An envelope-back pillow is about as easy as it gets for adding pops of color to any room.Whether you just want to make a seasonal decorating change, or you’re starting from scratch for home accessories, this envelope-back is a fast way to make a pillow cover.
First, decide on the pillow size and purchase an insert at the fabric store. They come in many shapes, most commonly square, but also rectangles, circles, and wedges. Both square and rectangle fillers work for the simple one-piece pillow option described below.
Measure the finished size of the pillow, such as 12” x 12” (30.48cm x 30.48cm). Double the length measurement and add 4” (10.16cm) for the overlap—this is the cut rectangle length. For the width, use the finished pillow form width and add ½” (1.27cm) for seam allowances. So, to cover a 12” (30.48cm) square pillow form, draw a rectangle 12 ½” x 28” (31.75cm x 71.12cm) on the wrong side of your decorator fabric.
Cut out the rectangle. Stitch a double ¼” (.64cm) hem on each short end. Another option is to serge the edge and press under ¼” (.64cm) hem once, then topstitch. This finishes the opening edges of the pillow back overlap.
With right sides together, fold the rectangle to the finished pillow length, creating a center overlap of 3 ½” (8.89cm). Stitch both edges of the pillow using a ¼” (.64cm) seam allowance. Turn the pillow covering right side out through the opening and press the corners and edges.
Slip the pillow form into the pillow through the overlap in the center back and fluff to distribute the fullness evenly.
The overlap area can be secured with hook-and-loop fasteners or buttons and buttonholes if desired. Both should be applied before assembling the pillow back if you choose to use them.
The overlap can also become a decorative feature on the pillow front with the addition of buttons or ties.
Pillow decorating can’t get much easier than this!
About the Author
Linda Griepentrog is a writer, editor and designer who lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband (a long arm quilter) and dog, Frank. She loves all things fabric! Linda also leads fabric shopping tours to Hong Kong. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.