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While decorating for the holidays this year I looked around and realized that my couch pillows were not very festive and in some rooms the color combinations even clashed (oh the horror!). I contemplated purchasing a few new ones for the season… and by a few, I tallied that I would need about 11 pillows to satisfy by design craving. However, after a quick stroll down the pillow section at the store and a thorough scan online, I realized I’d be investing a small fortune. Additionally, I discovered that this would mean finding a location to store these 11 pillows throughout the remainder of the year. That’s when I decided to create my own slipcovers.
I went to the local craft store, purchased flannel/plaid print and linen fabric, a few select pieces of felt, buttons and bells. I came home, began measuring/cutting/sewing and a couple of days later (factor in the time caring for a curious toddler and infant took away from the project) and all 11 pillows were covered and festive as planned! The best part?! I spent a mere fraction of what I would have had I purchased the covers or pillows outright.
Interested in making your own? It is easier than you may think! Enjoy the tutorial below.
Don’t quite feel confident in your sewing skills? Don’t let that stop you! Check out my post on “How I Taught Myself to Sew and You can Too!” Or, simply, check out this ideal video tutorial of Sewing Machine Basics. Then step over to these Online Craft Classes (select “Sewing”) that include video demonstrations in order to learn more advanced techniques!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- sewing machine (you could always stitch by hand, but it may take you until the following holiday season to finish them. Eek!)
- ruler/yard stick/measuring tape
- chalk (I prefer chalk to mark measurement cutting line so I don’t damage the fabric)
- fabric (any pattern or design of your choosing. All couch pillow sizes tend to vary so you’ll have to adjust total fabric yardage based on your personal needs. However, I found that I yielded about 3 standard couch pillows out of 2 yards of fabric. In order to make 11 pillows, I purchased a total of 7.75 yards (5 different patterns) and had scraps left afterwards.)
- 9×12 felt sheets (one sheet per pattern)
- jingle bell sleeve (if you desire to make the poinsettia slipcover)
- red button sleeve (if you desire to make the wreath slipcover)
1.) Determine the size of your pillow. Mine included 16″, 18″ and 20″. For this tutorial, I’ll focus on the 18″ pillow (my most common pillow measurement); however, be sure to adjust your measurements accordingly.
2.) Begin by cutting one piece of fabric 18 1/2″ x 18 1/2″. (Plan a 1/2″ seam for this cutting measurement. If you prefer a 1″ seam, adjust your fabric to 19″ x 19″). This is the front of your pillow.
3). Next, cut two pieces of fabric 18 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ (Note: regardless of the size of the pillow square, the 12 1/2″ measurement will stay the same). These are the back panels of your pillow.
4.) Now you will need to hem one long side of each of the back panels. Turn your fabric upside down so the front of the pattern is facing down on the table. a.) Take one long side of the first panel and fold it down 1″. b) Next you will fold that same long side and fold it back up towards the edge by about 1/2″. c.) Pin alongside the entire length of the fabric panel and sew along the pin line. Be sure to repeat this step on the other panel.
5.) Now we are going to assemble the pillow by sewing the back panels to the front one. However, if you plan to sew any object/design on the front of your pillow, you’ll want to be sure and do this NOW and prior to sewing the pieces together. (For this example we will plan to create a basic slipcover with no front design).
Begin by laying down your front panel right side up. Next, you will lay the two back panels upside down on top of your front panel so that the sides are flush. The folded edges of the panel hems should be facing upright. (Note: the two panels should be overlapping in the center and the hem you created on each panel should now be in the middle of the pillow).
6.) Now you should pin the three panels together. Pin along all four edges and down the middle where the two back panels meet.
7.) Sew along all four edges (not down the middle as this is where you insert your pillow). Reminder: if you are using the 18 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ template then sew a 1/2″ seam vs. a 1″ seam (see step 2.)).
8.) Trim around your edges and remove excess fabric.
9.) Turn slipcover right side out and insert your pillow, allowing the back panels to overlap and cover your preexisting pillow.
10.) Yay! You did it! Perhaps you were just looking for some basic slipcovers (embellishment free). If so, sit back and relax, you are done! However, if you wish to embellish a bit more or add specific patterns then here is the remainder of the tutorial.
As you can see, I chose to add a bear, deer and snowflake silhouette to three of my flannel pillows (these are for my more rustic basement level and I figured they could be used all winter long). Then I also created a poinsettia, wreath and car with a Christmas tree on top for three of my other pillows (clearly these are more for the Christmas holiday and I chose to incorporate them in my upstairs space).
In order to create these patterns, you’ll need to use felt pieces. I’ve included three patterns for you of my silhouettes (bear, deer and snowflake) that are able to access and download for FREE below! After printing, cut out the pattern and trace it onto your felt piece. After you cut out your pattern, simply sew it on to your pillow front prior to attaching the two back panels. Happy sewing!
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ADDITIONAL PILLOW IDEAS
Now that you are on a roll, don’t stop with just the holiday pillows… be sure and check out my State Specific Pillow tutorial. You also won’t want to miss this super fun Embellished Photo Pillow tutorial.
Now, let the brainstorming begin for future slipcovers! How about you? Have you made pillow slipcovers before?
Do you change them out seasonally?