This DIY pillow cover sewing tutorial is simple enough for any beginner and a great way to decorate your home this spring. Follow along with me as I show you an easy way to sew a pretty pillow cover.
One really easy way to add seasonal decor to your home is with pillows. Today I’d like to share with you a DIY pillow cover sewing tutorial that is easy and simple to make. It has an overlapping envelope style opening at the back of the cushion to make it simple to take it on and off. Anyone with the most basic beginner sewing skills, should be able to handle this one.
I love pillows because they are so easy to swap out for any season or decor. Of course if you want to do this often you can really build up a large stack of decor pillows. Storage can become an issue for all your pillows. One easy simple way to avoid adding a new storage closet in your home just for pillows, is using pillow covers. A removable pillow cover is great because you can reuse the same pillow insert whenever you want to change the style or look of your room. Pillow covers are easily washable and can fold up nice and small to store.
Here is a list of supplies you will need to make a pillow cover:
- Fabric – .6 meter or .6 yard cotton or blend
- Pillow insert ( 20 x 20″)
- Sewing machine
- Thread (in a coordinating colour)
- Measuring tape
- Marking pen
Sewing a DIY Pillow Cover
You can find the basic supplies to make your pillow cover at your local fabric store, Walmart or online at Amazon. Fabric can also be found at these same places. Look for fabric that is 100 percent cotton or a cotton polyester blend. I prefer to use a quilting fabric in a pretty print. Take into account, that if you use a fabric with stripes or plaids and you want to match up the patterns at the side seams, you may need extra fabric.
Pillow inserts are often called throw pillow inserts. They come in various sizes, but for this project I’m using a 20 x 20 inch pillow. They are usually filled with a polyester or microfibre fill. You can also buy down filled pillows. If you invest in some good quality pillow inserts, they will hopefully last for a while, as you are only changing the covers on them. Here is an example of some online Amazon. https://www.amazon.ca/Utopia-Bedding-Throw-Pillows-Insert/dp/B07N7LLNQJ/ref=sr_1_11?crid=1HK3QTXGMHKIA&keywords=pillow%2Binsert%2B20%2Bx20&qid=1647393127&sprefix=pillow%2Binsert%2B20%2Bx20%2Caps%2C83&sr=8-11&th=1. (This is not a sponsored link)
Here are some basic sewing supplies needed for sewing your DIY pillow cover. You will need a sewing machine. A machine that only needs to sew a simple straight stitch and a zigzag stitch. You will also want an iron for pressing your fabric. Thread that matches the colour of your fabric, fabric scissors, a measuring tape, straight sewing pins and a marking pen finish off the supply list.
Cutting Out the Fabric
The first step is to measure your pillow insert. I am using a 20 x20″ pillow form, so I will cut the pieces of fabric to fit this exact size because its always nicer to have the pillow cover a couple inches smaller then the pillow form. This is a good trick because it makes your pillow look fluffier and fills out the pillow cover well once you insert the pillow form. When you allow for the seam allowance, the finished cover will be an inch or two smaller then your insert.
Measure, mark and cut one piece of fabric 20 x 20 inches square. This is the front piece of the cover.
Measure, mark and cut two more pieces of fabric 20 x 13″ each. These pieces are for the back of the pillow cover.
Iron the Pillow Cover Pieces
Iron the pieces of fabric to smooth out any creases or wrinkles in your material. Make sure your iron is on the correct fabric setting for the type of material you are using. As you are ironing use a water spray bottle to gently mist your fabric if you’re having trouble getting the wrinkles out.
Hemming the Edges
Take the two smaller pieces (20 x 13″) and fold the hem 1/4″ along one of the long sides of each piece. Iron the hem down to help hold it in place. Fold over again another 1/4″ on the same sides and iron. You should now have a double hem (folded over twice) along the one 20″ side of each of your two pieces.
Sew along the hem with your sewing machine on a basic straight stitch. Sew both of the hems on these two pieces.
Sewing the Pillow Cover Together
It’s time to assemble your pillow pieces and sew them together. Lay the large 20 x 20″ piece right side up on the table. Place one of the smaller back pieces on top with the right sides together and the hemmed side facing the middle. Line up the outer edges of the pillow. Next place the second back piece, right sides together on top of the other side. Again with the hemmed side facing inward. The two back pieces should overlap in the centre. This creates the a neat, easy envelope opening, where the pillow insert goes in.
Pin all around the edges of the pillow pieces to make sure they stay in place as you sew.
Sew around the outer edges of your pieces with a 5/8″ seam allowance using a straight stitch. Next sew a zig zag stitch between the seam and the edge of the fabric. This will prevent the fabric from fraying.
Clip all four corners of the pillow cover to help the corners look good once you flip it right side out.
Turn your pillow cover right side out. It can be helpful to use a blunt end of a pencil to help gently push the corners out.
Next insert your pillow form and fluff your pillow.
Find a beautiful spot to place your pillow and enjoy how pretty it looks added to your spring decor. If you would like more spring decor ideas check out my last blog post on 5 Beautiful Ideas to Decorate Your Home For Spring. https://behomeinspired.com/2022/03/09/5-beautiful-ways-to-decorate-your-home-for-spring/
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. Until next time…. Happy Spring and Happy Sewing your own DIY pillow cover!