How To Make An Envelope Pillow

As you all know, I love pillows!  One of the things I love about them, is that they’re an easy way to quickly change the look of your room.  Today, I’m going to share with you how to make an envelope pillow.  If you want to be able to easily change out your pillow covers, and/or you’re not sure you want to try putting a zipper in a pillow, then this tutorial is for you!

Be sure to check out our popular How To Make Pillows page for over 25 pillow ideas, tips & techniques!

How To Make An Envelope Pillow - A great sewing tutorial for making a pillow cover that you can change out quickly and easily to update the look of your room!

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An envelope pillow has a flap opening on the back side that makes it very easy to take the pillow cover off.  If you have kids, pets, or just like to change out your pillow covers every so often, then this is a great pillow for you!

Here’s what the back side of the pillow looks like.

How To Make An Envelope Pillow - Back side

*Tip:  This envelope pillow is made out of 3 pieces of fabric, which may work well if you have small pieces of fabric or want the back side to be a different fabric.  I’ve also created a newer sewing tutorial that is an envelope pillow made out of one piece of fabric.  You can make these in 10 minutes!  To see that envelope pillow tutorial, click here.


  • Fabric – The amount of fabric needed depends on the pillow size.  The fabric yardage I used for this project was 3/4 yard.  This is a good scrap buster sewing project!
  • Pillow form – I really like Fairfield’s Soft Touch pillow forms.  Whatever size you would like.  My pillow form size is 18″ x 18″.
  • Scissors
  • Thread to match fabric
  • Glass head straight pins
  • That Purple Thang tool


I’ve created a video to show how to make an envelope pillow.  The instructions are also written out underneath the video.

  1.  Cut out front fabric piece the same size as your pillow form.  (example – if using an 18″x18″ pillow form, fabric would be cut at 18″x18″)
  2. Cut out two pieces for the back side of the pillow.  The width will be the same size as your pillow form, and the length will be the size of pillow form plus 6″ divided by 2.  (example – if using an 18″x18″ pillow form, fabric width will be 18″ and fabric length will be 18″ plus 6″ divided by 2)
  3. Fold under flap edge of each back piece 1/2″ and the again 1/4″ to form a small hem for the flaps.
  4. Sew the hem for the flaps.
  5. Pin the front and back sides right sides together – overlapping the two back pieces to form the flap.
  6. Sew around all four sides of the pillow cover, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  7. Turn right sides out – making sure to push the corners out.  I love to use my That Purple Thang for this.  Works great!
  8. Insert the pillow form.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my how to make an envelope pillow tutorial today!


How To Make An Envelope Pillow - You can quickly and easily update the look of your room with this envelope pillow cover sewing tutorial!

If you loved this pillow tutorial, you’ll love these too!

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I’m joining these parties!

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps On The Porch


  1. What a great tutorial Jan! I don’t own a sewing machine, can you believe it. I know, but I am purchasing one soon. So guess what project I will be working on soon…pillows 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing. Have a great weekend!

  2. Love the fabric you used for your cushions cover 🙂 I recently learned how to make an envelope cushion cover, and now there’s a very good chance that I’m going to become the crazy cushion lady 😉

  3. In September, during National Sewing Month I started a series of learning to sew posts with my FB followers with the intention of inspiring them to learn how to sew. This tutorial is a great one for a beginner sewer with your well written instructions and video, too. I just posted this to my FB page and anxious to see if anyone has gotten the sewing bug. Thanks…..

  4. I love this! I have some pillows that need a makeover. I wasn’t happy about the possibility of needing to purchase new pillows, etc. This frees me up to make an easy (emphasis on that word) cover to spice up the room a bit. Thanks for the tutorial! Pinning for a future project.

  5. Love this tutorial! I’m going to flag and forward to a few of my family and friends to do as a project together. I’ve been pricing out decorative pillows recently and they’re not cheap! So this comes at the right time- seems to be very cost effective. Thanks so much for sharing!! 🙂

    1. Thanks Liz! Yes, that’s the beauty of envelope pillows easy to make and simple to switch out if you need to clean or want to switch pillow fabrics.

  6. I like the look of the pillow and the ease that it would be to make one. I do have one question though. When you stitched all 3 pieces together what was your seam allowance? I was not sure how to do that because my ,other always tau aught me to add a small seam allowance for stitching pieces together. I can see how cutting to the exact size of the pillow will keep it fuller looking but I am making mine for my preschooler to take at nap time and I don’t want him busting a seam while he sleeps at nap time. Thanks!

  7. Hi Jann,

    Thank you for this tutorial! If you were to scale down on the size of the pillow form, how would you know how much smaller to cut the back fabric? For instance, if I were making a 16×16 instead of an 18×18, would you still recommend adding 6 inches to the length of the back fabric size? If so, at what point would i start to reduce the size of the back?

  8. Hi Jan,
    What seam allowance do you use? I am mostly a quilter so I use 1/4″ seams.
    Thank you.

  9. Hello,

    Great tutorial! I was wondering why you cut the fabric 18 x 18 for the pillow instead of 19 x 19 (allowing for the 1/2 inch seam allowance on all sides to achieve 18×18 size when finished).


  10. Just made the envelope pillow from the tutorial. I used curtain fabric off cuts. This was a good easy re-start to sewing. I will be making more and replace all my shop bought pillows. Thanks.

  11. Jan, I have been shopping for pillow covers this week and cannot find anything that I like! So, I am going to get some Christmas fabric tomorrow and sew my own covers. Thanks for the great tutorial. Your video is great!!

    1. Janice, thanks! I’m so glad the tutorial was helpful. That’s what I love about sewing, you can make your own clothes, pillows or curtains out of the fabric you love!

  12. You have all the things you need to make the pillows and you say click to go to next page for instructions and there is no place to click. I really would like the instructions. Thank you, Alice

    1. Alice, just click the boxes under where it says to click the next page button, there’s a square box with a 2 in it or there’s a rectangular box that says Next Page. Both will take you to the directions.

  13. Super helpful easy directions! Used it to make 4 different pillows that I’d been hesitant to do. They look great! Thank you!

  14. This is a great, easy-to-follow tutorial. I just finished my third set of pillows! Thanks so much.

  15. You made this look so easy and it was. Had so much making two of them in maybe 20 minutes and saved a ton of money and they are homemade. Thank you!!!

  16. Jann, Thank you for the video! So, helpful. But I’m lost at the cut corners part in the video. Are you saying to sew all the way around, then snip the corners, and re-sew those? I’m really new to sewing—sorry!

    1. Jessica, you slightly cut the corners at an angle, but NOT the stitch line. The reason to cut the corners slightly is so that you have less bulk of fabric when you turn the pillow right side out. If you’re unsure, don’t cut the corners at all.

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