Free Directions to Sew Envelope Pillow Covers

Throw pillows on daybed
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Gather Your Materials

The Front of an Envelope Back Pillow
Debbie Colgrove

These step-by-step directions are designed to save you the expense of new pillows. The envelope design of these pillow covers makes them removable slipcovers for your throw pillows. Always preshrink your fabric so that your finished pillow covers stay the same size after washing.

Materials needed

  • Fabric needed for standard sizes
    • 12-inch pillow: Fabric 12x28 inches
    • 14-inch pillow: Fabric 14x32 inches
    • 16-inch pillow: Fabric 16x36 inches
    • 18-inch pillow: Fabric 18x40 inches
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Measuring tools

Note: The cutting directions do not add a seam allowance so that the finished pillow cover is a little smaller than the form and creates a "plump" pillow with no space.

Marking Directions

Pillow Marking Diagram
Debbie Colgrove

This step will explain where to place the fold markings on the various sizes of the simple pillow slipcover.

Marking Directions

  • For a 12-inch pillow, mark your fabric 8 inches in from the end on the longest edges.
  • For a 14-inch pillow, mark your fabric 9 inches in from the end on the longest edges.
  • For a 16-inch pillow, mark your fabric 10 inches in from the end on the longest edges.
  • For an 18-inch pillow, mark your fabric 11 inches in from the end on your longest edges.

Hem the Ends

Ends of the pillowcase being hemmed.
Debbie Colgrove
  • On each end of the fabric, press under 1/4 inch and press under 1/4 inch again to enclose the raw edge.
  • Sew the hem into place. Consult this guide to sewing straight lines on a sewing machine.
  • Press well.

Fold on the Markings

Match the sides and Pin in Place
Debbie Colgrove

Fold your fabric, with the right sides together, at the markings you made on the long edge. There should be a 3 1/2-inch overlap for the back side of your pillow.

Sew the Seams

Sewn Seams with a Seam Finish
Debbie Colgrove

Sew the seams on each raw edge using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Use a seam finish to prevent fraying.

Turn Right Sides Out

Pillow Back with a Pillow Inside
Debbie Colgrove