Friday, February 19, 2010

How To: Make a Pillow Cover

I’ve made a few pillow covers in the past but I recently stumbled upon directions on Apartment Therapy that were so much simpler since I didn’t have to figure out how to stuff the pillow form into a tiny opening and then decide how to close the opening (sew it closed, zipper, button, etc.). 

(from Apartment Therapy – go there for pictures since I forgot to take any)

What You Need


sewing machine
measuring tape or ruler


1. Measure and cut a rectangle from your fabric according to the pillow size. Size the rectangle with the following formulas:
L = (pillow size x 2) + 4"
W = pillow size + 2"

So, the rectangle for this 12x12 example pillow is 28 x 14.

2. Hem the two short ends of the rectangle.

3. Fold one short end toward the center of the rectangle, with the "finished side" of the hem facing down. The length of the fold should follow this formula:
X = (pillow size / 2) + 2"
So, for our example, this folded portion is 8" long.

4. Fold the opposite short end toward the center. The length of this folded portion should also be 8". This will create roughly a square, with two folded sides and two open sides. The hemmed edges of the fabric will overlap by 2" at the center of the square..

5. Sew shut the two open sides of the square.

6. Turn the cover right-side-out through the overlap at the center.

7. Insert the pillow through that same overlap.

8. You'll want to iron the cover once it's complete - a step we obviously didn't do in this example! This will flatten the hemmed edges and smooth the seams, making the results look more finished.

I had plenty of fabric left over from my chair makeover so I made two pillows for my basement living space: one for the chair at my craft table….


…and one that is currently resting on the small padded bench next to the couch.


This really was a simple process that took me about ten  minutes vs. the five the tutorial mentions.  Mostly because I use my sewing machine once a year so I struggled a little with getting the machine threaded.   How do you make pillow covers?  Have you ever made your own? 

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