Easy Envelope Throw Pillow Cover Tutorial

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One of my favorite ways to refresh a room is to change out the pillows. Throw pillow covers are the easiest way to update any space for each and every season and help you transition from one to the next. Follow this easy envelope throw pillow cover tutorial for custom throw pillows.

You can purchase throw pillow covers very easily, but perhaps you are looking for something specific and custom. For ultimate customization you can sew your own and I’m going to show you how!

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two Blue and white stripe pillows sitting on a cane bench
Can bench in hallway with two pillow, artwork and lemon tree in vintage crock with staircase .

Paint Colors – Sherwin Williams Passive with Benjamin Moore White Dove

An easy sewing project that even I can do…you can do this too! Making your own throw pillow covers is fast, easy and can be done seasonally to update a space. Update pillows at your entryway Living Room, family room and throughout any room of your house. These envelope pillow covers only takes 15 minutes to make and the best part, you don’t need a zipper for this project. It’s an easy sewing project because it’s all straight lines and a few passes with your sewing machine.

It’s no secret that I am not a seamstress, so…if I can make these easy one piece fabric throw pillow covers you can too! You don’t need any special skills…trust me, you can do this! It’s straight line sewing and the measuring and the cutting is very simple.



Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial with blue and white stripe pillow sitting on a bench

Envelope Throw Pillow Cover Supply List

Envelope Throw Pillow Cover Tools Lis

Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial showing a pair of gold scissors, blue stripe fabric and a spool of navy thread

Sources for Fabric

As a kid there seemed to be a lot more fabric stores around as more people sewed than they do today. Some have gone out of business, but there are still a few around and there are several online. Here are some of the best online fabric stores.

  1. Joann
  2. Fabric.com
  3. Online Fabric Store
  4. Spoonflower
  5. Michaels
  6. Calico Corners
  7. Mood
  8. Minted

Determine the Size of Your Envelope Throw Pillow Cover

An envelope pillow cover pattern is not needed; just some basic math to cut the right size piece of fabric! It’s all based on the size of the pillow you’re covering, making this a super easy way to cover a pillow.

To determine the size of fabric needed for your cover, first measure the size of your pillow insert. Look on the pillow tag or use a tape measure to measure the size. My pillow for this tutorial is 20x 20.

If you do not have your pillow inserts yet that’s fine; you can make your covers based on common pillow sizes such as 18×18 pillow cover, 20×20 pillow cover, 24×24 pillow cover, etc.

Two blue and white stripe pillows sitting on a cane bench.

Cut Fabric for Envelope Throw Pillow Cover

This is a one piece of fabric project…I told you it was easy! Imagine a paper envelope and how it folds; this is exactly how our finished product will be for our decorative pillow cover.

The formula for your fabric cut is your pillow size times 2 plus 6. So for example a pillow that is 20×20 — 20x 2 + 6=46.”

I need to cut my fabric 20″x46.” Just one piece of fabric – that’s all!

Follow this chart for basic pillow sizes and the size fabric you will need to cut:

  • 16×16 pillow cover – measure fabric 16×38
  • 18×18 pillow cover – measure fabric 18×42
  • 20×20 pillow cover – measure fabric 20×46
  • 24×24 pillow cover – measure fabric 24×54
blue stripe fabric laying on a table with rotary cutter sitting on top with measuring stick

Iron a 1/4 Inch Seam on Short Sides of Your Fabric

Now that your fabric is cut you want to create your even edges. On your ironing board, iron one of the short ends over 1/4 inch. Turn that edge over 1/4 inch again and press well. Repeat this step for the other short end.

This will ensure your ends are nice and neat; it gives the seam a nice clean edge without all the loose threads.

Iron on top of blue and white stripe fabric
Iron on top of blue and white stripe fabric

Pin and Stitch Seams for Pillow Cover

Once your short end seams are folded and pressed; pin them so they are ready to be stitched together.

Now, stitch each seam together using the sewing machine and remove the pins. You want a nice finished edge so it doesn’t fray and looks neat and clean.

Pinning the seam of the blue and white stripe fabric
Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial showing the fabric being stitched by the sewing machine
Blue fabric with seams sewn by machine

Fold Fabric to Measurements of the Pillow Cover

Lay your piece of fabric on a flat surface pretty side down.

Fold each end of the fabric over itself so that it measures the size of your pillow. My square is 20x 20. The two previously sewn seams will overlap each other in the center to create your envelope enclosure.

Folded blue and white stripe fabric laying on a table with wooden measuring stick

Pin Open Ends and Sew Closed

Remember your fabric is WRONG sides together. Pin the two remaining open ends on the outer edges of the pillow cover and sew them closed.

Turn Pillow Cover Right Side Out

Remove any remaining pins and ensure all your threads are clipped. Turn your pillow cover right side out.

Your final pillow cover measurement may be less than 20 x 20 (or whatever size you made), depending on how accurate you are with your seams.

hand opening the pillow cover

Add Insert to The Pillow Cover

The finishing touch…adding the pillow insert. Once you have added the insert you are ready to decorate.

How to Make Throw Pillow Covers Look Full

Flat and lifeless throw pillows can make your perfectly designed space look less than perfect. When perusing magazines, Pinterest or Instagram you see rooms with fluffy and full pillows and it’s easy to achieve the same look. You want your pillows to look and feel full and luxurious and following these tips will help!

  1. Use only a high quality pillow insert
  2. There are two kinds of inserts – down or polyester. Down feels more luxurious and is easier to fluff. If you are allergic to down use a high quality polyester alternative. Polyester can be less expensive than down also.
  3. Use larger pillow inserts – Always size up. If you have a 20×20 pillow cover use a 22×22 insert. This will give the pillow that extra fullness that looks so nice!

These are some of my favorite Throw Pillow cover inserts and these cover inserts.

Final Thoughts on Easy Envelope Throw Pillow Covers

Updating your decor doesn’t have to be costly. If you have a sewing machine it’s easy to make these envelope pillow covers or if you want an easy beginner sewing project this is a great place to start. Sometimes it’s nice to create something for your home that no one else has. You may want something different than the Pottery Barn pillow covers or Ikea Throw Pillows. Sometimes it’s good to mix and match homemade and purchased pillow covers.

However you chose to decorate with pillows give this easy sewing project a try!

Two blue and white stripe pillows sitting on a cane bench in an entryway with pictures hung above the bench.
entryway of home with wood stair and white dove paint on walls

Easy Envelope Throw Pillow Cover Tutorial

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