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DIY Easy Envelope Pillows – From Fat Quarters & Scrap Fabric

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In this post: I’ve made pillows with zippers and buttons but these envelope pillows are so much easier! Plus they’re made with fat quarters and scrap fabric to keep the cost down!


I love throw pillows. I may or may not have a problem. Throw pillows can add so much style and oomph to a room, not to mention comfort. But they can be costly too depending on where you find them. I’ve DIY’d several pillows and pillow covers for our house over the last few years, but I’ve always hated the zipper part. Zippers are such a pain to sew! So this time around I decided to go the easy route and just make easy envelope pillows for our bedroom makeover.

yellow and grey pillows on a bed with white duvet

I started with this bundle of Joel Dewberry fat quarters, that I originally ordered to make pillows for our old entryway!

joel dewberry fat quarters

Top to bottom:

1. Joel Dewberry Aviary 2 Sparrows in Vintage Yellow

2. Joel Dewberry Aviary 2 Scrollwork in Granite Grey Yellow

3. Joel Dewberry Aviary 2 Lattice Vintage Yellow

4. Joel Dewberry Damask in Granite

5. Dwell Studio Blossom Print in Citrine (Not shown above. Far right pillow below.)

 

Easy Envelope Pillows

bedroom with wood headboard, stenciled grey and white wall, yellow and grey pillows

Supplies

*You can use other sized of pillow forms, of course. But for the purposes of this tutorial, measurements are based on a 16″ pillow form.

Instructions

1. Cut fat quarter piece to 17″x17″.

2. Cut neutral fabric into two pieces each measuring 17″x12.5″.

3. Fold end over on each of the two neutral fabric pieces and press with iron. Sew down hem.

hemming pillow back

4. Pin pieces together, right sides facing each other.  The fat quarter piece should be your guide for the pillow size. The neutral pieces will overlap about 4″.

pillow back before pinning

pillow pinned

5. Sew all the way around perimeter using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Be sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end to keep the stitching from coming unraveled. To go around a corner, while needle is in fabric about 1/2″ from edge, lift presser foot and turn fabric. Put presser foot back down and continue sewing.

sewing

sewing around a corner

6. Trim corners, so they aren’t bulky.

trim corners of pillow inside

7. Turn right side out, press with iron and stuff with pillow form!

Want another scrap fabric project? Try this scrap fabric rag bunting!

yellow and grey pillows on a bed with white duvet

You can do this for all sizes and shapes of pillows, just add a half inch seam allowance on all sides and make sure you have at least 4 inches (if not more) overlap on the back side.

What do you think of our pillows? Have you made any envelope pillows of your own?

shannon sign off

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

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55 Comments

  1. You are so very talented. My oldest daughter got a sewing machine for Christmas and nana is teaching her how to use it. I’m learning by observation!

    1. Hello Shannon…I was just wondering if it would be okay you that I start to follow all the fun and inspirational things you share on you’re site….I can sew a straight line too and so……..I’m gonna be makin’ meself a new pillow cover from your instructions…………………..Happy Day to you from me, Jayne

  2. I just started sewing this past Christmas and I’ve made a couple pillows. Thank you for your easy tutorial, but I’m not sure what you mean by a fat quarter piece of material?

    1. Hi Brook,

      “A fat quarter is a one-fourth yard cut of fabric that (usually) measures 18″ x 22″ instead of the typical 9″ x 44″ quarter-yard cut. The longest side’s dimension will vary if your fabric is not 44″ wide.”

      (Definition from here: http://quilting.about.com/od/stepbystepquilting/ss/fat_quarters.htm)

      Basically it’s like taking a yard of fabric and cutting it in four squares instead of four long pieces.

      Hope that helps!

      xo,
      S.

  3. Beautiful pillows Shannon – they look so pretty in your bedroom! I love this DIY pillow style – I’ve made a few envelope style pillows too and they really are so easy to make!!

  4. Great! Thank you so much. I’m getting ready to make Pillows for a Reception Lounge Area. I was dreading the zipper, this will be much easier and faster.

    1. I figured if I could pretty much only sew a straight line, it couldn’t hurt to show a corner! So glad it was helpful!

  5. I don’t know what a fat quarter is, & I don’t understand the “envelope” part. Are they actually sewn shut, or is it more of a “fold lock top”, which was my first thought when I read “envelope”. Thus enabling one to forego the zipper, & yet remove the cover for cleaning…

    1. Another reader asked a few comments up: β€œA fat quarter is a one-fourth yard cut of fabric that (usually) measures 18β€³ x 22β€³ instead of the typical 9β€³ x 44β€³ quarter-yard cut. The longest side’s dimension will vary if your fabric is not 44β€³ wide.” It’s just a cheaper way to buy fabric for pillows if you want several different patterns. And no the envelope is not stitched closed, it is just as pictured with overlapping fabric at the back so the cover can still be removed for cleaning! πŸ™‚

  6. Love the fabric! I have plans to make envelope pillows soon…just need to get motivated and dig out the sewing machine!

  7. Thanks for this tutorial…you make it look easy. This is definitely on my list of to do’s…I have to pin this so I can use it for my own pillows!! I love the fabrics you chose, they are just beautiful. I would love if you stopped by my blog and shared these at my first blog party…Weekend Beautiful πŸ™‚
    Shawna

  8. Thank you for making this easy for people like me that get overwhelmed with how to start a project. Your instructions and pictures are wonderful! I’ve made a few of these wonderful pillows and it seems so easy now. You are a very kind person to share this with everyone. I am going to teach my young nieces how to make these over the summer, I know they will love it!
    Take Care Shannon, you are a lifesaver, I know what to make for Christmas presents next year
    Penny

  9. Thanks for all your wonderful ideas…can’t wait to get started on some easy envelope cushions…

  10. Hello Shannon,

    My Daughter and I have bought so many fat quarters between us and have been trying to decide what to make with them.

    To have somewhere to go that gives easy to follow instructions with beautiful results is just what we need.

    So looking forward to getting to know your web site.

    Kindest Regards,
    Lorraine