How to Cover a Pillow

by Mary

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I needed a few pillows to spruce up our basement, so I bought some pillow forms and new fabric and started the process! You can use old pillows that you have around the house and simply cover those if you don’t want to spend money on a pillow form. All of my pillows were already spoken for, though!

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Here is the fabric I selected.

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Turn the fabric inside out and pin it all around your pillow. If you have enough fabric, you can fold your pillow inside of it like a book. That’s why you don’t see pins on the left side and only at the top and bottom. Also, the right side is left open for removing the pillow. It will be stitched later in the process.

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Remove the pillow from the pinned fabric (hopefully, you didn’t accidentally pin the fabric to the pillow itself as you pinned). Stitch along the pins, removing them as you sew.

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Now that you have your pillow fabric with three sides prepared, the last side is left open for turning out the fabric to its correct side so that you can tuck the pillow inside and stitch closed the opening on the outside.

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Notice how I fold in the fabric so that I create a smooth-looking hem that I will soon stitch. Pin where you want the hem to stay and remove the pillow again.

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You can see how much I had tucked inside, now that I have removed the pillow again and turned it inside out for additional sewing. Pin about two inches on both ends of the opening and stitch there. You merely need a large enough opening in the middle to be able to insert the pillow later for final sewing.

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Here is what it looks like stitched on both ends of the opening. Because my pillow form is lightly filled and very squishy, it was easy to slide it through this small opening. Be sure to keep your opening large enough to accommodate yours, though, especially if it is a firm pillow. You may even wish to leave the entire area open and follow the directions below for stitching all of it closed on the outside.

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Here, I pinned the opening so that I could stitch it on my machine and remove the pins as I go. This is a pretty unconventional way to do it. Most folks hand stitch it closed here. Or, you could install a zipper if you want to be able to pull out the pillow without aggravation at a later date to launder your fabric. I will be showing how to install a zipper in a future post. I know that you are on the edge of your seat in anticipation!!

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Here’s me stitching it on my machine. If your pillow is too bulky, you will not be able to do this. Hand stitch it instead.

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Here is the finished product. I think it looks really nice! When tossing onto your couch or chair, place on the bottom the side that has been stitched on the outside so that folks won’t see the stitching! Enjoy your new pillow!

Mary Toepfer