Do you have old or dated pillows sitting around – or are you wanting to change-up a room look without hiring a decorator? Re-covering pillows is an easy way to sew up a new look without breaking the bank.
Start by measuring the pillows you want to cover, then cut 2 pieces of fabric just a bit larger than that measurement. I cut these two pieces 1/2 inch larger than the 15 inch pillow size – so 15 1/2 inches on all sides for a square pillow. The extra fabric is used for the seam allowance. I used a 1/4 inch seam on all sides to get the most out of my fabric.
Sew the two pieces of fabric along the edges. Be sure to keep the right sides of the fabric together, and leave an opening along one side large enough to slip in your pillow. For this 15 inch pillow, a good 5 inch opening along one side will work.
After sewing the 4 sides together 1/4 inch away from the outside edge, turn the fabric right side out, stuff it with your pillow form, then whip stitch the opening you left in the side seam closed – and you have a finished pillow! Easy – right?
If you want to do a super easy modification of that pillow cover, you can add a flap in the back of the pillow, and sew all the sides together – you won’t have to leave an opening in a side seam this time.
Sewing with this modification makes it much easier to take the pillow form in and out of the cover for washing. The added piece of fabric along the edge is called a placket, and I think it adds a nice finished look with out too much effort. You can even add buttons to the placket for an added accent.
Check out this great tutorial online for a pillow with buttons on the placket.
To sew on the placket, just cut one of your two pieces of pillow cover fabric in half – right down the middle. This cut piece will be the pillow back.
Next fold over the cut edge on one of the two halves at least 1/4 of an inch. Sew the 1/4 inch piece down, then press this seam.
Take the other back half, and add a strip of fabric to the cut edge. I added a 4 inch wide piece of fabric the same length as the pillow back. Simply fold this strip in half and attach to the pillow back fabric, aligning the raw edges to the right side of the second piece of the pillow back. Press the seam with the added fabric folded out as you can see in the picture below.
Now it is time to put it all together! Place the two halves of the pillow back fabric onto the pillow front fabric with right sides ( pretty side) of the fabric facing each other, and finished edges of the pillow back pieces placed in the center. These will overlap now since you added fabric.
Special Note: Be sure to place the piece of fabric with the folded 4 inch fabric strip on top of the pillow front fabric first, so it will cover up the edge of the other back piece when you turn the work right side out after stitching.
Pin the back pieces to the front piece, then stitch along all four sides for a square or rectangular pillow and turn the completed pillow right side out through the center opening.
I did an extra zig zag stitch around all four sides to add some strength to the seams.
Now, stuff the pillow through the opening and you have finished another pillow!
You can stop with just one, or keep going with coordinated fabrics for a whole new room look in no time at all!
This pillow above became that pile of pillows below- and it only took one evening and one morning of sewing- I literally bought all the fabric yesterday afternoon and I was done sewing before noon today. And……. it’s not like I spent the entire time sewing either.
Now, I have all of these great coordinated fabric scraps left that may just end up as room accessories like coasters or even a scrappy patched pillow. Sew, now it is your turn to try it out yourself and share your pillow pics with me.