A few months ago, there was a craft fair at work. As usual, there was a raffle of products made by different vendors, ranging from the super cute to the somewhat perplexing. And wouldn’t you know it, I won a prize! This…spirited…Boston College pillow:
Now, I didn’t go to Boston College. And as far as I’m concerned, red and gold only go together at Christmas. And the goofy cartoon eagle was just a liiiitle much for me. So, it was time for a pillow makeover.
Now to give credit where credit is due, this Boston College pillow cover was actually quite well made. It had lovely piping all around the edges, and was not a lazy envelope cover like I’m about to make, but a real, honest to goodness cover, so kudos to you, anonymous Pillow-Maker! (Even though I don’t like the fabric)
Since the piping was in fact so nice, I wanted to take it out in tact and possibly save it for another project. So I got out my handy-dandy seam ripper and went to town.
It was very time consuming, but finally, I was able to pull the pillow form out of the crazy red and gold fabric.
Yes, the BC fabric went in the trash.
I decided to use this lovely elephant fabric that I’ve had hanging around for a bit. I have a tendency to buy fabrics without actually knowing what I’m going to do with them instead of buying specifically for projects that sometimes gets me into trouble…
Please excuse the mess in the background…
SO. Now to actually make the envelope back pillow cover. This seriously couldn’t be any easier. I followed this tutorial from About.com, which gives you instructions on how to make covers for several different sizes of pillows.
I cut a piece of fabric measuring the length of my pillow (12″) by the width of my pillow (12″) times two, plus 4 inches, or 12″ X 28″. By not leaving a seam allowance, I ensured a nice, tight fit for a fluffier pillow. Then, to help form the envelope back, I used a water soluble marker to make markings 8″ in from each short edge.
Next, I folded over the raw edges on the short ends 1/4″ and pressed, then folded them over again to hide the raw edges and pressed again. Then I stitched the hem down.
Next, I folded each of the short ends in towards the center, right sides facing each other, with the fold along the markings that I made earlier. I pinned it all down, making sure the edges were nicely lined up.
You can see how the ends overlap to form the “envelope”
Finally, and I know, this is REAAALY tricky, I sewed all around the edges using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Yup. That’s it. You may want to reinforce the areas around the opening, as they will be taking a lot of strain as you push the pillow in or yank it out, but that’s essentially it. Now, just turn and press…
…and insert your pillow form!
Ahh, that’s much better, isn’t it? I’ve got at least one more pillow that needs a facelift, but the possibilities are endless-patchwork, applique, buttons…I’m getting all excited just thinking about it! This is honestly the fastest, easiest, cheapest way to make all of your lovely little throw pillows over. The best part? You can pull the pillow out and wash the cover when it starts getting a little dingy!
Make sure you share your own pillow projects!