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DIY: Brighten Your Home for Fall with Envelope Pillow Covers

I have always loved to sew.  As a young girl living in a small suburb outside of Philadelphia, I found my true love of the craft at a summer 4-H club.  We learned the ins and outs of operating a sewing machine and mastering different stitches.  Our final project was creating our own pair of snazzy shorts, then modeling our creations at the local fair. It left a warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart.  I still have those shorts and they bring back wonderful memories. 

Nowadays, I stick to mostly sewing quilts and pillows.  Today I am sharing with you an easy DIY project to spruce up your home!  Once you master this envelope pillow cover project, you can turn out these pillows in a matter of minutes.

WARNING: You might get addicted to re-covering every pillow in your house but it is so worth it!

First, find your fabric.  

Buy one yard and you should be able to get two pillows out of the length.  I love Jo-Ann Fabrics (wait until you have a coupon and splurge on those beautiful home decor fabrics that always catch your eye). A second option is an online site. My fabric is from  They have great Home Decor fabrics for a great price and the selection is amazing. This pattern will make a standard 18″ pillow cover. This is an envelope closure pillowcase. No fuss with a zipper or zipper foot for your machine. These covers are so easy and so beautiful!


Time to measure, cut and fold.

Next, lay our your fabric print side down and measure.


You will need to cut the fabric 18 inches wide by 42 inches tall. Mark your fabric with pencil on the non-print side and cut.  Please use good scissors, not a sad pair from the junk drawer. This will help with fraying. Your fabric will now look like this.


On the two short ends fold over approximately one inch of fabric and iron it down.  This will help you keep a neat edge.  It does not have to be one inch exactly but get it as close as you can.  Press both seams, and press the rest of the fabric if it is wrinkly while the iron is nice and hot.


Fire up the sewing machine.

Load your machine with matching thread. I chose to go with navy since it was already in the machine!   Tuck your rough edge beneath the pressed seam and start sewing. I find it easiest to tuck the entire length and hold it taut while sewing.  Do this for both short edge sides (your 18 inch sides, not the 42 inch sides).


Now lay the fabric print side down.  Fold up the bottom edge 11 1/2 inches. This doesn’t have to be precise but if you are making a pair or a few covers, this will ensure all the seams look alike once the covers are on the pillows.


Next, fold down the top, measuring to make sure the length of the pillow is approximately 17 1/2 inches long.  You want the case to be snug on the pillow for the most flattering fit. Pin the two unfinished sides, a few inches between each pin.  This will help keep things perfectly aligned for finishing our project.  Now, for the last two runs of sewing.  Make sure you allow for the seam to be the same width on both sides.  I typically shoot for about a half inch on each side.  Sew both sides the entire length of the fabric edge.


You are finished! 

Pat yourself on the back!  Now flip that case inside out and make sure to push your finger deep into each corner to force the fabric into neat points.


As for your pillow insert, you could throw this case over any old 18 inch pillow in your house.  This is the cheapest way to update your decor. Reduce, reuse, recycle, people!  But if you don’t have the right size pillow, you could pick one up at any fabric store.  Or you could use my favorite pillow insert — an amazing 18″ feather-down insert — from Crate and Barrel. It holds its shape well and is extremely affordable at $12 a pop.

They also make a down alternative version that I am sure is just as wonderful.  Here is our finished project.  Isn’t it beautiful?


I added this pillow to a few others I have finished and love the look!  So, what are you waiting for? Get sewing, ladies!


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