How to Make a No Sew Pillow Cover Using Dishtowels

As promised here is the tutorial on how to make a no-sew pillow cover using a dishtowel.

Last week I posted about how I made a pillow form using plastic bags to use as an outdoor patio or deck pillow.  If you missed it or would like to know more you can find the tutorial by clicking  here – How to Make a Pillow From Using Plastic Grocery Bags

No-Sew-Pillow-cover made using a dishtowel.  Shown a pink, red and purple striped dishtowel.

I found these dishtowels at the dollar store, but Target, HomeGoods, and TJMaxx have a lot of fun patterns and colors to choose from, too.  You can also use cloth napkins to make this no-sew pillow.    Since the edges are already finished – they both work.

I prefer using dishtowels as they are usually a heavier fabric and make larger pillows.   A dishtowel also allows you to make a fold-over flap so that you can easily remove the pillow form when the cover needs to be washed.   They are perfect for outdoor pillow covers.

I have included directions for 3 variations of the pillow cover:  back- flap, front-flap, and no-flap.  The process is the same, except a few extra steps for the no-flap version.

 How to Make a No Sew Pillow Cover


supplies needed:

  • 2 dishtowels or napkins
  • Fabric Adhesive – I like Fabri-Tac. You can get it at any sewing or craft store. You could also use Heat N’ Bond Tape, but that doesn’t work as well and takes more time. 
  • Optional:  Iron and Scissors

To make a back or front-flap style pillow cover using a dishtowel:


1. Line up your pillow form to make sure it fits the size of your dishtowel.  You want the edges of the dishtowel to reach the center of the sides of the pillow form. Once you have determined that the pillow form will fit.  Place the dishtowels so that the wrong sides are together.

Fabric Tac Permanent Adhesive

2.  Run a line of fabric adhesive along the bottom hem on the bottom dishtowel.  Flip back the top dishtowel slightly to do this.    Once a line of adhesive is along the hem of the dishtowel– place the bottom edge of the top dishtowel on top of the bottom towels edge, making sure they are aligned, press together to adhere.

No-Sew pillow tutorial

3. Repeat on the sides.  Note:  I placed the pillow form inside the dishtowel (below)so you can see how the cover is being made.  Three sides of the dishtowels glued together.   Continue gluing all the way up the side.  For extra adhesion I always press the seams with an iron to seal.  Place your pillow form in and fold over the flap.


Variation #1: No Sew Pillow Cover with Flap to the Back


Variation #2: Flap to the Front

– Attach a pin to embellish a front flap pillow cover.


Variation #3:  How To Make the No-Sew Pillow Cover with No-Flap

1.  Follow the directions above but instead of folding the excess fabric over you cut it off, making sure to leave enough excess fabric to make a 1-inch fold over on each towel for your seam.

2. Once the excess is cut off, fold over the cut edges about 1 -inch and apply a line of fabric adhesive along the top of the 1-inch fold.


Press the seams closed with your fingers making sure the two edges are aligned. Press with an iron to heat set the adhesive.


Variation #3: No-Sew Pillow Cover with No Flap

How to make a no sew pillow with a dishtowel

Now that you have the beautiful pillows for your outdoor patio, all you need to do is a few more tips to throw a little outdoor dinner party.

No Sew Dishtowel Pillow for Outdoor Entertaining. It is so quick and easy, you have no excuse not to make it!

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  1. Hi Diane,

    I have been to dollar tree couple of times but i only see flour sack towels in cotton, regular kitchen towels i see are in microfiber material. Will microfiber material work?


  2. hi i was thinking can memory foam be used for outdoor cushion? THANKS VERY MUCH

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Doris – I don’t think so unless it is covered in a protective plastic cover. Without the protective waterproof cover I think the foam would take on water eventually and get heavy.

      1. Hi,
        For outside pillows use an outside table cloth! You can buy them for cheap if you wait till the season is almost over. Our Dollar General carries super cute ones!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Kimberly – Great idea. Thanks for taking the time to share it with me. There is a Dollar General in my town that I go to frequently. I will check out the clearance aisle for them.

  3. Have you tried this for kitchen chair cushions?

  4. Do you heat set with the iron before the glue dries or after the 30 min recommended on the bottle or the full 24 hours? I have so many plans in mind!

    1. Hi Kate – When using fabric glue you do not have to heat set it, but I always do just to make sure it bonds. I iron it right after I apply it. I think it is from years of using fusible web that needs to be ironed-on that I do it with the glue also. I wait a few hours before using or hanging items. I have never waited 24 hours :) the possibilities are endless – have fun with your plans.

  5. Julia@fyimodularhomes says:

    I JUST found your blog! This pillow idea is great, I’m going to the dollar store for dish towels to make one tomorrow! Thank you so much! Julia

  6. Angela Pitcher says:

    Please put me in for the book! I love the projects you could do with mod podge but have only used it a couple times.
    Cute ideas on here

  7. Wow you some fun things to try. I’m glad I found your site.

  8. Thank you so much for this easy peasy tutorial, Diane! I’m definitely going to give it a whirl! :)

    xoxo laurie

  9. This looks so great. I am definitely going to try making this. Thanks for the showing how to make these.

  10. I love it. I don’t sew so this is perfect for me. Thanks for the step-by-step. Gonna watch for some cute dishtowels!

  11. This is such a great idea, and so simple…Thanks Diane! I’ll be doing this one for sure!! ;)

  12. I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for some cute dishtowels. These are so easy to make and they look great.

  13. Mary Cardini-Anderson says:

    Thank you for sharing this no sew pillow idea. Your pillows came out wonderful. I can not sew to save my life and his looks like something I woul be able to do. Thanks again.


  14. Thanks so much for sharing! I think I could do this. Can’t wait to try!