DIY Pillowcase

My mom’s coworker commissioned me to make two pillowcases for her daughter as a Christmas present. She picked out the fabric (two different kinds, 1 yard each) and pillows (two 14”x14” pillows) and left the project in my hands. I wanted to keep the pillowcases simple so that they are easy to remove, so I settled on an envelope style, which means that there is a flap in the back that you can slide the pillow in and out of.

The pillowcases were very easy to make and, if you’re just learning to sew, this is a great beginner’s project. They will also make fun Christmas gifts for anyone who is looking for last minute ideas.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial:

First, I suggest washing and ironing your fabric. This allows for any shrinking that may occur and when you go to cut and sew, it’s much easier to do it on smooth rather than wrinkled fabric.

Once you have your fabric washed and ironed, you can start measuring and cutting. For the width, add 1” to the width of your pillow, and for the length, multiply the length of your pillow by 2 and then add another 6” (because this is the part that will overlap). I had a 14” x 14” pillow, so I cut a piece of fabric that was 15” wide, which allows for a .5” seam allowance on either side, and 34” long ([14 x 2] + 6 = 34), which allows for a 1” turn-over on both sides and a total overlap of 4”.

Step1a Step1b

Next, on the short sides, turn your edge over .5” and iron. Then, turn it over another .5” and iron. Then, sew the seam along the edge. Do the same thing to the other short side.


Once your short sides are hemmed, lay your fabric on the table right side up. Take your pillow form, place it in the middle of your fabric, and fold your fabric over your pillow.

Step3a Step3b

Make sure the fabric is lined up on either side and fits snug around the pillow. Then, pin the two flaps of fabric together on either side.


At this point, you can slide the pillow out of the fabric. Once your pillow is removed, pin both sides of the fabric together along the sides.


Once your sides are pinned, its time to sew! Just sew in a straight line along the edges you have pinned (this is where I gave myself a .5” seam allowance). After you’ve sewn both sides, turn your pillowcase right side out through the open flap you have in the middle (you may need to use a pencil to poke out the corners).

Step6a Step6b

And that’s it! All that’s left to do is to insert the pillow into the case through the open flap.

Pillow_Front Pillow_Back Pillows

Yay for new pillowcases! I’m already thinking about how I can re-cover some of the pillows we have lying around the house. I’m also thinking about getting some designs together so I can screen print my own fabric and then use that to make some pillowcases (I’m really excited about this one!).

I hope this tutorial was clear, but if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Stay Curiously Chic! xo…Alane


78 thoughts on “DIY Pillowcase

  1. Susan

    Alane – the pillows are exactly what I wanted and I am sure my daugter will be thrilled and surprised. I have another pillow project for you when you are ready – just let me know!
    You are very talented, never give up your dreams. Happy Holidays! Hugs. Susan

    1. Nina

      My Grandaughter will be 13 this month. She is getting a sewing machine for her birthday nd I have material and pillow forms for her to make her other Grandmother and her parents pillows for Christmas. Glad to find instructions. I was going to wing it.

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    1. acuriouslychiclife Post author

      Thanks! I know, it’s so fun to make something useful for your home! It really gives your space a personal touch. Definitely give it a try and if you have any questions, let me know! Thanks for reading! 🙂

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  4. Meagan

    Hey i used your instructions! PERFECT! First pillow case i’ve ever made. If you want a picture I can email it to you! 😀

  5. Alyson

    Hi! I’m VERY much a beginner with sewing, and started the project, then realized I don’t own any pins!! Is it necessary to pin it with the pillow inside, or can you just line up the sides and sew it?

    1. acuriouslychiclife Post author

      Hi Alyson! Great question! No, pins aren’t a necessity so you can definitely just line up the sides. They’re meant to hold the fabric together and keep it from moving as you’re sewing. So as long as you make sure the sides are staying lined up as you’re feeding the fabric through the machine, you should be fine. However, I would suggest still wrapping the fabric around the pillow, but instead of pinning the two flaps, just mark where they meet. Then, slide the pillow out and sew up the sides! Let me know if you any other questions! 🙂

  6. Becky

    Thank you for your great instructions! A friend asked me to make some pillows for her and this has helped so much!

  7. Lindsay

    Um…I REALLY need that coral chevron fabric in my life! I’m doing a living room makeover in gray and coral! Do you know where she got it? Great tutorial!

  8. trasity

    I just made this in like 15 minutes!! Thanks so much for the turned out perfect 🙂 and I’m only a beginner!

  9. Eileen Smith

    I even used this pattern for rectangle 16X12 pillows for my client! I love the pictures to guide me. I’m a kinesthetic learner and it was so simple to follow.

  10. lisa m

    I noticed in the pics you have marked where you want your seams with blue ink or chalk. Can you tell me what tool you used and how it is used? Luv the pillow and directions by the way. Can’t wait to be started on my own.

    1. JulieCC

      Instead of Stitch Witchery, I would suggest Fabric Glue. Use a 40% coupon to Hobby Lobby or Joann’s (they’ll accept Hobby Lobby’s, Michaels, etc.) to get it cheaper!

  11. leela

    This was my first sewing project and I think your instructions were great!! I don’t have a sewing machine so I did it by hand. It still came out great! ! Thank you!!!

  12. Reanna

    I really like this pattern, but I was just curious, what size are the pillows you covered? I’m looking to re-decorate some that are really fluffy, so I think they’re bigger than the “average” pillow.

  13. Megan

    Easiest case I’ve ever made! Your instructions were so easy to follow, and my pillow came out great! (I tried that no sew pillow cover-don’t bother) thanks again. My life will be much easier now!

      1. Megan

        I made another pillow this afternoon, it took only about 11/2 hours. I was excited to be able to use up the rest of the previous yard of fabric! My friend has now recruited me to show her! Love, love, love it’s a keeper :-))

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  15. gilrevis

    wow! this is the most brilliant execution i’ve seen. instead of just saving this for some hazy future sewing session, it makes me want to go to the store right now!

  16. Kendall

    i made two of these last nights out of similar looking fabric with navy chevron instead of pink. this tutorial was so simple and easy to follow for an inexperienced-but-learning seamstress! plus the pillows looks REALLY great on my couch and pull the whole room together. thanks so much for sharing!

  17. Craft Dictator (@craftdictator)

    This is such a great tutorial! I’ve been sewing for a while but I loved how these are turning out! I also put a link to your blog on my page. I did a Things I Want To Make Thursday post about throw pillows! I hope this is ok! 🙂 Thanks so much for such a great post!

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  20. Angie

    OMG!! Super helpful. Had a pillow cover made in about 20 min. I only had a 12×12 pillow but the step by step instructions were super helpful along with the pictures. Will use this for sure for any others I make!!! Thank you for posting!!! 😊

  21. Harrovian Mama

    This is so great! I have never done any kind of ‘crafting’ before, but after shortening some curtains at the weekend, I decided to use the spare material to make some matching cushion covers. I didn’t have a sewing machine and just used hemming tape instead and they worked great! Thanks for such clear, simple instructions! Will be linking to you when I blog my DIY cushions!!

  22. Debbie Crowe

    Thank you! I have been sewing since the 1960’s and I have made tons of pillows to match my ever changing décor. These pillows were soooooo easy to make!!! I love them! This will be my new way to make pillows from now on.
    Thank you,

  23. JulieCC

    I make envelope-back pillows quite a lot and I’ve learned if I make the width (and length x 2, plus extra for the hem) the exact size of the form, it will be nice and tight and look great. It seems crazy, but it works. So for a 14″ pillow, a 14″ width.

  24. Dawn Hockgeiger

    I loved your tutorial, it helped so much. My pillow was a little tricky because I was using fleece & I also embroidered on it. But with your help it turned out awesome. Was going to post a pic but phone won’t let me. Anyways, thanks so much for help. Dawn

  25. Hannelore

    Found this on Pinterest and I am a very novice seamstress. Giving it a try for my future mother in laws Christmas gift! Thanks for all the great pointers.

  26. Jade

    I am a novice sewer and just made 2 of these pillowcases for my daughters with a lovely piece of vintage fabric bought in Switzerland in 1947!! It was given to me by my husbands nan and I felt seriously nervous cutting it up. But….with your very simple to follow instructions I am soooo pleased with the outcome! Thank you for the tutorial. Xx

    1. acuriouslychiclife Post author

      Hi Jade, that fabric sounds beautiful! I’m so glad you didn’t have any trouble following the tutorial and that you’re happy with the way they turned out! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  27. Alicia

    What a great tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing. I have kind of a weird question. What font do you use for the writing on the photos? Would he a great journaling font for my scrapbooks. 🙂

  28. Ruthie

    I’ve been making throw pillows in this manner for years, never thought about writing down the pattern and posting! Great job!

  29. Annelisa

    Thanks for this! I bought some fabric from Ikea the other day to cover some pillows and now I have the perfect tutorial!! 🙂

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