08 March 2011

Easy peasy pillow covers

My living room is still a wreck. BUT now every time I pass by it I smile, thanks to these cute pillows.

When I set out to find fabric for my couch pillows, I'd had a whole different idea in mind. I wanted to change the color scheme of my couch to cream and light grey. But since the frame of the couch is dark brown leather and there's nothing I can do to change that, I was also wanting to find some kind of fabric that had a dark brown and grey pattern, to tie it in. I think that I do things backwards....I think most people go out, find a fabric they like, and then plan the room around the fabric. I plan the exact fabric that I want, plan the room around that imaginary fabric, then I head out on a {often fruitless} search to find it.

This time was no different; I was unable to find in the store what I'd been picturing in my head. But just as I was about to give up, I saw this gorgeous zebra print that stopped me in my tracks. Yes, it's still cream and brown, but the fact that it already matches my couches perfectly meant that I could give my couch a face-lift without having to buy a ton of fabric. My couches AND my wallet are thanking me.

These pillow covers are seriously so simple to make. The first thing that I did was measure the pillows that I wanted to cover; I measured top to bottom, then side to side, starting from the seam on one end and going to the seam on the other end.

My pillows measured 18 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches. To those measurements I added 3/4 inch, so my new measurements became 19 1/4 x 19 1/4 inches. (The extra is so you have room to sew a 5/8 inch seam).

I cut out four squares of fabric using these measurements. These were the fronts for my four pillow covers.

Then, I cut out four more pieces, but added 6 more inches to the length of my original measurements. So the measurements for these four pieces were 19 1/4 x 25 1/4 inches. These become the backs of the pillow cover.

I cut each of those four back pieces in half lengthwise so that I had two rectangles for the back of each cover. I folded down one of the long sides about an 1/8 inch or so, and ironed the fold.

I sewed all the way across this fold so that I now had a finished edge. I did this on one end of each of my rectangles.

I then laid out the pieces for the covers with the front piece on bottom, right-side up. I put the two back pieces on top, right-side down, so that the finished sides were both to the center of the pillow and all the rough outside edges were lined up. {Your finished sides in the center will overlap.}

I pinned everything in place and then sewed all the way around. I turned it right-side out using the pocket that's in the center and I ended up with a cover that looked like this:

I stuck my pillow inside....
...and ta da!! Beautiful covers that fit like a glove! 

Do not attempt to make these pillow covers while watching Celebrity Apprentice. You may become so unable to look away from the antics that you make a mistake like this:
Can you see??
I sewed this cover right-side out. I was halfway around the pillow before I noticed. I spent the next hour cursing Gary Busey and Star Jones while I picked the stitches out with a pin.

The best part about these covers is that you can change the look of your couch without any commitment. If you decide that you're over the look you created, you can just slip these covers right off. They're perfect for me because I'm always changing my mind when it comes to my decor.

Here are the instructions I used. I just followed these as closely as I could and I am thrilled with how my pillows came out.

Now go make yourself some fantabulous pillows!


Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. Hum... My husband is not going to be very happy with you. I want to go and get a whole new couch. Thanks Brook, I will just blame it on you.

  2. LOL that's okay Vanessa, I do the same thing with Rob....I'll be like "But I saw it at so-and-so's house and it looks sooooo good!" haha

  3. Looks great! I need new pillows for our couches. I just don't have any forms. I've debated trimming the fringe off the ones that came with the couch & using them. They are comfy, just ugly. Should I go for it? lol. I think I'm afraid of messing them up, but if I want to replace them, I guess it really shouldnt matter!

    Visiting from Serenity Now!

  4. I love the step by step! Your pillows turned out great. :) The zebra stripes are fun! I featured this post today. :)

    Thanks so much for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. Have fun finding a new blog friend or two, and I hope you'll visit Serenity Now again soon. :)

  5. they look so good!!! I like how u explained step by step. i was going to attempt my own pillow covers. I will be using your easy steps for sure! Thanks!!!

  6. Your pillows look fabulous! Judging from your wonderful tutorial, you can whip an envelope one up in "no time!" Have a great day, Becca