Friday, August 7, 2009

How to: Make a Custom Pillow Cover

Our new living room furniture came with 4 big, plush pillows. They were great quality, but the fabric looked like something Martha wore in the early 90s.

So.. I set out to find the perfect fabric to cover them. I didn't have time to order the exact kinds I wanted [I'm throwing Z a bday party tomorrow night, and want the room done by then] so I went to Joann's. I have a love/hate relationship with that store. I'm a bit of a fabric snob, so I have a hard time finding the home decorator fabrics I want there. Lucky for me though, I snatched up the last yard and a quarter of this:

I'm a sucker for geometric prints.. every time. :)

So anyway, on to the how-to part of this post:

How to: Make a Custom Pillow Cover

Step 1: Measure your pillow. Mine was 18 1/2" square. So I decided to make the cover 18" square- you want to make it a little bit smaller than the pillow so that it ends up looking firm and not saggy & baggy... just like my abs. :) Right. Moving.on..

Step 2: Cut the fabric out. I cut one 19" square (I don't like thick hems or wasting fabric, so I only allow for 1/2" hem). Then I cut one 19" x 21" rectangle. Once those are done, cut your 19" x 21" piece in half, so you have two 19" x 10.5" pieces.

Step 3: Hem. Take your two smaller pieces, and fold over the long side 1/2 inch & hem it. This piece should now measure 19" x 10". Do the same thing to both smaller pieces.

Step 4: Attach velcro. I used a fusible (sticky & iron-on) 3/4" wide velcro. I applied the "hook" side to the underside of one piece, and the "eye" strip to the front side of the other piece.

And incase I lost you on steps 2-4, here's a visual, courtesy of paint:

Step 5: Stick it. Once you have the velcro placed where you want it, follow the directions on the package to fuse it to the fabric with an iron. Once you've waited for it to cool completely, and have made sure it's Mike Tyson strong, stick the pieces together. The front side of both pieces should now be facing the same way.

Step 6: Hem again. Grab your 19" square piece back and line it up with the velcro piece, front side of fabric facing in. Pin them together. Then take your measuring tape & pencil and make small tick marks, forming an 18" square around the edges. Sew a double hem (for extra strength) along the lines. To finish off, trim any exess fabric from the edges.

Step 7: Stuff it. Pull your velcro apart and lay the cover, velcro side up on top of the pillow. Then, flip the top half of the cover right side out, and up over the pillow, magically stuffing the top half in. Fab.u.lous. :) Then do the same thing to the bottom, secure your velcro together, and voila! You ugly pillow is now pretty. And that's how we like it around here. :)

As always, the BEFORE & AFTER:


Domestic Lola said...

Looks great! Thank you for the tip! your commentary ;)

Katie said...

so beautiful! i love the new fabric.


Cristina said...

once are my hero! I would have gone to the store and bought new pillows - but now you're showing me the way!

Jorden and Kristin said...

that fabric is great! :)

Wendy said...

They look great! For some reason I never thought about making covers for our pillows like that. Same as yours, comfy, but not very pretty. I guess I'll have to make some!

Joy said...

I love the pillow change!
Thanks for a great tutorial.
I hope you don't mind if I add a link to you on my post today.

C said...

Joy- not a problem!! :)

TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo said...

Can I just tell you that I think that was the most reader friendly tutorial I have ever seen?!! They look fantastic!


other-option said...

Do you mind sharing what fabric that is? I love it!