Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tutorial: Easy Peasy Pillow Cover

I like pillows. A lot. I like to pile them on my bed and my couch and anything else that sort of fits the bill and plop down into their mountain of softness.

So I was happy to learn how to make this very easy pillow cover. I'm a fan of changing decor often, and this lets you do that very inexpensively. While the rising price of pillows is not necessarily an issue of national concern, pillows these days are pretty overpriced. A single throw pillow at a lower end store will set you back a good $30, and for what? A pocket of cheap fiberfill. Something you can make at home.

This pillow case is as simple as it gets. One piece of fabric. Four seams. No zipper. No buttons. No closures of any kind. They're easily removable so you can take them off and wash them. You can follow these directions for any size square pillow form because they're based on whatever size you're using. So get ready...your couch is getting a makeover.

Easy Peasy Pillow Cover
1 square pillow form (Ikea is a really good place to get inexpensive ones,
or just recover one you already have!)
1/2 yard woven fabric for pillows less than 17"
3/4 yard woven fabric for pillows 18"-26"
*Note: cotton or cotton blends work the best. If your pillow form is larger than 18", you'll need to get fabric that is wider than the standard quilting weight 45" bolt.*


1. Measure the width of your pillow form along one side. Make sure to stretch it out to get the full measurement.

2. Cut a rectangular piece of fabric that is as wide as your pillow and 2.5 times longer.

3. One one short end, fold the raw edge towards the wrong side of the fabric 1/4" and press. Fold it 1/4" towards the wrong side again and press. Sew a seam along the fold. Repeat with the other short end.

4. Lay out your fabric horizontally with the right side facing up. Fold the left hemmed edge in to the center of the fabric. Then fold the right hemmed edge on top of it so that the distance from the two folds measures 1" smaller than your pillow. Pin fabric securely.

5. Sew a seam down each raw edge with a 1/2" seam allowance,
backstitching at beginning and end AND when you pass over the hems. Zig zag raw edges.

6. Turn your pillow inside out and CAREFULLY poke out the corners with a pencil eraser. Put your pillow form inside, plump it up, place on your couch, and enjoy!


  1. Thanks for the tutorial! I just bought my first sewing machine, and have no idea how to sew, I just knew I wanted to spend this summer learning. Now I'm excited to make my first pillow :)

  2. you're welcome paula! i actually used to work at a place that taught sewing classes, and they did a very similar project in the intro class. it's a great first project to do. let me know if you have any questions! :]

  3. Thank you for this entry. Really useful! =] Didn't know it was that simple. I just made my first pillow and gonna make some more.

  4. Great tutorial. I make my pillows the exact same way, In fact, I am posting about the pillows I made on Monday and linking to your tutorial, if you don't mind.
    Also, I feature a creative blogger on my blog every Friday. Would you be interested in me doing a feature about you? email me or reply to this comment to let me know.
    So glad to happen upon your blogspot today. I'm a new follower. :)

  5. I absolutely adore the piece of fabric you used!
    It's great and fits perfectly a home-made pillow!

    I'm struggling with my quilt...I have to sew everything without a sewing machine (I can't use it, I messed up every try I did...). If you have any advice, please feel free to deliver them! lol

    Take care and keep updating!


  6. Emilie,

    What happened when you tried sewing? Sewing a quilt by hand sounds very, very difficult!

  7. Hey!
    Just saw your answer...
    Well, I was unable to follow the contour of my subject...
    Don't know if that's clear?!

    It is difficult! And it doesn't give the best results...

  8. So are these the kind of pillowcases with the nifty overlap in the back? I think that's what I gathered but I wanted to be sure. :) I just got a sewing machine for my birthday and I want to make pillows first! :)

  9. All the other website instructions say to cut one inch wider than the pillow to account for stuffing volume. Do you not think it necessary?
    Also , do you have to do 1/4 inch? Can you do a half inch fold twice, for a one inch seam, if you account for it in measurement ( ie 15 in for a 14 in pillow?)
    Your instructions by the way, are the easiest and clearest on the internet. You must be a teacher. Thank you so much for taking the time to post to us!


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