DYI Easy Pillow Covers

My first real sewing project was a total success! If you have any ugly, or out of style pillows that need a face lift, you have come to the right place! These envelope style pillow cases are super easy and such a money saver!

George and I were lucky to have inherited a really nice leather couch and set of recliners when his dad moved to Canada a couple years ago. Now that we have a place I am super excited to use them! They are extra comfy, and gray is super in style. What is not in style right now…the pillows that came with it.

West Philadelphia born and raised...
West Philadelphia born and raised…

No offence to the original pillow owners (aka Kathy and Bill). The pastel splatter paint rainbow look was totally in style in the 80/90s. It reminds me a bit of Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I know the apartment is only temporary, but wanted to make it feel like home. I went out looking for some more modern throw pillows, and was shocked to see that most throw pillows are $15-$40 bucks a pop. It just seemed a little silly paying that (x2) for a couple of temporary pillows. I know I will want to redecorate when we move into a house in the next year or two, and I am sure I will change my mind about decorating styles 10 times between now and then. For now, my decorations are going to be more on the temporary/ inexpensive side. I have been scouring thrift stores for good finds. Although I don’t think I would ever buy pillows used (you just don’t know where they have been), I did find some fabric I thought would be perfect! Even better, it was enough to cover 2+ pillows, and was only $1!

Here is how I did it!

With my new sewing box, and machine in hand I got to work! (Read here for the story behind them)

2013-08-06 22.47.06Here is what you will need. – an outdated pillow- measuring tape-pins or safety pins-sewing machine (or a very strong/ straight hand stitch)-new cute fabric-maybe some fun buttons

I measured the length and width of each pillow.

2013-08-06 22.48.30

I then used the following equations to calculate the cuts for the fabric. Its envelope style, so It is just 1 piece of fabric and 2 lines of stitches per pillow!

Measured width +1 and Measured Height times 2.5

For my pillow the measured width was 15 inches and the height was 17 inches

The new dimensions of the new fabric I cut were 16″ by 42.5″.

15+1= 16″ and  17*2.5= 42.5″

This equation will work on every pillow! Now that you have new dimensions, cut your new fabric. Your piece should be just barely wider than your pillow but much longer.

In the pictures I took, it was hard to see the folds. I thought some graphics might be helpful. The “right” side, or the side of the fabric that will show is red, and the inside of the fabric is purple. So for these graphics, the pillows made will be red.

Lay the fabric down with the right side facing up. Fold about 1/3 of the fabric from the bottom up. Like this


Then from the top of that fold, fold 1/3 of the new fold down. This will create the “seam” of the envelope.


Then take the top portion, and fold it to cover your last small fold. You should now mostly see the “wrong” side of the fabric.


Put your pillow on top to make sure that the length is a good fit. You may need to adjust based on your eyeballing 1/3 skills.

Once you have it the right size, pin the fabric down along the long side.


Now just sew 2 straight lines down  following your pins save about a half inch seam.

Flip the case inside out, slip your pillow in and vwhala!

You could put the fold side in the back, or add some buttons and have it on the front.  It is also super nice to be able to take the covers off and wash them or change them at any time.

Before and after
Before and after

I really like how mine turned out, and look great with the rest of the room. I am still in the decorating process, but everything is different shades of grays and dark blues with just  few pops of red. I will post more of my inexpensive DYI projects  on how I decorated my place.


2 thoughts on “DYI Easy Pillow Covers

  1. Love it Julie!! I appreciate the detailed how-to for people like me, who get scared to do anything fabric related because I’m terrible at measuring! 🙂 Love the couch and fabric choice!

    1. Thanks! You shouldn’t be afraid of this one, it was super easy! I am taking some of your decorating tips to make our place feel like home! I am currently in the process of distressing some frames from the steps on your blog!

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