DIY: Easy Change Pillow Covers

February 10th, 2013 | Posted by Becki Peckham in DIY | Home Renovation | Living Room

I love colour but I continuously change my mind on what I want. When designing our home, I wanted the ability to easily change the accent colour without spending a ton of money. When it came to the living room, we chose all neutral colours for the walls, furniture and art and then added splashes of colour with the accessories. Since one of our favourite colours is turquoise, that is what we decided our base accent colour would be.


Pillows can make a huge impact in a space and bring in lots of colour. They are also easy to change out if you decide you don’t like them, or want to change them per season/holiday (I change mine to green for Christmas). That being said, who has enough room to store tons of pillows throughout the year? Not me. By making changeable covers for the pillows, I only have to store a small fabric slip cover that barely takes up any room. I have a few neutral “all year round” pillows in black leather and black and white houndstooth, which I picked up at Winners, and then I have a total of three “changeable” pillows. To make these, I purchased one small and two large pillow forms from the local fabric store and made my own covers for them. Note that once you have one cover made, you can use it as a template to create additional ones.

I found a beautiful chevron fabric on Spoonflower. It was a little expensive at $18/yrd, but since I couldn’t find anything suitable at our local fabric store, I opted to pay the price. Lucky for me, a few years ago I found a solid turquoise fabric locally and bought a ton of it but ended up never using it. The colour happened to match almost perfect to the chevron print. To get more bang for my buck, I used the expensive chevron fabric for the fronts of two pillows and backed them both with the solid turquoise.

Other than fabric choice, you can customize with zippers, buttons or whatever you want. The covers themselves are fairly easy to make if you know how to use a sewing machine.

- Pillow form
- Fabric
- Thread
- Fabric scissors
- Sewing machine
- Measuring tape
- Pins
- Iron
- Adhesive hem tape (optional)


Step 1: Iron
Iron your fabric to get all the wrinkles out.

Step 2: Measure and Cut
Measure your pillow to figure out how big to cut your fabric. We will be making a pillow that overlaps in the back so this gives us a little room for error.

The pillow cover will be made from one solid piece in the front, and two pieces that overlap in the back. Cut your front piece according to the measurements of the pillow and add about a half inch to each side for seam allowance. For your two back pieces, use half the front measurement plus 4.5″.

Step 3: Press edges
Take both your back pieces to the iron. Fold down a 0.5″ edge and press, then fold it in 2″ and press. Here is where the optional hem tape comes in. You can either run a straight stitch across the edge to hold the fabric in place or you can use adhesive iron hem tape to have a finished edge with no stitch. This is what I did only because I didn’t have matching thread for my fabric. Repeat with your second back piece. When sewn, they will overlap about 2″.

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Step 4: Pin
Place your front piece on the table, good side up. Overlap the two back pieces and place them over the front piece (good sides facing together). Pin all the pieces together.


You can see here how the two back pieces overlap each other by about 2″.


Step 5: Sew
Sew around the edge of the cover, leaving a half inch from the seam to the edge. If it’s your first time sewing, have a look at this tutorial first.


Step 6: Clip
Clip each corner of the fabric diagonally, making sure you don’t knick the thread. This will de-bulk the corners and give them a more “pointy” appearance.


Step 7: Flip
Turn the pillow case inside out and poke the corners out. Press the edges with an iron.

Step 8: Stuff
Stuff your pillow into the cover carefully, making sure not to rip the seams.


*Tip: If you find the back of your pillow is coming opened, you can pin it in place, sew some velcro in or put in a button (if you know how to create a button hole with your sewing machine).


Voila! Accent pillows!


Have you made accent pillows for your place? If so what colours did you choose? Have you done any recent DIY projects? Share them with us in the comments below, on Facebook or on Twitter! Be sure to like and follow us to stay up to date on what we are up to.

Thanks for reading!

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5 Responses

  • joan peckham says:

    Hi Becky..still enjoying your site..I would like to do what you are doing re changing pillows with the seasons etc.Im too old now and set in my ways but that dosent mean that I dont appreciate what you are doing ..it is awesome.You have seen my pillows..they were DIY projects in the day..but alas ..times change.One of my pillows is done in the Jacobean embroidery method ..This was done in the Elizabethean Era(I didnt live in that era!!!haha)There probably wasnt much printed material then so the ladies spent years covering plain material with this embroidery to brighten up the old castle.Anyway my pattern is called the Tree of Life which was a popular pattern.Our present Queen is still using a bedspread done a llooogg time ago.Kits are still available in England for pillows but cost an arm and a leg and hardly worth my while now..Sorry for rambling ..thought you might in a bit of trivia re decorating!!!

  • June Peckham says:

    Hi Becki
    You inspire me.Just repainted my bedroom and bathroom.New bedding is neutral beige so I can change my accents with the season.I have made many pillows over the years and they are so easy and versatile.Accent colours red for pillows and throw for christmas and winter,pulled colours out of a new picture that I received for xmas.Will change to a spring summer colour in april again pulling from the picture.Will do orange and rust in the fall and so on.Fabricville has amazing fabrics and with their sales it costs very little especially if you recover with pillows you already have as you suggested .Good job.

  • Heather says:

    Hi there, I love your colour scheme and I love the fabrics you chose for your pillows. I was wondering where you got your couch? Thanks in advance.

    (in Halifax)

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