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!
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
HOW TO MAKE AN ENVELOPE PILLOW
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.
*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″.
- 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.
- 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″)
- 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)
- Fold under flap edge of each back piece 1/2″ and the again 1/4″ to form a small hem for the flaps.
- Sew the hem for the flaps.
- Pin the front and back sides right sides together – overlapping the two back pieces to form the flap.
- Sew around all four sides of the pillow cover, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
- Turn right sides out – making sure to push the corners out. I love to use my That Purple Thang for this. Works great!
- Insert the pillow form.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my how to make an envelope pillow tutorial today!
If you loved this pillow tutorial, you’ll love these too!
How To Hand-Sew A Pillow Closed
I’m joining these parties!
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!
Thanks Anne! This is a really quick and easy way to make pillows. You’ll love having a sewing machine!
How is it that you state for an 18 x 18 pillow cut the material the same dimensions – don’t you allow for seams?
Lisa, I like my pillow covers to be snug and not loose. So, I cut my fabric to allow for that.
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 😉
There are worse things to become! Enjoy!
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…..
Thanks Patty Virginia!
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.
Thanks Monica! Good luck with your pillows!
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!! 🙂
Thanks Tania! What a great idea to do pillows as a group!
I absolutely LOVE envelope pillows. Not only do they look wonderful, but they’re so simple to make.
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.
Thanks for this post. I’ll be sending to a couple of friends.
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!
Thanks Sarah! I made my seam allowances 1/2″. If you want a bigger cover, just add 1/2″ to each side.
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?
Starr, you’re welcome! I would follow step #2, putting in your pillow dimensions.
What seam allowance do you use? I am mostly a quilter so I use 1/4″ seams.
Linda, I use a 1/2″ seam allowance.
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).
Karissa, thanks! I cut that way so that the cover isn’t too loose. More of a custom look.
Turned out great, thank you for the video and tutorial!
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.
Thanks Jude! I’m so glad you found the tutorial helpful!
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!!
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!
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. firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, Alice
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.
Super helpful easy directions! Used it to make 4 different pillows that I’d been hesitant to do. They look great! Thank you!
Thanks Kimberly! I’m so glad the tutorial was helpful!
It wasn’t so easy until I saw this tutorial. Very well explained. Thankyou Jann for taking time to share it with us !
This is a great, easy-to-follow tutorial. I just finished my third set of pillows! Thanks so much.
Anne, I’m so glad this tutorial was helpful! Good job!
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!!!
I’m so glad you found this tutorial helpful!
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!
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.
Thank you.. easy clear instructions. I can do this.
Thanks Maggie! Yes, you can do it! Good luck.
Hi, what is the brand of iron you use and where did you get it?
Thank you for making this tutorial. It was so helpful and I have made many sets now!
I’m so glad it was helpful!
Will envelope pillow pattern work for a bolster pillow?