Easy Envelope Back Pillow Cover Pattern & Tutorial

Sewing covers and shams for pillows has become a favorite past-time and since my sewing skills are uber-basic, this pattern is perfect. Pillow covers are a simple yet effective way to change your decor and colors in the room.

DIY ENVELOPE PILLOW COVER tutorial pattern Dorm Decorating Tips Ideas DIY Projects Tutorials Walls Textiles Study Space Living In a White Box Dull Dorm Disorder The Decor Guru

The great thing about this pattern is that it allows you to use only one piece of fabric. There's also less sewing involved. And the best part? Stuffing the actual pillow into the sham is so much easier and no slip stitch is needed afterwards. Learn how after the jump.

I like using bed pillows in the living room because they’re more comfy and are usually cheaper than buying a pillow form. Because I’d only found information for square pillow sizes, I created this tutorial for any rectangular pillow. (I’ve also included the directions for sewing a square cover.)

OK kiddos, we’re gonna recall some basic algebra. And you thought learning that stuff in school was pointless! Let’s start easy with directions for a square pillow.

DIY sewing easy envelope back pillow cover pattern and tutorial 18 INCH COVER The Decor Guru

 

1. Determine your fabric measurements. The basic formula for determining your fabric measurements is this:

Total width = (Width of pillow x 2) + 4

Example: for an 18″ x 18″ pillow, the total width is 40″= (18 x 2) + 4. Your fabric will measure 18″ x 40″.

2. Mark the folds on the wrong side of your fabric. Since the point of folding will vary upon the pillow, you can determine this point by this formula:

(Total width of fabric – width of pillow) divided by 2

Example: for an 18″ x 18″ pillow, your folds will be 11″ in from the short sides of the fabric: (40-18=22) divided by 2 = 11″.

3. Hem both short sides of the fabric. I pressed down 1/4″ and over again 1/4″ to hide the raw edge. Press your hem.

4. Fold your fabric on the lines you marked in Step 1 and pin in place. I also like to pin near the hemmed edges to keep the fabric flat and in place. You should have a 3-1/2″ overlap for the back of the pillow.

5. Sew 1/2″ seams along the top and bottom.

6. Turn the cover right sides out and push out the corners. Insert your pillow.

That’s it! Pretty easy, right? Now try your hand at crafting a envelope back cover for a rectangular pillow, such as a bed pillow. Follow these steps:

DIY easy envelope back pillow cover tutorial pattern 26 INCH standard bed COVER The Decor Guru

1. Determine your fabric measurements. The basic formula for determining your fabric measurements is this:

Total width = (Width of pillow x 2) + 4

Example: a standard-size bed pillow measures 20″ x 26″.  The total fabric width is 56″= (26 x 2) + 4. Your fabric will measure 20″ x 56″.

2. Mark the folds on the wrong side of your fabric. Since the point of folding will vary upon the pillow, you can determine this point by this formula:

(Total width of fabric – width of pillow) divided by 2

For a 20″ x 26″ pillow, your folds will be 15″ in from the short sides of the fabric: (56-26=30) divided by 2 = 15″.

3. Hem both short sides of the fabric. I pressed down 1/4″ and over again 1/4″ to hide the raw edge. Press your hem.

4. Fold your fabric on the lines you marked in Step 1 and pin in place. I also like to pin near the hemmed edges to keep the fabric flat and in place. You should have a 3-1/2″ overlap for the back of the pillow.

5. Sew 1/2″ seams along the top and bottom.

6. Turn the cover right sides out and push out the corners. Insert your pillow.

NOTE: if you don’t have one piece of fabric wide enough for this pattern, the cover is certainly doable with multiple pieces of fabric. Just cut your pieces based on the fold formula/diagrams above and allow extra for your seam allowance.

Pillows are one of the easiest ways to change up your room. Sewing your own pillows is almost always cheaper and allows you to personalize your decor more than settling for a mass-produced pillow. Happy sewing!

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9 Comments on Easy Envelope Back Pillow Cover Pattern & Tutorial

  1. Beautiful pillows! And great instructions! Thank you! 🙂

  2. I recently made an envelope backed pillow with major help from a friend. I will try it on my own with your tutorial!

    • Hope this works out well for you! I’m not much of a sewer, so I found this process to be much easier because it uses one piece of fabric instead of multiple pieces to create the envelope back. Don’t hesitate to ask me questions if you have any!

  3. Thank you for this easy-to-understand tutorial–I pinned it!

  4. Is there a way to print the tutorial without printing many pages, comments and the other advertising? These look great, and I would like to try it. Donna

  5. Is there a seam allowance?

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