!
    -Kayla :)

  7. My mom and are going to tackle pillow making in the coming weeks (she already knows how, I don't). I bookmarked your page to help her teach me. Thanks so much for this informative post and your pillows look great!

  8. I really really need to make some pillows. I even bought fabric last summer. Thanks for the cut list - so helpful to not have to do the figuring. I just pinned this. Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

  9. Congrats! You won the push pin give-a-way: http://trophyw.blogspot.com/2012/04/winners-and-features.html
    Please contact her directly at her shop to give her your address.

  10. Thank you! This was exactly what I needed to complete the pillows my mother has been asking me to make her. :)

  11. I landed on your tutorial after typing Pillow Cover Tutorial in Google. And I'm so happy I did! Love your tutorial (bookmarking it right now) and I really like your blog. Thanks for having me over. :-)

    1. I hope you'll find it helpful. Welcome, and thanks for making me smile today!

  12. Thank you for sharing and great tutorial.

  13. If you cut the pieces the same size as the pillow (excluding the overlap) you will avoid having loose corners or dog ear corners. Basically the pillow cover should be 1" smaller than the pillow.

    1. Hi April, Thanks for your comment! I agree, if you cut the fabric the same size as the pillow form or even a wee bit smaller, you end up with a puffy, fully stuffed pillow. In fact, this is exactly what I do when I make a pillow with a zipper closure! But, in my experience, with an envelope closure, if the fabric is the same size as the form, the flaps will pull apart in the back. This pulling bugs me. I find that if I cut the fabric a little larger, the flaps don't pull apart in the back. So, smaller fabric: puffy pillow with some flap pulling; larger fabric: looser stuffed pillow with no flap pulling...the choice is yours!!! Happy sewing!

  14. Found this on Pinterest three years after you have posted it and it's a keeper!!!!!! Posting a link to your site on my blog.

  15. maravillosas las explicaciones.Desde Colombia con gran cariño.Mercy

  16. maravillosas las explicaciones.Desde Colombia con gran cariño.Mercy

  17. Thank you! I am never sure what the cut size should be. I have saved your chart.

  18. I have made several covers; so easy. A quick tip, I use fusible webbing rather than sewing the envelope (short sides) edges. It keeps the edges nice and flat and it helps the closure blend into the fabric, it almost disappears so you can use coordinating fabrics and switch the pillow around for a change.


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