I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that we’ve had some of the ugliest pillows on our couches for way longer than I care to admit. I’m probably too frugal when it comes to decorating, but I just couldn’t bring myself to spent $100 or more on a set of nice, new pillows. Fortunately, there’s a WAY more cost-effective way! In this post, I’ll show you how to make pillow covers (without a zipper!). It’s incredibly easy and so cheap.
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Why make an envelope pillow cover?
I’ve wanted to look into making pillow covers for our super ugly pillows for a long time. However, I’m by no means an expert at sewing, and I don’t have a ton of time to spend on it. So I was really hoping to figure out a way to do this that would be super simple and wouldn’t require sewing zippers or adding button closures.
Enter the envelope pillow cover.
Making an envelope pillow cover is incredibly easy. It doesn’t require any special tools or supplies. And it’s very, very forgiving. Plus, an envelope pillow cover can be made in less than a half hour. Lastly, they’re super simple to take off and wash.
I actually made the mistake of forgetting my measuring tools in the kids’ rooms after they were asleep while I was making some of these. I literally eyeballed the cuts, and they still turned out great. You do NOT have to be a perfectionist to make these.
Before and after of our pillows
If you’re dying to see just how ugly our pillows were before, here you go!
The covers make all the difference in this room!
How long does it take to make no-zipper pillow covers?
These no-zipper pillow covers take about 30 minutes to make for each one. They’re a perfect project for beginners or anyone who wants to complete a quick pattern..
I actually made these on four different evenings, so I had to get my sewing supplies out and put it all away a bunch of times. I’m sure you could do these even more quickly if you were making a whole bunch at once.
How much does it cost to make a throw pillow cover?
These envelope pillow covers cost about $3 per pillow for medium-sized pillows. If you already have pillows (or have access to inexpensive pillows that are the wrong color – hello, thrift stores), this is a huge savings!
I’ve been staring at our ugly pillows for so long, never able to bring myself to spend $20+ each on new pillows. Instead, I spent about $20 total for covers (that I love) for 7 pillows that I already had!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your pillow covers:
- Fabric (approximately 3/4 yard for each medium-sized pillow)
- Sewing machine, thread, and pins
- Pillow form, or old pillow
- Fabric scissors
- (optional) Foldable superboard
How to make pillow covers without a zipper
Step 1: Measure your pillow
Take measurements of the length and width.
Step 2: Cut 2 pieces of fabric
The first piece should be the dimensions of your pillow plus 2 inches. So, if your pillow is 16″ x 16″, cut this square to 18″ x 18″. This is the front piece.
The second piece should be the dimensions of your pillow plus 2″ on one side and 8″ on the other side. For a 16″ x 16″ pillow form, cut this piece to 18″ x 24″.
(As you can see, I was seriously eyeballing some of these!)
If your pillows are super fluffy, you might want to consider adding an extra inch to each side.
Lastly, cut the larger piece of fabric in half. For the example above, this would give you two pieces that are each 18″ x 12″. These two pieces will fold over each other to make the back side of your pillow cover.
Step 3: Sew a hemline on the back pieces
Sew a 1/4″ hemline on one of the long edges of each of your smaller, back pieces. (This would be the 18″ side in the example above.) These pieces will show on the back of your pillow.
Step 4: Pin the front and back pieces together
With right sides together, lay your two short pieces on your one larger piece and pin around the edges. The hems of the smaller pieces should be overlapping (this is what makes your envelope).
If your fabric is patterned, make sure all of the pieces are facing the same direction.
In this picture, I have my bigger piece on the bottom and my two shorter pieces overlapping on top. Notice the hemlines are already finished. Right sides are together.
Step 5: Sew around the edges
Sew around all 4 edges, using about 1/4″ seams.
Step 6: Add your pillow form
Lastly, flip your DIY throw pillow case inside out, and stuff your old pillow or pillow form inside. You’re done!