A club chair with 2 DIY envelope pillow covers

How to Make a DIY Envelope Pillow Cover

It’s back to sewing basics today. Learn how to make a DIY envelope pillow cover. This is great for beginners because it is the easiest and fastest way to make a handmade pillow cover!

DIY Pillow Projects

Monogram Pillow
DIY Pillow with Border

Painted Pillows
Christmas Pillow Covers

Envelope Style Pillow Inspiration

The envelope pillow style can stand alone nicely, be part of a set, or be the foundation for embellishments. Use the colors, textures, and materials you love! Below are inspirational fabric varieties.

inspiration source

pillow source

purchasing source

DIY Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial

A throw pillow style works perfectly for any area in your home. Decorative pillows add so much to a room. Combine colorful pillow sets on your couch, the porch, patio, or in your bedroom.

Fast and Easy Sewing Project

This pillow design is just right for beginner sewists! It only involves straight stitches and it is fast. Once you have all the materials and fabric cut, you can be done in less than an hour.

Start with your Pillow Form

First, you’ll need to determine what size pillow insert you will be using. You can purchase them at most craft stores or on Amazon.com. Here are a few highly rated examples to compare. Click for more information on each one. HERE HERE HERE and HERE

Next, get the dimensions of your pillow form, whether you purchased the insert or already own it. You can find the measurements on the pillow tag or measure across the pillow from the seam to seam, using a tape measure fitted close to the pillow.

How much fabric do I need?

Use this simple math to find out how much fabric is needed.

The equation is:
Pillow size times 2, plus 6.

For a 20 inch square pillow, the formula would look like this:
20 inch pillow x 2 + 6 inches = 46 inch length (20-inch height)

If you prefer a snug, fitted look for your pillow, do not add a seam allowance.

If you want to add a flange trim, see this POST for more information.

Other standard square pillow forms:

16-inch square pillow, your fabric should measure 16″ x 38 inches
17-inch square pillow, your fabric should measure 17 x 40 inches
18-inch square pillow, your fabric should measure 18″ x 42 inches
19-inch square pillow, your fabric should measure 19″ x 44 inches
20-inch square pillow, your fabric should measure 20″ x 46 inches
24-inch square pillow, your fabric should measure 24″ x 54 inches

Now that you know how much fabric you need, let’s gather the other supplies. Below is a list of materials for your pillow project.

DIY Pillow Supplies

Affiliate links in blue below.

Fabric HERE
Matching Thread

Straight Pins
Ruler or Tape Measure
Scissors or
Rotary Cutter HERE
Safe Cutting Surface
Sewing Machine
Fabric Protectant
 optional HERE

Preparing Your Fabric To Sew

It’s always a good idea to prewash your fabric before cutting into it. This will prevent any future shrinking and potential fit problems when you wash the pillow cover.

Cutting your Fabric

It’s time to cut out your fabric! Decide which direction you want the print or texture to run, and which way you prefer the opening to run. If your pillow is not square, this is especially important.

You can choose to have the opening in the front or back of the pillow. If you have it in the front, add a pretty closure like a button, bead, or embellishment. Now, using your finished fabric measurements, cut out your fabric with a rotary cutter or a sewing scissors on a safe cutting surface.

How To Sew A DIY Pillow Cover

Below is a quick start guide with step by step directions to make your own envelope style pillow cover. Keep reading below for more detailed explanations.

Finishing Ends, Folding and Sewing

1 Finish the 2 shortest raw ends of your fabric. Choose your favorite way to finish an edge.

One way is by folding under 1/4 inch and pressing. Then fold under 1/4 inch one more time. Press again. Topstitch on both sides to hold in place.

You can also just fold once and finish with a serger or piking shears. See the drawing below for reference.

Next, with the right side of the fabric facing up, fold both finished ends in towards the center, so that they overlap. See below.

Adjust the fold lines where you want them, overlapping in the location you prefer. It does not have to be the center, but that is very common.

The final folded footprint needs to be the size of your pillow form. Use a ruler or tape measure to confirm the correct size.

If you have a patterned fabric, consider what you want to be centered on the front of the pillow.

When you have the pillow folded in the proper position, pin the top and the bottom openings closed. Stitch across both to close. See the drawing below.

2 Before you turn, carefully clip all 4 corners on the inside to eliminate bulk. You have created an opening for your pillow form to go in!

Turning the DIY Pillow, Ironing and Stuffing

3 Turn the pillow right side out. Press with an iron and gently pushing corners out.

4 You are just about done! Time to gently insert and stuff your down-filled or poly-filled pillow into your handcrafted pillow covers.

You will need to adjust the corners of the inner pillow cushion so that it fills the form nicely. Give it a few karate chops from both sides, and you are ready to roll.

Pillow DIY Ideas for Your Home

Enjoy decorating with your new pillow! Pillow sets of 3 look even better, so consider making more pillows with coordinating fabrics to display as a group.

If you have any questions, feel free to write them in the comments below or send me a note HERE. I am happy to help!

Let me know if you make an envelope style pillow! Thank you so much for following along.

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