Thursday, January 9, 2014

Quick & Easy {Envelope Back} Pillow Covers

I wanted to put a little color on our living room pillows, and I had this idea of using a fleece Christmas blanket to make cute seasonal pillow covers.  I chose a blanket with snowmen so the pillow covers could be used all winter.

I wanted the pillow covers to be removable but didn't want to take the time to sew in zippers.  I just wanted something quick, easy, and cheap.

I browsed the internet and found a few good tutorials for envelope back pillow covers:


Armed with the knowledge I gained from these tutorials, I got to work making my own pillow covers.  I didn't reinvent the wheel or anything, but I'll show you what I did.

*The biggest difference between my procedure and all the tutorials available is that I utilized the finished edge of the blanket for the finished edges on the back of the pillow cover.

I started with two 18-inch by 18-inch pillows that I already had, and I bought a fleece blanket from Walmart for $4.97.  The only other supply I needed was thread, which I have plenty of on hand.



The blanket has rounded corners, so I started by cutting off a strip from one short side so I had square corners.





*Important note about cutting a fleece blanket:  The fleece stretches easily, so it's important to line up two perpendicular sides of the blanket with the lines on your cutting mat.  This will give you the best chance at getting accurately measured and cut pieces.


My blanket was 60 inches by 50 inches, so I sketched it on the back of a random piece of paper and figured out the best way to cut my pieces.  For two covers for 18-inch by 18-inch pillows, I needed two pieces cut 18 inches by 18 inches and four pieces cut 18 inches by 12 inches.


With my game plan settled, I got to cutting.  I cut the two 18-inch-wide strips and then cut those into the smaller pieces (each strip had an 8-inch tall scrap that I didn't use).

The most important part is making sure all of your 12x18 pieces have one 18-inch side with the pre-finished stitching.  Let me rephrase that:  cut each of your smaller pieces from the edges of the blanket so the stitching is on an 18-inch side.  Did either of those make sense?  If not, just follow my drawing. :)

Most fleece blankets have the same design on the front and back, but usually one side is a little smoother and the other side has more nap (it's furrier).  I decided I wanted the smoother side to be the "right side" of my fabric.

Assemble your pieces with an 18x18 piece right side up:


Then lay two 18x12 pieces on top, right side facing down:


Be sure that you have the pre-finished edges overlapping (the pre-finished blanket edges are in the middle of the cover back, and the outside edges of the square are all freshly cut).

Sew around all 4 sides of your cover, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.  Either backstitch at the beginning and end or simply overlap your stitching when you come back around to your starting point.

Cut the corners off, being careful not to cut into your stitching.  This reduces the bulk when you turn the cover inside-out.



Turn your cover right-side-out and insert your pillow by shoving it between the two back flaps.  You'll have to do a little adjusting and fussing to get the corners poked out and the pillow lined up inside the cover.

Done!

Front

Back
Crazy-haired Nora modeling the newly covered pillows

You could do this with all sorts of seasonal blankets, decorative blankets, or even blankets with your favorite sports team.

Jessica

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