How To Sew a Simple Envelope Back Pillow Cover

Marking diagram for a 12" pillow
Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

These directions are designed to save you the expense of new pillows. Use them as "slip covers" for your throw pillows or buy pillow forms that allow for you to change the cover.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 15 minutes to One Hour

Here's How:

  1. Materials needed: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 instead of any empty space.
  2. Marking:
    • For a 12" pillow mark your fabric 8" in on the longest edges.
    • For a 14" pillow mark your fabric 9" in on the longest edges.
    • For a 16" pillow mark your fabric 10" in on your longest edge
    • For an 18 " pillow mark your fabric 11" in on your longest edge
  3. Fold and press each short end under 1/4" and then turn and press under 1/4" again, to form a neat baby hem.
  4. Neatly top stitch the baby hem into place by stitching as close to the un-attached folded edge as possible. A Guide to Sewing Straight Lines on a Sewing Machine
  5. Fold your fabric, right sides together at the markings you made on the long edge. There should be a 3 1/2" overlap for the back side of your pillow.
  6. Pin the raw edges in place so the edges are aligned.
  7. Sew the sides with the raw edges, using 1/2" seams and finish the seam on the raw edges.
  8. Press and turn right side out.
  9. Press again.


  1. Make these covers in holiday themed fabric to have a collection for all the holidays. This is an inexpensive way to change your throw pillows for every holiday.
  2. Try to order extra matching fabric when you buy your furniture so you can make matching throw pillows.