I love throw pillows. They just make a room feel cozy. But I resisted my love of throw pillows for a while because I was on a huge clutter-cutting bender, so the few pillows in our living room lived in a nice neat stack hidden away. But I felt like something was missing from the room. It needed something to pull it all together and soften up the space.
One of the things I dislike about throw pillows, though, is that the covers are usually not removable on store-bought pillows. So if they ever get dirty, you can’t remove them and wash them! And if you want to change them out to match your seasonal decor, you have to have multiple sets of pillows. That just seems like too much trouble.
Enter: the removable throw pillow cover! These are so simple to make that you seriously don’t even need a pattern. And you don’t have to mess around with installing a zipper either.
I don’t know exactly how long it took me to make these because I made a total of 3 and I took time to take pictures of the steps (which you probably won’t have to do). But I know that assembling and sewing the first one took me about 30 minutes. Measuring and cutting the fabric certainly takes less time than than, so it’s safe to say you can make one of these in less than an hour. And it gets quicker with each additional cover you make.
Super-Easy Removable (Zipper Free!) Pillow Cover
These are totally customizable, so the amount of fabric you need is dependent on the size of your pillow. I made covers for three 18″ square pillows with 2 yards of fabric (and have some left over). But a yard is 36″ and a bolt is either 45″ or 60″ wide, so the math is relatively simple to figure out how much yardage you need.
I made my covers roughly half an inch smaller than the pillow so they’d be snug. Seeing them on the pillows, I could have gone another half inch smaller. But hey, live and learn.
So for my 18″ pillow, I planned the covers to be 17.5″ square. Adding half an inch seam allowance on each side, my square needed to be 18.5″ wide.
I started by marking a corner with a triangle. Then I use the edges of the triangle to make some dashes. These dashes will be your guide to help you keep your measurements level and your sides square.
Next, I measured out 18.5″ and marked that spot. I used the triangle to mark the corner and cut line with dashes. Do this all the way around the square. I like to mark the entire edge of the square with dashes just so that I don’t get all wonky with my cut line.
Once you have your first square cut (this will be the front of your pillow), you’ll cut the pieces for the backside of your pillow. You’ll cut two pieces for the back. I wanted the opening in my covers to be at about the third-way point rather than right in the middle, just because I thought it’d be easier to get the pillows in and out that way.
So to measure, I used the main square as a guide and marked the outside edges and third-way point. Then I added half an inch to the length along the third-way point and marked there to cut.
For the second piece of the backside, I used the first two pieces as guides and marked the second piece big enough that when finished it would overlap the first piece by about an inch. Don’t forget to add a half inch seam allowance.
At this point, you can use these cut pieces as guides to cut additional pieces if you are making more than one pillow cover. It makes the process much quicker! Just pin the cut pieces to your fabric and cut along the edges.
Once all the pieces are cut, fold down a half inch along one long side of each back side piece of fabric. Iron and sew. If you think your pillow is really going to get a lot of wear and tear, you might want to fold the hem in again, hiding the cut edge to help avoid fraying. But if you do that, don’t forget to add that additional inch to your overall dimensions!
Now put your main square (the largest piece) and the bigger of the two back side pieces right sides together, lining up the edges. Make sure your hemmed edge is in the middle and not along an outside edge.
Do the same with the remaining piece. Your two smaller pieces should overlap by a bit. I’m showing them staggered in this image just so you can see how they are layered. Be sure all outside edges are lined up, and pin the pieces together.
Now, simply sew all the way around the outside edge! So easy! Clip your corners so they pop out nicely. Be careful not to clip your stitching. I also ironed the seams open at this point.
Now just turn the cover right-side out and insert your pillow! I found some 18″ pillow inserts on Amazon for super cheap.
Here’s the opening.
And here’s the back side of the pillow with the opening closed. You could totally do something cute with contrasting fabrics and make this the front side! If I were going to do that, I’d make the overlap a bit wider.
What’s so fun about these is that you can quickly make several in different fabrics to match seasonal decor or just to have variety. Also, if you have kids or pets, it is so nice to be able to remove and wash your pillow covers. Now that I’ve made these for our living room, I’m thinking about making some new throw pillows for our master bedroom!
If you have any questions about this project, ask away in the comments! Happy crafting!
If you enjoyed this project, you may also enjoy my super easy toddler sundress/tank top made from an old t-shirt!
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