DIY Project: Throw Pillow Covers

*Note from the future: This is an old post from before I really knew how to do proper tutorials. If you have any questions or want any step clarified, feel free to drop me a line at!*

Originally published April 10, 2017

The closing date for our new house is (tentatively) set for April 28, (Edit: 2017) which means I’ve been packing and cleaning and sorting like a madwoman for a couple of weeks now. It’s causing me to look at all of our belongings with a very critical eye, meaning the local Goodwill has gotten a couple of large donations recently and will likely get at least one more before we’re outta here. (When did we get so much stuff?!)

This past weekend, I took a good, solid look at the throw pillows we’ve had on our couch since college. I’d made the covers, but I did not think ahead and make them removable. A dog, a cat, a baby, and five years’ general wear and tear had them looking…not fresh. Oh well, that’s an easy change to make. One trip to the fabric store, two yards of fabric, and a couple hours solved that problem.

I’ve been noticing a cool design trend lately: fabrics with watercolor-like prints in varying levels of saturation. The latest Better Homes & Gardens magazine featured throw pillows from, so I checked them out and came across this beauty. Sadly, I don’t have that kind of money for pillow covers, plus I already have inserts, so that added an unnecessary expense. An Etsy search landed a few options closer to the affordable range (like this cute bird and large abstract floral), but once I factored in shipping and everything, I knew I could make something just as pretty and cheaper. Here’s Elmo relaxing against the final result:


I used this pattern as my inspiration, except I did sew the fold-over bits to prevent raveling long-term, and I added some handmade bias tape in a coordinating cotton fabric to the edge underneath to give it some further holding power. Hopefully, that’ll keep these covers on even with a kid and a dog jumping on them!

I did one cover at night after Olivia went to bed, and I made the second cover the next day while she was napping. I don’t know if I was just extra tired that first night or what, but the first cover took 2 hours, while the second one only took 20 minutes (including ironing and pinning). Oh well, at least I have the technique down now. My next pair will be so easy. And, in my defense, I had some impediments that first night (and a brother willing to capture the fun on camera):

The next day, piecing everything together went like clockwork.


I’m really happy with how they turned out! This is by far my most professional pillow cover job to date. The fold-over back looks really nice:


And once again, the finished project:


Practice makes perfect! And nothing beats the personal touch of choosing your own fabric. I’m so excited for the fresh start in our new house. 🙂



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