Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pillow Slipcover 101, Tutorial

from this..... this.

 Do you have an old throw pillow that doesn't fit your decor anymore? How about one that is just worn out? You can VERY easily make a slipcover for it. You can even make a slipcover for every holiday or season and change it out when you want! This means you can have one for autumn, one for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.

 This tutorial is for my daughter in law, who is just learning to sew.  If you know of someone who wants to learn and to save LOTS of money on home decor, send them here! This is a basic project that is so simple many of us never think to do it! 
You can use ANY size pillow. Even a bed pillow will work. 
This is how it's done:
1. Measure your pillow in both directions. A stiff ruler will not wrap around the rounded pillow, so you need something that will. If you have a cloth tape measure, use that, but many of you will not have one. Simply use a piece of ribbon or even string, put one end at the seam at one side and pull across to the seam on the other side. Put a pin on the string or ribbon or hold it with your thumbnail.

 2. Take it over to a ruler and stretch it out to see how long it is. That is your measurement. Mine was 12". Now you need to measure it the other direction, instead of the width, you need the length. Mine was 13". So my pillow is 12" x 13".

 3. Because my seam will be 1/4", I need to account for that when I cut my fabric. I will have a seam on all sides, so I add 1/2" to the length and 1/2" to the width. My fabric will be cut 12 1/2" x 13 1/2". Only cut one piece that size because our back will be in two pieces.
4. Cut two pieces for the back, each piece 1/2 the width plus about 3" for each piece. You only need to "half" one of the measurements. Since my piece is 13" long, half of that is 6 1/2 plus 3" is 9 1/2". So I cut two pieces each 12" x 9 1/2". The 3" is not critical. You just need the two pieces to overlap. You can make that overlap as much as you want as long as you can stuff the pillow in. The bigger the pillow, the deeper the overlap you should have. With a bed pillow, I might overlap the two back pieces as much as 8".
You notice the glue stick I have there? You need to turn your raw edges under. It is much easier to turn them with a glue stick before sewing. First turn it under about 1/4" with the glue stick. Press with an iron.
5. Turn it under one more time and press again.
6. Now sew this down on both pieces.
7. Lay both pieces down and overlap them so that they measure 13 1/2". Pin them together at the overlap so that they stay together.
 8. Lay the pinned back and the front together with the right sides together on the inside.
9. Sew it together all the way around. You don't need to leave a space for turning right side out.
10. Turn it right sides out through the overlapped space. Use a chopstick or the closed points of your scissors to push the corners out.

11. Open up the overlapped area so you can put the pillow in.
12. Put one end of the pillow in.......
13. ....and then the other. You're finished! Wasn't that easy? Now when you see a thrift store throw pillow or you have one you don't like, you know how to change it! I used plain cotton, but you can use drapery fabric or anything you can sew. Give it a try! You'll be so proud of yourself!
Until next time....

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  1. thankyou so much for sharing Linda and sounds like your DIL is enjoying her sewing.xx

  2. Thanks for this reminder. I know that I will need to change some of my cushions once we have moved and this will be a great way to do them!!

  3. THANK YOU so much, I have been looking all over for a tutorial like this!!!! I have so many pillows my DD wants changed for each season.

  4. thanks, sometimes all we need is a reminder that we can do these things so easily.

  5. Great idea. I have two disasters on the couch right now that could surely use a new cover. Thanks for the inspiration. Lane

  6. Great tutorial hon, thank you - love that fabric you used!

  7. Great tutorial!! I always love your tutorials. This is an excellent sewing project for all of us. Thanks Linda
    Gmama Jane

  8. Great tutorial Linda, I always love making pillows!

  9. Another wonderful tutorial, Linda! I need to make some slip covers for mine as they are becoming rather worn.

  10. Great tutorial and such a cute and bright fabric!

  11. good tutorial and great fabric are so good at using that glue stick and encouraging us too...I do not know why I forget to uses it!

  12. Such a great tut Linda..I have been making them this way for years..of course though I add ruffles lol
    loved your choice for today, matched well with colors of your blog lol

  13. Super tute for someone just learning!!


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