Calling All Domestic Divas Out There! DIY Pillow Covers

DIY pillow covers are my favorite home décor project when I want to change the look of my living space without spending a lot of money. It also helps to keep you occupied with something other than shopping on a lazy Saturday afternoon. The steps are super easy. You will need a few things to get started, but after that, you should be ready to whip up some pillow covers!

You will need a sewing machine, a rotary cutter, measuring tape, some straight pins, a white pencil, an iron, fabric, and thread. Once you get all of those items together…you are ready to start!

Step 1 – Cutting the fabric

I am making an envelope pillow, so that means I will have one large front piece and two somewhat smaller back pieces.

Lay the fabric on a flat surface and make sure your fabric is as even as possible. Once this is done, take your tape measure and measure out how large you want your pillow covers to be. I am making a 16 x 16 pillow cover, so that means the measurements for my fabric will be 17 x 17 for the front piece and 17 x 12 and 17 x 13  for the two back pieces, respectfully.

DIY Pillow Covers
The Basics to any sewing project.
DIY Pillow Covers
Make sure to lay the fabric as flat as possible!!
DIY Pillow Covers
Rotary cutters are a girl’s best friend…believe me!

Quick note about measurements:  Using the example above (16 x 16 pillow cover)

1. To make sure your pillow cover turns out perfect, you will need to make sure you have enough room for your seam allowance (the space you will sew when putting your pillow together). I usually add an inch to the length and the width of the pillow. So if I am making a 16 x 16 pillow, my front piece of fabric will be 17 x 17 to give myself some space to sew.

2. The two back pieces will be the same length as the front, but the widths will be different because they will overlap. Allow 6 inches for the first back piece and 8 inches of fabric for the second back piece. Once you add the respective inches to the measurements, then divide the number by 2. 

Example –

First back piece – 17 inches + 6 inches = 23/2 = 11.5 (round up 12)

Second back piece – 17 inches + 8 inches = 25/2 = 12.5 (round up 13)

Still with me? Good! You can do it!!!!

DIY Pillow Covers
After cutting your fabric, this is what you should have…

Step 2 – Iron it out

Once you have your fabric measured and cut, run a really hot iron over it. Be careful not to burn your fabric. Once you have ironed out any wrinkles, take the two pieces – one piece at a time- and fold over (length-wise) 1/4 inch of fabric. Make sure to iron it really well! Then fold the fabric 1/4 inch again. This ensures that you do not have any unsightly edges.

DIY Pillow Covers
Iron out any wrinkles.


DIY Pillow Covers
Your folded edges should look like this.

Step 3 – Tie up the loose ends

After you’ve ironed down your folds, take the two back pieces to your sewing machine and sew each edge as close to the folded edge as your feel comfortable. If this is your first time, it will not be perfect, but that’s okay!

DIY Pillow Covers
Sew as close to the edge as possible
DIY Pillow Covers
Here’s an up-close look

Step 4 – Pin it up

Take the two back pieces and line them against your front piece. Make sure to line the back pieces against the edges of your front piece as precise as possible!! If everything is lined up properly (the print facing inward), pin all the pieces together (see pic below).

DIY Pillow Covers
This is the position your fabric should be in before you start pinning.
DIY Pillow Cover
Make sure to place pins around the entire pillow cover.

Step 5 – Start Sewing!

This is pretty self-explanatory. What I will say about this step is try and sew close to the fold you made in Step 4 and don’t forget to backstitch…we want your pillow covers to last! 

DIY Pillow Covers
Be sure to line up your fabric with the 1/4 inch line on your sewing machine.
DIY Pillow Covers
Start sewing!!!!

Step 6 – Flip it and Finish!

Finish sewing all the way around the pillow cover and flip inside out to see your handy work! If you’ve followed all the directions, you should have a sturdy and stylish pillow cover.

DIY Pillow Covers
Cut the edges to ensure they turn out point…watch the seams though!
DIY Pillow Covers
The finished product


Fun, right? Let me know how your DIY pillow covers turned out.

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