DIY pillow case cover inspired by Pottery Barn

Aug 29, 2014 at 10:35 a.m. ET
Image: A Lo And Behold Life

The cost of designer pillows can quickly add up. But you can have that designer look without breaking the bank — just buy some fabric and make them yourself.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

I'm addicted to accessorizing with pillows, and I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that. Sparkly pillows, lumbar pillows, striped pillows, Euro pillows, embellished pillows, round bolster pillows… I do not discriminate — I love them all! But this obsession comes with a price.

My inspiration is usually sparked when the latest Pottery Barn catalog winds up in my mailbox. Take, for example, my latest muse. I'm a total sucker for this preppy red, white and blue rugby-stripe vibe.

Pottery Barn

Photo credit: Pottery Barn

If you hate paying full price, like I do, there are all sorts of fabulous online retailers that are stocked with incredible fabric options (some that even look identical to those sold at the expensive retailers we love so much). The only difference is they are a fraction of the price, because you need less than a yard of fabric to sew a 20-inch-square pillow cover.

Here are some of the best online fabric stores:

Making your pillow

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: Premier Prints

STEP 1: Find your fabric

For this project, I found a strikingly similar red rugby-stripe fabric by Premier Prints for just $9 per yard. Score!

STEP 2: Gather these supplies

  • 1 yard of fabric (note: 1 yard of fabric is 36 inches long by 54 inches wide)
  • 20-by-20-inch pillow insert
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors
  • Tape measure or sewing grid
  • Iron
Step 3: Make your cuts

Cut your front and two back fabric pieces according to the specs below. You should have three pieces total (one front piece and two back pieces) when you're done. Tip: your fabric measurements should be the same size as your pillow insert for a nice and snug fit. In this case, I cut a 20x20 fabric front for a 20x20 pillow insert. My pillow will be full and fluffy once it's stuffed into the cover, not loose and droopy.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Step 4: Create your seams

For each back piece, fold one end over 1/2 inch and then fold it over onto itself (1 inch total). Optional: Use pins to hold the folds in place. Press the folds with a hot iron.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Step 3

Then sew the double-folded hem of each back piece with a top stitch. These will be the finished edges that make up the envelope enclosure on the back of the pillow.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Step 4

Line up the stripes of the front and back pieces facing each other. Lay the 20x20 back piece down over the front piece first and then the 20x10 piece. This will ensure that when you turn the pillow cover inside out the larger back piece will fold over the smaller back piece. Tip: Make sure the nice sides of the fabric for the front and back pieces are facing each other, otherwise you'll sew the pillow cover inside out. Pin along the perimeter and sew an approximately 1/4-inch seam along all the pinned edges with a top stitch.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Step 5

Make a small cut at each of the four corners of the pillow. This makes it easier to point the corners when you turn the pillow cover right-side out.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Step 6

Turn the pillow cover right side out and stuff it with a pillow insert.

A Lo and Behold Life

Sit back and enjoy!

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Now that wasn't "sew" bad, was it? With a little online research to find your inspiration and these discount fabric stores at your fingertips, the knockoff possibilities are endless.

Check out more budget-friendly decorating ideas

10 Budget-friendly ways to decorate your home for summer
Budget-friendly home decorating tips
How to create a designer look on a budget

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