How to sew a pillow cover in 20 minutes!


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So last week when I shared my living room you may have spotted a few new pillows. I had searched everywhere for the perfect pillows and never saw anything I liked. I finally decided to make my own pillows and it was A LOT easier than I thought. Who knew?

Today I’m going to show you how to make these super cute AND easy slipcovers. These envelope covers are great because they slip right off and are easy to wash. I promise that anyone who owns a sewing machine can do this. You’ll only need a few things to get started.

how to sew a pillow

How to sew a pillow cover 20 Minutes


  • Riley Blake Sunny Happy Skies Fabric
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins


Step 1: Measure your pillow to determine the size of fabric you will need. Here’s an easy formula my MIL taught me. Length = (pillow’s size x 2)+3″, Width = pillows size + 1″. My pillow was 19″ so I cut my fabric 39″x20″ . Once you have determined the size of your fabric cut out the rectangle shape.

how to sew a pillow

Step 2: Hem both of your SHORT edges 1/2 inch.

how to sew a pillow

Step 3: Fold your fabric in half, right sides together.

how to sew a pillow

Step 4: Fold your other edge in, overlapping the first fold. It should overlap about 2-3 inches. Pin sides.

how to sew a pillow

Step 5: Sew both ends shut (make sure not to close the middle—just the ends).

how to sew a pillow

Flip the cover right side out and stuff your pillow in. See, that wasn’t too bad. You’ll be making some fabulous pillows in no time at all. Once you get started, you just can’t stop. It’s kind of addicting. I think I’ve made 5!

how to sew a pillow

Hopefully you found this tutorial helpful. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

This post was originally posted on Mom it Forward as a contributing post.

more by Jamielyn »

Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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  1. Jeanette posted on June 28, 2012 at 4:33 am (#

    Love it! I have feather throw pillows that need new covers. So easy thank you!

  2. northern cottage posted on June 28, 2012 at 4:54 am (#

    very nice simple tutorial (maybe even simple enough for ME!) xo

  3. Jill@J♥ posted on June 28, 2012 at 5:36 am (#

    Jamielyn, I like the idea of 20 minute pillow covers! Great tut! Hope your day is super fun, friend! SMiles, Jill

  4. Lindi Cates posted on June 28, 2012 at 9:43 am (#

    Great post. Thanks for sharing this one. I love sewing also. In fact, when I am not busy I make dress for my kids. It seems this one is just quite easy so I will follow you to make this one.

  5. katie posted on June 28, 2012 at 8:17 am (#

    Love making me some envelope pillow covers! Great way to re-use an old drab pillow and turn it fab in no time! :)

  6. Brandi posted on June 28, 2012 at 8:30 am (#

    I can’t believe it’s that easy! Thank you for sharing your tutorial!!

  7. Ashton posted on June 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm (#

    You make it look so easy!!

  8. Eva Scott posted on July 1, 2012 at 11:50 am (#

    My living room pillows need a makeover big time. Thanks for this great tutorial!

  9. Seaweed & Raine posted on July 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm (#

    LOVE the sunny yellow fabric!!! I need to make some new ones – mine are tired. Should I also add an extra 2 – 3″ in length for the overlap?

  10. Zenny Pia posted on July 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm (#

    I love sewing. It is my past time so this post really get my interest. I want to buy a new sewing machine so that I can make this one. I will try to make it in 20 minutes as well.

  11. Susan Hedgpeth-Braddy posted on September 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm (#

    Love your ideas projects!!!!

  12. stacey posted on October 4, 2012 at 7:20 am (#

    Holy easier pillow-cover Batman! I’ve been making pillow covers for fall, and never ONCE thought about having one long rectangle. I’ve been cutting out three pieces to make my envelope covers. Yay for simplicity! :)

  13. Mylinda Campbell posted on January 6, 2013 at 10:37 am (#

    Love it – quick and easy

  14. Amy posted on January 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm (#

    I made two pillow covers today!! I am soooo addicted now. My first one wasn’t perfect but my second was wonderful. Now I want to make more. Thank you!!!

    • Jamielyn posted on January 21, 2013 at 5:43 pm (#

      Yay! So glad! Happy Monday!

  15. Denise posted on April 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm (#

    Hi Jaimelyn, Love your pillow cover idea. I have a question about allowing for the overlap. When doubling the width, would a + 3 inch allowance be needed to allow for the two to 3 inch overlap?

    • Jamielyn posted on July 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm (#

      Sorry for the delayed response Denise! Yes, 3 inches extra is needed!! :)

  16. Dayle Padberg posted on June 16, 2013 at 7:12 pm (#

    Can’t wait to try this. I have been wanting to cover some pillows.

  17. Karrie posted on July 13, 2013 at 11:30 pm (#

    This was the best and easiest tutorial for making pillow covers! I made some covers as a gift, and they turned out fantastic! Thank you so much!!

    • Jamielyn posted on July 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm (#

      I’m so glad they turned out well! I love how easy they are to make!

  18. Sharon posted on February 8, 2014 at 5:07 am (#

    You said the length was the pillow size x2(plus 3″). Wouldn’t that be 41″? (19 x 2=38 + 3 =41)

    • Jamielyn posted on February 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm (#

      Hi Sharon! Yes, it is 41″! :)

  19. Bridget Roberts posted on February 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm (#

    Gr8 instructions

  20. Barbara posted on September 25, 2014 at 12:23 am (#

    Thank you for the photos. The instructions without the photos didn’t make sense. 
    In other words, you wrote as if you didn’t follow mil instructions (ha ha). This is such an easy way to sew a pillow and brighten up
    a room. 

  21. Linda posted on November 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm (#


    I like your stuff! Do you have a tutorial for the white pillow?


    • Jamielyn posted on November 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm (#

      Hi Linda! I actually bought that one a while back.

  22. Georgette Larner posted on January 4, 2015 at 1:57 pm (#

    Where can I get the pattern I saw that says “I heart nap time”. I saw it on a pillow. Do you sell it?

    Thanks for much for a great website.

    • Jamielyn posted on January 13, 2015 at 7:09 pm (#

      Hi! I’m not sure, I haven’t seen an I heart naptime pillow! :)

  23. Rona posted on March 6, 2015 at 2:40 am (#

    Love your tutorial. I have made a few envelope pillow covers using two fabrics but wanted to be able to make some using just one piece of fabric so your tutorial came right on time. My question is (because I’m horrible at knowing exactly how much fabric I’ll need), following this type of pattern, do I need to use 1 yard of fabric to make these? I ask this because when I’ve made my other envelope pillow covers using two fabrics, I’ve used Fat Quarters and/or 1/2 yard of fabric. So I just need to know before I get started because I do have some 1 yard fabric and want to make some of these very soon. Thank you for such an easy tutorial and a great website. I have signed up for your site :)

  24. Sherry posted on May 27, 2015 at 6:19 pm (#

    I had the question as another person about measuring. You state in the instructions your pillow was 19″ and your cut fabric was 39″x20? According to your formula, wouldn’t it be 41″x20″?

  25. Kathy Reynolds posted on November 11, 2015 at 9:05 pm (#

    What a great, easy to follow tutorial.  My pillow looks great and so quick to do.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  26. K.V.Sathyavani posted on February 17, 2016 at 2:14 am (#

    Really its very helpful tutorial for me. I made so many pillows on my sofa. T.Q.

  27. Lowell posted on March 6, 2016 at 12:48 am (#

    Thank you for posting this great tutorial,I am going to make a pillow snuggie for my new grandson and it calls for a zipper.You have help so much,Thank you

  28. Joleen Pearxe posted on March 23, 2016 at 1:40 am (#

    Great tutorial! Fast, easy, good explanations, to the point and nice looking completed pillow case! Thank you~ <3

  29. Jenny posted on May 10, 2016 at 12:44 pm (#

    I can’t believe it’s that easy! Thank you for sharing your tutorial!!

  30. Coop Home Good posted on November 30, 2016 at 11:21 pm (#

    Love making me some envelope pillow covers! Great way to re-use an old drab pillow and turn it fab in no time! :)