Crafty: Spruce up your pillows in a few easy steps


If you’ve got basic sewing skills—meaning you can sew a straight line—you can tackle this project, no problem. With this easy pillowcase project, there are no zippers or hidden stitches, and it’s a quick way to revamp the look of your bedroom or living room at very little cost. Find your favorite printed fabric; check out Home Ec.’s selection of interesting prints, or dye some of of your own and get to sewing.


Fabric of choice
Use a medium-weight fabric for best results. The amount of fabric you need depends on the size of pillow, it needs to be roughly three times as long as the pillow form and a few inches wider.
Pillow insert
Purchase one new or better yet, recycle a pillow by removing the previous cover.
Coordinate the color of the thread with your fabric. I chose to use a dark blue in my example so it would show in photos, but I ended up liking the contrasting result.
Hot Iron
Sewing machine

Step 1: Measure your fabric

To make a basic envelope pillow, you’ll be sewing together three pieces of fabric. First, you’ll need to measure your pillow and then add at least an inch to those measurements. I used a 20 by 20 inch pillow insert, so for the front piece of my pillow, I cut a piece of fabric measuring 21 by 21 inches. To make the backside of the pillow, you’ll have two smaller pieces that overlap. They will be the same height as the front piece, but only 1/2 the width (the dimensions for my two smaller back pieces were 21 by 14 inches each.)

Step 2 : Seam one edge

There are two long edges to each back piece. Three edges of each back piece will be sewn into the pillow’s overall seam, but the remaining long edge on each back piece needs to be finished as it will be exposed on the back of the pillow when we turn it right side out. Using a small back piece, take one of the long edges and fold the outside of the fabric over about half an inch, then iron the fold. Continuing with this same edge, fold the raw edges from the fold in towards the crease of the first fold, iron again and pin in place. Repeat these steps on the second flap. Each flap should have just one folded long edge. Now you’re ready to sew. With the fold facing up, sew along the inner folded edge.


Step 3: Line up the edges

Once your two seams are finished, you’ll assemble your pillow. Lay your front piece down flat, with the side you want on the outside of your pillow facing up. Place a smaller back piece, outside facing down, with the seamed edge towards the center of the pillow, lining up the corners. Do the same thing with the remaining back piece, again with the seamed edge toward the center of the piece. The two back pieces should overlap. This overlap hides the pillow form when we turn it inside out, and also makes inserting and removing the pillow easy. Pin layers together around the perimeter.

Step 4: Sew up your pillow

Sew around the perimeter of the fabric in a straight line being sure to leave a 1/2-inch allowance. Turn your cover right side out and insert your pillow form.


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