Easy DIY Pillow Covers

Are you feeling that urge to change the look of your living room or den? Do you have the itch to make some changes, but you aren't sure if you have the budget for it or the time? Not having the budget or the time to do major home renovations or décor changes happens to many of us, and there's no shame in it. What if we told you there was an ultra-easy, affordable way to freshen up your décor without a huge commitment?

We have the secret to changing the entire atmosphere of a room quickly. Are you ready?

Make your pillow covers! Yes, really! Making your pillow covers is much easier than you think, and you don't need to be super experienced at using your sewing machine. What kind of pillowcase is easy to make for beginners? It's called an envelope pillow cover.

What Is an Envelope Pillow Case?

An envelope pillowcase has a unique envelope closure at one end of the case so that the pillow can easily be tucked in and out of sight for a finished look, while the pillows or cases can be changed frequently. You may be more familiar with envelope pillowcases than you thought, as they are one of the more common pillowcase designs used for bed pillows.

However, over the years, envelope pillow designs have become more and more popular. Now, these cases are used for pillows all over the house thanks to their ease of use and simplicity of making.

Why Envelope Pillow Cases are Perfect for Easy Home Décor Changes

Why ditch traditional zip-up pillowcases for an envelope pillowcase? Here are just a few benefits to these pillowcases you might love:

  • No pillow peeks out to take away from your aesthetic. Especially great if you have older decorative pillows that are a bit stained even though clean.
  • Pillows won't slide out of the case, just like a sturdy zip case.
  • Want seasonal pillowcases for spring, summer, fall, and winter? What about pillowcases for every holiday? Or what about pillowcases you can change whenever you want? Envelope pillow cases allow you to quickly remove a case and transform your home pillows' color, theme, and fabric in seconds.

What Kind of Fabric is Best for Envelope Pillow Cases?

Of course, we're going to encourage you to go with your heart and pick the type of fabric you most want to see in your home. But if you're unsure, we're happy to give you some great suggestions on what kinds of material you can begin with when making your DIY pillow covers.

  • Cotton. Cotton is one of the most common and popular choices for cover materials. It's cool, breathable, and comes in a large variety of thread counts and types.
  • Linen. Linen is a high-quality, natural flax product with a unique feel, lightweight and breathable, making it ideal for cuddling up without feeling too warm.
  • Satin. For a pop of luxury, a satin pillow cover is smooth and wonderful to the touch while giving a shimmering, shiny look to your pillows.
  • Silk. Silk, while more expensive, is another natural fiber material that comes in all sorts of beautiful textures, shine, matte, and colors. The downside to using silk is that it is very delicate and must be hand washed.
  • Velvet. If you love the look of a touch of luxe and want to add warmth, using velvet or a velveteen fabric will add that warmth and coziness with a hint of plushness.
  • Wool. From cable-knit to needlepoint, wool is a perfect wintery, alpine, cabin-in-the-woods sort of vibe for any room. It's a hot fabric that's perfect for curling up on during colder temperatures.

DIY Envelope Pillow Covers

Supplies to gather:

  • A pillow insert or your old pillows you'll be covering up
  • The fabric of your choice (how much depends on the size of your pillow)
  • Fabric scissors or a rotary cutter
  • A cutting mat if you are using a rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Optional – Iron to iron out any wrinkles if need be.

How to Make an Envelope Pillow Cover Without a Pattern

You don't even need to worry about a pattern when making a DIY envelope pillow cover. It's all based on the size of the pillow you're going to cover, making this an effortless way to protect your pillows.

  1. Measure your pillows. Note the measurements.
  2. Cut the front side of your pillow cover to the size of your pillow insert. So if your insert is, for example, 18 inches square, you'll be cutting a piece of fabric that is 18 inches on all four sides.
  3. Cut 2 pieces for the backside. Your 2 backside pieces will be the same width as your front piece (for example, 18 inches wide) and ½ the length, plus 5 inches to account for the seams and overlap. Be sure that your fabric's pattern or the weave is going in the same direction as the front unless you don't want it to! For further clarification using our 18" size pillow: the pillow insert is 18 inches, ½ of 18 is 9 inches. So 9 inches + 5 = 14 inches. So each of the back pieces for this pillow would be 18 inches wide and 14 inches tall.

Sewing your DIY Envelope Pillow Cover

  1. Fold the bottom edge of your top back piece over roughly ½ an inch and then again, then sew along to create a finished edge. Repeat for the top edge of the bottom piece. Tip: You might find it easier to sew the edges by ironing them in place first.
  2. Now, place the front piece pattern or color-side up, with the fabric going in the direction you want the finished pillow cover to have.
  3. Place the back bottom piece pattern/color side down, lining up the corners, and then the top back piece pattern down to overlap the bottom piece. Pin in place all the way around.
  4. Sew around your pillow cover with a ½ inch seam.
  5. Run your sewing machine with the zig-zag stitch along the edges to the needle lands just off the fabric on the outer edge. This protects and keeps your fabric from beginning to fray.
  6. Turn your pillow cover right side out and add your pillow insert. And you are finished!

DIY pillow covers are such a fantastic, easy way to change the entire style of a room without breaking the bank. If you're looking for a refresh with some of the most beautiful patterns, excellent material, and gorgeous colors, we're here to help!