I recently showed you my first project, my window seat makeover. If you missed it, check it out here.

As part of the makeover I made two pillows for the seat. I chose to make the pillows rather than buy them because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted that would match the seat cushion in a pre-made pillow. Plus it usually saves money to make pillows from scratch. It really doesn’t take much work or money to make yourself a custom pillow!

Today I’m going to give you a tutorial for the first pillow I made, this small gray one made from Premier Prints Cameron twill fabric in the storm color.


An envelope cover is the easiest and quickest way I’ve found to make a pillow cover. It’s basically making a cover that has an opening in the back so you can slip the pillow insert in like an envelope. Here’s a view of the back:


To start, you need the measurements of your pillow insert. Mine was 18” x 10”.

To figure out the length of the piece of fabric I needed, I took the length of my pillow, doubled it and then added 6” to account for the overlap (18” + 18” + 6” = 42”).

To figure out the width of the piece of fabric I needed, I simply added an inch to the width of the pillow insert which will give me a 1/2” seam for each side (10” + 1” = 11”).

So I knew I needed a piece of fabric 42” L x 11” W.

Once I had my piece of fabric cut out, I took each of the short ends of my fabric and folded them down 1/2 inch and ironed them to create the seam.


I ran both seams through the sewing machine and now I had a piece of fabric that measured 41” L x 11″ W.

Then I wanted to find the midpoint of the fabric so I simply folded it in half along the short side. The fold line is the midpoint of the 41″ length of my fabric.


I used my finger to mark where the midpoint was and then unfolded the fabric and laid it on my cutting mat, making sure the good side of the fabric was facing up.

Since my pillow was 18” long the midpoint of the pillow would be 9”. I then aligned the midpoint of my fabric (which I was holding with my thumb) with the 9” mark on my cutting mat and smoothed out the fabric so it laid flat on the mat.


I then folded the left side of the fabric onto itself making sure the fold aligned with the “0 inch” mark on my cutting mat.


I then folded the right side of the fabric onto itself making sure the fold aligned with the “18 inch” mark on my cutting mat.


My folded piece of fabric is now 18” long, the exact size I need for my pillow insert.

I pinned the top and bottom of my fabric so it would stay folded in that shape.


Then I used the sewing machine to sew the top edge of my rectangle of fabric where I had the pins, leaving a 1/2 inch seam.


I sewed the bottom edge of my rectangle in the same way, leaving me with a rectangle of fabric that looked like this:


Now, all I had to do was turn my fabric right side out and, ta-da! I now have an envelope pillow cover.


I then put the insert in the back and smoothed out the overlap and we have a pillow.


Later this week I’ll post a tutorial for the other pillow I made for my window seat, the DIY felt pillow.

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