DIY Pillow Covers | Life With Lorelai

A Little Pillow Talk

When we fixed up the living room after the flood repairs and renovations, we put neutral covers on our couch and loveseat. Rory and I found some really pretty pillows to brighten them. Since there is not yet any decoration at all on the walls, the pillows really made a big difference. We decided that having seasonal pillows would be something we could have fun with while changing the feel of the room a bit from time-to-time.

It was late spring when we got our lovely pillows, and we haven’t changed them yet. our major budget constraints has kept up from being able to purchase four pillows at $25 to $35 a pop. But last Friday, Rory and I went out to the Sugar Plum Christmas Boutique (you can read more about Sugar Plum here). We didn’t expect to purchase anything. We just went out to look around and have some fun, which we did. Then, we found a 3-1/2 yard remnant on sale for $4.50 … I quickly estimated if that would be enough to cover my pillows and decided we couldn’t pass it up.

At home, I scrounged through my mother’s old sewing stuffs and found thread and snaps, as well as some leftover ribbon that I’d been saving. I measured the pillows and came up with a formula for how much material I would need to cover each pillow and just how I would go about sewing it. This is what I came up with…

DIY Pillow Covers

Fabric Cutting - Life With Lorelai

How Much Fabric Is Needed:

  • Measure Your pillow all the way around both length and width.

For the Length:

  • Add 1-1/2 inches for turning and sewing edges.
  • Add another 6 inches for overlap.

My pillows are square. they measured 33-1/2 inches. So here’s the formula for figuring out how to cut my fabric.   33.5 + 1.5 + 6 = 41 inches

For the Width:

  • Divide the all around width measure by 2
  • Add 1-1/2 inches for side seams
  • Add 1/4 inch for stuffing room

33.5 / 2 = 16.75

16.75 + 1.5 + .25 = 18.5 inches

So, I needed to cut 41 x 18.5 inch pieces of fabric .

Pillow Cover Sewing

How To Sew The Pillow Covers:

  • Start with the short edges of the fabric. Turn fabric right-side down. Fold edge over to the wrong-side of fabric (about the width of the sewing foot). Stitch.
  • Turn the edge over again and Stitch. This will keep raw edges from being exposed. Do both short edges of fabric this way.
  • Fold the fabric length-wise, right-side out, so there is 6 inches of overlap. Pin and stitch each side. (I lined up the edge of the sewing foot with the edged of the material.)
  • Once both sides are stitched, turn the pillow cover inside out and stitch the sides again.
  • Flip pillow cover right-side out. Your sewing is finished!


You do not need to use anything to seal the overlap flap closed, but you could use snaps (like me) that would be hidden, velcro, buttons, or even ribboning. The possibilities are endless.

This is a basic, simple pillow cover that you can embellish how ever you like. I decorated my pillow with a fall ribbon.

Wire Stripped from Ribbon

**NOTE –  my ribbon was wired, so I pulled the wire out of the ribbon before sewing it around the pillow. Since I will be using these pillow covers for Christmas as well as Thanksgiving, I did not attach the ribbon to the pillow cover, but rather just sewed it around it so that it will slide off when I want to change the decoration. I hand stitched the ribbon at the edges so you cannot even see where I stitched.

So, for $4.50 Rory and I have new Fall pillows just in time for our Thanksgiving celebration!

Do you have any money saving decorating ideas?

I’d love to hear your ideas for pillow decorations.

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