How To Make a Pillow Cover Without Using a Sewing Pattern

If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook you may remember this photo that I posted a few weeks ago showing how to make a pillow cover for a big day bed pillow. I actually made four. Two using this turquoise fabric from JoAnn’s Fabrics and two using woven rugs.  (Yes, woven rugs can be used to make this easy pillow cover using this method as well as any type of fabric or size pillow. You will see it at the end of this post.)   The pillows were for my daughter’s apartment bedroom to go along the back of a day bed.

Sew-a-pillow-cover-with-no-pattern needed tutorial

 

I only had 2 yards of fabric to work with and I wanted to cover the hand-me-down pillows for her bed as easily as I could since my sewing skills go no further than straight line stitching.

 

Step-by-Step-Instructions-2

 

 

Supplies Needed:

Fabric – yardage will depend on the size of your pillow. For these large day bed style pillows  – I used a 2 yard length – cut in half length-wise. This was enough to cover two large pillows.
Thread
Straight pins
Scissors

Since these directions are for any size pillow – you will first need to determine how much fabric you are going to need to cover yours. After that is determined, the steps are the same no matter what size pillow you have.

To figure out how much fabric you will need:

Measure the width and length of your pillow and double it, plus add a little extra to cover the loftiness of the pillow.  If you have fabric already – wrap it around the pillow to see if you have enough to cover it. I made two pillow covers using one – 2 yard length of fabric that I cut in half lengthwise so I had two long pieces of fabric.   Remember if your fabric has a pattern on it  – you will want to center that pattern on the pillow – so add that into the yardage needed.  Once you figure out the amount of fabric you will need – the rest is super easy.

In the photo below you can see how I wrapped the length of fabric around the pillow. The opening for the pillow will be where the two ends of the fabric meet and you must have enough fabric that the ends overlap.

Easy to make pillow cover tutorial

1.  Lay the fabric right side down and center a pillow on it. If you need to center it on the fabric pattern – do that. Once you like the placement, bring the two opposite sides up and around to the top of the pillow and overlap them about 7 –inches on the top of the pillow.  If your fabric is longer, cut away the excess.   (Once you finish the edges  – you will be left with a 5- inch overlap – plenty for stuffing in a pillow easily and keeping it from bulging out once it is inside the cover.)

Easy-to-make-pillow-cover tutorial

2. For the width of the pillow:  On one side of the pillow – bring the top and bottom fabric to meet at the center area on the side of the pillow – make sure you have extra for seam allowance.   Repeat on the other side.  If you have too much fabric – cut away what is not needed.

To sew the pillow cover:

Lay the fabric right side down. You want to create finished edges where the overlap on the back of the pillow cover will be.  1.  Simply turn over one raw edge about 1/2 –inch. Press.  2. Fold over another 1/2-inch. Press. 3. Sew a straight line of stitches over the folded area.

Repeat on the other side of your fabric.

How-to-make-a-hem tutorial

It should look like this:

How-to-sew-a-pillow-without

 

3. Lay the fabric right-side down on your work table and then fold over the finished edges to the middle of the fabric.  If you want the opening to be more to one end on the back of the pillow – that is fine.   Use a ruler to mark 5 – inches for the overlap. (7-inches was what you measured for, but with an inch for each finished edge subtracted –you are left with 5-inches)  (I loath math!)

Pillow-making-ideas

 

4.  Pin the sides together and sew a seam along each side. Remove pins

No Sewing pattern needed pillow cover

 

5. Turn fabric to right side.

No Sewing Pattern needed Pillow cover

 

6. Stuff pillow in.

Easiest-Pillow-Cover-to-sew tutorial

 

All done.

Optional:   This pillow had rounded corners. I left the corners on the cover squared- off, but you could sew a rounded line/seam around all the corners to get a more fitted look.

How to make a pillow cover out of fabric without using a pattern

I didn’t get to take too many photos of my daughter’s bed once we had her all moved into her apartment.  This is the only one that did not come out blurry.  As you can see I used a small woven throw rug for a pillow that I found at Ross for $4.99.

Woven-Pillow-No-pattern-nee

This was even easier to make than the fabric version as as all the edges were already finished on the rug.  All I had to do was wrap the rug around the pillow to see how much overlap it created – mark that measurement, turn the rug right side down on the work surface, pin the sides together, and sew two seams – E A S Y.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks, I have wanted to make pillow covers for my old pillows I have on my couch. This is great because my sewing skills are even less than yours, straight lines can be a challenge for me! This inspires me to just make them!

  2. Felicia says

    I’ve sewn for years, but your tutorial streamlined the process. I recovered two pillows today for my daughter’s dorm room. Thanks!

  3. Allison says

    Thanks so much for this tutorial– I’ve made 2 so far and thought it was a clear, easy-to-follow set of instructions! I sewed up the sides so that each side of the pillow had a seam, giving it a more “finished” look in my opinion. I loved that you didn’t have specific measurements, just enough information to customize it to the pillows I had. Thanks again!

  4. says

    Thanks for this – I have some fabric, and now I have a no zipper cover I can make – easily! Your photos really help (and lovely fabric!) I’ll let you know if I write a post about it.

  5. Thili says

    We are expecting some of our friends overseas this weekend. So I’m in a rush to get some extra pillopillowcases done to give a vibrant look to our guest room. Thank you so much. You made my day.. it’s just wrap and stitch. .

  6. Sharon H says

    This was perfect timing, thank you so much! I had bought some vibrant, large flowered outdoor fabric to make pillows to go with our zero gravity chairs, but had put off making them because I wasn’t sure how I wanted to do them….folded closure or zippered. Yesterday I decided I had procrastinated long enough and grabbed the 12×17-inch pillow form I’d gotten along with the fabric. Using your example, I quickly made my own and it’s GORGEOUS, if I do say so myself! Now, I’m off to JoAnn’s to get several more pillows….I need a few more….they really are outstanding against the white Adirondack chairs, too. Thanks again, Diane!

  7. says

    What a great tutorial! I am so glad I found your post via Pinterest! I have leftover Ikea fabric and an extra pillow laying around! I know what I’m doing tonight! haha!

    Thanks again!

    Julia
    It’s Always Ruetten

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