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How To Sew a Simple Envelope Back Pillow Cover


Marking diagram for a 12 Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
These directions are designed to save you the expense of new pillows. Use them as "slip covers" for your throw pillows.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 15 minutes to One Hour

Here's How:

  1. Materials needed:
    • Fabric needed for standard sizes
      • 12" Pillow - Fabric 12" by 28"
      • 14" Pillow - Fabric 14" by 32"
      • 16" Pillow - Fabric 16" by 36"
      • 18" Pillow - Fabric 18" by 40"
    • Thread
    Note: The cutting directions do not add a seam allowance so that the finished pillow cover is a little smaller than the form and creates a "plump" pillow instead of any empty space.

  2. Marking:
    • For a 12" pillow mark your fabric 8" in on the longest edges.
    • For a 14" pillow mark your fabric 9" in on the longest edges.
    • For a 16" pillow mark your fabric 10" in on your longest edge
    • For an 18 " pillow mark your fabric 11" in on your longest edge

  3. Fold each end under 1/4" and then turn under 1/4" again, to form a neat baby hem.
  4. Neatly top stitch the hem into place.

  5. Fold your fabric, right sides together at the markings you made on the long edge. There should be a 3 1/2" overlap for the back side of your pillow.

  6. Sew the sides with the raw edges, using 1/2" seams and finish the seam on the raw edges.

  7. Press and turn right side out.


  1. Make these covers in holiday themed fabric to have a collection for all the holidays. This is an inexpensive way to change your throw pillows for every holiday.
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