I love love love throw pillows. No, wait, I love down throw pillows. The only problem is finding nice looking down pillows without paying at least twenty-five dollars a pop. Which I absolutely refuse to pay. So, out of necessity sprung this project: DIY throw pillow envelope covers. I like to sew envelope covers because they are so much more simple than sewing on buttons or zippers, and I just happen to love the appearance of envelope covers. So clean and simple, yet different enough to look slightly more specialty.
Now ever since I discovered that I can make any cover I want out of any fabric I want, I am suddenly free to just buy the least expensive down pillows I can find. Who cares about whatever hideous cover they currently have… that can be changed! Pillow’s a little creepy? Just give it a good wash! I search everywhere for ugly forgotten down pillows that people think are beyond help; thrift stores, yard sales – everywhere. Because let’s face it, can you ever have too many pretty pillows? I think not. Okay, well perhaps yes, but I am far from that point right now – so the search continues. Anyway, by sewing my own pillow covers I go from spending $25 for a decent pillow to about $6-$10 dollars for a nice pillow. I usually buy fabric remnants for my pillows because you can get a very high quality fabric for very little money. For that reason, most of my pillows are mismatched. I really like this look, but if you are into a more uniform appearance, you might have a difficult time finding a remnant piece that is large enough to cover all of your pillows and might have to spring for non-sale fabric. It takes approximately 3/4 yd of fabric for one 18″ pillow.
But let’s get on with the tutorial shall we?
First take the pillow case that is currently on the pillow, off, and lay it onto your new fabric. Or, if the pillow didn’t come with a cover, take the measurements of your pillow and add 1/2 inch to each side for seam allowance, measure and cut your fabric. My pillow came with a cover so I will be using it for this tutorial. After the pillow cover is nicely arranged on the fabric, cut around the pillow cover adding about 1/2 inch to the perimeter for your seam allowance.
Once you have your first large piece of fabric, place it on the remaining fabric so that 2/3 – 3/4 of it is on, and 1/3 or 1/4 of it is hanging off of the fabric. Cut out where the fabrics are overlapped (this should be the larger section of the fabric piece.) This will give you your second piece.
Then for the third piece, you are going to cut another piece that is anywhere from 1/2 – 2/3 of the original piece again. With these two smaller pieces, you want about 4-6 inches of overlap when they are lined up with the original large piece. Here is approx what the pieces should look like when cut and separated.
For the next step we are going to finish the seams of the opening of the cover. Take the two smaller pieces and fold your half inch seam and iron, then fold the unfinished portion into that first fold and iron again. Do this on both pieces. Here is what it should look like.
After you have finished ironing both smaller pieces, run that edge only through your sewing machine. Once you have sewn that portion of those two pieces, pin the three pieces together with the patterned side facing inside. It will look like you are sewing it inside out, but really the side which is facing you is the side that will be the inside of the pillowcase. Be sure you pin the pieces together exactly as you want the finished product to appear, because this is what the final pillow will look like. See the 4-6 inches of overlap in the middle? That’s perfect. Sew all four edges now.
You are now finished with your beautiful new throw pillow!
Here is how my finished product looks… Not too shabby eh? Front on the left, back on the right.
And a before and after of my built in seating area. The before with the garish old pillows, and the after with the fresh new ones.
So there you have it; A very simple recipe for gorgeous pillows. I hope this tutorial helps you along your journey to beautiful interior space!