Monday, June 28, 2010

Re-cover your ugly throw-pillows: A simple tutorial

Everyone has throw pillows around the house that are not aesthetically pleasing. We live with them and always think in the back of our minds about getting new ones but never get around to it. Well, this tutorial can help you get this project off your to-do list.

Re-covering your old throw pillows is a super fast, super simple project that can give you instant gratification and a better looking room in under an hour.


-pillows or inserts that need to be recovered
-fabric- cotton, home d├ęcor weight, minky, chenille, silk or whatever works with your home
-rotary cutter and mat (optional)
-serger (optional)
-decorative trims (optional)


You need to cut one front piece of fabric and 2 back pieces. Details on finding their measurements is below.

1. Measure the pillow that you want to re-cover. (In my example, I am working with a 20”x20” pillow)

2. For the front piece of fabric, Add ½” inch to each side of your measurement. (My example is a 21”x21” measurement for the front piece)

3. For the 2 back pieces, one side will measure the same as found in #2 and the other edge you will take the above measurement and divide by 2 and add 2 ½”. For my example, the measurements for my back pieces are 21”x13”. (21”/2= 10.5+2.5=13”)


1. Cut fabric according to measurement. Make sure that you have cut 1 front piece and 2 back pieces for each pillow you want to re-cover.

2. Take the 2 back pieces and lay them right side down so that the measurement A side is at the top and bottom and the B sides are touching. *Make sure that if you are using directional prints that they are running the same way on each piece.

3. Fold the inner B side (as shown in diagram) back ½” then again ½” to cover the raw edge. Pin in place and repeat with other piece of back fabric. Sew pinned edges in place.

4. Take front piece of fabric and lay it right-side up. Align 2 back pieces on top, right-sides together so that the raw edges are aligned and the 2 finished edges overlap on the interior of the case. Pin all the way around the 4 raw edges.

5. Serge or sew and zig-zag finish a ½” seam around all 4 edges of the pillow.

6. A trick to create crisp pillow corners: Working with one corner at a time, starting at a corner edge, fold the top edge back along the seam line. Holding it in place, sew a small vertical stitch on the side seam line. This should be just enough to hold the fold in place. Repeat for all 4 corners. (This step is optional)

7. Turn case right-side out and press. Make sure that the corners are popped completely out. Insert your throw pillow and voila! Now you can admire your work and mark this task off your mental to-so list!

Happy Sewing,


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