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Simple Bolster Cover

Placing an abundance of pillows on a bed is a luxurious way to tie together the decor of a room.

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


Bolsters -- long, cylindrical support pillows -- can easily be covered to complement your bedding. You can find them in bedding and housewares stores in a range of prices, which vary according to the filling: Foam and Dacron fillings are relatively inexpensive ($15 to $30), while feather bolsters are more costly ($80).

Tip: Be sure to start this project with prewashed fabric so it doesn't shrink.


  • 36-inch-long bolster

  • 3/4 yard fabric, for cover

  • Measuring tape

  • Chalk

  • Fabric scissors

  • Pinking shears

  • Round object, such as a small plate, for a guide

  • 1/2-inch linen tape or twill tape


  1. Measure bolster to determine dimensions of cover: For the length, measure from end to end, then add 2 inches for seam allowance. Then add the diameter of one end of the bolster to its length. For the width, measure the circumference of the bolster, and add 2 inches for seam allowance. Use chalk to mark the measurements on the wrong side of the fabric, then cut a rectangle in those dimensions using pinking shears.

  2. Using a small plate or other round object as a guide, cut out two small circles (about 4 to 6 inches across) from the excess fabric. Baste one circle onto each end of the bolster.

  3. Sew French seams: Fold the fabric rectangle in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together, making sure to match up the stripes. Align the raw edges, then pin along the edge. Machine-stitch along length of fabric, 1/4 inch from the edge, leaving 2 inches open at each end. Turn fabric so right sides are together, press flat along seam, and pin. Stitch 5/8 inch from the edge, turn inside out, and press finished seam.

  4. Sew casings for drawstring: Clip through the fabric at the end of the French seam, allowing 2 inches of fabric at the end. Turn seam allowance 1/2 inch all around end of bolster cover, then 1/2 inch again, and press. Turn under 1/4 inch, and press. Turn another 3/4 inch, press, and pin to form a casing. Stitch the ends on the horizontal, close to the folded edge. Repeat for the other end of the bolster cover.

  5. Thread a 30-inch length of ribbon or twill tape through each casing, using a safety pin to lead the ribbon through, if necessary. Insert the bolster into its cover, and tie the ribbons in bows for a snug fit.

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