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Envelope-Backed Pillow Cover

A thorough spring cleaning isn’t really complete without considering your décor as well. One easy seasonal swap: Replace dark-colored or heavy-fabric pillows with linen or cotton options in lighter hues. It’s an inexpensive way to refresh your interiors -- especially if you make the pillows yourself.




  • Pillow insert
  • Disappearing-ink fabric pen
  • Sewing machine and sewing supplies
  • Fabric


  1. Step 1

    Measure the dimensions of the pillow insert. To determine the size rectangle you’ll need, add 1 inch to the height for seam allowance, and multiply the length by 2, then add 6 inches. (For instance, an 18-inch insert would require a 19-by-42-inch rectangle.) With the fabric pen and a ruler, draw the dimensions of the rectangle onto your fabric; cut it out. Place the rectangle right-side down. Double-hem the left and right edges: Fold each edge in 1/2 inch, press, then fold over again 1/2 inch and press. Pin and edge-stick 1/8 inch from the inner fold.

  2. Step 2


    Fold the left and right edges in, overlapping them by 4 inches. Measure the square to make sure it matches the pillow insert’s dimensions.

  3. Step 3

    Pin the top and bottom edges; sew them with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Turn the cover right-side out. Use a closed pair of scissors to push the corners out. Insert the pillow.

Martha Stewart Living, April 2014



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