DIY Pillow Covers | Life With Lorelai

DIY – Pillow Covers

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

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 .

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.

**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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85 thoughts on “DIY – Pillow Covers”

    1. I am excited about being able to change them up. We will most likely use this same green gingham cover for Christmas with a different adornment. I haven’t decided exactly what as yet. 🙂

    1. I love this ribbon! I’ve used this ribbon for years on several other things around the house for Fall (including my refrigerator door handle), so using it on the pillows ties everything together very nicely. I was glad I had enough of it leftover to do these pillows. 🙂

  1. I think budget constraints lead to creative ideas. This certainly did for you! Your talents and creative eye always make me smile. I’ve been saving old shirts (husband’s flannel) to patch together some winter pillow covers. I think saving some old jeans may be put in my ‘recycled’ fabric pile too. Do you have a ‘’ in your area? great way to find FREE goodies too. Can’t wait to see your ‘winter’ pillow makeover next 🙂

  2. What a great idea Lorelai. I never thought of putting the ribbon around them, or of using wired ribbon and removing the wire. Terrific. These are really cute and what a great buy! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lorelai,

    This was a great idea! Please teach me out to sew a straight line! Lol I am determined to make a flannel snow man for my mantle piece for Christmas. Great job!

    1. Thanks, Alicia! I tend to use the side of the foot or the lines on the plate beneath the foot for guidance, but there is an attachment that screws into the plate that has an edge that is a guide. You might ask about one for your machine. 🙂

    1. Thank you. 🙂 My mom gave me her old sewing machine when I got married… she had a new-fangled fancy one. Then, she said the one she gave me was way better. HA! I do love it, even though I don’t use it as often as I would like or maybe should.

  4. Those are too cute! I’m going to be honest. I won’t be able to do it. I have never been good at sewing although my mom was a great seamstress. May have to get you to do one for me. 🙂

  5. Lorilei, these turned outs so cute! I have such a huge pillow fetish and own WAY too many. Anymore when I make a seasonal pillow I make it to cover a pillow that I already have. It’s so nice to just slip it off afterwards and have a flat thing to store instead of another pillow. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  6. Those are adorable – what a great way to keep using something that either doesn’t match anymore, or just needs a pick-me-up. I love it!

  7. $4.50? Girl you are killing it! I love how you were able to add a little spice to your room… pillows are a great way to change up your style for the seasons while keeping the bones of the room the same! Love the interchangeable ribbon! Thanks for linking up at the Welcome Home Wednesday Link Party! Can’t wait to see what you link up next week!

  8. Is it really time to start thinking about fall again, already?! I love fall, but am not quite ready to let go of summer yet.
    Great idea with the pillow covers though. Not only does that make it easy to change them seasonally, but it saves a ton of space when storing them until next year.
    I’m really enjoying co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty with you this month.

  9. I make a lot of pillow covers so that I can swap the form out for holidays. Love how you made the ribbon so that you can slip it off and do the same! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  10. These turned out great and I love that you can change them up for the seasons. What a bargain too. I LOVE find the right thing at the right time for the right price. Yay you! They are perfect.

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