DIY $5 Envelope Pillow Covers!


I made these pillow covers!

DIY Pillow Covers for $5!
DIY Pillow Covers for $5!

For five bucks a pop!

So. I’ve been slowly redecorating our home, one small project at a time. Kind of a white and brown rustic, industrial, southwestern motif with pops of blue, orange and gold. It’s not a thing…I made it up. I have a collection of ideas in my brain about what it’s supposed to look like and it’s hard to explain. But slowly, slowly, I think we’re getting there.

Anywho, pillows are a great place to start when you’re redecorating because they are easy and can make a big difference. But when I was shopping for new pillows, I was like, umm $75 for THIS?!?

I say no! Surely there is a cheaper alternative.

There is! I already have the number of pillows I want in the shapes I need, so maybe I could just make covers for my existing pillows.

After a little research, I decided to try it.

Here’s your supply list:
-Fabric of choice; 1+ yards, depending on how many pillows (roughly 3/4 yard per pillow to be safe)
-Measuring tape
-Fabric glue

I had a hard time finding the right blue Ikat fabric. I searched and searched and finally found it here.

Like so many of my undertakings, there were mistakes involved in the making of these pillow covers. They were originally intended to be no-sew pillow covers, thus the fabric glue. This particular fabric glue came highly recommended. It’s called Unique Stitch glue, and can be found here. But after I didn’t read all the instructions and didn’t measure properly and didn’t wait long enough, I inevitably ripped one of my pillow covers as I was stuffing the pillow in–I don’t think it was the glue’s fault.

Thankfully, I have a whiz of a seamstress for a mother in law, and she helped me fix the ripped one by sewing it, and since I was doing that one, I went ahead and did the other ones too.

I’ll explain each process.

Chances are, if you know how to sew, you won’t wonder how to make pillows and won’t be reading this tutorial, but I’ll show my pictures just for fun.

Here’s a handy-dandy diagram I found on  where this idea originated.

How to make an envelope pillow

The easiest way I discovered is to set your pillow about 3 inches away from the edge of your fabric and trace it. Add the same amount of extra inches to the rest of the perimeter and mark where you should cut. Be sure all your marks are on the non-patterned side of your fabric. The original tutorial gave measurements for a pillow with a 20″x20″ front panel, which I used for the two brown pillows pictured, but for my blue pillow, since it was a rectangular lumbar pillow, I had to improvise. I got my two brown pillows out of 1.5 yards of fabric, and my rectangular pillow, I only used 1 yard. I had quite a bit left over of each.

You’ll cut on your marks (the extended 3″ from where you traced the pillow) as one whole panel for the front of your pillow. For the back, you’ll measure 2 panels of the same height, but for the width you’ll measure 3/4 the length of the front panel. So, if your front panel is 20″(H)x20″(W) your two back panels will be 20″(H)x15″(W). Super clearish? Ok.

Once you have all 3 panels cut, fold your open envelope edge (marked green on the diagram) about a half inch and glue it, creating a seam for a finished edge. Do that for both of your back panels. Then you’ll lay all three panels with the patterned side inward, front panel on the bottom, back panels on the top. Your back panels should overlap when you match up the outside corners with the corners of the front panel (see diagram: corners numbered 1 should match up, corners numbered 2 should match up, and so on and so forth).

Then, glue the top and bottom panels together on all the outside edges, leaving about an inch from the edge.(Marked in black on the diagram.)Your glue will go on the patterned side of the fabric.

Let it dry about 24 hours to be sure it’s really dry, then turn your case inside out, press with an iron, and stuff with your pillow like any old envelope sham.

DON’T do these things:
-cut your fabric too small (too big is always better than too small)
-weight your pillow case down while it’s drying
-become impatient and stuff your pillow in before the glue is totally and completely dry.

If you do these things, you WILL rip your pillow case when you stuff your pillow in.

Trust me.

Luckily for me, I knew who to call when I did all of the above. If you’re gonna sew the pillow covers, your measurements and assembly are the same. Just instead of glue, you run it through the sewing machine. Like so.

Then you’ll want to cut the inside corners off as close to the sewn corners as possible so it won’t bunch when you flip it right side out. Like so.

With my mother-in-law’s help, this part was super easy. Without her help, this would’ve been a totally failed project.


DIY Pillow Covers for $5!
DIY Pillow Covers for $5!

Adapted from


One thought on “DIY $5 Envelope Pillow Covers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s