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Did you know you can make pillow covers without a zipper? Did you know you can make a pillow that has only two side seams?
I have been making my own pillow covers for years. I generally don’t believe in buying pillow covers. You can often make them for significantly less than what they cost to buy. I like to think I have perfected my technique for simple envelope pillow covers. With my two-seam version, you get the benefit of the fabric pattern continuously wrapping around the pillow with no seam on top or bottom.
I am going to show you how I made the red pillows for my modern americana family room. They took less than 15 minutes each and cost less then $10 for the pair.
How To Envelope Pillow Covers:
1. Cut your fabric to size. For an 18 x 18 inch pillow, cut a rectangle 18.5 inches by at least 44 inches. This will result in a 6 inch overlap for the envelope on the back of the pillow. Overtime I have come to prefer a larger overlap for my envelope, so I cut my fabric 18.5 x 54 inches. I basically used the full width of the fabric. My method results in a 16 inch overlap. It is a bit tricky to get the pillow insert in, but there is absolutely no gapping at the opening on the back of the pillow.
2. Hem both short edges of the fabric. Fold the fabric over 1/2 inch and then over again another 1/2 inch. Iron and stitch.
3. With fabric right side up, fold over one side toward the center. For the 6 inch overlap, make the fold about 12″ from the hemmed edge. For the larger 16 inch overlap, make the fold 16 inches from the hemmed edge.
4. Now fold over the other side, so the resultant folded fabric measures 18 by 18.5 inches. The easiest way I have found to do this is to use a yard stick. Lay the yard stick on the fabric and line up the 18 inch mark on the fold. Fold the other side of the fabric over the yardstick. Slide the yardstick along to make sure your fold is even.
5. Just two seams left. Sew a 1/4″ seam along each side of the folded fabric. I prefer to use my serger for the side seams. You could also use an overlock stitch on your sewing machine. Or simply sew and then trim the seam with pinking shears.
6. Turn the pillow cover inside out. You will have a perfect 18 inch square pillow cover with an envelope closure on the back.
7. Stuff the cover with your 18 inch pillow insert. Stuff it through the envelope opening and then push it under the inside flap. This is a little trickier with a larger inside flap, but just keep stuffing. Fluff the pillow and you are done.
Pillow Cover in 15 minutes and Under $5
Once you get the hang of it, you can make a pillow cover in 15 minutes and for $5 or less. The fabric I chose for these pillow covers is the Twirly Red Indoor/Outdoor fabric that I found for $9.99 per yard on sale. I was able to make two pillow covers from one yard, for a cost of $5 per pillow cover. With the savings, I splurged on nice down pillow inserts.
I also bought the awesome turquoise oversized chevron pillow covers shown above. Why would I buy pillow covers when I can make them?
- Lack of time. Yes, I sometimes pay for convenience. I know they only take 15 minutes to make, but remember I work full-time and blog a lot. Four pillows would take an hour I just don’t have. So I made half and bought half.
- Beautiful fabric I cannot find on my own
- Support a handmade business. Etsy is a great place to find handmade and relatively inexpensive pillow covers allowing you to support a handmade business. You get homemade pillows without lifting a finger.