Here in Minnesota when the temperatures dip below freezing (and never seem to come back up again), I want everything around me to be as cozy as possible. I started eyeing the decorative pillows last week. We already changed out the throw blankets for faux fur throws. The pillows were next on the list for a cozy, tactile makeover.
With basic sewing skills, my easy envelope pillow cover is the simplest home sewing project. No matter what your skill level, you can make fun, decorative pillow covers. They are quick, easy, and a fraction of the cost of store-bought pillows.
Building upon my easiest-ever pillows, I added one step in this tutorial to give your pillows a little extra warmth for the cool winter months. (Also, these would make an amazing hostess or holiday gift.)
You can make this easy sweater pillow in 15 minutes or less and with under $10 in materials (minus the pillow insert, check this out for my secret to cheap inserts).
It doesn’t get any easier…
No “stitching in the ditch”, because no one has time to thread a needle anymore.
Only one piece of fabric (no front piece or multiple back pieces).
No fussing with stretchy, see-through sweaters.
With this method, the sweater is automatically lined and stabilized.
Plus, I am sharing my new favorite way to stuff the insert into envelope pillows.
In case you are at work (don’t worry, I won’t tell) or you don’t like watching videos, here are the tutorial notes:
I want to show you the easiest way to make a cozy sweater pillow. This project will take you less than 15 minutes and less than $10 worth of materials, minus the pillow insert.
To make an 18″ square pillow cover you need:
- One adult large or extra large sweater (find them form a couple dollars each at the thrift store)
- 1/2 yard coordinating home decor fabric and thread to match
- 18″ pillow insert
Step by Step:
- Cut one pillow front from your sweater. For an 18″ insert, cut and 18 x 18″ piece of your sweater.
- Cut a piece of coordinating fabric 18 x 42″. (Using a different size insert? The formula is two times your pillow insert dimension plus 6-9 inches for the overlap on the back of the pillow. The plusher your pillow, the more overlap I recommend in the back.) The fabric wraps all the way around your pillow and overlaps on the back.
- Hem the short ends of your fabric. Fold over 1/4″, press with your finger and then 1/4″ again and pin. Sew close to the fold.
- Now lay your fabric right side up on your work surface. Lay your sweater piece right side up in the middle of your fabric. The fabric underneath is going to help line and stabilize the sweater piece.
- Fold the ends of the fabric over top the sweater so they overlap in the middle.
- Pin all around the permiter.
- Sew around the perimeter using a zigzag or overlock stitch or use a serger. When you sew around all four sides, you encase the raw edges of the sweater front.
- Now flip inside out, use your fingers to push out the corners, and slip your pillow insert through the opening in the back.
For a few dollars and less than 15 minutes you have new cozy pillow covers for winter!
P.S. This is what you should do with the rest of the sweater…keep those vases warm, too.
Great tutorial. I love how the pillow gets lined inside this way.
All this time that I have been following your blog, I never knew you were a fellow Minnesotan. Are you near the Twin Cities?
Yes, we are in the suburbs :)
that was Cities. Sorry. What a great way to stabilize the stretchy fabric.
Thank you for this tutorial! I am definitely going to give this a try… but I want to know your secret for cheap inserts! did I miss a link?
CraftyP, My secret is right here.
Hey Jackie- great tutorial! It makes me want to run out and buy a sewing machine haha! Can you recommend some good pillow forms? Most of the ones that come with the pillows I buy flatten out really quickly (like from Target) but the feather pillows I’ve run across are too firm for my taste- is there a happy medium or certain fill type I can look for? Thanks!
Love all of your sewing videos, just started following!
Thank you for all the ideas and tips!!