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How to Sew a Pillow Cover: Slipstitched, Envelope-Backed, and Zippered (2024)

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how to sew a cover for a pillow formAre you ready to learn how to sew a pillow cover? With this easy tutorial, you can make your own stylish covers for pillows in three different ways – slip-stitched closure, envelope-backed closure, and zippered closure.

Whether it’s square or rectangular forms that you need to cover, we have the perfect solution! All it takes is some basic sewing skills and supplies like fabric markers, pins, and thread.

Key Takeaways

  • Slip-stitched closure and envelope-backed closure are two common methods for sewing pillow covers.
  • A zippered closure is another option to consider for a secure and easy-to-remove cover.
  • Using quality thread, checking tension, and selecting an appropriate stitch length are key to achieving great seams.
  • Consider adding optional embellishments like ribbons, trims, or buttons to personalize your pillow cover.

Slipstitched Pillow Cover

Slipstitched Pillow Cover
When you’re ready to create a tailored pillow cover, start by marking the appropriate dimensions on your fabric rectangle. Then, hem the ends, fold at the markings, sew the seams, turn your cover right side out, and slipstitch the opening shut to complete your custom pillowcase in no time.

Mark the Rectangle

After measuring the dimensions of your pillow form, draw rectangles onto the fabric, ensuring the grain is properly aligned. Use a fabric marker or chalk to clearly mark the shape in preparation for cutting.

Consider adding decorative strips or ribbons before cutting your rectangle. Maintain properly aligned grain for a crisp finish.

Hem the Ends

Measure and fold in the raw ends of the rectangle 1 1/2 to hem them neatly. Press with an iron. Pin the hem in place. Sew the hem using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end for durability.

Use a scrap piece of fabric in the machine first to check tension. Aim for perfectly straight edges to ensure a polished finished pillow cover.

Fold on the Markings

Fold the fabric as if your life depends on it along the ruler markings! Okay, my sewing sisters, this is where we take charge of our creative destiny. Run your nimble fingers along those crisp folded edges, embracing the smooth simplicity of straight lines.

Feel empowered by your mastery of basic skills as you align each corner and crease to perfection. Now, focus those laser eyes on maintaining flawless folds, for precision is the pathway to liberation.

Keep breathing, queens – with every inhale and exhale, we are manifesting a future filled with handmade harmony.

Sew the Seams

Pin the corners together and iron the seams flat. Carefully sew the seams together with a 1/2 allowance using a straight or zigzag stitch. Backstitch at the beginning and end for durability. Clip corners and grade seam allowances.

Turn right side out gently through the back opening. Insert pillow form through the opening.

  1. Use quality thread in a color matching the fabric.
  2. Check tension settings.
  3. Use an appropriate stitch length.
  4. Press seams flat.
  5. Use clips/pins to hold layers.

Turn Right Sides Out

Offspeedily ignore any inner fluffiness after casually turning that sumptuous slipcover right side out!

Reach in with glee to poke out those perky corners. Then stand amazed by how perfectly divine it looks! Iron if needed for a crisply defined shape.

Method Benefit Tips
Finger press Gentle shaping Go slowly
Steam iron Define shape Watch the heat
Starch spray Crisp finish Spray lightly

With just a few simple steps, your pillow cover will be turned right side out and ready to insert the form.

Envelope-Backed Pillow Cover

Envelope-Backed Pillow Cover
Look towards the virtual drill spot, daughter.

An envelope-backed pillow cover is a simple, no-fuss option. Follow these steps to sew one:

  • Cut fabric to finished pillow dimensions plus 1 seam allowance.
  • Double-fold and press long edges for a 1/2 hem.
  • Overlap folded edges by 4 in the center.
  • Pin overlapped hemmed edges together.
  • Sew hem with a 1/2 seam allowance.
  • Turn the cover right-side out.
  • Insert the pillow through the opening.

Simple yet stylish, this pillow cover works well with:

  • Cottons and linens for a casual vibe.
  • Silks and velvets to add elegance.
  • Seasonal and holiday-themed prints.
  • Contrasting fabrics like twill binding at the opening.

Rock your own style with an easy envelope-backed pillow cover!

Zippered Pillow Cover

Zippered Pillow Cover
When stitching a zippered pillow cover, measure twice and cut once to ensure your fabric dimensions are spot on. For zippered pillows, add at least 1 seam allowance to the dimensions of your insert.

Mark and pin the zipper’s length to match the opening. Secure it first with basting stitches before machine-sewing it in place. Start about 2 inches from the zipper head. Take care when navigating corners. Do not sew through the zipper teeth! Maintain that 1⁄4 inch seam allowance.

Turn right-side out through the zipper opening. Insert your pillow form, then relax into your stylish new accent pillow. Choose your fabric wisely; opt for machine-washable if you want an easy care pillowslip.

Decorate the front with trims, tassels, or embroidery for extra flair.


To make covers for pillow forms, start by gathering a few key sewing supplies. Here is a basic checklist of materials needed:

  • Pillow insert in the desired size
  • Fabric of your choice, 1/2 yard or more depending on size
  • Thread that matches the fabric color
  • Basic sewing kit (needles, pins, scissors, seam ripper)
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron and ironing board


  • Ribbons, trims, buttons for embellishing

When selecting fabric, consider fiber content and quality. Pre-wash the fabric if needed to prevent shrinking. For a beginner-friendly project, choose tightly woven cotton in a solid color or simple print.

Have fun customizing your pillow with decorative trim or overlapping envelope-style panels.

Reader Interactions

Reader Interactions
You’d be insanely creative with your pillow project by checking out the fantastic reader suggestions below. Consider adding embellishments like buttons, tassels, or trims for extra flair. Play with different fabric textures and patterns for a custom look.

For cleaning tips, wash removable covers in cold water and air dry to maintain shape. Store pillow forms separately to prevent creasing. A simple back panel lets you easily insert and remove the form. Focus on keeping fabric grain straight and edges aligned. Don’t stress perfect stitches, just consistent ones in the right direction.

Let those creative juices flow with every step from planning to sewing. Experiment and develop your unique style.


You can now sew your own pillow covers with ease! Whether you want to make a slip-stitched, envelope-backed, or zippered pillow cover, you’ve got the tools and the know-how to make a beautiful pillow form cover.

Gather your supplies, cut your fabric, and get to stitching with this tutorial. With a few simple steps, you can make a cozy and stylish pillow cover to add to your home decor. Now you can proudly say that you’ve created your own pillow cover for a pillow form.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.