Home decor is one of those things that I’m just not very good at. I can look at Pinterest all day long, but there are too many options, I get overwhelmed, and I close the app to try again another day. Someday, when we stop moving every couple of years for the Army, I’m going to hire an interior decorator. I want someone who will tell me what to buy and exactly where to put it. Until then, I’m stuck trying to figure it out on my own.
Back when my husband was still my boyfriend, we bought a large sectional couch to replace his old, smelly one. It came with these really ugly throw pillows. For almost 4 years (seriously, where does the time go?) I’ve been saying I wanted to replace them. But I didn’t know what I wanted so it never got done. This weekend, I decided I was tired of complaining about them and I was ready to finally do something about these pillows.
Since I primarily quilt, I don’t much “other” sewing. Still, it cant be too hard to sew squares of fabric together right? I was texting my best friend about it, when she joked she can’t sew a straight line. So, you know who you are, go make your own throw pillows now! I promise, it’s really easy.
The first thing I did was go to Hobby Lobby and pick fabric. I chose the top one and the bottom one in the picture below. I also chose three solids that coordinate: light blue, navy, and tan. Hobby Lobby was having a 50% off sale, so I also got pillow forms because they were only 5$ a piece. I made 6 pillows so I bought 6 pillow forms, 1 yard of each patterned fabric, and 2 yards of each solid fabric.
- Pillow Form (I’m using 18×18)
- Front fabric (I’m using the printed duck pictured above)
- Backing fabric (this is what my solids are for)
- Cutting Mat/Rotary Cutter
Step 1: Cut your fabric to size. What size you cut depends on what size pillow form you bought. I cut my squares 18″ x 18″. I like to use the exact same dimensions as my pillow form so the pillow is extra plump, but if you do not like that idea or you just want some wiggle room, add 1/2 an inch to your finished size to account for the seam allowance.
Step 2: Cut your backing fabric to size. This step requires a little math. For an envelope backing, you want the two pieces to overlap 3-4″. You will need to cut your fabric long enough to fold in half and overlap the other piece by that much. I like my backing to overlap almost the entire pillow. Doing an envelope backing that way does require you to fiddle with getting the pillow in the cover, but I think the look of the smooth backing is worth the effort. (Yes, I know a zippered closure would work too, but I didn’t think about it until I got home so I didn’t have any zippers). Fold each piece in half and press the seam so you have a nice edge.
Step 3: Sew a seam at the folded edge. I do this as close to the edge of the fabric as I can.
Step 4: Lay your front fabric RIGHT SIDE UP on the table. Line your backing fabric on top with the raw edges at the outsides an the folded edge in the middle. When you have everything lined up correctly, pin all layers in place.
Step 5: Sew a 1/4 seam around the entire edge of your fabric sandwich. I use a 1/4 inch seam presser foot that helps me sew a straight line. Another tip, don’t watch the needle! I keep an eye on the edge of my fabric making sure it stays in line with the edge of my presser foot. Don’t be afraid to slow down a little and keep better control of your machine. When I get to an overlapped section, I backstitch over it before continuing to help reinforce where the fabric gets pulled and tugged taking the pillow forms in and out.
Step 6: Using your rotary cutter, cut off the tip of each corner. This will help reduce the bulk when you turn the cover right-side out and push your corners out. Take care not to cut to close to the seam because you might just cut it off (ask me how I know.)
Step 7: Turn your covers right side out. Push the corners out so they are nice and pointy. I used my finger, but the eraser end of a pencil works well too.
Step 8: Text a picture of your finished pillow covers to your best friend who tells you how awesome they look.
Step 9: Put the your covers on your pillow inserts and enjoy!