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.
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.
- 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.
- Straight pins
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.
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.)
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.
It should look like this:
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!)
4. Pin the sides together and sew a seam along each side. Remove pins
5. Turn fabric to right side.
6. Stuff pillow in.
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.
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.
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.