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Easy Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial: With Pictures

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My envelope pillow cover tutorial is perfect to add some seasonal color to your living space home decor without breaking the bank. This envelope pillow case is a beginner sewing project.

Pottery Barn cream couch with buffalo plaid pillows beside coffee table with matching table runner.

See more easy sewing projects here.

I’m a big fan of BUFFALO PLAID! Not sure why I’m so obsessed, but that’s just the way it is for now, so I’m going with it.

You likely saw my Buffalo Plaid Table Runner Tutorial. Or, maybe you saw my Inexpensive Pillows on Amazon post? If not, I’m sure you read my tutorial for making Christmas gifts sacks made out of, you guessed it, Buffalo Plaid!

I’m going to warn you now that today’s post isn’t the last buffalo plaid post you are going to see from me, so stay tuned for that to come out in a couple of days (I think you’ll love it!).

BUT, let’s get back to today’s post. My easy envelope pillow cover tutorial will make you want to make pillow covers for every season!

I was inspired by the below fleece buffalo check blanket I found as a doorbuster deal at Michael’s. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be getting a transformation. It measured 59″ X 54″. The pillows I wanted to cover were 20″ X 20″, so there would be fabric to spare.

BUT, you could use any fabric you would like to complete your pillow covers!

SUPPLIES for Envelope Pillow Cover:

  • Sewing machine. (This is my machine)
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Thread to match your fabric
  • Straight sewing pins
  • 1 ½ yards of fabric if you are covering two 20″ X 20″ pillows (Here is a link to some Buffalo Plaid fabric by the yard on Amazon) OR, perhaps you can find an inexpensive throw blanket like I did and use that!
  • measuring tape

Determine Your Fabric Measurements

I used the x 2 + 6 formula.  So, since I have a 20X20 pillow insert, here is the math:

20 x 2 = 40. Then 40 + 6 = 46. SO, I will need my fabric piece cut to measure 20″x46″.

Another common pillow insert is 18″x18″. For this it would be 18 x2 = 36. Then 36 + 6 = 42. SO the fabric piece will need to measure 18″ x 36″.

Adjust the math based on the size pillow form you will be using in the pillowcase using this x2 +6 formula.

TIP: Cotton fabrics are a great fabric to use for beginners.

Fleece Blanket before I transformed it into pillow covers:

Buffalo check fleece blanket lying on living room carpet near measuring tape.

Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial:

Sewing tutorials are not my area of expertise. So, if I can create this, anyone can. It is a great project for kids learning to sew! No zipper or buttons to install make it so easy! 

In minutes you’ll have new throw pillows that match your home. You’ll want to make new pillow covers for every holiday.

Fleece black and red buffalo check fabric.

On to the instructions!

Step 1: Cut fabric into size needed for pillow cover.

See specifics above regarding what fabric measurements are needed for specific pillow size. A cutting mat and rotary cutter will be helpful to get appropriate measurements.

As you can see, I am using one piece of fabric verses having a front piece and back pieces. This makes these pillowcases super easy.

Two rectangles of buffalo plaid fleece with cut edges.

Since my pillow insert is 20×20 inches, I cut my fabric to 20 inches width and 46 inches tall rectangles. This will give plenty of seam allowance for later steps.

I made 2 pillow covers out of this particular fleece blanket and saved the remaining fabric for a project I’ll post about in a few days.

Step 2: Iron ~ ¼ inch from edge of short side of fabric 

Fold over the raw edge and iron approximately a quarter in from the shortest side of the fabric. Use a ruler to keep your edge consistent.

Ironing red and black fleece fabric 1/4 inch from edge.

Step 3: Turn edge over another ¼ inch, then sew straight seam

Fold the edge over another quarter inch, then stitch a basic straight seam. To prevent fraying, I suppose you could use a zig-zag stitch. 

Sewing the pillow edge with a sewing machine.

But remember, we are keeping this as simple as possible. We are going for a basic diy envelope pillowcase.

TIP: Ensure you are using a fairly new needle for a better sewing experience.

Step 4: With the pretty side of the fabric facing inside, fold the pillow cover to the size of your pillow.

Most fabric will have a “pretty” side. This is often referred to as the “right side” or the printed side should your fabric have a print. This is true for most types of fabric, including cotton which is one of the most popular types of fabric used for pillowcases.

Envelope pillow cover tutorial with pretty side of fabric on inside.

In my case the pillow insert was 20×20″ so I folded my throw pillow covers to 20″ x 20″. 

The ends you just sewed will overlap. This will be the “envelope” portion of your pillow cover and will be on the back of the pillow.

Step 5: Pin the edges that are open and sew together. Do this for both sides.

Hem the raw edge without folding over.

Straight pins used to pin in the edges of the pillow cover together before sewing.

Do this on both sides.

Sew the edges together on both sides of the pillow cover.

Step 6: Flip it right side out and stuff your pillow into your new envelope pillow cover.

Turn the pillow cover right-side-out. You may have to get into the corners really well to push them out.

Put your pillow insert into the pillowcase through the ‘envelope’ portion and display the pillow front on your couch, bed, chair, etc!

Envelope pillow case turned right side out.

You are done!

Envelope pillow covers are a fairly simple project that I can’t wait to repeat for different seasons. 

What do you think of my envelope pillowcase tutorial? I already have 100 ideas of the pillow covers I can make for other seasons! What projects do you have going? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!


How do you make an envelope pillow cover?

It is important to measure your fabric appropriately when making an envelope pillowcase. Follow a detailed tutorial for best results.

How much fabric do I need for a 20×20 envelope pillow?

If using a single piece of fabric as completed in this article’s tutorial, you will need 20″ x 46″ piece of fabric. This is applying a x2 +6 formula. (i.e., 20 x 2 = 40 +6 = 46. Therefore fabric will measure 20″ x 46″.

What is an envelope closure pillowcase?

An envelope pillow allows pillow inserts to be slipped into the backside of a pillow (i.e., the ‘envelope’) without the need for zippers or buttons.

Don’t forget to pin this to Pinterest for later!

Envelope pillow cover tutorial using buffalo check fleece blanket.

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  1. I love how easy these are to put together- makes it perfect for customizing my pillows every season!

  2. I have been buying pillow covers on Etsy- but after seeing how easy it is to make this pillow cover I’ll need to give it a try! Great idea to re-purpose the fleece blanket!

  3. I love envelope pillows! They are so simple to make and cute! I love the Buffalo check for Christmas. It’s so cozy!

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