September 23, 2018
Finshed pillows

Gone are the days of buying throw pillows

I think we can all agree that pillows are a great way to add texture and easily change up colors in a room. That said, I have issues with them. Why are they always so expensive? Why are they always hard to wash or dry clean only? Why can’t you ever seem to find what exactly you’re looking for?

Another lesson in ‘if you can’t buy it, make it’

I started looking for throw pillows to go on the living room couches. I knew I wanted color and a variety of texture, but I just couldn’t find any interesting colored pillows. Inspired by my JoAnn Fabric coupon, my sewing machine and some down pillows from Ikea, I decided to sew my own.

Simple, 10-minute pillowcases

I relied on my origami experience to come up with the pillowcase design. For the record, I have no origami experience. Basically, I decided to sew my pillowcases like an envelope. Aside from taking a little time to measure and cut the fabric, this is quick and easy.  These pillows took me no longer than 10 minutes a pillow to cut, sew and assemble.

How I did it

Find cool fabric

Soft orange fabric

Find a variety of cool fabrics. The upholstery section is a good place to start.


Close-up of purple pillow texture

The more textures the better. No one wants matchy-matchy pillows all over the place.


Fancy white pillow fabric

Make sure to splurge on some of the cool upholstery you’ll find. It’s expensive. Keep in mind, you only need enough fabric for a single pillow and you can likely find a coupon.

Cut your fabric

Cut fabric on cutting mat

Measure and cut your fabric to size. I used 22 inch down pillows. I wanted my case to be a little tighter, so I planned for an inch margin. I cut the width to 23 inches and the length to 46 inches. It’s a square, so this should mathematically make sense. My final pillowcase size was around 21 inches.

Sew your hem and edges

Pillowcase with hems sewn

Sew your finished hem on the ends of the fabric first. I didn’t measure my hems. I just folded the fabric into itself for a clean edge.  The hems will be visible with the envelope fold. Take the time to do this correctly.


Measure the pillow

Once both hems are sewn, fold the pillowcase to the desired size. Make sure you fold the good sides of the fabric into each other. You want to sew this so it looks like it’s inside out. Make a mark an inch in from the edge and sew with a simple stitch. Once that is done, measure an inch from the other edge and sew. No need to get fancy with the raw edges of the fabric. They’ll be on the inside and no one will see them.


Finished pillowcase inside out

Once you have your hems and edges sewn, stop to admire your work!

Birth your pillowcase

Pillowcase being turned inside out

I learned this term in Textiles class in high school. We birthed quilts then, but you get the picture. Basically, just turn your pillowcase outside in. The good side of the fabric should be on the outside when you’re done.

Add your pillow

Putting pillow in pillowcase

Once you have the pillowcase ready, put your pillow inside. I sewed mine a little smaller than the actual pillow for a tighter fit. I’d recommend doing the same.

Save your money and accent your house!

Sewing your own pillowcases is so easy. It’s inexpensive, you can just toss the fabric in the wash and, best of all, you can choose exactly what you want.

Finshed pillows

Create as many pillows as you want or need. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have a set of six pillows in under an hour!
Wondering about that cool dog pillow? I found the print at JoAnn Fabric in the upholstery section. I backed that fabric square with black fabric and called it good.



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