Use this quick envelope pillow tutorial to create a set of pillows tailored to your own unique decor or to change up your decor for the season. These also make great one-of-a-kind handmade gifts in your recipient’s tastes and colors that are perfect for family Christmas gifts, as well as friend birthdays and weddings.
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Hello, friends! I have a quick home decor/sewing project for you – an easy plaid envelope pillow tutorial, emphasis on easy. For those of you who aren’t that into sewing, I promise you this is the easiest sewing ever (perfectly straight lines and measurements are NOT required) and definitely worth breaking out that sewing machine for (the one that’s collecting dust, maybe?).
Seriously, if you can sew straight lines – and there’s only 4 of them – then you can make envelope pillows! I’ve shared two envelope pillows on the blog that are both made of flannel like in this tutorial, but the beauty of this project is that it works just the same with any fabric you’d like – home decor, fleece or minky, canvas, cotton – anything.
The envelope pillows pictured here were made to go with the easy tear-and-tie plaid flannel wreath I made for fall (my mission is always easy around here!). They took maybe an hour (it was hard to tell, since I was taking photos along the way for you) and since they are made out of plaid flannel, they are super cozy on the couch.
We all love snuggling into them on dark, cold nights with a fire going and a knitted throw for our laps (ha – another easy project, though you do have to know how to knit).
Easy Envelope Pillow Tutorial
Ready to make your own? Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 18″ x 18″ pillow forms (I like feather inserts like these the best – they plump back up easily, so last forever compared to polyfil)
- 1-1/4 yds fabric (I used plaid flannel, but this tutorial is the same for any fabric)
- pins, fabric scissors & sewing machine
1. Cut Fabric. Fold the fabric in half, lengthwise and smooth so it’s even (if it’s not already). Cut along fold line so you end up with 2 pieces, each 1-1/4 yds. long. Depending on the width of your fabric (45,” 54,” or 60″) trim your long pieces to be 18″ each. Adjust if your pillows are different sized: 16″ for 16′ pillows etc. NOTE: I always make pillows to be the size of the pillow form with no room for seam allowances so that the pillow is nice and full.
2. Make first, narrow pocket edge seam. To make the pocket, fold one short edge of fabric piece 1/2″ (towards wrong side) and then fold over again 1 inch to make a double folded seam. Pin and sew close to folded edge (see first photo above). Tip: always use a long stitch length in home decor sewing – it will lessen puckering of fabric and sew faster.
3. Make second, wider pocket edge seam. Repeat folding and sewing on the other short end of fabric, except this time fold over an inch first and then fold 3″ to make a wide seam (this will show on the outside of the pillow and is a more finished, sturdy look). Again sew close to the initial folded seam, as seen in the second photo above.
4. Lay fabric right side down, on a flat surface (last photo above).
5. Wrap pillow with fabric. Set pillow form in the center of the fabric and, starting with the wide seam, bring the end around form to the middle (1st photo above). Bring other side of fabric with the narrow seam around pillow, pulling fabric tight and smooth, keeping it even and overlapping it over the wider seam. Pin seams together, creating the pocket opening (2nd photo).
6. Slide fabric off pillow insert, keeping pins in place.
7. Pin raw edges. Smooth folded and pinned fabric with raw edges even and pin all raw edges (1st photo above).
8. Sew & finish. Straight stitch along both pinned edges, removing pins. Tip: remove pins before the sewing needle gets to them to lessen the chance of breaking your machine’s needle on the pin. Clip corners, turn pillow cover right side out and insert pillow form.
Repeat the steps with your other piece of fabric and you’ve got two new pillows for a few dollars in about an hour.
See? I wasn’t kidding – that’s pretty easy! And when you use a fabric with a lined pattern like this plaid, it’s even easier because you can cut, pin and sew right along the lines and you know it will all come out square.
Updating pillows is one of the easiest ways to change up your decor, either for a specific season or just because you want a change. When you can find pillow forms for good prices (like I’ve found through H&M Home before), that’s great, but when you can’t, with these few steps you can always have the exact look you want. Plus it’s a great way to have truly unique decor – and pillows make great gifts, too!
This really is a reason to bring out that old sewing machine, don’t you think?
UPDATE: See the other pillow set I made for our Christmas decor:
**This project is also featured in 31 days of handmade gifts for the holidays and beyond. Click here to see all the projects in this series.
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