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Make a Pillow Cover

Video Tutorial at the end!

I don’t need to have a bunch of pillows cluttering up my home, but I really like to add some seasonal pops to my decor. One of my solutions to this conundrum is to make pillow covers. They are super easy to make. Super easy to change, and of course, super cute!

You need to know the size of the pillow you want to cover. How I figure this out is to squish it down on my cutting mat so I can see the measurements. The pillow that I used in the video was about 17″. You want your cover to be the same size or a “squidge” bigger. Like 1/2″ to no more than 1″ bigger will work on most pillows, but might look floppy on a flattish pillow. Here’s the good news- if it is too loose you can always make it a bit tighter.

Just for fun we are going to go with a more normal size. Most throw pillows tend to be 16″ or 18″. I have used these 16″ pillow forms which I think are a good price and worked well.

If you have a 16″ pillow form, you will want your pillow front to be 16.5″. If your quilt block is 12″ finshed (12.5″ unfinished) you will need to add 2.5 inch strips to all four sides of your block to account for seam allowances.

Block 16″ Finished- 16.5″ unfinished

Border Strips 2″ Finished- 2.5″ unfinished

RULE- Decide how much you need to add to each side and then add your 1/2″ to make up for the two 1/4″ seams.

Now that you have the front of the pillow to the size you need (which in our example will be 16.5″ squared, we need to figure out the back. We are going to make an open backed cover with overlapping pieces so that you will not see the pillow form.

Here comes some quilty math, but it isn’t hard!

Half of a 16″ pillow is 8″. We will need a rolled edge seam, so add 1″. We need a healthy overlap, so let’s add 3″. That adds up to 12″. Cut two pieces that are 12″ wide and 16.5″ tall.

Iron or double fold one of the long sides of each back block to give your self a finshed edge on each piece. If you are using a directional patterned fabric, take care that you sew the inside edges.

Put the front of your pillow on your surface right side up. Place one of the back pieces face down with the seam in the middle. Place the other back piece on the other side so that the two back pieces overlap as shown in the diagram.

This may be a good time to use those long lost pins because the three layers of fabric may slip. Sew a 1/4″ seam all around the edge of the pillow. You should pay careful attention to the places where the back pieces overlap and give those seams a little extra strength by going back and forth an extra time over them.

Turn the pillow cover right side out, push the corners out, and load in your pillow form. Voila!

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