Designer Pillow Cover Tutorial {beginner level sewingl}

It seems like almost everyday those deal websites (ie. Groopdealz, Very Jane, Zulilly, etc.) are running deals on designer toss pillow covers. Even at $10.00 plus shipping they can still be pricey. But they are so gorgeous! 

Right now is that time of year when I get a little antsy to do my spring cleaning and update my decor to be in line with the changing season. So this week I decided to spruce up my home for spring and summer and add a *pop* of color by making some of my own designer pillow covers for cheap! I'm talking like $4 for the cover... total! 

Want to learn how to make your own?? It is a beginning level sewing project. If you know how to measure fabric, cut fabric, iron frabric, and sew a straight line this is the project for you!

Here is what you need:
{These instructions are for ONE 16"x16" pillow. Be sure to adjust your fabric measurements accordingly}

• 1/2 yd home decor weight fabric (50-60" width) - I bought mine from here (If you order more than $35 they will ship for free!!)
• measuring tape
• cutting mat and rotary cutter {or just fabric scissors}
• iron
• thread and sewing machine
• serger {optional}

I know my pillow is 16" but just to be extra sure, go ahead and measure the length and width of your pillow. Mine was 16" on the dot! 

Time to cut your fabric. I added 1" to the measurements I took (16"+1=17"). You will need to cut three pieces:
• 17"x17"
• 17"x12" {2 of these}

**HINT: If you are using a pillow of a different size just add 1" to your length and width measurements. Then subtract 5 inches on one side to get the measurement for your two rectangle pieces. 

Be sure your iron is nice and warm {and set to manufacturer recommended settings} and take one of the rectangle pieces. Place it right side down and fold over one of the long sides (17") about 1/2" and press. Because of the weight of the fabric I was using it wouldn't really stay down. So, I used a quick spray of starch to keep my ironed folds in place. 

**HINT: If your fabric has a definite top and bottom to the fabric you will want to fold over the top of one of your rectangle pieces and the bottom of the other. 

Then fold it over again and press. {repeat for the second rectangle piece} 

Again, if you have a pattern with a top and bottom your pieces will end up looking like this once they are both ironed. See how the folded edge is on the top of one of the patterns and the bottom of the other.

Next, take your pieces to your sewing machine and run a straight stitch about 1/4" from the folded edge. I chose to add a second stitch next to it for a decorative look, but once stitch is totally fine. 

Grab your square (17"x17" piece) and lay it face up. Then take your rectangle piece that has the bottom edge folded and lay that face down on top of your square piece matching the top two corners.Then take your other rectangle piece (with the top folded over), lay it face down on top of that and match up the bottom corners. Your two rectangle pieces will overlap a couple of inches. 

{I goofed on my first one and switched which rectangle piece was on the top -- you can see it in my picture. When you do it like my instructions say, when your pillow cover is done the top flap will lay over the bottom flap on the back of your pillow -- one of mine is the opposite. Really, it's okay either way.... so if you goof on your first one don't go ripping out all your seems!}

Pin all the way around your pieces. Yes.... ALL THE WAY AROUND. The part of your cover where your two rectangle flaps overlap is how you will be turning your cover right side out. 

I chose to serge around the edged of my pillow cover because it is easy and gives a great finished look to it. If you don't have a serger, just sew a straight line around your pillow leaving a 1/2" seam allowance. Be sure to snip the corners a little before turning it right side out but be careful not to snip through any of your threads. 

Here is how the back side of your cover should look once the edges are sewn. 
Use your iron to press the stitching around the edge. 

Turn your cover right side out using the opening between the flaps. Press the sides with your iron. 

Here is how the back looks now...

... and here is the front. 

Now, just make a few more!

The envelope opening in the back makes it easy to take off and clean, or take off the cover entirely making it easy to change up your decor every now and again! 


  1. You almost make me believe I could do this without throwing a bobbin across the room in a tantrum. I am always getting tangled up in a web of thread. I will try...I've been meaning to for weeks.

    1. It really is THIS easy! I love sewing projects that I can do without much thinking and in a short amount of time... this one is BOTH! :)

  2. I made one for my bed pillow and I love it! Hardest part was cutting the pieces to the right size... I especially appreciate you showing how you turn corners without clipping them! Revolutionary idea that I will use from now on. Thanks for sharing this.


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