Envelope pillow cover Tutorial

In this tutorial I would like to show you how to make the simplest pillow cover in just under half an hour.

Envelope pillow cover tutorial

An envelope back pillow cover does not require a zip installation which makes the job much easier – all you need are a sewing machine, a pair of scissors, some pins, a piece of fabric large enough to cover an existing or a new cushion pad, matching thread and a little patience of course.

You can use a brand new fabric from a shop or you can give an old fabric a new life as I did for this tutorial.

If you are working with new fabric pre-wash it first – it will help to get rid of excess dye and minimise shrinkage in the future.

Let’s start…..

For my pillow I used:

  • A cushion pad 18” x 18” .
  • A piece of fabric 19” long and 45” wide.
  • Cutting fabric
  • Cut one piece of fabric 19” x 19” – this is going to be the front panel for my cushion pad which is 18”x 18″ and I added ½” to each side for seam allowance.
  • Cut two pieces of fabric 19” x 13” – these two pieces will be sewn to form a back panel for the pillow. As the back panel consists of two equal pieces I divided 18” by 2 and added 2” for seams and 2” for overlap (18 : 2 + 2 + 2 = 13).

That is how the back panel looks when it’s done…DSCN2570

Making the back panel for an envelope pillow cover

  • Lay one small piece of your cut fabric wrong side up.
  • Turn 19” long edge by ½” inwards towards the wrong side and press with your iron.


  • Fold and pin the same edge again by 1” towards wrong side of the fabric. You might want to hand baste the edge instead of using pins as I did – I was working with creasy silk fabric which is not quite stable, so I preferred to hand baste the hem before stitching it up.


  • Press it.
  • Turn the piece right side up and measure 1” in from the folded edge. To make sure the stitch is straight you can draw a line parallel to the edge or you can use some masking tape to create a straight line.


  • Repeat the process with the second small piece of fabric.

Making a pillow cover

  • Fold the three pieces together: The square panel (19”x19”) with face side of fabric facing you,
  • Then place one of the small pieces face down on the top of your 19” by 19” piece with a raw edge lined up with left side of the square panel.
  • Then the second small piece face down on the top of the other two pieces (this piece will overlap the first small piece) with a raw edge lined up with right hand side of the square panel.

See picture below.


  • Pin or hand baste them together
  • Machine stitch the pieces together ½” in from the raw edge along the perimeter backstitching at the start and the end of the stitch.
  • Trim the corners to get rid of excess fabric.


You might want to zigzag or over lock the edges of your pillow cover for a neater look.


  •  Turn the cover right side out.
  • With closed scissors gently poke out the corners.
  • Press the seams.
  • Insert a cushion pad.

Envelope pillow cover tutorial

Job is done! Was it difficult?


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