Friday, August 5, 2011

DIY: Easy No-Zipper Pillows

This is how it usually goes:
Ooooh! I love this fabric. Well... I'll just get a yard, that's all. Just enough for a pillow, no harm here! Oh, and maybe just a yard of this one, too. And some contrasting fabric, that's all. Just a yard of this, a yard of this one and this one, too. See, it's not that much and out of all of this, we'll have all new pillows.

Pillows! Pillows for every room in the house new PILLOWS! Pillows Pillows Pillows I love PILLOWS! I'll sew them all!

Cut to:
Piles and piles and boxes and closets filled with Just A Yard Of This and Just A Yard Of That. And nary a pillow to be found.

Wanna know why? I flippin' hate sewing zippers. Hate 'em like the day is long. I know, it's not that hard, but it's literally the only thing that keeps me from sewing all those pillows. I just hate it.

So, be still my beating heart, I came across this post for envelope-back pillows. Duh! How many times have I seen these and not thought to do it myself!

I have been staring at my cute Pink Pig fabric for about a year, it taunting me day by day by day. 

Soooooome Pig!! It would say. 

Finally yesterday I took care of business and made my Pink Pig Pillow.


Sewing 101: Envelope Back Pillows

You'll Need:

Pillow form - I used a 21" pillow, so the measurements below are based on that.
Measuring tape or large ruler
Straight edge - you can use the large ruler or anything else that has a straight edge.
Rotary cutter or scissors
Fabric pencil
Sewing machine & thread
3 Pieces of fabric cut to the measurements below - you can use a contrasting fabric on the back.
        *Note: If you have a closet full of fabric, ahem, you can dig around and piece together scraps that are the
         measurements needed. No need to buy more.
        **Second Note: Use any old fabric you have that measures up - t-shirts, old curtains, throws, skirts, etc.

1. Measure and cut 3 pieces of fabric based on the size of your pillow. Use contrasting fabric on the back pieces if you want. You can also "railroad" the same fabric to make contrast if you don't have two fabrics. Simply turn the fabric sideways and cut your back pieces across the pattern. That's what I did.
        For my 21" Pillow:
            - Front piece = 22" x 22"
            - One back piece = 11.5" x 22"
            - Second back piece = 14.5" x 22"

2. Back pieces:  Press a hem 1/2" on one edge of each piece, then fold and press another 1/2".

Pin the hems.

3.  Sew the pinned hems.

4.  Overlap the two back pieces about 2", making sure that the total width equals 22" once overlapped.

5.  Pin & sew the overlap.

6.  Lay the front and back pieces on top of each other with the patterns facing each other.

7.  Pin the pieces and sew around all four sides with at least a 1/2" hem, double locking the corners. You can do a 1" hem or more if you want the pillow to be tighter.

8. Trim the corners and turn it right side in. Use a chopstick or bone folder to poke out the corners.

9.  Put a pillow in it!

10.  Take pictures and stare at it for at least 7 minutes.

Sooooooooome Pig!!


  1. perfect! that fabric is amazing.

  2. Thanks for reminding me there's more than one way to close a pillow!

    And for your amazing blog - it's a go-to.


  3. I so love your blog! Great stuff!

    What camera or techniques are you using for such crisp photos?

  4. Lynda, thank you so much! I just use a basic Kodak camera, Kodak Easyshare Z812 IS, nothing fancy. Hope to upgrade to a new camera someday!


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