There are so many beautiful, festive, cute, inspirational - whatever feel you’re going for - free images you can find on the internet in the form of printables. I gave you some of my favorite sources last week.
Today I’ll show you how to turn one of those images, printed on inkjet fabric that goes right through your printer, into a simple pillow. You’ll need your printed image, a pillow form, and some scrap fabric.
First, choose the image you want to print and the pillow you want to use, making sure that the pillow is larger than the printed image. Print your image onto the photo fabric and if your brand of fabric requires it, heat set the printed image with a hot iron (follow the directions on your brand of photo fabric, not all brands require heat setting). Once your image has completely cooled off, remove the paper backing from the fabric, being careful not to stretch the fabric too much.
Measure your pillow from side seam to side seam. If you’re using a newly purchased pillow, the measurement will be on the package, but if you’re repurposing an old pillow form you already have, find its dimensions and write them down. Mine is 13 1/4” across (weird but typical IKEA dimensions!).
Trim around your printed image, leaving at least a 1/4” seam allowance around all edges. You can leave more if you’d like, I left 1/2” around mine here and didn’t trim it square.
Next you will build borders of fabric around your image so that your finished front pillow cover, before sewing it to the back pillow cover, measures exactly equal to your pillow’s dimensions. So if your pillow measures 10” x 10”, then your front pillow cover panel, before sewing it to the back panel, will also measure 10” x 10”.
Trim strips of your fabric and attach them first to two opposite sides of the pillow and trim them even with the center image. Keep a 1/4” seam allowance as you sew.
Square up your edges and corners as you go, you don’t want to build out a lopsided square or rectangle!
Add fabric strips to the top and bottom.
Add additional strips as needed to reach the size of your pillow. Trim pillow front to the exact measurements of your pillow.
The back of your pillow cover will have an envelope closure, which means there will be two overlapping pieces of fabric. To calculate how big to cut these two pieces, start by recording the width of your pillow. This will be the width of your fabric.
For the length of the two back panels, take the height of your pillow and divide it by two. Then add 4. So if your pillow is a 12” x 12” square, you’d divide 12” by two and get 6, then add 4 to it to get 10. Each of your two back panels will be cut 12” x 10”.
On your first back panel, fold over 1” on the 12” long side and press.
Fold over another inch again and press again.
With the wrong side up, pin the folded edges and sew a seam 1/4” from the folded edge, and a second seam that’s 3/4” from the folded edge. Use thread that will blend into your fabric.
Repeat for the second back panel.
Now it’s time to assemble your pillow cover!
Take your pillow front (which you’ve trimmed to the exact measurement of the pillow) and place it facing UP on your table.
Take one pillow back section and matching the bottom edge, place it face DOWN over your pillow top.
Take your second pillow back section and matching the top edge, place it face DOWN over the pillow top and first back section.
Note that the folded part that you sewed will NOT be in the middle of the pillow - this is correct!
Carefully pin all around the outside edge of your three panels, and sew all around it with a 1/4” seam. You may want to go over the center back portions of the seams where the pillow backs overlap with the pillow front.
Trim the corners to reduce bulk.
Turn your pillow cover right side out and gently push the corners out from the inside, using blunt scissors, the end of a chopstick, etc. and carefully insert your pillow.
Enjoy! With all the great printables you can find, you can make a pillow cover for any occasion!