Simple & Stunning DIY Envelope Pillows Tutorial {Freshen Up for Spring}

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Simple & Stunning DIY Envelope Pillows are one of my favourite things.  Ever. I love them.  They are such a quick and easy way to give your room a whole new feel.  And part of the fun for me is looking for new fabric each season…  I HEART fabricLike, big time. It makes my heart pitter patter.

I love perusing beautiful online fabric sources for design inspiration.  And my top inspiration choice has long been the stunning curated collection offered at Tonic Living.  That is where all my fabric for this spring’s pillow collection is from… and I LOVE it.

Simple and Stunning DIY Envelope Pillows how to at The Happy  Housie

To make all of my spring pillows this year I used:

-5+ yards of fabric
-11 pillow forms
- rotary cutter and cutting mat (if you don’t have this you can use fabric scissors)
- sewing machine, thread, fabric scissors
- iron and ironing board

I ordered one yard of each of these truly stunning fabrics from Tonic Living.  Aren’t they gorgeous?!?!Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial fabrics by Tonic Living at The Happy Housie

I started by measuring my pillow forms and cutting my fabric to fit each form.  I mainly used 18×18 square pillow forms (I like the ones from IKEA the best) but I also made a couple of lumbar style pillows in a 12×18 size as well as a 14×25 size (the green yardage was cut on the generous size so I managed to squeeze and extra little 12×18 pillow out of it).  For the purposes of discussing measuring during this tutorial I will refer to the 18×18 size forms.

You are going to need to cut your fabric to the correct width (18″) and length doubled plus 8″-10″ – So: 18″+18″+8″ = 44″-46″ total for the overlap on the back.

How to judge what size to cut your fabric:

I only added about 1/2″ for seam allowance on my 18″ width because I like my pillow covers to fit the pillow forms nice and snugly – no saggy loose pillow covers for me.  You need to be the judge of how much seam allowance you need to add because it depends how full and firm your pillow form is.  If you have a super full form then maybe add 1″ for seam allowance.  If your pillow form looks like horses recently trampled on it, then squish it together to get the accurate size for a nice plump pillow when you measure it.

When it is time to cut,  measure twice (or 3 or 4 time) and cut once! 

I’ve screwed up cutting before.  It is truly heart wrenching to waste beautiful fabric.  I might not be lying if I told you it has brought me to tears.

Think it out first and be careful.  If you don’t have a rotary cutter and mat (probably my favourite crafting tool ever) then you can use a long straight edge and pencil to mark a line and regular ol’ fabric scissors to cut your fabric instead.

Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial cutting fabric at The Happy Housie

Once cut, give ‘er a little iron to smooth out those wrinkles.  At the same time you can fold over and iron the hem on the edges that will make the envelope fold on the back (by this I mean hem the short 18″ ends that are at each edge of the looooooong doubled+8-10″ piece).  I used the salvage edge of the fabric for one end – it will be folded inside the pillow so you won’t even see it.  Then I only had to hem one end.  Score.

Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial iron edge at The Happy Housie

Once your hem is ironed, run it through your sewing machine.

Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial sewing edge at The Happy Housie

Now measure your piece of fabric and fold it in onto itself, with the ‘right’ or good side facing in.  If, like me, you used the salvaged edge then make sure you fold down the nicely hemmed edge first and have the salvaged edge on the outside of your folded pillow cover (so that when you flip it inside out the salvaged edge will be on the inside of the envelope flap where you won’t see it).

Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial at The Happy Housie

I always like to iron my edges to set them at the correct size before sewing.

Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial iron at The Happy Housie

Now you just sew together the two edges of your form…

Stunning Simple DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial sewing at The Happy Housie

Flip it inside out…

Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial turn pillow inside out at The Happy Housie

And stuff it! Literally.

Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial stuff the pillow form in at The Happy Housie


Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial 3 at The Happy Housie

I made all ELEVEN of my new spring pillows in a couple of hours last Sunday afternoon while my boys had a friend over to play.

Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial all done at The Happy Housie

Once you get the hang of making these you will have changed your life forever.

Okay, maybe that is a bit extreme.  But they are super satisfying to make.

 Want to try it?? Pin this to remember it!!

Simple Stunning DIY Envelope Pillow Tutorial how to collage at The Happy Housie

I’m thrilled with how they turned out and I can’t wait to show you the rest of them during our Spring Home Tour tomorrow!!

I have long loved the cherry blossom fabric and was thrilled to print some purple back into the house.  Our bedroom in our first home was purple and our wedding colors were periwinkle and lilac.  Yes, I married a very tolerant man -you know you have hit the jackpot when your husband willingly paints his new Master Bedroom “Fairy’s Dust” without a word of complaint…

Do you have an inspirational online fabric store source that you love?  If you haven’t checked out Tonic Living (a Toronto Fabric Store  that ships worldwide) then I really do highly recommend it – I usually start any room scheme I design with a visit there first.  And sometimes I just like to hop over there and pin fabrics that inspire me in some way.

Thanks for reading. And remember my housie friends, HOME isn’t built in a day. Enjoy the journey!



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Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post.  Tonic Living provided me with fabric in exchange for my 100% honest opinion of their products and their store- which I have shared with you through this post.  I have loved and shopped at Tonic Living since 2008 and truly find them to be a wonderful source of design inspiration.

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  1. JaneEllen says

    Just looking at your pillow covers I could tell it was a better fabric. Couple of them look like linen, very nice. Your pillows are all so pretty, love the fabrics but afraid they’re a bit too high for me. I’d better stick with the duck cloth prints at Hobby Lobby, really pretty fabric actually and great for pillow covers and curtains.
    All your gorgeous pillows look so pretty piled on sofa. Really does add Spring to a room. Enjoy
    Happy Spring

    • Krista Aasen says

      Thanks JaneEllen! Some of the fabrics are a really fabulous quality- and higher end (the blue cherry blossom is just under $30/yard – but I made two lumbar pillows from 1 yard). The the purple dot is a Premier Prints fabric – which are always really reasonably priced. I love the fun graphic prints they make!

  2. says

    They are so beautiful, Krista! I was just going to post asking if any of my FB friends have suggestions for online fabric stores. We just have a Fabricland and they don’t have what I need/looking for! S excited to check out this site! Thx!

  3. says

    Krista – this fabric is gorgeous – lovely choice! I’ve loved – and stalked – Tonic Living’s fabrics for years now. You’ve got good taste, lady!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Thank you Debi!! I love having the purple added in to our spring décor this year:) Thanks for coming by!

  4. says

    Krista, this is a great tutorial on making these gorgeous pillows. I really love your choice of fabric! Looks like I’ll be getting the sewing machine out and making some (needed) pillows on my big sectional! Pinned!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Oh, I would love to have a big sectional to make pillows for, Gloria! You could fit so many more on it!! (As it is I think my husband thinks we have too many already…I can imagine what he would think if I had a sectional). Good luck with your project!!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Thank you Jo-Anna! I am loving the fabric too – especially the cherry blossom print. Thanks for coming by!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Lol- it is totally Spring here! I guess it comes a little later on a lot of our continent – and some places kind of skip spring and go straight to summer!! I have been craving spring since February!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Thank you Tash! I love Tonic Living too- I would say they are at least partly to blame for my throw pillow addiction. How can you not want to make more when they have so many beautiful fabrics to choose from. I am so glad I finally got over the fear of my machine and learned to sew- best skill that I have ever forced myself to accomplish!!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Oh, snow in April?! Wow! I think the latest we ever had snow around here was early April (April fools day if I remember correctly:) but it was just a skiff that didn’t last. I guess adding a little colour could help get you through the last dregs of winter!!

  5. says

    See this, this is why I need to learn how to sew. I’ve been scouring for new pillows for weeks and can’t find anything I love though I have found tons of fabric I love instead. Beautiful!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Yes- you do need to learn, Alex! I let stark fear of my machine hold me back for waaaaaaaaay too long but now I have fully embraced it. I am not a great sewer by any stretch of the imagination. I am way too impatient and curse every time I have to rethread my needle or bobbin… but it is all worth it in the end because you can make exactly what you want for a fraction of the price of buying in stores.

  6. says

    Love the pattern mix you did Krista! I am not lucky even with the iron on webbings!!! Luckily I have a friend who just learned how to sew and is making pillows for me. :-)

    • Krista Aasen says

      Vel- you can do it!! One you get the hang of a machine and learn to sew a straight line (or, even just a semi-straight line) you can make these!! I am not a great sewer at all and I whip them off like nothing now… it is quite the sense of accomplishment when you finish:) Or, even easier I suppose, is to get your friend to do it! Lol

  7. says

    I love those fabrics, Krista! I discovered Tonic Living a few months ago and they really have the best fabric selection! You are a pillow sewing expert. I love love love these!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Thanks Chelsea- lol, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert but I certainly do love them – they change up the look of a room in such a flash. Tonic Living is an endless source of inspiration… sometimes I browse on there and try to imagine what room I could possibly redo next with their fabrics:)

    • Krista Aasen says

      Hi Shauna! We are full-bloom into spring out here on the coast – the trees are flowering everywhere, daffs are up, and forsythia is blazing yellow all around us. This is one of my favourite times of year… so I had to bring a little of that inside! I guess you have a little more time until Spring truly arrives there – definitely time to make some pillows:)

    • Krista Aasen says

      I hear ya- once you get the hang of it, it is seriously amazing how quick they go. I guess you could call my eleven pillows in one afternoon a bit of a spree…lol

    • Krista Aasen says

      Aw, thanks Amy… I don’t know about queen but I sure have a bit of an addiction to them:) Easier then repainting the furniture every season, anyhow… lol

  8. Christine says

    Eeek!!! LOVE Tonic Living’s fabric selection! Thanks for introducing me to them!! And THANK YOU for the Envelope Pillow Tutorial! Pinned!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Aren’t they fabulous Christine?!? I LOVE that shop, seriously… I always find beautiful inspiration there. And I love that they are Canadian but ship worldwide! Thanks for the pin!!

  9. says

    Oooooh….la…la… Love the way you mixed the colors and patterns. So refreshing to see after the Winter we had. I want to come to your house and sit and enjoy all the happy colors!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Aw, thanks Diane! That means a lot coming from someone as talented with colour as you are! Things are really brightening up around here… all the flowering trees are out and it makes me so cheery to see it!! I love bringing some of that cheer indoors:)

    • Krista Aasen says

      Thanks Tricia! They are easy… I used to fear my sewing machine but have overcome that now and every time I make this pillows I re-amaze myself at how easy they really are:)

    • Krista Aasen says

      Thanks Anne! I am thrilled to bring some of the freshness of spring indoors right now…. yay for April!

  10. Lynn says

    Thanks! Nice, easy tutorial! I love your fabric choices! I am not good at putting different fabrics together!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Hi Lynn! It can be tricky- that is another great thing about the Tonic Living website… when you click on a fabric you like, they have a bunch of other coordinating fabrics shown along the side of the page so you can’t go wrong!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Hi Diana! I have to admit to you that my lines aren’t always all that straight… but straight enough. No one sees that part anyhow- it is all hidden inside:)


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