The easiest pillow covers in the world (unless you’re me)

You may recall that I have posted about pillow covers twice before. Once, I figured out how to make burlap pillow covers with (gasp) no sewing at all. Another time I balked at completing an easy, ridiculously do-able DIY project for cable knit pillow covers and just ordered the darn things off the Kohls website. In both of these examples I’m sure I mentioned- I do not get along with my sewing machine. However, I’ve finally found something that I get along with less than sewing! That would be, running out of cash in my decorating budget. Here I was with a crazy desire for fun & funky, springtime colored pillows- and the cheapest ones I found (blue chevron pillows from TJ Maxx) felt, well, CHEAP, and were still $20 for the pair. I realized that I absolutely had to conquer my ability to weasel out of any sewing project and tackle these pillow covers head on. Brandishing a $5.50 single yard of material from Jo-Anne Fabrics (bought for 50%-off), I did what any stable, married, mature woman in her twenties would do- I called my mom. (this really shouldn’t surprise anyone since she’s already dragged me kicking and screaming through my ottoman slipcover project)

The easiest pillow covers in the world, step by step.

Step 1: Get out your sewing machine & gather supplies.

Revised Hannah Edition (RHE): Find someone who can sew and invite yourself over. Drink coffee before starting.


Isn’t it pretty? Two 17×17 pillow covers fit perfectly into a single yard of 45″-wide material.

Step 2: Measure, Cut, Serge, & Pin.

RHE: Lay fabric out, coo over the loveliness, measure & cut, re-measure and trim, try fabric out on pillow, freak out over serging machine (HOW DOES THIS WORK AGAIN??), serge edges of material, pin fabric, notice is wrong-side out, unpin & flip inside out & repin, measure and draw line for stitching.


Armed with nothing but coffee and our wits. And an air hockey paddle.


Serging the edges of the material before pinning.


Making sure that the measured & serged material will fit around the pillow. We left about 1.5 inches of overlap for the pocket.


After folding the material over (we’re making pocket pillow covers) I pinned the edges.


We started measuring our seam about 3/4″ in, and then changed it to a full inch in from the edge.


Serged, pinned, measured, and ready to sew!    

Step 4: Sew edges, flip right-side-out & try cover on pillow.

RHE: Start to sew edges, worry that machine is not working right, figure out that machine IS working right, finish sewing edges, try cover on pillow & realize is too loose, re-measure, draw new line for sewing, and resew the edges. Mom asks if I’m okay. Drink more coffee.


This was the easiest part of the whole project. If the machine is already threaded and ready to go, I’m fine! The “over-under-over-through” thing with the thread gets me. Also, bobbins.

Step 5: Add closing-mechanism to back of pillow.

RHE: Pick out two large matching buttons. Realize am going to have to sew button hole, freak out, relax when mom says that the sewing machine does all the work, measure, mark, pin & sew button hole, realize it looks like crap and almost start to cry, coffee is cold by now but still drink it, hand-sew button onto cover and laugh at how hard it is to knot thread anymore. Notice that hands are shaking. Too much coffee?


We made a mark at the exact middle of the edge, measured our button (to make sure it would fit in the hole) and pinned a piece of scrap material to the back for extra weight.


Hyperventilating while sewing the button hole.


TA-DAAA!!! (I know, I know, it looks like crap)


*Carefully* cutting the button hole. Yep, those are my mom’s hands. Guess I didn’t take a picture of me cutting mine! oops.


Making a mark to show where the button needs to be sewn on.


Hand-sewing on the button. I was so terrible at this part.


And it doesn’t even look as bad as I thought it would! Hooray!

Step 6: Put pillows in covers and pose for picture.

RHE: Put pillows in covers and pose for picture.


“We did it, we did it, lo hicimos, yeah! we made our pillow covers all by ourselves yea we did it, we did it, hooray!” (bonus points if you just sang that to the Dora the Explorer song in your head)





And on my messy-but-cozy couch, they look fabulous! I couldn’t get any better pictures of them because as soon as I took these, The Hubs flopped down on the sofa and refused to move for the rest of the evening. True story. Apparently sewing pillow covers is as exhausting to him as it is to me.

photo 2 photo 3photo 1




2 thoughts on “The easiest pillow covers in the world (unless you’re me)

    • Haha please do! My meager sewing self-esteem could use all the boosting it can get. Honestly, these are the easiest pillow covers to learn on. Literally just fold the fabric over itself by a few inches and sew up the two sides. You don’t even have to hem, you can just serge the edges like me! Close with a safety pin (if button holes elude you, lol) and viola! Have fun:)

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