How To Make A Pillow Cover As A Beginner

For a beginner, it is good to note that there are different types of pillow covers. There are square and rectangle pillow covers.

Then there are envelope pillow covers, slipstitched pillow covers and zippered pillow covers. The method used to come up with any of them depends on the type of pillowcases you wish to have.

  • Slipstitched pillow covers

These have their covers closed with a seam that is invisible after the pillow form has been inserted. They have permanent closures hence are not washed.

  • Envelope pillow covers

An envelop pillow cover simply requires you to use one long fabric rectangle to overlap in the back so as to create a closure.

  • Zippered pillow covers

These have a zipper added to them. The advantage with this is that it is more versatile. It is easy to remove the pillow cover and wash it from time to time.

To come up with a zippered pillow cover, ensure that you use a zipper that is slightly longer than the opening of the pillow.

It is advisable to use a polyester coil zipper because it is easier to shorten as compared to other materials.

As a beginner, you should consider starting with envelope pillow covers as they are easier to make. Below is the procedure on how to come up with an envelope cover, all by yourself.

You can use a sewing machine or, if you wish, you can do hand stitching as long as you have your measurements right.

DIY throw pillow covers

It is very easy to make your throw pillow covers for yourself. Actually, as long as you can sew a straight line, you are good to go.

Once you know how to make throw pillow covers for yourself, you will be able to make so many of them, even for your whole house.

This will help you save a lot of money and enable you to have pillow covers of your choice in size and fabric without having to search every other pillow cover store that you know. Now let us get started.

What you need

You need the following supplies to be able to make your own throw pillow covers:

  1. Fabric: You need to purchase the fabric of your choice. Whether one kind of fabric, or two to have a variety, or to be able to mix them up, the choice is entirely yours. Be careful to buy good quality fabric that will not wear out quickly. You want to have pillow covers that will last quite a while.
  2. Tape measure: You will need a tape measure to be able to measure the fabric. A transparent ruler can also do. You may also need a cutting mat, though you can do without it.
  3. A pair of scissors: You can substitute this with rotary cutter. You will need this to cut your fabric into the required size.
  4. Sewing machine: This does not have to be the advanced type; you can do with the basic one as it is easier to operate and it basically does the same job that the advanced one would do.


Now let us get into the ‘how’ of making your own throw pillow cover.

  1. Choose the size

The first thing you need to do is to decide on the size of the pillow cover that you want to make.

Look at the size of your inserts and measure them to help you come up with the correct size for the covers.

You also need to decide whether you want your pillows plump or flat and give the pillow an allowance for that.

  1. Measuring the fabric

Secondly, you need to measure your fabric using the tape measure or transparent ruler. You can also use a cutting mat or rotary cutter.

Do this both for the front and back of the pillow cover. You may opt to use less expensive fabric for the backs of the pillow but that is up to you.

  1. Cutting the fabric

After deciding on the size and measuring your fabric, the next step is to cut out your fabric. Be sure to have in mind the pattern you want on your pillow cover before you do the cutting.

After cutting out the first piece, you may want to place it on the rest of the fabric and cut out the next piece accordingly by fitting the first piece on the fabric.

This will make your work a lot easier and reduce for you the burden of having to keep on measuring the fabric. Also, ensure that the back of the pillow cover has enough allowance for the hem.

  1. Ironing the fabric

Next you need to iron all the piece of fabric that you have cut out. It is not a must-do, but it will do you good if you opt to do it as it eases the sewing. You will realize that iron fabric is much easier to iron than fabric that is not ironed.

  1. Sewing

Now here you get to the main part of making your throw pillow covers. First, you need to hem both sides of the back pieces.

These edges will come into play when you need to make an envelope. Fold the hem by one inch and iron it. Then fold it again and iron it again then hem it.

After hemming the two back pieces on their long side, put the front piece facing up (facing you). Next, place the back pieces on it, ensuring all of them are squared up.

The hemmed edges of the back pieces should be facing you. Having done that, now you should pin each side then sew all the four sides. Be sure to leave an allowance of 1 inch on all the sides.

  1. Cutting off the corners

The next step is to cut off the excess fabric on each corner. Ensure that you do not cut off your stitches in the process.

Cutting off the excess fabric from the corners will ensure that the corners do not look bunchy when you finish sewing and turn the cover inside out.

  1. Turn the cover inside out

Having done the sewing, you can now turn the pillow cover inside out and stuff it with the insert. Fluff your pillow and enjoy it!

How do you make a 20 by 20 pillow cover?

To come up with a 20 by 20 pillow cover, you need to have fabric, cording, pillow form and zipper or cording foot.

The procedure is as follows:

  • Measure and cut the fabric using the measurements of 21 by 21 inches for the top side and 20 by 13 inches for the bottom side.
  • Hem one side on every bottom side. Make a half inch hem for the envelope pillow cover.
  • Get bias strips from excess fabric. The width should be one and a half inches and the length enough to fit the four sides of the pillow. If there is need, you may sew the strips together. Use a cording or zipper foot to wrap the strips around the cording. Stitch the strips close to the cording. Now you should sew the cording to the top side of the pillow cover with a half inch seam.
  • Place the two bottom (back) pieces of the cover on the top (front) pieces, ensuring that the back sides overlap to fit the front piece. Sew a half inch seam on the sides (all round) and then turn it inside out.
  • Insert the pillow form and enjoy your pillow.

How do you make a no sew pillow cover?

It is still possible to come up with a pillow cover even if you do not know how to use the sewing machine. All you need is fabric, tape, a tape measure, a pair of scissors and an iron box.

The procedure is as follows:

  • Measure and cut a piece of fabric according to the size of the pillow cover that you want to have. Make sure it is slightly bigger than the pillow says by two inches on the width and double plus twelve inches for the length.
  • Using push pins, mark the length and cut it out.
  • On the shorter side of the cut-out fabric, fold the fabric by one inch and iron it to keep it in place.
  • Ensure that the printed side of the fabric faces you then overlap the fabric’s ends by folding them one over another. Also ensure that the width of the fold matches that of the pillow you intend to cover.
  • Measure and cut the tape to fit the seam.
  • Put the cut-out tape inside the seam.
  • Apply heat on the seam with the tape according to guidelines on the label of the tape.
  • Do the same on the opposite side and iron it too.
  • On both sides of the flap, put some tape to keep them in place.
  • Turn the pillow cover inside out and stuff it with the insert. There you have your pillow cover!

It is quite easy to make pillow covers without having to use a sewing machine, although the latter is more durable and lasts longer.