This sewing project is perfect for beginners. Learn to make a DIY envelope pillow cover in 10 minutes with this super easy tutorial.

Making an envelope pillow cover is the easiest thing to start with.

There’s no need to insert a zipper or create buttonholes. Just sew a few straight lines and you’re done!

The instructions are for a 16-inch square pillow, but you can adjust the measurements for any size you want. It’s very simple, please read on.

Disclosure: I chose a cotton fabric for my pillow cover, and I didn’t wash and dry it before sewing – guilty as charged!

However, I removed the wrinkles with a steam iron before cutting my pieces. I don’t always pre-wash the fabric before sewing unless I really have to.

This time, a little shrinking isn’t such a big deal.

My finished pillow cover has the same measurement as the pillow – 16 by 16 inches. It already has a good fit, but I wouldn’t mind if it shrank a bit.

I prefer a clean and snug look rather than a shapeless one for my pillow covers.

DIY pillow cover- sewing supplies

  • a pillow you want to cover-up
  • fabric (how much will depend on the size of your pillow)
  • fabric scissors
  • sewing machine, thread, pins, iron

Looking for some quick and easy sewing projects? Here are some other things you can sew in about 10 minutes: lined drawstring bag, reversible fabric coasters, scrunchies, infinity scarf.

DIY envelope pillow cover tutorial

Step 1

Measure your pillow from seam to seam. Prepare your fabric pieces.

You need one front piece that measures 17 x 17 inches (add 1 inch to the pillow dimensions for seam allowances), and two back pieces 17 x 11.5 inches.

Whoaaa, wait, why 11.5? I hear you! Let me explain how I got this odd number.

Each back piece has the same width as the front side (17 inches) and half of the length, plus 3 inches to accommodate the seams and the overlap (17/2 + 3= 11.5).

This is how we secure a 4 inches overlap for the envelope on the back of the pillow.

For me that’s just perfect, but if you want a more generous overlap, feel free to cut bigger rectangles for the back pieces, i.e. 17 x 12 inches or 17 x 13 inches.

That’s so very simple. Look carefully at these pictures.

The back pieces have to overlap, so the pillow stays in.

The length of the back pieces:

11.5 x 2 = 23 inches

23 – 17 = 6 inches

Right now, there is a 6 inches difference between the front and the back pieces.

We’ll sew the envelope cover with a 3/8 seam allowance all around and we’ll lose approx. 1 inch from the initial 17 inches of fabric – we want the cover to have the same dimensions as the pillow itself.

That means we are left with a 6-1=5 inches difference. Remember, we need the back pieces to have a 4 inches overlap, and that means we have right now 5-4=1 inch extra.

What do we do with that extra inch? We are going to use it to hem both edges of the back pieces (top and bottom).

Let’s sew!

Step 2

To hem the edges, fold over 1/4 inch and iron, then fold over 1/4 inch again and pin. Sew into place. Such a nice, clean looking finish for the back of this pillow cover!

Step 3

Now place the front piece and the back pieces right side up.

Line up the corners, so the top back piece will overlap the bottom piece, as I showed you in the photos above.

Pin and sew around the pillow cover with a 3/8 inch allowance.

Step 4

Serge the seam to keep your fabric from fraying. If you don’t have a serger, you can sew a zig-zag stitch along the edge instead.

Now stuff your pillow inside the envelope cover and that’s all, sewing folks!

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