DIY Easy Envelope Pillow Cover tutorial {day 17 of 31 days of Pinterest: Pinned to Done}

31 days of Pinterest -  Pinned to Done!

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DIY Easy Envelope Pillow Covers

Today’s project was inspired by tons of pillows I have pinned on my Pinterest Pillow board, but specifically this pin from Setting for Four.

Isn’t her fabric gorgeous?  I love it!

Now before you say, “I can’t sew” let me tell you these pillows are EASY!  If you can sew a semi-straight line you can make these pillows.  It seriously took me longer to write this post (especially since this is the 2nd version I had to write since some little fingers deleted the first one when I was 5 min. from being done Sad smile) then it did for me to make 4 pillows last night.  Simple, easy, cheap! Smile 

First you will need some pillow forms.  This method of making pillow covers are not the kind of pillows you can fill with fiberfill.  You will need pre-made forms.  The size is up to you.  I used 18×18 pillow forms. 

Start out by laying out your material.  You can usually get 2 pillow covers out of 1 yard of material.  I found my material at my local discount fabric warehouse during their fabric by the pound sale.  $1.99/lb. (which usually equals out to be about $1.99/yard depending on the weight of the material.)

Here are the measurements you will cut it depending on the size of your pillow forms:

  • 12 inch pillows – 12×30 inches
  • 14 inch pillows – 14×34 inches
  • 16 inch pillows – 16×38 inches
  • 18 inch pillows – 18×42 inches


How did I come up with that?  You want it to be 18 inches tall.  Then you add 18+18 (both sides of the pillow) = 36 inches.  Then add 4-6 inches for the envelop fold in the back.   I added 6 inches (for 3 inches of envelope overlap in the back) for a few reasons.  I had plenty of material and since these pillows will be on our couch and will get slept on, used for back support, and get used a lot and I didn’t want the back to “come open” at all.  But I have added only 4 inches and it has been fine too. 

To confuse you even more since my fabric was folded I got mine 18 x 21 inches (half of 42).  I hope all this makes sense!  If it doesn’t, leave a comment and I will answer it.


This is my fabric opened up all the way, wrong side up. 


You will want to turn under the ends and sew it to form a finished edge. 


Then it is time to get it ready to sew it into a pillow cover.  With the wrong side showing fold over your fabric


You will want it to measure 1/2 LESS than your pillow.  So since I had 18 inch pillows, I wanted my pillow cover to be 17 1/2 inches. 


If you have a pattern that you want centered you need to do that at this time.  once you sew the edges it is set exactly how you have it laid out at this point.  Since this was a repeating pattern I didn’t have to worry about that. 

You may also want to center the “envelope flap” on the back.  The one you will see is the one in the inside or the bottom one at this point.  It definitely doesn’t have to be centered – that is completely up to you.  Mine are not all centered. Smile


Sew both top edges together.  Flip the pillow cover right side out and there is your easy DIY envelope pillow cover!


The flap opens right up and you can stuff your pillow form inside.


And here is my pillow all finished!


Here is what the back looks like.  (See the flap is not centered – I don’t mind.)


And here they are on my couch!  I made 4 new pillow covers and actually have a few more I plan to do.   I love the material I found at my fabric warehouse.    And the tan throw – found it at Value Village last week for $3.03.  LOVE it!  So comfy and soft and fulfilled my “want to find a chunky throw to recreate the throw draped over the arm of the couch look I see in magazines.”  Winking smile  Would love to eventually find one in a more contrasting color, but this one is such a pretty neutral it could go anywhere in the house.


If you wanted to create this look, you would just make the envelope flap be centered in the front.  Aren’t these pillows from Jill & Ruth Co. pretty too?

And I know someone will ask what the name of the fabric is or where they can find it so here is the best information I found from trying to read the selvage and find the same print online.

The tan diamond fabric says “an exclusive design for Portfolio Textures, Inc.” and this fabric by Kravet is the closest I found. 

The brown/blue fabric I can’t read the selvage very well, but I know it says something like “Pattern for Kravet Design.”  And it looks like it is called “Kravet Design Lutron Color Storm” – found here.


And as you can see, yes, I coordinate our pillows with our cat.  Don’t you? Smile  Maybe that is why I am always trying to add more white in our house?


Have you ever made your own pillows or pillow covers?  I really need to make a lot more of these.  They are so simple and cheap (when I can get 2 pillow covers out of 1 yard of material.)  I would love to have more to change out throughout the year. 

I am joining Nester from Nesting Place in writing a 31 days series in October.  You can see all the other hundreds of people writing a 31 days series here.

And I am excited to have 3 blogging friends join me in the insanity! Check out their series by clicking on the buttons below.

31 Days of Blessings in Disguise    31 days of support for your special needs parenting journey   31 days of Homemade Living

And my sister-in-law is joining along too!   Writing about their transition as they move across the country with four children. 

31 days of Rockin transition



  1. I don’t have a sewing machine anymore but I did make a few pillows yesterday with my faithful glue gun! Looks like you are going with similar colors for your living room as mine. Love all your material and the pillows look great!
    Molly recently posted..Bit ‘o OrganizationMy Profile

  2. Can you make some for me? I’m serious. I don’t have sewing machine either and already have the fabric and forms!
    Jae recently posted..Thrifty Finds: Wine CoastersMy Profile

  3. OMG! Thank you for this post! I’ve been cutting 3 pieces of fabric for each of my envelope pillows/pillow covers. This is a super time saver.

    @Jae – if no one volunteers I will sew some for you with your fabric.

    Thanks again! 🙂

  4. Heather C. says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. I have some older pillows on my living room chairs that are starting to look sad and the dog chewed one corner so that one’s shot….but if I can cover them no one will ever know. And you can change out your pillows based on season 🙂 Need to hit up Hobby Lobby soon and try to recover mine!

  5. I love this! I have tried to sew throw pillows before, and they looked horrible! I never knew you could do it this way. I’m pinning this – we’ll see how long it takes before it gets to the “done” stage! 🙂
    MaryEllen@ImperfectHomemaker recently posted..Anti-Procrastination Challenge: EncouragementMy Profile

  6. What a wonderful tutorial, you make is so easy. I love the pillows you made the fabric is perfect for your couch. Thanks so much.

  7. I see some Christmas covers for existing pillows coming soon.
    Jessica B recently posted..31 Days {Photo 18 & 19}My Profile

  8. Wendy Sticovich says:

    Loved your site, l have tried making the envelope back cushions but the back never seems
    to sit right can you help me at all?

  9. Hello
    You did half an inch on the sides of the fabric to sew the pillow together. HOW much did you turn under at the ends of the fabric? (You will want to turn under the ends and sew it to form a finished edge).
    Thank you Bren

  10. Thank you so much for this tutorial! It was so easy I made 10 covers today in sizes 14 in, 18 in, 20 in and 24 in! Finally able to mark “Make new pillows for the couch” off my to-do list!

  11. Jos sinun kiinnostuksen kohteena olisi vaikkapa transvestiitti,
    niin todennäköisesti avullamme voisit häneen tutustua.
    Edes pettäminen ei ole heille vieras asia ja luonnollisesti
    hyväksyvät sen, jos sinä haluat pettää heidän kanssaan jotakuta muuta.
    Kun haluaa suomalaisia naisia, niin täältä niitä saa.

  12. I made some of these today I loved having the dimensions and not having to figre them out.

  13. A person could hand sew these easy covers if they did not have a sewing machine. Or ask a friend nicely to stitch them up for them. Just got two 18 inch pillow forms from Goodwill, new in wrappings. Guess what I am making this week? : )

  14. I was thinking of sewing little rubbermade shelf liners on the bottom to get them to stay up on a leather couch when they are people free. Love the kitten cat!

  15. Christina….thank you SO much for the fun, simple, easy pillow pattern. I needed to make a cover for my dog’s bed, one I can take off and throw in the washer when needed. Yours was perfect for me, what a help you are to many.

    Warm regards,

  16. I would like to use your tutorial on my blog on Easy Pillow Cover from 17 Oct 2012….with appropriate credit and link. Please email if agreeable. Thanks. Enjoyed the tutorial.

  17. Thank you for your tutorial it is the best most detailed one I could find. Now I feel ready to make my envelope pillow!


  1. […] Oh and the other pillows you see, I made those too.  Check out this tutorial on how to make an easy envelope pillow cover. […]

  2. […] Sundays are a great day to re-coop and fill the creative tank.  That being said, I’ve been thinking about whipping up a fun project, Pillow Covers.  I found a neat tutorial (from Christina, The Frugal Homemaker) on how easy they are to make and it really inspired me to use some of my deliciously fabulous fabrics.  You can find the tutorial here… […]

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